Sunday, July 31, 2011

This Stuff is So Crazy, It's Got me Watching the News

This morning I watched a few minutes of "Meet the Press" with the sound off, couldn't bear to listen, kept hoping to see a caption identifying the yahoo David Gregory was interviewing. He looked like a Republican: he was smiling, like: What crisis? Turns out it was John Thune, Republican, US Senator from South Dakota. Besides the way Thune looked, the way that Gregory seemed to be fighting to suppress disgust which verged on nausea was another clue to his guest's party affiliation.

I'm not a big David Gregory fan, in no small part because Gregory strongly holds to the dumb old "journalistic objectivity" line. Last week a Republican Congressman appeared on Chris Matthews' show and started off his interview by describing a bill which passed the House with the votes of all the Republicans and 4 of the Democrats as having "broad bipartisan support." Chris called him on this, said, "Don't come on my show and try to tell my viewers that something like that is broad bipartisan support." Good for Chris! He stuck with it, too: the Congressman, looking a little confused, as if he was not used to being called on his bullshit, started over a few times and repeated himself close to word-for-word, and Chris still refused to have it. Gregory no doubt would've let the guy call a vote like that "broad bipartisan support," trying not to look sick, and then maybe after the interview briefly recapping what the Congressman said and then maybe adding, "In contrast to the Congressman characterization of things, Democratic Congresswoman So-and-so said earlier today..." No taking sides between the bullshit and something which made sense. No taking sides between the fire and the fire department.

"Journalistic objectivity." Maybe some journalists have learned from this debt-ceiling bullshit that it'd be much better for everyone if they just told the truth instead of trying to be "objective." That it would be better if they told the public important things like "The teabaggers are idiots, and it's very bad to have idiots in public office." They could've mentioned things like that during the 2010 campaigns. Besides the obvious public benefit, in the case of some journalists like David Gregory, their digestion might improve.

Or when they were discussing corporate supporters of baggers who were confident that they could "tame" them once they were in office, they could've pointed out that in 1932 and 19333, idiotic German corporate supporters of Hitler said exactly the same thing about their guy.

Some might say that it is a network journalist's job to point out things like this to people who are busy with non-news-related things all day most days and are half-listening to him twice a week on the nightly news and once every couple of months on his Sunday show while their children scream and their spouses bitch. Or that it ought to be his job. Honestly, what are they good for? Why are little nothing wimps like Gregory taking up so much space on the airwaves?

"Media bias." Jesus Christ! How about: the opinions of people on subjects which they study all day, every day, for a living? Never occurred to anyone that instead of a liberal media bias, it was simply the case that Left generally looked better to people who knew more about politics?

1 comment:

  1. (jay says ...)

    What you've pointed out I agree has been one of the worst media coverages of politics. The metaphors and euphemisms have glossed over the delusional claims from the TeaPawty - seemingly intelligent commentators have ignored the irrational GOP nuts and even criticize Democrats who object to the crazy nonsense. Has Murdoch gained 90% control of US media? This whole "serious" notion that the Democrats are also at fault is the greatest fraud being foisted on the public.