Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sarah Palin Nomination Spawns Bias, Frivolity, and Running for Cover

Sarah Palin action figures are on sale at herobuilders.com

In the final stretch of Election 2008 media bias has entered the fray, thankfully as comic relief.

Bad enough registered voter polling continues ad nauseum (as previously stated many, many times, The Spewker puts no stock whatsoever in polls), now campaign cry babies scramble to discredit new numbers!

Okay, we get it. Certain news organizations are pushing for Obama/Biden. But biased reporting in any form -- whether influencing an election with subliminal references to positive character, whitewashing wrongdoing for the perceived greater good, or mischaracterizing an event to achieve personal objective -- is misguided, unethical and just plain wrong. The backlash has been swift, unmerciful and to our great delight, hilarious.

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly going to town on Bradley Jacobs of US Magazine plays like a deer in the headlights. Like a hapless little boy using spindly arms to deflect a pummeling by brutally vicious older sister. Ow. Ouch! She's touching me! Mom!

Who would believe tabloid headlines could spark news wars. Everybody knows that stuff is embellished to sell magazines at the checkout line.

Well... er... apparently not everybody.

As previously impervious realms of celebrity and politics continue to mix and mingle, US Magazine editor Janice Min has taken her share of the beating. Defending charges of purposefully mischaracterizing the cover story about GOP Veep nominee Sarah Palin, Min responded,

This is an election where personality is getting sold, oftentimes far ahead of platform, and that personal interest in the candidates has definitely crossed over into the pop-culture arena. I think that after so many years where people decried the interest in celebrity as a distraction from real issues, I’ve definitely noticed the worlds converging.
Yah, so have we. But let's get real.

Tabloids are widely considered the second tier of journalism because they're known to play fast and loose. Not much investigation and many stories taken at the word of an unverified source. Tabloids manipulate headlines to sell magazines much the same way corporations use Olympic athletes to endorse ordinary consumer goods. Bright and shiny sells. So does outrage.

Truth be told, we're lapping up every steamy detail of the "Sarah Palin Chronicles." Made up or not, this woman's personal life plays like an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. Estranged brother-in-law fired after ugly custody battle. Alleged affair with husband's ex-business associate. Alleged bigoted leanings. Partisan political firings. Pregnant unmarried 17-year old daughter pressured to marry in advance of Republican National Convention. Mother-in-law may vote for Obama. Former Wasilla church kooky prophecy ties. Busted for fishing without a license.

The list goes on and on.

This just in: Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews replaced as political anchors. Perhaps certain news organizations have gotten the biased media message after all.