Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stupid Media Narratives, Veepstakes, Time Filling, And Gary Tuchman is Soggy

Hi everyone. Anybody else longing for last Thursday's show? Sigh. Apparently this is what happens when the media feels they must cover politics, but there's actually not that much to cover. Remember during the primaries when we had ever-changing narratives and they just ended up looking stupid? Yeah, we're edging on that kind of ridiculousness here. John King is our master of ceremonies tonight, filling in for the MIA Anderson Cooper. So, did you hear the news? Obama is in major trouble y'all! Oh, sure, McCain is still losing in most polls, but not by as much. Not as much, people! This is a death blow! The election is over two months away and they haven't even debated yet, but still, like, oh my gawd, Obama should just hang it up now.

Don't you just love media narratives? So, if McCain starts actually winning, does the media pontificate about how he should worry because Obama could overtake him, or does McCain just always get to be seen as winning--even when he's not? Anyway, we get a Jessica Yellin piece on how Obama is getting fed up with McCain being a jerk (my word) and painting him as unpatriotic.

Moving on to an Ed Henry piece that hits on the Veepstakes--specifically focusing on Joe Lieberman. No, he's not on the short list for Obama; rumor has it McCain might be eyeing him for that number two position. He's got the buzz, if you will. Besides being McCain's apparent BFF, Lieberman has just been chosen to speak at the Republican National Convention. Hm, too bad he's not a Democrat anymore. Because then I'm pretty sure he would be required to give an insane rant and challenge Chris Matthews to a duel. Good times. Anyhow, no one seems to be happy with the speaking decision, specifically the Republican base, who fear this signals a pro-choice VP. You know, how is it that McCain is seen as so unfalteringly pro-life, when his statements on the issue have been inconsistent in the past? Where's that coverage?

On we go to the dreaded "strategy session," with tonight's contestants including Joe Klein, Hillary Rosen for the Democrats, and Alex Castellanos for the Republicans. Of note is Hillary pointing out that the American people agree with Obama on the issues and he needs to get back to talking about them. Amen to that. Alex thinks Obama's message is conflicted, which is kind of ironic seeing as though McCain has flip-flopped on literally almost every issue. Alex also thinks Obama hasn't lived long enough to have firmly formed his beliefs. What? That's just . . . stupidity.

Okay, I'm sick of the punditry, so we're moving on to John King and . . . the Magical Map Wall is back! Yay! John then does his thang, while bringing in Joe Klein and Bill Schneider for discussion. Our poll man, Bill, points out that Obama leads on the issue of the economy, but not by much. Oh, here we go again with stupid media narratives. In the latest New York Times/CBS poll, McCain has the same lead on foreign policy issues that Obama has on the economy. Does that mean McCain should be worried he's not far enough ahead on his signature issue? Where's all the doomsday chatter about him? This coverage is so frustrating. I'm not so much bugged that it's slanting McCain as I am with the fact that it's so mindless. Anyway, John continues with his map fun, telling us that women voters in the St. Louis suburbs could be key. Hey, that's me! John just touched me. How did it feel? Magical.

We next get the very sad news that Congresswomen Stephanie Tubbs-Jones died today. RIP, Stephanie. Then we're shown clips from the candidate specials that were run earlier. Again. I didn't watch, so I can't really say anything about the full specials. I am, however, getting sick of the whole John McCain as war hero thing . Refusing to accept the special treatment of an early release is indeed commendable, but has nothing to do with leading the free world of today. If the McCain in his 70's had the same character as the man who refused special treatment, it might be relevant, but it's pretty clear that the show of character from those years ago has been sacrificed in the name of becoming president. Oh, and what's with having an interview after the McCain piece, but not the Obama one?

Transitioning now to our poor Gary Tuchman still braving the elements to bring us the latest on Tropical Storm Fay. Well, I mean, he hasn't been standing outside since the start, but, you know. I think Gary totally gets dibs on the next cool assignment. So anyway, Fay has apparently taking a liking to Florida and decided she's going to stay around a bit. She's set to make her third landfall tomorrow. Gary is in Marineland where workers are doing their best to make sure that dolphins Nelly and Lily don't find themselves swept out to sea. Gary reminds us that very scenario happened to other dolphins during Katrina. I remember. To see Gary's reporting on those dolphin's you can go here. Is it too late to tell Gary to try to stay dry? Yes, I think it is. Hopefully Fay will be satisfied with only three landfalls and dry clothes are in Gary's future.

The Shot tonight is a monkey in a Tokyo subway. A monkey in a subway! That's just craziness. Okay, so, you can probably tell I was none too thrilled with the show. And so I'm clear, this isn't a partisan thing. I've in no way hidden the fact that I'm for Obama and yes, I think these current narratives are unfair to him, but mostly I'm annoyed because it's all just ridiculousness that I think does a disservice to the viewers. All this strategy talk and polling and hot air from the pundits . . . how is that helpful? How is that helping those serving in Iraq or those without health insurance or the kids in the crumbling schools? Obviously 360 is not the only show guilty of this horrible coverage; they all are. But what happened to the fact-checking? (And is nothing else going on in the world?) Sigh. The most trusted name in news my ass.


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