4/21/2008

Paying the piper

A DIFFERENT TUNE

Barack Obama supporters are livid over the “piling on” he got from ABC debate moderators last week – a 52-minute “free association test” of Obama’s “my bads.”

Were they paying attention early Sunday morning when Fox News’ “The Beltway Boys” – Fred Barnes and Mort Kondracke – delivered a potentially lethal litany of Obama’s “unpatriotic” leanings?

Seems an appropriate moment to recycle my post from 17 December 2007. Bear in mind, dear reader, that Obama is now the perceived frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

THE PIPER

On the evening after Election 2006, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews hit the ground running with a one-man campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton. Soon, others fell in behind this modern-day Pied Piper of politics.

“To see the townsfolk suffer so
from vermin, was a pity.”

As I pointed out, on this blog, the growing media bias, I was told, quite frankly, that it was a product of my perception – by the very pesons who are now screaming “foul.”

“By drowning their speaking
with shrieking and squeaking in fifty different sharps and flats.”

SHOE ON THE OTHER FOOT

Maybe Obama supporters will pay more attention to the post’s premise now that the shoe is on the other foot.

“Folks who put me in a passion may find me pipe after another fashion.''

THE POST

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,” “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” 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 p.m. ET to give me a thorough and reliable daily news wrap.

From 5 a.m. ET 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. –END-

THE POSSIBILITY

“For dolts that can't or won't determine what's best to rid us of our vermin! … Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking to find the remedy we're lacking, or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!''

***

REMINDER:

* Hillary Clinton goes one-on-one with Keith Olbermann, MSNBC, tonight at 8 ET.

· Hillary Clinton will be on CNN’s “Larry King Live” tonight at 9 ET.
· Barack Obama will appear on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central, tonight at 11 ET/PT.
· Tuesday: Pennsylvania Primary.
· Tuesday is Earth Day.

4 comments:

Frododeclareus said...

To be blunt, Frodo thinks there is a fair amount of frustration with the fact that this ordeal continues. The trivial nature of the 21st Debate, and the bizarre prospect of a 22nd debate is almost surreal. Frodo does not demean his friend's apparent assertion that turnabout is fair play. We are simply at a point where the process has put one candidate in a position that denial of the nomination would virtually destroy any semblance of party unity. Stephanopoulos and Gibson, be it by their incompetence or whatever, merely help prolong the agony for all. Frodo rarely makes predictions (he did pick Villanova over Georgetown in 1985), but it is time for the good guys to come together behind Barack Obama, the next President of the United States.
P.S. Sun City is more like Disneyland than anyone can imagine. Frodo calls it Geriatricland.

eowyn said...

You know, I have wondered all along about something.

I read today that Iran had a hierarchy of approvals for the three candidates. They came in thinking Obama might be a really fresh diplomat, McCain MAY do something right. But they were in a doubtful mode about Clinton because she would almost certainly use her husband as her foreign advisor. And they weren't too happy about the experiences they've already had there. I don't really put Iran first in my scheme of things, but it illustrates a point.

My confusion All Along in this primary process is the tendency to talk about Hillary as "the Clintons." I was amazed that it wasn't done just by her critics! but by her supporters! I stayed quiet on this issue--well, in AWE that no one seemed to notice.

I think one of the SERIOUS detractors to Hillary's campaign is this constant never-ending reference to her as "the Clintons." I held my tongue at first, to see where it would go. I have been AMAZED. Of course her critics wouldn't stop it, but neither does she, and neither do her Supporters! It's a deathblow! How does this work?

Every one of the candidates has problems of some sort. What is the thing about Hillary can do no wrong, is only a victim of the media, and yet is "The Clintons"? It all doesn't fit. Help me here.

bbj said...

Conflict DOES sell. How sad for the press and for us, the stupids who devour headlines and sound bytes like chocolate . . . umm, good.

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