Monday, November 26, 2007

McCain and the Media

I have a bone to pick with the media. I recently wrote an article about the lack of substance in the media titled, “Why Do I Know that Barack Obama Lost His American Flag Lapel Pin?” However, this latest dust up with CNN and Rick Sanchez has highlighted not only the media’s lack of substance, but their poor reporting, their sensationalism, and their bias. Now this is nothing new, but amazingly Mr. Sanchez was able to display all these shortcomings in one segment. Since this has become the most overanalyzed video clip in recent history, I’ll keep it short.

1. Poor Reporting – The clip should have been showed in its entirety, and breaking down phrases and expressions without context is simply poor reporting.
2. Sensationalism – The ‘Is this the end of John McCain’ remark is about as over-the-top as it gets.
3. Lack of Substance – What’s this all about again? Inappropriate laughter? Not scolding a questioner? Not saying loudly enough that he respects Senator Clinton?
4. Bias – I’ve been to several town hall meeting and I guarantee you this is not the first inappropriate question this or any other candidate has heard. Yet I haven’t seen other candidates taken to task when a questioner asks a nasty question about George Bush.

Now I’m less inclined to claim liberal bias, and more inclined to simply claim bias. I think everyone knows which networks slant left and which one slants right, but I’m disappointed in CNN because I used to think they tried to remain neutral. Yet this isn’t their first mistake. They reported Senator McCain would be dropping out of the presidential race last summer, which clearly he didn’t. Their coverage of Iraq is full of commentary and short on reporting. I still like watching Wolf Blitzer on Sundays because I think he’s an even-handed journalist, but I hope CNN will rethink its programming and follow the lead of journalists like Mr. Blitzer, instead of degrading itself for ratings with showmen like Mr. Sanchez.

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