Monday, May 11, 2009

Something Wrong with the White House Correspondance Dinner

Markos once again hits it head on. Something is not right about this dinner. For 8 years we watches as the media essentially disintegrated and failed to report the tough stories on Bush. Sure, there were lots of commentaries, but where were the hard hitting stories? There were few. Largely because reporters were being spied on and feared for their job or their safety or both. They went to these dinners and yucked it up with the White House making no attempt to cover the fact that they were kissing up to the President.

But now, the same thing is still happening. How can you be a check on the government when the White House is your best friend? Sure, its all fun and games when they are making fun of Rush and Steele and Palin. But what about when Obama doesn't fly straight on an issue? What about the prosecution of torture issue? Can they truly be the government check at this stage in the game? [www_dailykos_com]

Obama was brilliant on Saturday. No denying that.

But there was something unseemly about the White House press corps yucking it up with George Bush and Karl Rove, and it's still unseemly seeing them yucking it up with Obama and his crew.

For an industry that has spent the last few months whining about its poor lot in life, and how it's essential to our democracy as a check on government, all I saw on Saturday was those media types trying to be cool by sucking up to the government, just like they had during the Bush years.

Here's a thought -- if you hold yourself out to be a check on government, then don't pretend they are your best friends and party together into the night. At its best, that relationship should be antagonistic, not friendly.

But the media clearly hasn't learned its lesson from the Bush years, as it continues to make the same stupid mistakes today.

As a partisan, sure, I liked that they were laughing at jokes about Republicans, Michael Steele, and Rush Limbaugh. As a media critic, I cringed.

Markos is right. They haven't learned a damn thing. And sure, we liberals love watching the republicans get theirs, but this street runs two ways. What about when the republicans are in power, or a third party? Do we really want to see them yucking it up with a Bush or someone else in the future? But that is what will happen. We, as the party in power will relish this moment and say little. But we will scream when its the other party. The republicans are doing it now. Saying Obama is the darling and they hated Bush. But thats simply not the case. Each party has their "Fox News", and that, is what is wrong with the Media. Decidedly, Fox News is one of the worst when it comes to over all bias. Even their regular news is seething with disgust for Obama. But what about the afternoon line up on MSNBC? It is every bit as bias as the Fox News afternoon/nightly line up. The Ed Show, Hardball, Countdown, and The Rachel Maddow Show are the liberal equivelant of the Glenn Beck Show, The Factor, Hannity, and the other show whose name I cannot remember.

Now again, Hannity gets caught lying very frequently and making claims he won't back up. And O'Reilly tends to not get all his facts straight when stalking people. But the premise is the same. News from a slant.

A democracy cannot survive without a non-biased media source. If Obama knows he has a safer haven with MSNBC than with Fox, then he can be allowed to get away with things as much as Fox allowed Bush to get away with things.

1 comment:

etogre said...

I was reading the paper today (L.A. Times, something I rarely do) and had to cringe in utter disgust at how disillusioned the reporter was at the whole Obama/Cheney back-to-back torture speech thing. He fell in love with the gimmick, and gave a gross account of what happened. The articles use of Cheney's coined phrase "enhanced interrogation" instead of the real word for it-- torture. Because of being scared of looking biased, the media these days is giving everything a "fair and balanced" look, even when it isn't appropraite. The Nancy Pelosi debacle is a prime example of this, where even if she's guilty, she's still a billion times less guilty than Cheney who stands on a podium confessing his love of violating international laws with the use of torture.

There was no objectivism on what the constitution actually says on the issue. There was no pointing out the various treaties and international laws we broke by our use of torture. No mention on how if Obama doesn't do something about it, the next president can just step in and say torture is okay again because it is just a "policy difference". There was no pointing out how in this YEAR alone, thousands of people in Gambia and Nigeria have confessed to witchcraft because they were tortured. Why's that... because torture doesn't get you good information, it gets the person to say whatever makes you stop torturing them! How do you think the Bush administration got the "bad intelligence" that led to the Iraq war?

The scary part is the media is dancing with a real debate in this country over whether this is acceptable. They're focused on Nancy Pelosi, who had not a god damn thing to do with the systematic torture policies. They're either too scared or too apathetic to investigate what really went on. I don't know which is worse.

The problem is we have no real journalism these days, at least not in the mainstream media. All these "reporters" are nothing more than political commentators who regurgitate whatever they are told. Whatever the administration spews at them (regardless of whether it's Bush or Obama). They cater to a public too dumb to ask real questions. There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated, because majority rules don't work in mental institutions.