Up front, let’s take a moment to honor the late Nora Ephron.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
One of Nora Ephron’s movies was When Harry Met Sally. The Carrie Fisher character, a friend of Meg Ryan’s “Sally,” is having an illicit affair. She keeps discovering evidence that her paramour has no intention at all of leaving his wife, as he has promised. She shares the evidence with her friends, and complains, “He’s never going to leave her.”
Her friends respond — in choral unison — “Of course he’s never going to leave her!!! Everyone knows that. Including you!” (Not exact quote, but true to the spirit.)
Couldn’t help thinking of that when I read this email notice from Media Matters:
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
My response? Duh!!!
Of course Lucy will yank the football away from Charlie Brown! Of course Marie’s illicit lover will never leave his wife! Of course Faux News will lie! Of course corporate journalists will allow themselves to be subverted! And of course these phenomena should be tracked and reported!
But you gotta recognize that merely tracking and reporting will accomplish nothing! Charlie Brown will continue to try to kick the football. Marie will continue to put-out for her cheating lover. Faux News will continue to lie — proudly! And corporate journalists will continue to compromise their honor and lie to the public … by selective reporting, by refusing to call one another out, by continually pointing away from ugly reality toward the next “shiny thing.”
The audience for stuff like that exposed above by Media Matters are at worst “true believers” who don’t give a shit whether the lies are fair, legitimate, accurate, or ethical. At best they are “low information” voters who lack, not just information, but exposure to and trust in open discourse where conspiracy theories are rejected if they lack serious evidentiary support — not just “Kevin Bacon Game” connections across degrees of separation; but solid, logical support. Everyone else is already aware that Faux News will lie, and Lucy will humiliate Charlie Brown.
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
Sorry. I have to interject something. It’s been bothering me. Concerns Rachel Maddow, whom I deeply respect in most ways but find disappointing in others. For example, she obtained her gig at MSNBC in part because she was a protegée of Keith Olbermann. Did she deserve the gig? Of course! Would she have obtained the gig without Olbermann’s “juice”? Who knows. What is known, though, is that she made no on-air noise about Olbermann’s departure.
(Aside: For the record, I have no inside knowledge, but based on public performance I think KO should have been fired. And, based on the same evidence, I think he should not have been hired at Current. I loved his political values, loved his courage, was embarrassed by his sportscaster blustering, and loathed his egotism.)
180 degrees opposite in some respects, but exactly the same in others.… Why have persons like Rachel Maddow not called out, say, David Gregory? The only time I remember her having made a big deal about Gregory was when he somehow summoned the courage to press someone with follow-up questions. Excellent! Reward Gregory when he behaves on rare occasions like an actual journalist.
But! If you yourself are an actual journalist, Dr. Maddow, then you should challenge Gregory when he abandons journalism to spend Sunday morning protecting his “guests,” tossing them Nerf balls, and in general sucking-up in ways that totally besmirch the reputation of journalism as a profession. Oh, and also do a serious disservice to our nation, as you are perfectly aware.