Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The News Media Are Run By Bears

This Stephen Colbert thing fascinates me. I have get all my news from left-wing blogs nowadays so I wasn't even aware that the story hadn't made it to The New York Times, or NBC, or anywhere else. And it's not that big a story.

Basically Colbert said things about the president that were insulting, while standing close enough to the president to poke him with a stick. It's a more sophisticated version of the Imus speech at the same press club dinner some 12 years ago. It would be worthy of a paragraph somewhere in the description of the event. But THAT PARAGRAPH WASN'T THERE. Even the MSM stories which had the name Colbert in the copy failed to quote a line, or even describe how he wasn't the rooms cup of tea. Nothing. It would be as if all the journalists had left before he spoke, which would be unlikely because it was a dinner for journalists.

There has been half a week for the blogesphere to cook up explanations for this omission, ranging from the paranoid (the Washington Press Corps is under the iron fist of McClellan!) to the snarky (he just wasn't funny enough to mention) to the most likely true (too many insults toward journalists.) I have to discount the first two - the news industry just isn't well-organized enough to conspire, and the story obviously was the affront to our Commander In Chief, not how entertaining the affront might have been.

Still, that last one rings a little hollow too. Journalists don't sit back and lick their wounds - they avenge themselves by writing scurrilous things. Maybe they felt stymied because they couldn't prove he wasn't funny without showing the clips - and they sensed that you might not agree how unfunny he was. So here's my fourth way. Here's why the MSM had to be screamed at to even bring the whole thing up.

The news media are loathe to admit that they went along with so many of this administrations ideas now that BushCo is so unpopular. It makes us distrust them. Untrustworthy news has no market value. (Fox News is untrustworthy commentary, but even it is declining). So they were hoping to avoid transmitting the message that we should stop accepting their transmissions.

Still that's a little convoluted too, so maybe Colbert is right - bears are the biggest unknown menace in this country. The bears control the banks and the media! Keep an eye on your local bank. If it seems a little less well-run during the winter months, you'll know I'm right.

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