Gutter journalism

Corporate/mainstream TV “news” in America is mostly junk “journalism.” Print journalism is supposedly much better.

But there’s a ton of junk in newspapers too. Consider this.

Media Matters calls our attention to a hatchet job on Al Gore that really deserves wide attention: AP reported that Gore “bragged” he read energy bill, but he was asked if he had done so:

In an April 25 Associated Press article about the House subcommittee hearings on “The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” reporter Laurie Kellman asserted that former Vice President Al Gore “bragged” when he testified, “I have read all 648 pages of this bill,” adding that Gore’s statement was “a boast that would surprise no one who caught his teacher’s-pet performance in the 2000 presidential race.” However, Kellman did not mention that Gore made his statement after Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) specifically asked Gore and former Sen. John Warner (R-VA), his co-panelist, “Have you each read the bill in its entirety?”

In addition, Kellman misrepresented an exchange between Gore and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), falsely claiming that Gore “compared Barton and Bernard Madoff, who swindled investors out of $50 billion.” In fact, Gore did no such thing; rather, he compared Barton to “the investors who trusted Bernie Madoff.”

For being decades ahead of most everyone on global warming, Al Gore should be a media rock star.

For bowing out with grace after having the presidency stolen from him by one of the most disgraceful Supreme Court decisions of all time and handed to one of the worst — if not the worst — presidents in American history, Al Gore should be a media rock star.

For writing an absolutely brilliant expose of the disgraceful state of American politics — The Assault on Reason — which is superior to 99.99% of what passes for political journalism in America today, Gore should be a media rock star.

Besides, how much cooler can anyone be today than being — as Gore is — a senior advisor at Google and a director at Apple?

Finally, the media is in no position to mock anyone! For the past eight years, they failed to do their job while the Bush Administration systematically destroyed America, both our economy and our international reputation, from within. Talented and dedicated journalists are ashamed of how far their profession has fallen. But shame is not stopping the media’s many Laurie Kellmans, as Media Matters comments in AP mocks Al Gore’s lack of ignorance, from taking cheap (and factually incorrect) shots at a modern American hero:

Associated Press reporter Laurie Kellman is still pointing and laughing at Al Gore, because he bothered to read legislation that deals with his life’s work before testifying about it. What a nerd.

Had the media spent more time in 2000 and 2004 covering candidates' political backgrounds and policy positions and less time mocking Gore and Kerry’s intellectualism (not to mention Howard Dean’s “scream”), perhaps Americans could have cast more informed ballots and America and the world would be better places today.

Too many “journalists” still lack the most basic journalistic insight: that they’re charged with portraying reality, not distorting it. Good journalists also keep issues in perspective. They cover prospective presidents to give voters relevant information to answer the question, “Which person do we want in the White House?,” not “Which guy would you like to have a drink with?”

Posted by James on Monday, May 04, 2009