Joho the Blog » The media just can’t help themselves
Everyday Chaos
Too Big to Know
Too Big to Know
Cluetrain 10th Anniversary edition
Cluetrain 10th Anniversary
Everything Is Miscellaneous
Everything Is Miscellaneous
Small Pieces cover
Small Pieces Loosely Joined
Cluetrain cover
Cluetrain Manifesto
My face
Speaker info
Who am I? (Blog Disclosure Form) Copy this link as RSS address Atom Feed

The media just can’t help themselves

During the hottest days of the Dean campaign, I traveled on the press bus for a bit and found myself talking with two well-known reporters, for Newsweek and the NY Times. In the course of the conversation I asked them how it happened in 2000 that there was endless media coverage of Gore as a liar when that was itself a lie orchestrated by his opponents. They shook their heads and admitted they were spun, and vowed it wouldn’t happen again.

Then they painted Dean as having a temper, even though there were no—no—incidents in which he lost his temper. Then they spent 3 months on the Swift Boat controversy, which was news only because the media paid attention to it.

So, I don’t know if I’m heartbroken or just weary to see the media leading with the Joe Biden “story.” Here’s the import of what Biden said: Hey, it’s great that we finally have a viable, attractive black candidate! That’s exactly what everyone, including the media, have been saying. It is the buzz about Obama. Now, do you want to take my paraphrase and say that I must mean that Jesse Jackson isn’t attractive? Did I just call Carol Moseley Braun ugly? Bull.

Sure, Biden’s choice of “clean” was sub-optimal. He says he meant “fresh,” and I believe him; part of Obama’s charm is precisely that he popped up seemingly out of nowhere (yeah, I know his biography hardly constitutes “nowhere”), without baggage. Biden, in short, was saying what everyone is saying, was complimenting Obama (rather generously for someone announcing his own candidacy), and spoke the way we humans do.

We humans don’t always choose the perfect word. But that’s ok, because our words get their meaning from the context of self, situation and sentence. To ignore all that in order to give words their worst meaning is what not understanding is about.

The real headline for the Biden story should have been: “Candidates speaks like a human! Media refuse to understand him.” [Tags: ]

Previous: « || Next: »

Leave a Reply

Comments (RSS).  RSS icon