Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Death of Journalism


When I read about John Zieglers Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin was Targeted, I knew I had to get this DVD. The news coverage of the 2008 election was very disturbing to me. I was curious if Ziegler's film would reflect my own personal observations. It did.

Let me summarize the argument. In late 2007 and even early into 2008, it looked like the two major candidates were going to be Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. The New York Times, The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and CNN were all nervous over this as most of the people at these networks desperately wanted the next President of the United States to be a Democrat. They were so uneasy about Clinton's chances that they derailed her candidacy and put the spotlight on a young, articulate, African-American who was in better position to get the young vote, the moderate vote, and the liberal vote. It would potentially hurt the female vote but the news media felt the trade-off still favored the Democrats. Meanwhile, these same networks did everything they could to convince America that Giuliani was unelectable and John McCain, as a moderate, would have a better chance. They knew that the soft-spoken McCain would look timid, old, and weak next to Obama. The scheme worked as suddenly, McCain and Obama started winning primaries.

Remember the stink Bill Clinton made about how the media was treating Hillary? Remember how the once-adored Clinton was berated for his accusations? That was just the beginning.

Everything was going as planned for the Obama campaign and the news media. The polls in mid-summer 2008 clearly favored Obama. Then suddenly and unexpectedly, McCain dropped a bombshell in August 2008. This bombshell was the choice of an outspoken, much truer conservative Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. Palin frightened the bejesus out of the news media as conservatives and many ex-Hillary supporters rallied behind her. Suddenly the McCain campaign was a real threat to the Obama campaign and the hopes and dreams of the news media. What did the news media do? They launched a barrage of attacks on Sarah Palin. They attacked her family. They picked on where she shopped. They accused her child of not being her child They got Saturday Night Live to spoof her incessantly. They got Katie Couric to interview her and Couric relentlessly attempted to "gotcha" Palin. When all was said and done, enough damage had been done to the McCain/Palin ticket to get Obama elected. It was an amazing display of contrast how Obama's running mate - Joe Biden, got virtually unnoticed during the entire campaign. Also, since the news media was doing Obama's dirty work by smearing McCain and Palin, Obama looked like a saint. His campaign never had to say anything bad about the opposition. Meanwhile, whenever McCain or Palin attempted to show a negative aspect about Obama, (Rev. Wright, Bill Ayres, willing to negotiate with Iran, etc.) the news media spun it as a negative campaign by desperate candidates.

John Ziegler's Media Malpractice reviews the 2008 campaign. It shows examples of everything shown above. Ziegler presents news clips, screenshots from blogs, and newspaper headlines that provide damning evidence that the news media was behind the Obama campaign all the way. In this regard, the presentation succeeds and should anger anybody who believes in fair journalism.

While I thought it was all worthwhile, I couldn't help but want more behind the scenes material. I would have liked Ziegler to have directly challenged the media organizations concerning the 2008 campaign. I would have liked some statistics to support and further drive home the whole point being made. In these areas, the presentation falls short. Nevertheless, the material shown here is disturbing to say the least and anyone who honestly believes the news media was fair should watch this DVD.