Monday, August 6, 2012

The Newsroom: Counterpoints (8/5/12)

No real sinister liberal* agenda again this episode. Everything revolved around the majesty that is the news and in lieu of the conservative** counterpoints, I present to you some observations about the episode itself:

The importance of being first-ish: Maybe in the news media world will people care if one network gets to announce 30 seconds before another network, but this undying need to be the first one to break a story, even if the time delta between its first report and another network's report is miniscule, is ridiculous. When the PPACA's Constitutionality was upheld, Fox News and CNN both broke the story simply because they had to announce as soon as humanly possible. And then they screwed up by getting the call wrong.

The correlation of the importance of being first-ish: This brings me to another point. News media, especially political media, has this obsession with analysis and meta-analysis that makes it impossible to separate the news and opinion divisions of a media company. The day after Osama was killed, various news sites had articles on whether this meant that President Obama's reelection was a lock or not and speculated on how big the approval rating would spike.

That kind of reporting completely devalues the news side of the equation. The news has simply become a medium which people use to project their own biases and beliefs. Again, after bin Laden's assassination, Republicans accused Democrats of spiking the football. Democrats took umbrage and questioned the Republicans' patriotism, etc. This need to constantly win the week's news cycle is making more and more people tune out of the news completely while polarizing the people who take some sort of sick pleasure reading the horse race journalism that the editors and writers string together.

Qaddafi: Sorkin/McAvoy had this dead to rights. I wonder why the media keeps changing the spelling of his name. I've seen Qaddafi, Gaddafi, Ghadafi. There should be a media tribunal that finds one spelling and sticks with it, even if some Arabic scholar petitions otherwise, because this is ridiculous. You also see it with things like Hezbollah/Hizballah and Muslim/Moslem. This might be the one area where I think there should be some sort of vast media conspiracy, because consistency is good.

Obama = GOOD, Osama = BAD:

It was used for laughs in the show, but it's amazing how that one letter can really muck things up.

* I hate using "liberal" as a synecdoche for those people who generally favor increased government control over the economy and less government control over individual rights and social issues who generally lean toward the Democratic party, but the length of this explanation kind of gives you an idea why I did it.

** Ditto

1 comment:

  1. Still enjoying these counterpoint entries, keep them coming.