Right-wing media and the State of Dis-Union: Media Matters reporting on inflammatory reporting.
I’m getting more clued-in to how the media is covering the media. Witness Media Matters watch-dogging and fact-checking the right wing media. Also interesting to see how the news reporting fact checking world is growing in general. And wouldn’t you know it… now the Fact Checkers are starting to fact check the Fact Checkers. Whew. At the end of the day I think there is a big chunk of the news biz that is MUCH more dysfunctional than the pathological partisanship game they get so hysterical about. Click here or on the web image to go to the Media Matters site. Walt
President Obama’s first State of the Union address provided a wonderful opportunity to assess the state of conservative media. The result? It’s not looking good. Following up on a host of assertions that Obama had little to show for his first year in office, Hannity kicked things off by offering a pre-buttal on Monday and Tuesday, referring to the upcoming speech as “propaganda” not once , but twice. (Continued below the web image.)
On Wednesday, Beck promised his audience that he would watch the address, even though he said that the thought made him “want to hang” himself. John Stossel, also now part of the Fox family, helpfully suggested
that the president use his time to apologize for his arrogance, while Neil Cavuto (yes, he’s with Fox too — spot a trend?) predicted that Obama might deliver the longest State of the Union in history. Soon, right-wing comedian Dennis Miller had accused Democrats of acting like the Menendez brothers. Newly minted Fox News contributor Sarah Palin was even beamed in live from Wasilla, Alaska, to remind viewers not to be fooled: Despite his words, the president still planned to “fundamentally transform this country.” And then the speech started.
At least everyone was keeping an open mind.
During the remarks, National Review’s Jonah Goldberg took the high road, tweeting that “Pelosi’s got a really weird, glassy-eyed, Bride of Chucky thing going.” NRO’s blog The Corner also objected to Joe Biden’s behavior after the vice president had the audacity to clap while other people were clapping. “It’s not about you,” wrote John Hood. “It will never be about you. Just relax and try not to distract attention from your boss by whispering under your breath or mugging for the camera.” Appropriately, a short time later, the president chided “TV pundits” for “reduc[ing] serious debates to silly arguments.”
As soon as Obama had concluded, the thoughtful reviews came pouring in. “The president looks like a jerk tonight,” opined Hood. Stossel said Obama “certainly didn’t sound humbled,” as he should have. RedState’s Erick Erickson thought that Obama’s jokes during the speech “were cocky and snide,” adding that the remarks constituted a “declaration of war on the free market.” CNN hosted Erickson to discuss Obama’s address. Fortunately, Roland Martin was there to offer a fact-check for Erickson’s words — the kind of balance Fox couldn’t bring itself to entertain when assembling its guest lists.
The next day, conservative media figures were, in a word, grumpy. Beck revisited the theme of Obama’s arrogance (a common refrain ) and accused him of lying, as did many on the right. He compared Obama’s relationship with the America people to that of a husband cheating on his wife (he doesn’t respect us, in case you were wondering). He even called the president a “punk” for his criticism of a recent Supreme Court decision lifting limits on corporations’ ability to make certain election-related expenses (Bill O’Reilly , Megyn Kelly , and Matt Drudge also attacked Obama’s Supreme Court criticism, even though Obama’s comments were in line with the views of four justices). Beck derided
Obama’s “enemies list” and suggested that the chiding of TV pundits was all about him. (Who’s arrogant now, Glenn?) Then, feeling guilty, he toned it back and tried to be the bigger person, inquiring as to “how many children could be fed” with the money “in plastic surgery” between Pelosi and Biden.
Rush Limbaugh compared the remarks to “a speech by Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro” and likened Pelosi, who also clapped during the speech, to “a trained seal at Sea World.” He accused Obama of dividing the country by bringing up equal pay for women and said that passing legislation with a majority of votes in Congress is “what dictators do.” And finally, not to be outdone, America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, voiced his dismay about the fact that Obama never said “war” during his remarks. (The claim was false, and Fox News’ Steve Doocy had to offer a correction .)
It’s worth noting that one significant problem persisted even outside of the conservative media constellation. Despite reports that “don’t ask, don’t tell” would be tackled in Obama’s State of the Union address, the initial lineup of cable and broadcast network hosts and commentators offering analysis immediately following the speech included only one openly LGBT figure, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.
The state of the media is, well, not very good.