April 07, 2008

MSNBC Games McCain Speech with Irrelevant "Breaking News"

As has sadly become commonplace, Amanda at Think Progress missed another story today, even though this one slapped her right between the eyes.

Her post, McCain's Speech On Progress In Iraq Interrupted By News Of Mortars Hitting The Green Zone, notes that MSNBC interrupted a John McCain speech about progress being made in the Iraq War with the breaking news story that four mortar shells hit Baghdad's Green Zone, an unremarkable development as Sadrists and insurgents have used mortars for harassment and interdiction (H&I) fires frequently throughout the war, usually to little effect.

There were no known casualties at the time the story was reported, and there was no known targets of importance hit. What Amanda did not grasp is the utter lack of a legitimate reason for MSNBC producers to break into McCain's speech, other than to try to undermine his message.

MSNBC needs to justify this "breaking news" event by proving that they have broken into other live events on their network to cover minor Green Zone mortar attacks during the campaign season.

Somehow, I doubt they can.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at April 7, 2008 01:42 PM

The press coverage of Iraq, the WoT, and conservatives generally seems to be getting worse almost by the day. I see an analogy between hunger and the story the lefty press is hankering for - the one that busts the "we're making progress" idea wide open. Imagine a small animal in cover that would have to leave the cover and risk predation to get food. The species has evolved a sensible moderate fear of being in the open - too willing to leave cover, the animal gets eaten. Too unwilling, it dies of starvation. Over generations, a roughly sensible degree of willingness to leave cover evolves. But now suppose food becomes scarce. The value of staying in cover rapidly drops as starvation threatens, so the animal becomes more willing to leave cover in search of food - becomes reckless, even, if food is scarce enough. Recklessness in search of food becomes a better bargain as hunger increases.

The reporter looking for the big story that finally, finally gets Bush - the story Chimpy McHitlerBurton cannot escape - that reporter is facing an increasing threat of starvation. 10 months and counting down. Time is running out. The animal must leave cover. The press must dispense with even the pretense of objectivity and go out into the open. I predict more and more recklessly open bias in reporting between now and January. They're getting hungrier and hungrier. They're staring starvation right in the eye...

Posted by: Hyperpotamus at April 7, 2008 08:13 PM

Hyper, that was a superfine treatise.

In the best tradition of Chinese businessmen everywhere, I will now steal your words and use them as my own.

Actually I simply plan on saving your post in Notepad form because it's cool and RIGHT ON THE MONEY.

Posted by: Pillbox at April 7, 2008 08:49 PM

Hyperpotamus, you just described the end of Dan Rather's career!

Posted by: Kevin Baker at April 7, 2008 10:20 PM

That small animal sounds like it could be a snake, and I hope that snake sees the shadow of the eagle that gets it.

Posted by: sherlock at April 7, 2008 10:24 PM

Your comments are pithy and accurate. I wonder about the term they cover. Can the time period go back to Walter Cronkite, or even Walter Duranty?

Posted by: P Kovchok at April 7, 2008 10:31 PM

As I see it the press has its work cut out for it:

It has to keep attention off Rev. G D AmeriKKKa. It will have to cover up rioting at the D convention in Denver and the R convention in St. Paul (if the guys rioting at the D job can get out on bail in time). And it will have to cover up for BHO's inability to think on his feet or mouth anything but platitudes.

Hungry? They are starving.

Plus you hear the rumors. Reporters on the McCain bus are having fun. On the BO bus not so much.

Posted by: M. Simon at April 8, 2008 12:10 AM

The disdain for objectivity has been overt for a number of years now. The ethically corrupt Geneva Overholser, high priestess of the MSM, had this to say a few years back when the media decided to declare all-out war (i.e. relentless slander) against Bush:

"[2004] was the year when it finally became unmistakably clear that objectivity has outlived its usefulness as an ethical touchstone for journalism."
- Geneva Overholser (Hartford Courant) justifying partisan journalism

As usual, we can turn for real insight to Orwell. Until recently I falsely believed that the Ministry of Truth was modeled after TASS and Pravda. Not at all. The inspiration came from the BBC and the British press:

" . . . and I saw newspapers... retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various 'party lines'... This kind of thing is frightening to me, because it often gives me the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. "
- Orwell

Posted by: William White at April 8, 2008 12:36 AM

Fortunately the American People have many many sources for their news. Americans are free to choose to their own tastes.
Unfortunately some do not like the choices that Americans make in their news sources.

Posted by: John Ryan at April 8, 2008 06:42 AM

John Ryan, the news is supposed to be unbiased. Editorials are, of course, a different matter.

What we're talking about is "truth in advertising," or perhaps "truth in labeling" would be more accurate. If you're going to label something "news," it needs to be unbiased--just like something labeled "milk" had better not contain orange juice.

What you appear to be defending is putting orange juice (opinion) in a container labeled "milk" (news). Are you sure you wanna do that?

Posted by: C-C-G at April 8, 2008 08:31 AM

I don't watch MSNBC, because I don't want to double their audience.

Posted by: Bill Smith at April 8, 2008 08:40 AM

...Watch 'em, Bill, but keep one eye closed.

Posted by: Dave Dudley at April 8, 2008 10:48 AM

Starvation indeed and quite nearly literal. It is a smashing good thing that the pretenses to objectivity are being blown to the winds. The rejoinder for Foxies has never been that they are unbiased, rather that they are a "meager" corrective to existing bias. Not incidenctally, they are able to be "fair and balanced" because they need engage no deceptions unlike the predatory, Alinskoid operatives that have wormed their slimy way into trusted institutions, consuming credibility built over decades like so much coal in a tender. Time's up, coals gone and with it, um, advertising revenue... who knew? We are fortunate indeed that the necessities of business act as a brake on endlessly corrupt practices. And as always the radicals have expensive tastes. Pity those in thrall to the BBC, media slaves is not too dire a description.

Posted by: megapotamus at April 8, 2008 11:54 AM

All praises to hyper- and mega-potamus. It certainly appears that the MSM is breaking cover to attempt defeat at all costs in Iraq and to emplace Senator Present in the White House. Said media might be well advised to consider that hysterics in wishful-thinking reporting are counterproductive. But I have confidence that said media doth take scant advice from lowly potamus blogs, and will serenely (oh heck, hysterically) continue toward the precipice at ever-increasing velocity. Jeeves, more popcorn!

Posted by: Micropotamus at April 8, 2008 12:12 PM

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 04/08/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Posted by: David M at April 8, 2008 12:44 PM

Britain makes America look like a paradise of press freedom and honesty...I have to watch fox here to even get an idea of what is happening.

Posted by: Thud at April 8, 2008 04:58 PM