April 28, 2008

Please Explain

Will some political spin artist please try their best to explain this discrepancy.

When McCain gets an endorsement from Rev. John Hagee he is happy to get his endorsement, and at the time of the endorsement the news reports the story as McCain building bridges with his conservative base. But compare the conservative criticism, and media reaction to Obama's connection with Jerimiah Wright.

Why does McCain get a free pass? How come the media refuses to ask McCain if he thinks that the people who died in Katrina deserved to die on account of their sinfulness? If you think McCain shouldn't be required to answer for comments made by a "radical" religious leader, well then why does Obama have to answer the SAME EXACT question 1 millon times?

The media dropped the ball on this one big time. Of course, come general election time, the republican election machine will turn the entire general election into: your radical religious pastor is crazier than mine. And of course the democrats will tuck their tale between their legs, attempt to explain and retreat, and very likely lose the election.

6 comments:

the unbeatable kid said...

Why does McCain get off the hook? I would say that it's because the media has a double standard that favors conservatives and business interests. It's pattern that is only occasionally deviated from.

If you want evidence that the media like McCain, check out this recent pew research poll.

As for Obama, as long as he's the front runner, the right wing noise machine will continually try and connect him with people and ideas that are considered to be radical.

Obama is Farrakhan
Obama is Wright
Obama is Ayers

Vanessa said...

I think the media (and Obama) dropped the ball in an even bigger way in that Jeremiah Wright probably isn't crazy or all that radical. There's an interesting Fresh Air with Terry Gross interview on NPR from March 31st that talks about Black Liberation Theology and the speaker comments on Wright's sermon and how it fits into the context of theological movements in the black church that began in the civil rights movement. I knew nothing about the subject prior to listening to that show, and I'm sure that's true of most Americans. But it's much easier for the media to replay sound-bites ad infinitum than to actually do reporting. Reporting costs money and discussions about black empowerment, civil rights, and the history of the black church don't sell papers or make you turn on your TV. Crazy America-hating black pastors do. And this has probably always been true, but has been exacerbated by the current level of media consolidation. There are only a few major media corporations controlling the mediums from which most Americans get their news and they have no incentive to give more depth to their stories because they have no competition. If the shareholders keep making huge profits, what's the problem right? Media consolidation is simply killing journalism.

the unbeatable kid said...

yes, the media at large missed their chance to examine wright and black liberation theology. the key exceptions that i've seen are terry gross and bill moyers. with good reporting, the resulting discussion about race and religion could have been interesting and well informed.

i disagree with the idea that good reporting doesn't sell papers. people do seek out good reporting and i believe this is one reason why there has been such incredible growth of internet news sources.

i do agree that media consolidation is largely responsible for the poor quality of mainstream press but i feel that this is do to the control/propaganda motive not so much the profit motive.

the unbeatable kid said...

James Cone's Fresh Air interview
Wright's Bill Moyer's interview

the unbeatable kid said...

Here's a great sound bite by Wright on Bill Moyers

"I think one of the things the church service means is hope. That tell me that there is hope in this life, almost like Psalm 27 when David said, 'I would have fainted unless I lived to see the goodness of the right in this life.' Don't tell me about heaven. What about in this life-- that there is a better way, that this is not in vain, that it is not Edward Albee or Camus' absurd, the theater of the absurd. It is not Shakespeare full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. That life has meaning and that God is still in control, and that God can, and God will, some people of goodwill working hard do something about the situation. We can change. We can do better. We can change policy."

Maybe that clip should be doing the rounds on cable news.

Vanessa said...

The control/propaganda and profit motives aren't mutually exclusive anyway. Part of the conservative agenda is basically the same as that of corporations right? Whatever's good for business is good for America. So it makes sense that consolidated media would have a voice that was essentially conservative.

But I also seem to remember hearing about lay-offs of large numbers of reporters after media mergers, etc., so I think that there is a direct impact of the profit motive on the ability of mainstream news outlets to be effective sources of information. I think The L.A. Times may be an example? I might be misremembering it though. I think it was something I heard on NPR at least a year ago.