s skippy the bush kangaroo: if molehill won't go to the media, the media will go to the molehill

skippy the bush kangaroo



Thursday, August 28, 2008

if molehill won't go to the media, the media will go to the molehill

we were amazed to see truth posted under the auspices of a multi-millionaire media banner. on newsweek.com under the stumper blog, andrew romano sez what dared not be said: the hillary-obama feud was just so much media hype:

reports that hillary "wasn't vetted" for the veep slot have spread like wildfire, spurring a small but vocal posse of disgruntled clintonistas to wail that obama is not doing right by her, and never has--nevermind that she asked to skip the formal process, or that team obama had more than enough info after 17 months of oppo research to evaluate her alongside her fellow finalists. this gnashing of teeth and rending of garments has in turn encouraged the mccain campaign to release a pair of troublemaking ads questioning why obama didn't pick clinton, including its latest, "debra," which features a clinton delegate saying "a lot of democrats will vote mccain" because he's the only "one with the experience and judgment to be president." smelling drama--or at least the illusion thereof--the press has pounced, producing a flurry of breathless reports on the tensions that either a) "boil between the obama [and] clinton camps" or b) "linger as some clinton supporters are left frustrated." others have opined that with hillary speaking tuesday, bill speaking wednesday and hillary's name being placed into nomination thursday, team obama has effectively let her steal the show and undermine that whole purpose of the convention (that is, to launch obama's candidacy in earnest). either way, the convention, according to the chatterati, is shaping up to be a clinton-obama cagematch.

please. anyone who thinks that a roll-call vote and some sad silver-medalists constitutes a controversial convention probably didn't pay much attention in u.s. politics 101. "by historical standards the clinton nomination is totally mild," says costas panagopoulos, professor of political science at fordham university and author of "presidential nominating conventions in the media age". "looking back historically, conventions have tended to be hotbeds of controversy, and this year simply won't compare."…

to fill the growing void with the stuff of news-that is, conflict--the media is content to make ever-bigger mountains out of ever-smaller molehills. and this year's molehill is the clinton controversy. "no offense to your profession, but there will be 15,000 journalists in denver seeking to make any minor differences seem like a major controversy," says panagopoulos. "they'll be reading between every line to detect notes of disunity." ultimately, scrutiny will help obama as much as it helps the networks--as panagopoulos notes, the "nice thing about the appearance of controversy is that it attracts attention and pulls in viewers who would've otherwise not watched the convention." (and remember: the clintons will be singing obama's praises on stage, and her supporters would've been a lot angrier had they been denied a roll call vote. that's more unity, not less.) as for the rest of america, though, hyperbole isn't particularly useful. so while you're watching wolf blitzer and chris matthews jabber endlessly about this year's soap opera, just remember what real conflict looks like--and adjust the volume accordingly.
this is pretty much what we feel. the mmm has tried and tried to force a "hillary v. obama" narrative on this convention, and has utterly failed. once again, reality does not measure up to a good pre-judged narrative, and the media is left with unacknowledged egg on its collective face.
posted by skippy at 12:45 PM |

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