In Need Of Balance
Jamison Foser of Media Matters has a fantastic summation of the lack of balance in the media that is a must read this morning. (Found it via Atrios, and I'm most grateful. It is a wonderfully put together read and set of links.) Here is a portion that needs further emphasis:
It's easy enough to look past the obvious, if unintentional, double standard. After all, if the public isn't well-served by the sort of inane, substance-free mockery and derision to which the media have subjected progressives in recent years, such treatment of conservatives would merely even the score, not necessarily constitute a move toward more responsible treatment of serious issues. So we might see the lack of sophomoric taunting as a positive.
That would be a mistake. The political media aren't becoming more responsible; they're simply continuing to direct their scorn at Democrats and progressives. Just this week, media have hyped purported Democratic disarray while downplaying or ignoring altogether GOP infighting; falsely suggested that Nancy Pelosi is as unpopular as President Bush; asserted that Democrats — who do not yet actually control Congress and won't until next year — are "starting to feel some of the pressure" of catching Osama bin Laden without explaining how Bush and the GOP let him get away; and suggested that Nancy Pelosi, who hasn't even become speaker of the House yet, is already "damaged goods." Meanwhile, Trent Lott, who has as good a claim on being "damaged goods" as anyone, is the beneficiary of a media whitewash of his history of associating himself with racist organizations and ideas. Fox News, not typically known for subtlety or for downplaying controversy, told viewers that Lott "ran into a little bit of difficulty, but now he's making a comeback." Yes, that unpleasantness about his suggestion that America would be better off had a segregationist been elected president is behind him, and Lott is now ready, we presume, to act as a uniter, not a divider. Right.
Go and read the entire, glorious essay. Jamison is a treasure, and this is one of his best in a string of great ones this year. After you read it, you'll need a laugh — because it's incredibly frustrating to see the entire media imbalance spew laid out in meticulous detail and then not be peeved — so I'm including a link to Bob Geiger's round-up of the best in editorial cartoons. Some great ones this morning.
What can we do about the media issue? Short of continuing to call them on bullshit and pressuring them at every opportunity where it is needed, I'm stumped. Maybe we should throw a soiree with some cocktail weenies…now that's an attention grabber, I hear.