Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Keith v. Koppel

By Creature

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  • Keith's skin gets thinner and thinner. While his point about the media not doing their job before the Iraq war is correct, Koppel is right about the lack of real objective news today. People like to claim they look at everything, but let's be honest, we who lean on the left tend to gravitate toward those sources and those on the right do the opposite. There is no objective, in-depth reporting to be found anymore in an industry that buys out all its veterans and puts cheaper, less well-trained reporters to work and in gov't coverage it's the worst because they all get so enamored by their access that they hold themselves back. It's fine to have partisans, but since cable has degenerated to be about nothing but the fighting and the occasional balloon boy freak show, we will all be ill-informed.

    By Blogger Edward Copeland, at 4:36 PM  

  • In my opinion Nightline helped to prolong the hostage crisis. The Carter administration was trying to quietly work this out by diplomacy. However, Nightline had other plans. They definitely exploited the hostage crisis for ratings. Lets start with the name of the series. It wasn't "Americans" held hostage, but "America" held hostage. Then there was the image that was flashed on every program: a man sitting in a chair with his hands bound, blindfolded, and an American flag in the background. It was an image of American impotence. In my opinion it wasn't the hostage crisis that led to Carter's defeat but Nightline's coverage of the hostage crisis. After the crisis was over (thanks to an arms for hostages deal that Ronald Reagan engineered, part of which was to keep the hostage crisis going until after the election) there was an another incident involving Americans being held hostage. I seem to recall Koppel being asked why there wasn't the same degree of coverage and him replying that they had learned from their Iranian hostage experience. In other words Koppel was now in favor of less sensationalistic coverage so that the administration can try quiet diplomacy, the very thing that the Carter administration was attempting to do. Its amazing the different ways that the MSM covers similar events depending on whether its on the Democrats watch or the GOP watch. Anyway, there was one other thing that Nightline used to do. They used to open their show with "The Iran Crisis—America Held Hostage: Day xxx" where xxx represented each day Iranians held hostage the occupants of the U.S. Embassy. Ironically, Obermann seems to have borrowed this for his most famous signoff "That’s Countdown, for this, the 2,576 th day since the previous President declared "Mission Accomplished"

    By Blogger john horse, at 10:09 PM  

  • While I have a hard time putting Olbermann in the same box as Limbaugh, or Beck or anyone at all on Fox, you make a good point. Sensationalism sells. It sells better than unbiased reportage. It sells to the point where you now have to make things up just to keep the owners happy and keep the rational folks and the competition at bay. Market forces and all that.

    I think we've long since got to that point and that scares me more than capitalizing on the "mission accomplished" idiocy. After all, the mission still isn't accomplished even though the mission quickly was diminished and reformulated to fit the failure. Isn't it the legitimate job of the newsmen to comment on the failures and deceptions of the government?

    There's a difference between making us feel we are all hostages to keep up the ratings, and inventing stories, distorting stories, ignoring stories; between exposing lies and lying to make us feel we have to go to war for a decade because of things and circumstances that were invented for profit.

    There's a difference between spin, slant and slander and even sedition and I think the first amendment isn't there to protect lies and bury the truth and to endanger the freedom it was intended to protect. Olbermann was not part of all that. Others were part of all that and all that ensued and are denying it at peril tp our future and I don't like protecting them with dubious equivalences.

    But it's always been an American institution, hasn't it? Would we have gone to war with Spain without hysterical and irresponsible reporting?

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:49 AM  

  • To me the most sickening aspect of the media is its attention span. Michael Jackson dropped dead (as if no one had been expecting that to happen for at least a decade) and all other news stopped for nearly a week. It occurred right in the middle of the Iranians protesting their stolen election and being beaten, killed and arrested in the streets. By the way, when was the last time any news outlet bothered to update us on how the Gulf was doing after the BP disaster? Keith even removed it from his end of the show countdown in favor of days since GOP won the House, even though they don't control it until January.

    By Blogger Edward Copeland, at 8:29 PM  

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