Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On The Subject of the Picking of Pockets

There are two schools of thought.

One group of practitioners aim for deftness and invisibility -- a nimble touch wrapped in glib banter:

Others, such as Good Old Chuck Todd here, work equally hard to achieve the opposite effect. Loudly they announce as the mark comes within earshot,  "Hey!  Dumbass!  See this hand here? I'm going to rummage around in your pocket with it for awhile, trying to swipe your cash.  It'll feel a lot like a drunk marmoset chasing a water bug in your pants while swinging a banjo.  Your job is to pretend you don't notice.  Now let's do this thing!"

From TPM:
MSNBC host Chuck Todd said Wednesday that when it comes to misinformation about the new federal health care law, don't expect members of the media to correct the record.

During a segment on "Morning Joe," former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) speculated that most opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been fed erroneous information about the law. Todd said that Republicans "have successfully messaged against it" but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that's President Barack Obama's job.

"But more importantly, it would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it," Todd told Rendell. "They don't repeat the other stuff because they haven't even heard the Democratic message. What I always love is people say, 'Well, it's you folks' fault in the media.' No, it's the President of the United States' fault for not selling it."

Ultimately, history will judge which of these two methods is the most profitable.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't the journalistic version of the Hippocratic oath say something like "leave your audience no dumber." On that count...they all fail. Seeing journalists listen contently while politicians and pundits spout open bullshit with no push back is the new norm. All good has to do to let evil...something nothing. Sad to say, except Maddow, MSNBC will soon be CNN2.

JerryB said...

Chuck and quite a few of his fellow cable TV ding-a-lings believe this to be the very definition of what journalism should be. Let both sides have their say and don't take sides by explaining that one side or the other is not telling the truth. We're supposed to just figure that out by osmosis or something. I think this is actually what they're teaching in journalism schools these days. The moment any of them actually call out lies or misinformation the Right Wing Wurlitzer cranks itself up and they get flooded with accusations of "liberal" bias.

They fear this more than anything else.

Anonymous said...

They know Stewart and Colbert pick up on their shit, right? Do they like being the butt of their jokes? Don't they remember this night here?


Unsalted Sinner said...

Some first rate Broderism from Chuck Todd there. The Dean would have been proud.

Funny how the "just asking the question" thing is valid for birthers like Hoekstra, but not for people who wonder if Hoekstra is a racist. It'll be even funnier to watch Hoekstra and friends try to explain why Ted Cruz is totally a natural born citizen, so shutupshutupshutup!

Batocchio said...

Yeah, this one's been making the rounds, and it's an instant classic.

It's kinda refreshing when they drop all pretense and state their true, noxious views.

Their job is not to inform the public or help the country function. It's to sell bullshit. "Both sides are equally to blame" is utter crap, but it passes for above-the-fray analysis and deflects charges of partisanship (not that it works against rightwingers). Even dispassionate, accurate fact-checking will be attacked as "partisan," because the conservative movement lies about almost every major issue. Infotainment is not empirical, it is not reality-based, and some conclusions, no matter how strongly supported by the facts, will be rejected. (Round up the usual conclusions! After all, they're mostly set beforehand. Who wants to do research, especially with the 24-hour news cycle to fill?)

(In related news, check out Politifact's latest example of grading on a contorted curve to benefit conservatives.)