8/08/2008

Creating News

Jon Stewart commented during an interview recently that news organizations had gone from reporting news to simply speculating about news. The anchors and talking heads like to tell us they are doing "news analysis" but really, are they?

Let's look at the news of John Edwards affair. I read the first story and it detailed the facts in the case. John Edwards had an affair, he lied about the affair (shocking, eh), then he comes clean about the affair and one of his staffers tried to pay off the mistress to keep quiet. Pretty simple and pretty straightforward. Happens to lots of people, not just politicians.

Then, I wondered why the page was so long for such a short factual story. Then I figured it out. After the facts the "reporters" had to give us their "analysis" of the situation. They began to speculate about how it would affect Obama, what he would do about it, should John Edwards be kicked out of the convention, what would happen if they did, if they didn't. By the time I got to the bottom I was expecting someone to begin to speculate on why the sky was blue.

It was idiotic. It was not news in any way shape or form. They had reported the story in three paragraphs. Every paragraph after that they were no longer reporting but trying, desperately, to make news. They were manufacturing things out of hearsay, speculation, leading questions, and finally resorting to opinion polls on websites. It was a farce.

The news media who purposely misled us into a war by hanging on every word of a corrupt President and refusing to ask a question seems to fancy themselves Woodward and Bernstein when it comes to a rather attractive rich guy having a fling. News flash guys... it's not news to anyone who is aware of how the world works.

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