Saturday, January 27, 2007

Out-FOXing the Enemy...

It looks like CNN and Fox News are bringin' it on...

So this report comes out talking about Barack Obama's childhood education at a madrassa in Indonesia, and everyone's gonna think he's a terrorist, since madrassas are often associated with the teaching of extreme Islamist beliefs...

Fox News says that this report was commissioned by Obama's rival for the 2008 Dem spot, Hillary Clinton. Well, actually Fox didn't say it first; Insight magazine, which has an incestuous relationship with the ultraconservative Washington Times, said it first. And so compellingly: when called on the carpet as to the veracity of their reporting, they stood by the report, saying that "sources close to the Clinton warroom" confirmed its truth. What sources would those be? The ladies who come and fill the coffee urns? Sorry, unless you can give me names, I ain't giving you my trust. Oh yeah, and both Clinton and Obama denied the rumors, calling them "irresponsible."

And now CNN and Fox News are taking the gloves off. Fox gets higher ratings, but CNN claims that its reporting is more thorough and credible, as they sent a reporter to the madrassa in question, which turned out to have no affliation with religious teachings. They also made a few snide comments about Fox's reporting techniques, hinting, perhaps at their predilection for reporting scurrilous second-hand rumors from another steaming Republican manhole. Fox's spokeswoman, Irena Briganti, responded by calling it "yet another cry for attention from the Paris Hilton of television news, Anderson Cooper."

See, Irena, I have two problems with that. First of all, Anderson Cooper doesn't have to cry for anyone's attention--they pretty much give it to him because he's a hottie, albeit a smirking one. Your camp doesn't have a whole lotta hotties, except maybe Sean Hannity, who also smirks a lot, and since he was rumored to be banging Ann Coulter, that casts his judgment into some serious, serious doubt. (Oh, whoops, there we go with the "rumor" thing! Goodness, it's tempting isn't it?)

Second, the very fact that you respond to a professional criticism with a base personal insult pretty much confirms that the criticism was valid. One can't turn Fox News on without catching some sour-faced, jowly right-wing pundit whose milk of magnesia clearly hasn't kicked in. Sure, you have higher ratings. You have them for the same reason Jerry Springer and "Dynasty" got great ratings: people like a great catfight or, failing that, an entertaining loon. Who doesn't love a great kook? It's more compelling than "America's Funniest Videos." And you get to watch people call each other names!

But at the end of the day, do people really believe you? I think not. If they did, you wouldn't be so desperate and angry. (You could solve that by not hitching your wagon to a fading star next time.)

This time, let's please demand more from our mainstream media than just a pile of warmed-over shit. Better yet, find other sources of news--on both sides. It takes some culling and "separating wheat from chaff" as far as the facts go, but you can get good information from the hegemony among them (that is, the facts that they all agree on).

The good news about all this is that at least Clinton and Obama do not appear to be clawing at each other's throats over this. They seem to be following the accepted rules of dignified competition.

Of course, look where it got our candidates last time.


Anonymous Ed said...

Every time I go to my parents house my Mother has Faux News on. I tell her they are giving everything a Republican slant. She says she still likes to hear their lies. So according to Faux News we will soon have peace and a democracy in Iraq. still we must attack Iran because...well just because!
If I want to hear that kind of news I'll read the Enquirer. At least their enemies are from outerspace.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

AND you get to see stars without their makeup! And babies who kill priests during "exorcism horrors." (I remember I saved that one for years and years--so obviously fake. But hilarious.)

1:10 PM  
Blogger dirk.mancuso said...

"Your camp doesn't have a whole lotta hotties, except maybe Sean Hannity..."

Sean Hannity? Sean Hannity?

Still trying to process this one, Aaron...

11:57 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

There are some who think so, yes...granted, I think the man looks like somebody held his face over the heater until his nostrils stretched out, but some conservative women apparently like that.

5:54 PM  

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