Thursday, December 20, 2012

Coming In At #4...

Over the years, I have been asked many (many. many) times "Why the hell do you bother with the Sunday Gasbag Parade?"  

I mean, seriously, who watches that shit anyway?

I have answered many (many) times, but the best summary-answer I have found in awhile comes courtesy of Alex Pareen's 2012 Hack List in which the Sunday Mouse Circus crosses the disreputable finish line a respectable fourth place:
Every Sunday morning, the big four broadcast networks all air their FCC-mandated “public affairs” programming, which consists of a host (a white guy) interviewing the same dozen lawmakers, journalists and pundits in a rotating order. The lawmakers are usually not the most powerful members of Congress — often they’re somewhat marginal figures in terms of influence, in fact — and the pundits and journalists all generally share the same, or very similar, worldviews. The only people I actually know who watch these things do so out of professional obligation.
But people watch these shows. Millions of people. More people watch “Meet the Press” than “The Daily Show.” Most of those people are quite old, but it’s still the case that a significant portion of the American people are learning the contours of the great public debates of our time from David Gregory interviewing Lindsey Graham.
FAIR is the organization that has most recently sorted and tallied the Sunday show guests, and yet again, the shows skew white and conservative. FAIR looked at the guest lists for ABC’s “This Week,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CBS’ “Face the Nation, and “Fox News Sunday” from June 2011 through February 2012. They found:
Of one-on-one interviews, 70 percent of partisan-affiliated guests were Republican. Those guests were overwhelmingly male (86 percent) and white (92 percent).
The broader roundtable segments weren’t much more diverse: 62 percent of partisan-affiliated guests were Republican. More broadly, guests classified as either Republican or conservative far outnumbered Democrats or progressives, 282 to 164. The roundtables were 71 percent male and 85 percent white.
U.S. government sources — current officials, former lawmakers, political candidates, party-affiliated political operatives and campaign advisers — dominated the Sunday shows overall (47 percent of appearances). Following closely behind were journalists (43 percent), most of whom were middle-of-the-road Beltway political reporters.
Media Matters tallied the guest lists in 2005 and 2006 and came up with very similar results.There are never labor leaders, scientists, academics, activists or public policy experts on these shows, ever. There are scarcely any women or people of color. The Sunday shows are broadcast live from the cocoon.
To merely note that they’re right-leaning, though, doesn’t quite do them justice. They embrace an ideological spectrum that goes from Mary Matalin to James Carville, but the panels are dominated by David Brookses and Tom Friedmans and Bob Woodwards, all spouting the same faux-”moderate” Beltway consensus bullshit. They lean right because the elite Washington consensus is that America leans right. But they worship moderation, baby-splitting, and shallow displays of bipartisanship above all else. Imagine David Gergen and Peggy Noonan agreeing with each other about Simpson-Bowles, forever...
There is simply too much establishment money and power and prestige riding on keeping the American electorate dumb enough to buy the poison that the "David Brookses and Tom Friedmans and Bob Woodwards" for them to permit it to be otherwise.

The Sunday Mouse Circus is the primary vehicle by which their poison is delivered.

 Fake Centrism is the brick on the accelerator.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

They lean right because the elite Washington consensus is that America leans right.

Because money runs D.C.

Fuck with it, like Robert Scheer and Phil Donahue, and you get Froomkined. (War = Money).

Be a worthless hack (but serve money), and even shits like Michael Gerson, Marc Thiessen, and Jennifer Rubin can get corporate media paychecks.

Suzan said...

Or Wellstoned.

(Truth = Death)

Love you guys.

Rock on.


One Fly said...

The media is and has been the major player for the 1% - after all they own it even though we own the airwaves.

DAY said...

Thank God for the NFL.

casimir said...

It is just as irritating though to have Pareen and FAIR make their argument about imbalance thru the lens of Republican/Democrat percentages, since 80% of the Democrats are corporatist right-wingers as well. If one looked at actual balance on the mainstream media circle jerks, one would find that the interests of the 1% get 99% of the representation. Treating balance as half Democrats and half Republicans obviously is one of the most fundamental framing devices by which Centrism passifies and screws us all.

casimir said...

"Pacifies." Brilliant.