Thursday, September 04, 2008

Believe Half of What You Read and None of What You Hear

Twenty-four hour cable “news” has evolved into little more than a rotating series of “experts” discussing the same two or three stories all day. And all night. And all day tomorrow, unless something more interesting comes up. Like a crotch shot of Britney Spears getting out of her car to go to family court. Or O.J. Simpson shoplifting a Ka-Bar knife.

Since there aren’t enough plausibly impartial experts to go around, political insiders have to be brought in for their “analysis.” It’s understood these folks are drinking the Kool-Aid, but since they’re being “interviewed” by “journalists” such as Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity, there is at least a perception these “insiders” might actually have an opinion to offer, instead of parroting their respective philosophy’s talking points. Why else have them on, if not to provide a little insight to voters hoping to make a reasonably informed decision? (As the more astute among you may have noted, the high volume of quotation marks in this piece indicate my “high” opinion of the process.)

Alas, this is not true. (Your sense of disappointment is palpable, as is mine.) Check out the transcript of what two high-ranking Republican strategists had to say at the Republican convention when they thought the mikes were off. MSNBC knows what Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy really think, yet it provides them with a forum to pass off Republican misdirection as “insight.” This is even more despicable than Noonan and Murphy lying to the audience. MSNBC knows they’re doing it, and still provides the forum.

I try not to pay any attention to Internet rumors until I can see them verified by at least one “respectable,” traditional source. There’s too much crap on the blogsphere to take much of it seriously. Even I can write what I want and pass it off as fact, and those of you who have read this blog since it started know what a semi-informed asshole I can be. MSNBC is the offspring of a respected news organization that brought us Chet Huntley, David Brinkley, John Chancellor, Tim Russert, and many others. To see it so willfully complicit in such deception casts doubt on the entire operation’s journalistic credentials.

Not that I’m excusing Fox. They just never had any journalistic credentials to begin with.

(To see the vidoe and a longer transcript, click here.)

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