Thursday, February 16, 2006

Emotionalism and the Media

It's sad to say, but the "Cheney's Got a Gun" story continues. We are into DAY 5 and the media STILL considers this the #1 news item to report on. Despite the fact that Vice President Cheney has given an interview discussing, in detail, what happened the day of the shooting the media is promoting several different scenarios. First, it was "Why didn't he tell us sooner?" Then, it became "What is the vice president hiding?" Now the new meme is "Was the vice president drunk while hunting?" with a subplot of "What happens if Whittington [the shooting victim] dies?" I even had a commenter in a previous post tell me she had heard that Whittington died and Cheney pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Based on the reporting I've seen so far, I'm inclined to believe her.

This is emotion-driven journalism and it's not a good thing. When the "main stream media" (MSM) get this wrapped up, to the exclusion of nearly all other news, in what should be a 2-3 day story tops, it shows a lack of judgement. It appears that Bush Derangement Syndrome (B.D.S.) has spread throughout factions of the MSM. Reporters aren't supposed to become emotionally atached to their stories because it colors their judgement. But, it is no secret, especially among members of the press, that the Bush Administration is strongly disliked by many reporters. If you don't believe me read Dick Cheney, the enigma or this and this from HughHewitt.com.

Now, I do believe the media should have a healthy skeptism of people in power. But, to have a seemingly seething hatred of those people leads to bad journalism. It leads people who live and work in the media bubble to begin to report on and believe things with very little evidence of the veracity of their reports. I saw something similar to this in the 1990s with the Clinton Administration, however, not on quite the same scale as today.

To set the record straight, today, the Kenedy County Sheriff's Department reported that no charges would be filed regarding the Cheney shooting. And to answer a past commenter, Harry Whittington isn't dead. In fact, he was reported to be up and about in his hospital room today. VP Cheney didn't plead guilty to manslaughter. In order to be guilty of manslaughter, the victim must die. Although there are members of the press who probably secretly hope Whittington dies to help advance the story, that doesn't appear to be in the cards at this time.

The main stream media has steadly lost audience over the past 5 years. In the meantime FoxNews, barely in its 10th year on air, has become the undisputed ratings champion for cable news beating CNN and MSNBC combined. Until the MSM starts straight reporting and stops editorializing its reports, it will continue to be on the losing end of the public trust.
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