Saturday, November 17, 2007

No Comets as Wolf Blitzes through Debates with Dashing Aplomb (I couldn't resist) - No Red Nosed Journalists after this debate

I was unable to watch the debates last night - mainly because I forgot that they were being televised. See what happens when you don't watch the news! So I can't rant and rave about whether the media was fair in its treatment of the Democratic candidates. You'll find lots of comments about the debates on the New York Times website.

My uneducated opinion of the debates are further heightened by my general thoughts about Wolf Blitzer of CNN. Wolf is the quintessential reporter in every sense of the word. He speaks at the same heightened decibel whether asking a question about what time the basketball game airs on another channel (yawn) or whether arms for hostages is a good concept worthy of a second look. At all times, Blitzer forces out his words from his craggy voice. I see him as a grown up Munchkin whose voice adjusted to his new height, but which still gives his beginnings away. Or he's dastardly pirate on a ship on the weekend who hijacks boats in international waters for fun, then puts his suit on during the week. His deadpan eyes give away no sense of feeling whatsoever, and he'd pull off the same seriousness were he to wear diapers and a tight tank top on the show. He is the perfect automaton newscaster whom I have never seen do anything greater than let the sides of his mouth motion upwards into an 1/8th of a smile. I wonder if he isn't a robot from Journalandia, the land where men and women were taught to just give the facts, and disappear behind your words. But, given the purpose of this site, to not denigrate them all, I'd say let him be a moderator. I'm okay with that -- so my ravings are not an indictment of Mr. Blitzer. I do think he handles hard journalism where facts and figures reign, or discussing the chess game of international politics. I will admit, however, that I couldn't bear him during the Hurricane Katrina disaster, as he had no way of relating to the
emotional people that he was interviewing. He didn't need to dab his eyes or get Tammy Faye teary-eyed (I wish her better health, by the way). He's just Wolf. What can I say.

What I did find interesting in trolling the web for others' opinions was a website that allows you to trace the affiliations of newscasters>, ostensibly to prove how they are one big media left-leaning Tower of Pisa monolith. I'm not sure if the same muckracking website exists to ferret out the affiliations of the Right-Wingers (besides looking at whoever graduated from ten degrees of "Halliburton" employment rolls) Take your chances using the site, as it's not very user friendly. It takes literally five minutes to download names and linkages. There should be a better way of linking candidates.

Anyway, the problem I have with this site's premise to show the conspiracies of the Democratic media, is that any group of people with similar interests is going to "cross-breed." To not accept that fact that people move around over the years, and they don't forget each other is like saying that nobody in baseball switches teams. So to put this forth as some kind of left wing conspiracy is rubbish. The right have only had a "public voice" since the Pubs Got Their Groove Back, with Newt Gingrich - their feckless leader, who made it cool to be a Republican (maybe for the first time ever), so I'm not sure the bias against the left wing is justified. Let's face it, Republicans used to be the party of money who was too elevated to dwell amongst the peons. Their policies have failed them, and now they have to wash dishes like the rest of us. We've just been washing them longer. It's not bias -- its acquaintanceships. The trick is making sure that those acquaintanceships do not cause you to lose your individual thought processes.

So, CNN scored, I guess and the pairing with Suzanne Malveaux - the modern day version of , one of my favorite actresses. And even Chris Matthews on Harball, tonight, seemed to have taken a chill pill to do what he does best: ask questions to tease out an answer, short of making you want to scream at him for inserting his opinion. I find it interesting that he contemplating a Senate run in Pennsylvania some time ago. Although I hate the word, that's H-U-B-R-I-S (yes, in caps). Just declare your candidacy, Chris, and then we'll understand why you pontificate so much - you're a frustrated politician in the same way that I'm a frustrated writer whose success would defeat the purpose of the blog so I'm content. Excuse me, Chris? Oh It's YOUR SHOW!! Yeah, I know.

But it still gets me when he inserts his opinions. A journalist giving an opinion of any topic is the equivalent of a Tennis chair umpire sitting in the middle of a match, and excitedly clapping his hands, gleefully, when his favored player wins a volley. American journalists can learn lessons from watching the refs in a cricket match. Consummate actors, those Brits, from Queen to the grubby Dickens urchins - they are the masters of the poker face. So Chris, subdued and almost somnambulant compared to his usual hyperbole, softly made mention of how everyone put the blame on the media (as if it was incredulous). But he didn't stay on that topic for long. That was a non-starter. He knew it and everyone else did: in the debates of 2 weeks ago, Tim Russert lost the adulation of a small base of people who thought him to be truly biased. And, then there's the wife. Maybe Chris Matthews got a talking to by his wife, a real journalist (and one of my favs when I lived in DC) about how to just get the facts, then tell the facts and stop spewing his apopleptic opinions for no one to care about - because you're not a politician.

Not much to say today. I'm going to lay off of Chris Matthews for now. I'm starting to sound like a Fox supporter (Shepard does wear nicer eye shadow).

Did this bore you reading as much as it did me writing it? Oh, well. I'm just trying to keep my 3 visitors happy! :)

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