Thursday, March 19, 2009

News Media Just Makin' It Up..

I'm on duty today, so I'm captive in a small room with cable news running all day. Even with the various channels to choose from, I can't help but notice the same stories just looping over and over. Two that gall me a bit are the so-called "feud" between Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer, and the so-called "dis" from Mike Krzyzewski towards President Obama.

I watched both, so if you haven't seen them I'll spare you the trouble:

The first, which has been widely billed as some kind of great Frasier v. Ali type of showdown, was really just Jon Stewart letting off some righteous indignation and Jim Cramer being very conciliatory and understanding. Hardly a fight. A "fight" to me implies two parties doing something aggressive. One guy sitting there, smiling, and saying, "You know you're right in some ways and I can do better" does not a fight make...unless the media wishes it were so.

The second seems to be on a constant Fox News loop, as Fox News just keeps tripping over itself to make President Obama look bad in any way it can. All that really happened was that Mike Krzyzewski made a joke about Obama not picking Duke for his Final Four...with a smile, he made some quip about how the President ought to focus more on the economy than on his NCAA brackets. Hardly the stuff of Jerry Springer-style oohing and aahing...but based on the way the news media (even Headline News!) is covering this, you would think Duke's basketball coach came off the top rope with his elbow, which is hardly the case.

If there were such a thing as an "un-salute" (A middle finger? An obscene gesture?) I would give one today for all the news media that has sought to trump up Stewart v. Cramer or Krzyzewski v. Obama, neither of which ever had any of the makings of a 'fight' or even two-way incivility.

2 comments:

Matt said...

It's a disgrace. Since '02, these cable "news" outlets have shuttered nearly all of their bureaus, both national and international. Which leaves them to either a) editorialize/"report" on actual journalism from newspapers/newsmagazines b) cover the media. On any given night on any of these networks, the only actual reporting is from the guy standing at Pennsylvania Avenue. So they need to fill space. And suddenly John Stewart or Coach K become more important than any real events happening domestically or internationally.

The New Englander said...

Matt,

Thanks for adding the point in about the shuttering of the bureaus and the effect that has on what these networks actually cover...it's amazing, right after I saw your comment I saw a CNN "headline" that said, "Snubbed basketball coach lashes out at Obama." To anyone reading this -- watch the Coach K response -- it's hardly a lashing! In fact, he says something complimentary, cracks a joke about the President's focus, and then goes on to praise Obama further..

best,
gp