Sunday, December 28, 2008

2008's Biggest Losers: The Media

I never thought my opinion of the news media could worsen, but 2008 proved me wrong. This has been one of the worst years for news coverage in recent history. In 2004, media outlets were literally "in the tank" with President Bush on the war. Critics of the war did not receive coverage or they were viciously shamed (think: BBC and Peter Jennings). This year, the media engaged in painfully awful "analysis." Here are some of the worst things, listed in no particular order:

Nipple-Gate: Obama goes topless in Hawaii; causes media meltdown.

Obama Girl: Why? Just why? I am stunned that this received any attention at all outside of Youtube, but I guess the corporate media are desperate for money.

Palin Baby Mama Drama: Daily Kos proves its influence by floating a rumor that spread like a virus -- with equally nauseating effects.

Palin Clothing Drama: Since the baby story did not work, let's create another "scandal." And make it sexist too! Yes, that will sell.

Hillary Clinton's alleged tear in New Hampshire: There are so many things I could say about the absolute immaturity and sexism surrounding the reporting of this issue. But I have already done enough.

Clinton Wants Obama assassinated: Poor Keith Olbermann has a stroke, having convinced himself to believe the lie.

Pro-Obama election coverage: Studies by the Pew Center, Rasmussen, the Washington Post, ABC News, and other outlets confirm that most media outlets were rooting heavily for Obama. Interestingly, a lot of Democrats do not want to admit or condemn this. Well, given the disastrous effects of an uncritical media (e.g. Bush's war), I think we need to reject this type of behavior.

Isms: The denial of sexism against Clinton was astonishing. The effort to turn every criticism of Obama into something racist or malicious was equally astonishing. I think racism and sexism explain both processes.

For more on this subject, I encourage readers to check out Glenn Greenwald's blog on Salon.Com. Warning: His sarcasm and cynicism rival my own!

Also, I have written extensively on the subject this year. Enjoy the links provided in the preceding analysis and the ones listed below.

Related Readings on Dissenting Justice:

Oy Vey: Liberals Dominate Media Because They Want to "Change the World," Says WaPo Ombudsman

2 Politico.Com Reporters Concede Media Biased, Blame McCain

ABC News Takes on Issue of Media Bias and Concludes: It Exists

Poll: 55% of Voters Believe Media More Biased Than in Past Elections

Washington Post Proclaims That "Sarah Palin Picks Ferraro as Favorite Vice President." Shocking -- Yes. Truthful -- No.

CNN and CBS Release Highly Misleading Polls Regarding VP Debate

On Low Roads and Hypocrisy: The Media, Sexism and Hillary Clinton

Another Study Proves That 1+1=2, Or That the Media Love Obama, Hate McCain/Palin, and Who's Biden?

Ombudsman Concludes that the Washington Post Was In the Tank!

12 Incredibly Lame News Stories That the Media Reported, Instead of the Impending Doom in Financial Markets


Katy Smith said...

Omg - that Obama girl thing was disgusting. Thanks for the analysis. Now I just have to read all of those links!

Anonymous said...

The stuff on Clinton and sexism was great.

Scott said...

How can this hurt Democrats? I mean, we got the White House. The sexism, I agree is wrong. But it's about time the media respected a Democrat. Bush ruined the country.

Gator Fan Too said...

But people are so stupid, they believe what they are fed by the media. So we really cannot blame the media....

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Thanks to everyone for the comments.

Scott, media bias is not "liberal" or "conservative." It is based on what is popular -- or what will sell. Obama was a more exciting story than Mccain (certainly) or Clinton to them. They went with it. But the role of reporting is not to excite. It is to cover the news and investigagte. Sometimes the best reporting is dispassionate and detailed.

Athough the media favored Obama, they also favored Bush over Gore and Reagan over Carter and Mondale. They also praised the war - until it became popular to hate it.

Hi, Gator Fan! Well, I believe that the media must educate. So I cannot blame the public exclusively or primarily.

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