Wednesday, January 7, 2009

All Bias, All Bull, All Spin, All the Time

The news media continues its addiction to gutting candidates for public office. Its new targets being Caroline Kennedy, and former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, picked to replace Senator Barack Obama. The gutting began during the 2008 presidential campaign, and focused mainly on Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton.

You can always tell when the gutting begins; it involves continuously demeaning, silly, mean-spirited, vacuous observations, and stories. With Hillary it was the crackle analysis. Sarah Palin was just too easy a target. The media got her ridiculed and then beat her to death with stories about her being ridiculed. With Caroline Kennedy we have the growing “you know” analysis. This “you know” nonsense was started by Bill O’Reilly on Fox News where the spin begins. Several news organizations are now analyzing transcripts of her conversations and interviews to count the number of “you knows” she said. One of CNN’s bright-eyed, ubiquitous female commentators recently gleefully held up a transcript document with all of Ms. Kennedy’s “you knows” highlighted in bright yellow. Who gets the blame if Ms. Kennedy is not appointed? Why, Ms. Kennedy, of course. “She brought it on herself.” That is the set up here.

This is bias. This is bull. None of this matters.

Is this a crisis management problem for Ms. Kennedy? It depends on how much she wants to become a United States senator. It’s situation normal for new media and legacy media bloviators, bellyachers, and bullies.

I have some suggestions for what we should be talking about or doing:

1. How about how we throw a bunch of these criminal executives in jail for having stolen the life’s work of millions and millions of people?

2. How about how we put Bernard L. Madoff, who is living high on the hog, under house arrest in his 55,000 square-foot Manhattan apartment, in Rikers Island with other criminals? Or conversely, how about we put 50 or 60 of Rikers’ prisoners with Mr. Madoff in his apartment.

3. Let’s establish the FBBSAT (the Federal Bureau of Bailout Scrutiny, Analysis and Transparency). This agency would explore and expose where all of the billions of dollars are going and how much is being wasted, used for personal gain or, let’s hope, for what is was intended.

Heard any great bull lately? I would be happy to include in my next round up to chat about, argue, or discuss, as you prefer.

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