Saturday, August 08, 2009

I either have to start drinking or stop watching cable news

In case you didn't check out my Twitter feed at the last post, let me point you to two of the re-tweets that were among the best of the day. Jamison Foser was on fire yesterday and posted this column on media fail. He tells the elites in the tradmed to put down their damn polls and start reporting the facts.
The media should not only stop giving airtime and column inches to liars and the lies they tell, they should affirmatively and aggressively report the truth. And they need to do so over and over again. Once is not enough. [...]

I know what many journalists will say: This is how things are. Political intrigue, controversy, polling, strategy, demonstrations -- these are the things the media cover. That's how it works.

No. That's how it doesn't work. That's how we have a public that is so badly confused about health care reform that polling on the topic is basically a useless bundle of contradictory results. That's how we have a situation in which more than half of the Republican Party doesn't know Barack Obama was born in the United States. And how is this approach working for the media? Public trust in and respect for journalists is not exactly strong -- and, as I'm sure most reporters have noticed, news organizations across the country are shedding employees in a desperate struggle to stay afloat.

So who are the old ways working for?
He followed up with this, tweeted under the title of this post chronicling what he was seeing on the TV.
For the past several hours, the journalists -- anchors and guests -- on MSNBC have been talking about health care town halls, and protests, and angry people, without ever once, as far as I've noticed, actually discussing a single fact about health care, or proposed reforms.

At one point, anchor Savannah Guthrie said criticism of the staged protests ignores the fact that people have legitimate concerns about health care reforms. What are those concerns? Guthrie didn't say. Why are they legitimate? Guthrie didn't say. [...]

There is absolutely no value in spending hour after hour saying "So, people are angry, aren't they?" "Yep, they sure are." "But the protests are being organized by interest groups." "But they have valid concerns! And they're angry!"

Nothing good comes of this. Tell us what the concerns are. Tells us if they are based in fact. Tell us the truth about health care, and about proposed reforms.
There are days when I think the handful of elite media who drive the on air narrative are a greater threat to civil society than all the right wing nutjobs and crazy GOPers in the world.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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