Papa Bonk and I have been recently wondering how all of this “town hall” nonsense would be covered in the “mainstream media.” Would they faithfully report that these “activists” are backed by gobs of corporate munny from groups who have lascivious interests in this particular issue?
No. A bumper from the MSNBC newsbot this morning:
Still ahead: Politicians feeling more heat at town hall meetings. Will it have any affect on what the White House does next?
The piece that followed, an interview with talking head Bob Franken, doesn’t mention corporate backing but instead treats this as an actual grassroots event.
I am not certain when this started on TV news; when, exactly, an acceptable way to “cover” a news story was to conduct a canned interview with a talking bobble-head. I also wonder when most TV news abdicated its responsibility to call a bullshitter a bullshitter.
Dan Rather in today’s The Washington Post addresses the issue of media. He calls for some sort of Presidential inquiry. Sure, Dan. That would go over really well. He bemoans the nation’s mass collapse of newspapers. He is right on this point, that newspapers are the backbone of a good news infrastructure. My own experience in the newspaper industry is that these newspapers do it to themselves. They cave to their advertisers. They tear down the Berlin Wall what used to be between editorial and advertising. I can’t tell you how many times an ad rep would ask me to do a “business feature” on a company BECAUSE THEY HAD BOUGHT A FRIGGIN’ AD. They call that “community journalism.” If your newspaper runs a double-truck of photographs from your local prom night, you can bet that 90 percent of its editorial content is driven directly by your ad department.
If a person or a company doesn’t do its job, it may fail. A newspaper that doesn’t put news first isn’t doing its job. Therefore…
Anyway, there is a much better article in today’s Outlook section to help explain why newspapers are failing. Headlined: “Schools Need Teachers Like Me. I Just Can’t Stay.” Newspapers are failing because schools are shitting on teachers and turning out morons. If you’re not teaching civics, you’re not creating readers of newspapers. Duh.
Anyway. By way of “opinions are like assholes…”
- Lindsay Graham, in an opinion piece called “Outspoken,” speaks out against a public option for health care, but then somehow makes its case a few grafs later:
Third-party payment is unique to health care. It makes the consumer two or three steps removed from their purchase. Cost containment to me is trying to tie the consumer to the service. When I go to get a car, I can walk out of the dealership. But if I have a pulmonary embolism and am on a gurney, it’s hard to comparison shop.
You know a good way to shove the consumer closer to the process, Lindsay? SINGLE PAYER.
- Henry A. Kissinger outlines the political cost of having sent President Clinton to North Korea. In light of all this weird criticism regarding Clinton’s mission, one has to ask: What would have been the political cost of letting two young women go off to 12 years of hard labor? What, traditionally, is the political cost in America of failing to resolve a high-profile hostage crisis? Can you think of any presidents in recent U.S. history who failed to resolve a high-profile hostage crisis who stumbled politically as a result? Would Obama be in a better or worse position to deal with North Korea if a failure to resolve that crisis weakened him politically here at home? WHY DO WE STILL LISTEN TO KISSINGER?