12/17/2007

Method in MSNBC's madness

My veins still run with newspaper ink, and I still love the institution of journalism. Real journalism. Ethical reporting.

I confess: I have been addicted to politics and news since I was a child. Both were discussed at our family dinner table. I can remember lying on our living room floor reading the daily newspaper which landed on our front porch. The “Brenda Starr” comic strip led me as a kid to dream of a career in newspapering.

Because I love the Fourth Estate – and still believe in its potential power to right the wrongs – I am deeply troubled by what cable news is imparting under the non sequitur “news.”

Perhaps as a defense against spin, distortion and lies now disguised as “news,” I am compelled to keep myself informed.

This background leads me to this conclusion: MSNBC is swift-boating Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“Opinion” shows such as “Morning Joe,” “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” “Tucker” and “Live with Dan Abrams” aside, the personal attacks on this candidate for the presidency have spilled over into the so-called news segments throughout the day.

Those of you who despise Senator Clinton have your reasons and are entitled to them. But, if you approve the PERSONAL attacks on her and her campaign, you are turning a blind eye to ethics in journalism.

MSNBC has long been my cable news source of choice, although I do trust CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at 4 ET to give me a thorough and reliable daily news wrap.

From 5 a.m. up until the nightly tabloid, “Doc Block” at 10, I have heard reporting on Senator Clinton’s campaign which spins, distorts and takes out of context its every effort.

There is no attempt at subtlety. Whether her laugh is called a “cackle” or her campaign workers called “surrogates,” MSNBC’s campaign against Clinton is aimed at those who do not think for or inform themselves.

To my chagrin, I have seen long-respected journalists such as Tim Russert, David Gregory, Andrea Mitchell, David Shuster, join in these unrelenting jabs at the Clinton juggernaut.

(I hope you will remind yourself, dear reader, what this same select group did to Don Imus.)

There’s no need to even mention Fox News.

Big media is after the Democratic frontrunner.

Have you asked yourself “Why?”

There are two reasons, and they both involve profits.

The first, simply put, is “conflict sells.”

The other is a little more complicated. As you read this, the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is ready to “open the floodgate” to further media consolidation.

Here’s what freepress.net has to say:

“If FCC Chairman Kevin Martin gets his way, your community will be inundated with even more mass-produced celebrity gossip and infotainment, and less local reporting and quality journalism: more of the junk news that is making us sick.

“Martin wants to ‘Super Size’ Big Media, allowing companies like Gannett, News Corp and Tribune to swallow up even more local TV, newspaper and radio outlets. Martin wants to let one company own both the major newspapers and a TV station in your hometown, drowning out the few remaining independent voices, so that media moguls like Rupert Murdoch can expand their empires.”

So, you ask, what has this got to do with MSNBC’s campaign against Hillary Clinton?

Well, everything.

When it became apparent that Senator Clinton was the frontrunner, outpolling candidates of both parties, cable news went into overdrive to stop the Democrat most likely to succeed.

By attempting to marginalize both Hillary and Bill Clinton and promoting candidates which, in my opinion, cannot carry the national vote, “big media” will keep in place an FCC which is favorable to both profits and expansion.

I remember the words of a former executive editor, who, when I complained our inside pages “news hole” (space left after advertisements are inserted) was too small, said, “It’s a business. If you don’t want it to be a business, you had better get out.” I did.

So, now you know: there’s method in MSNBC’s (and Matthews’) madness.

I will support and work to elect the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she is, but I did that in 2000 and 2004.

I honestly believe the one person who could win back the White House – and turn this country around - is at the mercy of an unethical media. If these personal attacks succeed, you just wait to see what they do to the Democratic Party’s nominee.

That “food for worms,” Benjamin Franklin, who chose “printer” as his sole epitaph, must be spinning in his Philadelphia grave.

And, when there’s a Republican taking the oath of office in January 2009, I will refer you back to this post.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some people see nothing but their own reflections which they project onto other people. God could stand in front of them and they would "swift boat" God also, because they do not recognize good if it doesn't have a profit or some satisfaction to the five senses. All of which is temporary and will eventually pass away. Nothing of the material world is permanent. It is all temporaty.

eowyn said...

However, it may last long enough to damage an era, and change a lot of lives for their duration.

Anonymous said...

Now, if we are to believe polls for whatever they may be or represent, why do you think that so many liberal-leaning women defined as "highly-educated" are reported as virulently opposed to Senator Clinton? Is it because of Chris Matthews?

My good friend, stand back and consider the dynamics, as well as the bias.

The Nashua New Hampshire Newspaper dubbed Governor Romney as a "phony." In Frodo's opinion, he is a phony. Had they so dubbed Senator Clinton, would there be any justification for so doing? Senator Clinton's well-oiled, programmed campaign, has been managed at a level of competence equivalent to that of a Rumsfeld led Defense Department.
If Frodo were her campaign manager, he would have her face-to-face with Chris Matthews, on his terms. Frodo would have her go in with more than enough "troops" on day one. Instead, she tells us she is a "fighter" (and so is the Incomparable Moron).

Yawn.

In truth, she is one of as many as six Democrats who would kick the snot out of anybody named Huckleberry, Googolenemy, or McCan't. It isn't bias. It's just that she has not given any evidence of anything, but more of the same.

Should she win the nomination, Frodo would vote for her. Right now, she is a weak candidate, and gives nothing beyond her gender as reason for change.

America needs more than that, desperately. The journalists you decry, if you listen close enough, are saying just that. Don't we wish they'd done the same in 2000?