The US media sucks. I suppose that should be "the media suck" since "media" is technically a plural noun. But the point is the suckiness, which often makes me want to use a beer bong to dispatch an entire bottle of Maker's Mark in one sitting and fall into a drooling coma for a week.
The "news" part of the media sucks, concentrating so breathlessly as it does on Mutilated White Women and Celebrity Strumpet stories to the exclusion of practically everything else. An iconic American city drowned in an epic storm while an incompetent government stood idly by? Why, who cares -- Paris Hilton's naughty bits were spied on Google Earth! A nation bamboozled into an illegal war that killed tens of thousands of people and wasted hundreds of billions of dollars? No time for that -- a blond chick went missing in Aruba!
And the political coverage, sweet weeping Jesus with the squirts strapped to the roof of the Straight Talk Express, does the political coverage ever fricking suck. Out loud. With gratuitous, nasty slurping sounds.
As the estimable Kevin of RumpRoast points out, no matter which Dem wins the nomination, we progressives are not only going to have to contend with the right-wing slime machine, we'll have to overcome the press corps' slobbering devotion to the presumptive GOP nominee. The press has the most awkward and embarrassing boner since Lysistrata for cranky old fart John McCain. In addition to the hagiographic BBQ boner bonanza Kevin mentions, here's another wee sample from Time's Michael Scherer, who really should know better:
Here's one thing you need to know about John McCain. He's always been the coolest kid in school. He was the brat who racked up demerits at the Naval Academy. He was the hot dog pilot who went back to the skies weeks after almost dying in a fire on the U.S.S. Forrestal. His first wife was a model. His second wife was a rich girl, 17 years his junior. He kept himself together during years of North Vietnamese torture and solitary confinement. When he sits in the back of his campaign bus, we reporters gather like kids in the cafeteria huddling around the star quarterback. We ask him tough questions, and we try to make him slip up, but almost inevitably we come around to admiring him. He wants the challenge. He likes the give and take. He is, to put it simply, cooler than us.My god man, get some therapy. High school was a long time ago, and you are way past the bullies who used to beat the shit out of you behind the bleachers. Even if you must think such thoughts, at least keep them to yourself. Or recuse yourself from covering the object of your puerile man-crush. It's just...embarrassing. For you and us. Please stop.
Then there's this op-ed published in Sunday's Washington Post, which airily dismisses the Obama phenomenon as so much mush-brained female foolishness:
Yep, five people fainting at rallies that have drawn tens of thousands -- the faintings tallied by a wingnut talk show host, no less -- that's certainly a sound basis with which to smear slightly more than half the population in a country of over 300 million.
""Women 'Falling for Obama,' " the story's headline read. Elsewhere around the country, women were falling for the presidential candidate literally. Connecticut radio talk show host Jim Vicevich has counted five separate instances in which women fainted at Obama rallies since last September. And I thought such fainting was supposed to be a relic of the sexist past, when patriarchs forced their wives and daughters to lace themselves into corsets that cut off their oxygen.
I can't help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women -- I should say, "we women," of course -- aren't the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial. Women "are only children of a larger growth," wrote the 18th-century Earl of Chesterfield. Could he have been right?"
The National Review's Kathryn Lopez, who never met a pair of jackboots she didn't want to crawl up to and lick, predictably loved it. I didn't, so I emailed a smack-down to the WaPo ombudswoman, who replied:
"I'll be writing about this Sunday."Well, that's fine and dandy, but really, what the fuck can she possibly say to excuse their decision to publish that sexist tripe masquerading as political commentary? That the editors have been fired? Not good enough.
We're in a pickle when the New York Times and the Washington Post hand megaphones to simple-minded twits like Bill Kristol and Charlotte Allen. The entire media establishment appears to have been Coulterized, which means, of course, that democracy is in peril.
But I'd rather light a candle than curse the media darkness, so here are a few tips to rescue American reportage from the depths to which it has currently sunk:
- When a pundit has proved he is 200% less accurate than a stopped clock on a daily basis, don't give him a job writing columns for the New York Times. Yes, I understand even a wingnut welfare case like Bill Kristol has to earn a living. However, having been stunningly, catastrophically wrong on every utterance about the Iraq war should result in some real-life consequences. The food service and cosmetics demonstration industries should remain open to Mr. Kristol. But prominent placement in the punditocracy? Not so much.
- Don't publish columns that gratuitously insult millions of people unless you have the statistical and intellectual chops to pull it off. Ms. Allen clearly fails that test. More well-thought-out, reasoned screeds regular line the pen belonging to my daughter's guinea pig. I wouldn't deign to let the little rodent crap on Allen's missive. It sucks that much. Media, round-file that shit. The wingnuts already have Fox News to tell them that women and minorities are inferior. Don't join that chorus in some misguided impulse toward even-handedness -- lies already have a Rupert Murdoch-financed forum; your job is to give voice to the goddamned truth, okay?
- For the love of god, stop with the gotcha bullshit an concentrate on the issues! I personally couldn't give a shit less whether or not Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama know how to pronounce the name of Russia's president-elect. For fuck's sake, stop with the traps and ask questions that speak to the issues! That means you, O Great Pumpkin (head) Tim Russert.
That's all I've got. But just imagine how much more efficient and less biased the media would be if they followed the Cracker principles. A gal can dream, right?