I watched the PBS NewsHour last night, including this segment on President Obama's release of his "long-form" birth certificate (and the insane, idiotic "birther" controversy). As I watched, I found myself growing increasingly disgusted, appalled, and outraged at the attitude, framing, and apparently enormous blind spots exhibited by
|lowkell :: In NewsHour Segment on "Birther" Controversy, Dan Balz Epitomizes Much of What's Wrong with Media|
|2. Balz then gives us this whopper, "the press probably does bear some responsibility for this but..." Ahem, uh Mr. Balz? There's no "but" about it; your industry played an enormous role in creating and fueling this false "controversy," just as your industry played a huge role in fueling the false "controversies" over "death panels" (WTF?), "climategate" (double WTF?), etc. Not to mention the fact that your industry also played a huge role, via wildly biased and heavy coverage of the "Tea Party" phenomenon, in building up that "movement" while ignoring equally large, or in many cases much larger, rallies of labor, environmentalists, and other progressive forces. But god forbid you'd ever take any responsibility for that.3. We then get the "on the one hand, on the other hand" faux "evenhanded" and falsely "objective blather about how Trump might "get some credit for that among people who think this was something that needed to be done," and how it could "enhance him as a political candidate," or whatever. This one isn't particularly egregious, but we see the false equivalence and phony "two sides" b.s. from the lamestream media so frequently, that you'll have to forgive me for being hypervigilant for it.|
4. Then there's this whopper, truly astounding: Dan Balz claims he has no idea -- "I don't know what to make of that, Jim, frankly" -- about why oh why Donald Trump might be raising this "birther" thing and possibly even continuing to play it out (he's now raising the issue of Obama's academic qualifications to get into Ivy League schools)? Seriously, Dan? You've been covering national politics for decades now and you have no idea why Trump might be doing this? Look, I hate to be rude, but you're either: a) a complete imbecile; b) hopelessly naive; or c) just pretending to be naive. So, ok, let me spell it out for you, since apparently it's so difficult to figure out why Trump's doing this. #1, he sees political advantage in tapping into the near-majority of Republicans who "believe" that President Obama really wasn't born in America. #2, he sees political advantage in tapping into what's really at the core of all this, racism and xenophobia towards our nation's first African American (actually, mixed race, of a Kenyan father and white mother from Kansas). If you can't figure that out, you are utterly unqualified to be covering politics, whether at the national level or at the dogcatcher level. Seriously, that's pathetic.
3a. Elaborating on point #3, why won't Dan Balz -- or Jim Lehrer, for that matter - just call it like it is, that much of not all of this "birther" crap has to do with racism? But no, not once in the NewsHour interview do they mention the 8,000-pound gorilla in the room, which clearly is racism -- let me repeat, RACISM - towards our first "black" president. Why is that? Does it have something to do with the fact that the elite news media has enormous blind spots, or are they just a bunch of cowards when it comes down to it, terrified of angering the crazies on the right? The latter possibility would certainly help to explain the wildly biased (towards the right) coverage we get from the "mainstream media," whether in treating seriously the most outlandish, John Birch Society-style claims ("death panels," "climategate," etc.), or in presenting "two sides" to everything (one side says the earth is round, the other says it's flat...).
Anyway, that's the end of my anti-media rant du jour. It's good to get this off my chest, but I doubt it does any good whatsoever, as nothing can penetrate the layers upon layers of arrogance, rationalization, and cognitive dissonance resolution we get on a daily basis from a media desperately struggling for relevance, not to mention for a way to stay in business.
In NewsHour Segment on "Birther" Controversy, Dan Balz Epitomizes Much of What's Wrong with Media
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Posted by Lowell at 1:14 PM