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August 02, 2008

Memo To Jamison Foser

TO: Jamison Foser, Media Matters
RE: Your recent column


You write today:

There's nothing inherently "effective" about an attack like this [Republicans ridiculing Obama for saying we'd save a lot of gas if everyone kept their cars' tires properly inflated]. Reporters have a choice: They can simply repeat the GOP claims, in which case the shot is effective. Or they can do their jobs and give their readers and viewers an accurate understanding of the situation, in which case the attack will be ineffective -- and, in fact, counterproductive, since it will make the attackers look ignorant or dishonest.

Reporters don't have a choice. Repeating stupid right-wing claims is their job.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at August 2, 2008 01:47 PM

Amen, Jonathan!
But it's something that most media critics seem unable to grasp, thus they remain baffled by how the press performs.

Posted by: Dick Durata at August 2, 2008 03:51 PM

Did Obama really say that? I thought it was from the Sermon on the Mount.

Posted by: donescobar at August 2, 2008 04:29 PM

Except for Amanpour and Logan I can't think of any reporters employed by the corporate owned news services.Ammend that to include Mike Ware

Posted by: par4 at August 3, 2008 05:55 AM

In the Corporate State, corporate media are the State Media.

The whole purpose of the Press's campaign coverage is to make it appear that there really, really, really is a "race" going on and to camouflage the fact that it's all a USer version of kabuki, and that behind the scenes the owners of the country have already decided who #44 shall be, and all the talk and ads and punditry in the world will change nor jot nor tittle of the per-ordained outcome.

Posted by: woody, tokin librul at August 3, 2008 08:47 AM

McClatchy is a very good news organization. The problem I see with the rest of the media is not that they repeat politician's statements, but that they pretend they are the truth when that is not the case.

I remember bush saying in July 2003 that Saddam would not let UN weapons inspectors back into Iraq, and they never did question him about that.

and woody is right - the candidates, and the winners have been picked for us. Stabilius and Sanford were picked by the Bilderberg Group last June as the vp candidates.

I hope I am spelling Stabilius correctly - she's going to be the vp next year.

Posted by: Susan at August 3, 2008 02:00 PM

Susan, you don't need to go there. Why is it that so many people conflate structure with conspiracy? You don't need some illuminati meeting in an oak-paneled club in Stamford or wherever to make these decisions. You indoctrinate a big group of people and they make the decisions independently. I wouldn't care, except that when you misdiagnose the problem as "conspiracy" you misprescribe the medicine as "expose and deflate the conspiracy." When the problem is structure, the medicine is different. It takes more than exposing the reality, it takes creating a new one. The good news is that while structures are resilient, they are not conscious, so it's possible to do all sorts of things without them reacting in intelligent ways.

Jonathan - you need to post this same comment in every one of Brad DeLong's "Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps" posts. I got bored of commenting on them a long time ago. The guy, who is generally smart, seems to think that because it would be better if the press cared about democracy, and because the press claims to care about democracy, therefore the press should care about democracy. He is missing the point: It would also be better if I didn't eat chocolate ganache for breakfast, and I sometimes claim not to eat chocolate ganache for breakfast, but sadly, I eat chocolate ganache for breakfast. It is in my programming to do so.

Posted by: hedgehog at August 3, 2008 10:58 PM

I don't know anything about 'some illuminati' meeting, but the Bilderberg group meet in June outside of DC. I didn't say "conspiracy" either. I think they do this right in the open, and have for quite some time.

I think they gave Obama his talking points too, and decided that he would be the Pres. Of course, they do pay attention to general public sentiment as they make their decisions. I believe they also decided (last year) not to bomb or attach Iran anytime soon, although they would like to control that oil.

I would guess the problem is structure AND the fact that all the power is controlled by a small part of the population, with the Democrats and Republicans all in cahoots on this.

Posted by: Susan at August 4, 2008 02:31 PM