Wednesday, June 1, 2011
For profit and ratings, the news media permit unscrupulous characters like Donald Trump and Sarah Palin to use their news organization to promote something that is blatantly false but personally advantageous for them.
With sufficient evidence to the contrary that Trump was not launching a presidential campaign, cable to network news to print to online disregarded the evidence and broadcasters, commentators, journalists, and pundits emphatically declared Trump a serious candidate. The most vocal exception to that long list of professionals was Lawrence O’Donnell, host of MSNBC “The Last Word.” He consistently, in a very direct and logical manner, made the case why Trump was not running for president. Now, a month later, here the press goes again covering Sarah Palin, the newest fake 2012 GOP presidential candidate.Palin simply announced that she was taking a bus tour of historic sites during Memorial Day weekend, and once again, disregarding evidence to the contrary, the news media covered her as if she was about to announce her candidacy. She is a pro at drawing attention to herself, and the news media would cover her taking a dump during a slow news week.
CNN had the temerity to produce a segment analyzing the news media’s addiction to Sarah Palin. Hello! CNN, you are the news media. They should scrutinize their own addiction, obsession with not only Sarah Palin, but also other bombastic public figures who spew highly inflammatory language about President Obama or who use rhetoric to divide Americans along ideological and racial lines. Not why is the news media “obsessed”, why is CNN obsessed.
The press missed the obvious connection between Sarah Palin, a Tea Party darling, taking a road trip on a bus with the aesthetics of someone running for office and the former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) announcement days earlier that the Tea Party’s goal is to make sure Mitt Romney would not be the Republican presidential nominee. It would not be out of bound to wonder if Palin was solicited by Armey to take to the road in an effort to make Romney nervous about his prospect. Instead of critical thinking, the coverage is a continuous loop of her on a motorcycle, meeting with Trump, and a sound bite “Is Palin running?”
Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and the like are ways the news media distracts the public from more important stories that require more resources to cover. Adding more resources to cover a story mean spending more money. Networks are struggling just like other corporations. Therefore, they are producing the news on the cheap. Sarah Palin and Donald Trump are cheap coverage. There is also another angle driving this sort of coverage.
While the public is focused on nincompoops like Palin and Trump, behind the scenes Roger Ailes, president of Fox News, is strategizing the election of Republican candidates from his office as head of a major news organization. Ailes publicly and unashamedly advocates the ouster of a sitting U.S. President. What is wrong with this picture?
When did it become acceptable for a news executive to go on television, take a position in the political discord, and then expect to be taken seriously as a news organization? Ring…ring…FCC...did you read the Rolling Stone article? How can anyone of the Democratic Party expect a fair airing of his or her point-of-view from this news organization?
Many Americans are not easily distracted or fooled by the media cheap coverage and do not see Palin or Trump as worthy news stories. The issue that concerns us is having a capitalist news media with allegiance to the bottom-line of a major U.S. corporation. n