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Posted by on Mar 25, 2009 in Media | 3 comments

One Reason Why The News Media Gets A Bad Image

covers.jpgWhy does the news media get a bad image among many Americans? Just as politicians slip up and appear bloated with self-importance, just as Hollywood stars can appear to be blow-fish, puffing up with huge opinions of themselves, just as bloggers (with the exception of me) often think they and their websites are more significant than they are…there are times when the traditional news media needs to take a time out…and a deep breath…before it writes or broadcasts…about itself.

For instance, Wonkette has this post about CNN’s Ed Henry, usually a solid reporter and good journalistic role model, on Henry’s Hey-Everyone’s-Wondering-About-Me article on Henry’s exchange with President Barack Obama. And Wonkette is correct: read it and it’s oozing with the feeling of someone who feels he is the center of the journalistic universe. (There are other stories and — believe it or not — more significant developments not just in the world — but on my block here in San Diego where someone is trying to get into my condo’s dumpster). (Wonkette calls it the “worst article in American history” – but not quite. Hasn’t Wonkette read any of the books of the collected 60 Minutes essays of Andy Rooney??)

Meanwhile, Talking Points Memo has a tidbit about how New York Times reporters panned Barack Obama’s presser last night (in talking with several people here in San Diego several people were talking about it and really liked it and him). When you read it, TPM is correct in noting how the Times made a point of saying Obama didn’t call on any of the big newspapers (which included the Times). Is that a new requirement? Can he be accused of being a right wing Rush Limbaugh fan for calling on the Washington Times (as he did)? Or for ignoring the U.S. of A by calling on a Mexican journalist (as he did)? Or for ignoring the “real” news media when he called a wire service? Or for ignoring real broadcasters when he called on CNN (Henry)?

With X amount of time in a press conference, Obama has to hit some big outlets and small outlets to be fair — and he did. It’s like during a show at a school when a performer has to pick some kids and others can’t get up. Even kids don’t cry about it.

On the other hand, the White House has made it known in some articles that it will try to go to sources other than the mainstream media or big publications. George Bush and Dick Cheney went on Rush Limbaugh’s or Sean Hannity’s shows; Obama goes on Ed Schultz’s show. The key question becomes: how much of this is dissing the big publications versus giving more of a chance to other outlets and cultivating them?

The Henry and Times pieces underscore a fact: the news media is at its best when it writes about issues and trends, instead of turning an event into something about them. And when the media does, in terms of imagery, it tends to backfire.

Self-love is worth watching but it isn’t always pretty.

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • Silhouette

    Yes, our last president has malignant narcissism. A textbook case if I ever saw one. The outgoing (still not totally “out” of office yet, apparently…?) VP has acute grandiosity and sadistic tendencies, throw in some megalomania for good measure, but doesn’t quite fit the NPD bill totally… Both are mentally ill in my opinion….not far from the Roman emperor Caligula actually, only that they personally did not commit the bloodletting; which also makes them cowards….except in Cheney’s case where he shot that guy in the face…lol..

    And yes, this is what I really think ; )

  • I think the real problem is that those on TV and in some cases the print media are no longer journalists but celebrities and millionaire celebrities at that. A few years ago the TV journalists were middle or upper middle class living in middle class neighborhoods. Now they are millionaires living in up scale neighborhoods and socializing with only the wealthy. In addition to an ego problem they are out of touch with most of America. When they talk about tax policy they can’t help but think they they are part of the one or two percent who will see their taxes rise. The American people see this and hence the bad image..

  • Branmind2

    Tough this day and time to distinguish between TV journalists and entertainers…used to be easy to know the difference between Walter Cronkite and Phil Donahue’s reporting…now they all run together…It’s all about ME! seems to resonate on every news broadcast…get over yourselves and report the facts!

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