Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Continuing my rant on the media

Continuing my rant on the media, I will admit to not watching Live! with Dan Abrams, but I do, from time to time, click over to his show during the commercials of another. The thing I noticed last night was that Dan both opened his show and closed his show with Brittney Spears. The opening segment went on for at least 10 minutes at which time I gave up flipping over to that channel disgusted that so much air time had been given over to Brittney.

When you think of how much time these so-called news outlets spend on crap, is it really any wonder why Americans are so ill informed of world happenings? Now the suits will say the reason they cover crap like Anna Nicole, Brittney, and OJ is because that's what people want. And to that I say Bull Shit! The real reason is the same reason we don't have any real reporting on any of the Presidential candidates, reporting isn't easy; reporting costs money. It is so much easier to just pick up a tabloid or go to a website and see what the latest exploits of the rich and famous than it is to do an critical look at why there have been so many food recalls lately.

There is so much news out there that isn't being reported, and so much more news just waiting to be dug up. It's a pretty said statement, but they only TV coverage I saw of the falling dollar was on the Colbert Report. While there was all sorts of coverage of the failing housing market and the “sub-prime meltdown” there has been no coverage of why this has happened, the only discussion on the causes of this problem I've heard was on the Thom Hartmann show. What we get instead is the same news stories told over and over, and to break it up a bit we get hours of celebrity crap. Lou Dobbs gets an hour every day to blame every bad thing that happens in the US on illegal immigrants, yet they don't have enough time to cover all the other times Blackwater went cowboy and killed civilians.

While MSNBC runs their annoying “Doc Block” about life in jail, they leave the actual news aspect of what they are covering to the Discovery Channel. Koppel on Discovery will actually cover the part of the story that is important, the fact that we are running out of room in our jails and prisons.

Monday, October 01, 2007

MSM Hearts Hillary

You gotta love the MSM. According to them there is no way for anybody to win the the Democratic nomination except Hillary Clinton. Wow, it's amazing how their time machine works now, but didn't work in the build up to war. If you listen to the media, if Edwards wins in Iowa it kills Obama everywhere else and Edwards won't be able to win anywhere else (Hillary wins). At the same time the media also says if Obama wins Iowa it doesn't matter because Bill Clinton sat out Iowa and Edwards will never get the nomination without the first big win in Iowa (Hillary wins again). The only other option, according to the media is for Hillary to win in Iowa which means she will win everywhere else. So what is the fascination the MSM has with Hillary? Is it just a matter of the MSM willing Hillary to become the nominee? I would have to guess that if Hillary does indeed become the nominee, the very media that is in love with her now will be on the attack in the general.

When it comes to debates the talking heads all say as long as Hillary doesn't lose she wins. What the hell does that mean? In every post debate wrap-up I have seen (to be fair I haven't seen them all), there is at least one person saying Hillary won. In fact, only the last debate on MSNBC that I've seen has the number of people saying Hillary won been so low; Pat Buchanan was the only one stating that Hillary won the debate this time, but the others were quick to point out she didn't lose (however that seems to kick dirt in the face of all of their past post-debate analysis when they declared Hillary the defacto winner by “not losing”). In the pre-debate coverage it is all about how do the other candidates make themselves stand out from Hillary.

When covering the other candidates it seems to always be from the angle of how do they catch up with Hillary Clinton. When you listen to some of the people in the media they state that every Democratic candidate BUT Hillary is too far left to win. While few in the media actually come out and say that, t's implied by saying things like “John Edwards is courting the far left side of the party,” and “Hillary is a candidate that even some Republicans are looking at and saying they could live with her policies.”

Really though, this is a rant about the Media- not Hillary Clinton. I welcome reporting on Hillary along with all the other candidates as long as it is about something. Right now all anybody in in the MSM is doing is reporting on the reporting. I don't think I buy the case some are trying to make that Hillary is the least threating Democratic candidate to the Corporate overlords that control the media (at least not yet, we'll see where this Dan Rather stuff goes) and that is the reason they are so addicted to her. I think it is much simpler than that: lazy reporting (if one can even call it that). There is no journalism going on, these media outlets commission a poll and then yammer on and on about it. There's no digging around, there's no critical looks at her positions, there isn't really any arguments for or against what she is saying. It's not even just picking the low hanging fruit, it's buying the fruit that has all ready been picked, cleaned, and dyed to appeal to the eye regardless of the actual substance that fruit contains.

When someone tries to do a halfway thoughtful analysis of some of the claims the media is making, the discussion is steered right back to where it began. If someone tries to put some of these polling numbers into context, they are told how wrong they are and that the only context the poll numbers need are the polls themselves. Their argument is that the poll numbers are in line with the other polls, and since those numbers have always been in one candidates favor, they will always be in that candidates favor. But when reality is pointed out that in the past this is rarely the case, the media is quick to say this time is different. The past cannot be a predictor of what's to come this time they state because: Currently we have a very unpopular president, there is a woman candidate, there is an African American candidate, Democrats just want someone who can win, the campaign season started earlier this time, every single national poll has Hillary in the lead, one of the candidates is a former first lady, Republicans don't have a clear front runner, or any number of other nonsense they can come up with.

I have no problem with Hillary being the nominee (I do happen to think there are better candidates though), but can the media at least pretend that we still live in some sort of democracy? If we are to believe the media, all the other candidates should just drop out right now and we shouldn't even have a primary process. In fact we don't even need an election in 2008, Hillary won. I guess I really shouldn't expect anything more from an industry that punishes those who accurately report the news, and dare to ask a couple of difficult questions.