≡ Menu

When the Media Doesn’t Get the Story

Matt Yglesias on the inanity of Tim Russert. I actually think I blogged this before, but it’s worth rereading. Tom Tomorrow piles on from the most recent MSNBC debate.

– Tim Russert’s entire shtick consists of “gotcha!” He seemed to spend the entire evening trying to trip the candidates up in one minor inconsistency or another. “In old photographs, you appear to be younger — but now you are clearly older! Explain THAT!”

Turns out the threat by Iranian speedboats to US navy was nonexistent. Wow, who would have ever thought. (More here).

Jonathan Schwartz lampoons Charlie Gibson’s way of framing questions (from the last debate):

GIBSON: Really, the central question in my mind is feet. I’ve been reading a lot about feet in recent days. And the best experts in the world say people each have nine feet. What would you do about this as president?

Glen Greenwald (who I don’t make it a point to read, but every time I do just bowls me over) reprints a dismissive letter from a CNN reporter. Then he comments:

They invariably point to criticisms from both Left and Right as proof that they’re unbiased straight-shooters. They chide you for being unaware of the secret, concealed information (interview questions that weren’t broadcast, paragraphs that were edited out) which somehow disproves your critique of what they did broadcast or publish.

They proudly inform you that there have, indeed, been some instances over the many decades that they’ve been working when they’ve stood up to someone and asked something other than mindlessly reverent questions, and if you had looked hard enough, you might have found a couple. They tell you it’s appalling to comment on what they publish to their readers or viewers without first talking to them about it, even though you linked to or even printed in full everything they said and wrote. And they close by telling you that you have no standards, no ethics, no understanding of their Complex Profession, and no decency — that you’re just a shrill, ignorant partisan pushing a lowly agenda while they are in the business of Real Unvarnished, Objective Reporting.

Ponder how much better things would be if establishment journalists — in response to being endlessly lied to and manipulated by political officials and upon witnessing extreme lawbreaking and corruption at the highest levels of our government — were able to muster just a tiny fraction of the high dudgeon, petulant offense, and melodramatic outrage that comes pouring forth whenever their “reporting” is criticized. All this energized invective from King because CNN aired an “interview” with the GOP front-running presidential candidate consisting of one adoring question after the next, which I printed in full.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Kevin 2/1/2008, 4:26 pm

    Interesting. I just blogged on a very similar subject. I don’t really watch much TV these days, but now that there’s something interesting – the presidential debates – I’m appalled at the obvious bias in journalists. Reporters have even guffawed at some of their subjects (candidates) – what gall.

Leave a Comment