Monday, April 21, 2008

We Love You John

As everybody knows, dick-riders can be shameless.

When I was a child, my mother used to call the men who invariably attach themselves to any powerful person, particularly those associate ministers who tag along behind prominent pastors, "fart-catchers." She would wrinkle her nose and spit out that word with some serious disdain because in her mind it was unbecoming of any man to ever be that submissive towards another man.

It appears that the mainstream media enjoys capturing John McCain's flatuence.

Look, the idea that John McCain and his mythological "Straight Talk Express" have received a much easier ride from the media than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton is nothing new. In fact, it's almost become an acceptable part of the campaign narrative that McCain is the media's "crush."

However, that does not make it acceptable. Whenever critized about bias or slant, the mainstream media bristles with indignation and blasts back at its accusers. I understand this reaction because I've had it myself when I've been unfairly maligned. But, thanks to the above article, methinks the press doth protest too much.

As the article outlines, a cross-section of media professionals from across the country thought it was ok to present McCain with his favorite donuts and his coffee prepared in just the right way. They also thought a standing ovation was acceptable behavior. To top things off, the reception for McCain's likely competitior, Barack Obama, was much less warm and cordial.

Remember, editors are the individuals charged with guiding media coverage and they retain the final say so over every story a reporter submits. They are the ones who pushed the story line that Obama was supported by "crazed cult members," that he was "elitist and out of touch" and that he just might be a Muslim. Compare that to vociferous defense of McCain after the New York Times story on his possible infidelity and conflicts of interests emerged, and you have clear evidence of a serious bias.

As a member of the press, I've witnessed firsthand the handwringing and whining that dominates every part of this industry because of recent financial troubles. I've seen the emergence of digital media force newspapers to attempt to make massive changes in the way they view and deliver news.

But, what I haven't seen is a change in the attitudes that dominate most newspapers. I haven't seen a willingness to challenge dominate American narratives. What I have seen is an unflinching devotion by many people in the media to using newspapers and television to advance their views of the world. I've seen a white-male-dominated media fail to grasp the intricasies of every other gender and ethnic group, particularly black folks, and, ultimately, decide that failure is no big deal.

There is no excuse for the behavior of some of the most powerful people in the newspaper business when it comes to the way they treated John McCain and Barack Obama. There was no excuse for the way many of these same people and their predecessors have treated black people throughout the history of this country. Until media members are willing to take an unflinching look at how they foster racial hatred, bigotry and general unfairness in this country they will remain irrelevant to large segments of this country.

But, they'll always have the love of John McCain.


Deacon Blue said...


Christina Springer said...

"Fart catchers!"

You are off the charts!

Big Man said...

Gotta give moms credit for that one Springer.

Inari said...

Well said.

Raving Black Lunatic