Saturday, November 21, 2009

Media Fail to Grasp Meaning of Asia Trip

James Fallows is disgusted by the media narrative that followed President Obama home from his Asian tour. Should be read in full, but this one vignette from new US Ambassador to China, former GOP governor Jon Huntsman, tells the story of the media's failure to grasp the facts on the ground.
"The trip was the top news story in China, drawing strong interest from the mainland public who, surveys suggest, are largely positive in their view of the American president.

"However, much of the US media coverage was strongly negative, accusing Obama of failing to gain concessions on key issues such as Iran's nuclear programme and climate change, as well as being weak on human rights."

"I attended all those meetings that President Obama had with Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao," Huntsman said, referring to the Chinese president and premier. "I've got to say some of the reporting I saw afterward was off the mark. I saw sweeping comments about things that apparently weren't talked about, when they were discussed in great detail in the meetings," he said.
And they wonder why the media is dying. As Fallows goes on to point out:
We're all familiar with one "crisis of the press," the business collapse. This is a different kind of crisis, though it makes the business crisis worse: the distortion of reality by compressing every complex issue into the narrative of the DC-based "horse race."
And to add a bit more context to just how disengaged from reality the media was there, here's what the White House press corps was really doing.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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