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Jan 27, 2007

Seven Or So Dwarves

(click for full size)

I've been watching the MSM, and particularly, The Times, all week since Hillary got into the presidential race.  Please tell me if I missed something.  From my perch, what I've mostly seen is a steady visual stream (concomitant with the drip, drip, drip of inevitability) of Hillary, then Obama, then Hillary and Obama, then Obama, Obama, Obama, then more Hillary and Obama, then Hillary, Obama, Hillary and Hillary.

Not one person has cast one vote yet.  At least until then, what's exactly wrong with a balanced helping of Richardson, Vilsack, Edwards, Kucinich, Dodd, Biden and the rest?  (If the media -- desperate for magnetism -- could help a contemptuous Cheney sex up a clear lie about Iraq for years on end, I'm sure they could make anybody look worthy of attention at this point.)

And along the way, how about more editorial even-handedness (yes, yes, I know I'm in subjective territory now) so that the lesser second-tier all the candidates at least looked viable?  (You saw those grim shots of Dodd and Kucinich, out of the one each allocated, that YahooNews posted following the State of the Union.)

In that light, consider the photo above.

In the one instance this week (as far as I'm aware) in which the NYT  visually fronted a candidate (other than you know who and whom) on their "on-line first page," they made Edward contend with the glare and the shadows, wearing an expression perhaps just a little too emphatic, as if he's either just a bit "out there," or else he already pressing for face time considering of his casting in the media's January '07 release of "Hillary Barack and The Seven (Or So) Dwarfs."

I've also been wondering, by the way, just how much we're going to hear from our candidates this year about media reform. For some reason, the Free Press National Media Reform Conference, recently held in Memphis, just didn't get much attention from the MSM.  In accordance, perhaps progressives should be taking a good look at Rep. Representative Maurice Hinchey's Media Ownership Reform Act (MORA -- HR 3302).  I'm not saying it's perfect, but it's a start at addressing the severe inequality of "the filter."

After all, if each one of us did an experiment, asking the next five people on the street: "Who owns the media airwaves?", I wonder how many would answer: "I do!"

(Edited 1/29/06 for temperature reduction.)

(Matthew Holst for The New York Times.  January 2006 2007.  Iowa.


It's hard for people who do a bad job to focus on many things. They're usually obsessed with a couple of bright shiney objects which dominate their stunted imaginations. Nothing could pull the MSM from Hillary and Obama. Only Gore could make them contemplate three candidates.

This, of course, reflects horribly in the public eye, influencing those who aren't going to look closely at most thing political, but who will still vote. The only practical thing that could be done about this is to enact better fairness regulations, but we aren't really that kind of country. It's up to the individual candidate and his devotees to force a new focus. Who would have given Bill Clinton a second glance at the start of his very first primary?

Unfortunately the best of all the candidates, Feingold, has opted out. Good luck to the seven dwarfs in forcing a wider lens upon the subject. But who among them has the will, the message, and the support to jog this sort of ultimate American Idol contest into something better?

This is just an awful picture of Edwards, with the torches--whoops, lights--and dark shadows it looks like something out of a Survivor vote-off, "What, I survived until next week? Really? Like, totally Wow!"

Either that or it's angry villagers--sorry, reporters--dragging him out of his castle to put a stake through his heart.

Looks like we are well on our way to our next Republican Prez.

Your credit line says the photo of Edwards is from January 2006, but I think you mean January 2007.

It costs a lot of money to send a photographer out to bring back a few square inches of newsprint and ink to break up the good gray type. Like every other newspaper's budget, the Times' is hemorrhaging. Eventually the print media will just start accepting photos supplied by the campaigns (and identified as such).

Meanwhile, perhaps someone could volunteer to keep a running count of candidate photos in the top tier of national newspapers?

of course you're so right. why,oh why is c-span covering Hill in Iowa rather than the DC March? I'm so mad.

I've been appalled by the NYTimes wardrums for Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. Obama has getting some action, but I think that is equal opportunity story telling. Having a competition improves the drama. The thrill of victory, the heartbreak of defeat doesn't mean much in a one person race.

Edwards is a very attractive candidate, and this picture makes him look silly and ugly. The spotlights in the background? Edwards has a Deer in the headlights look, like he's about to be slammed by a large semi(with...perhaps..."Hillary, Inc" on the side?) I wonder who got to decide that, after John Kerry, no white man could be taken seriously as a Democratic candidate for POTUS?

In any case, go for it, BAGman. Do your best to stop the media campaign. First, Bush. Then Iraq. Now Hillary. Jeez.

Hillary/Obama is a false contest in the sense that neither of them can ultimately win. Or win the ultimate prize. It's almost as sexy as a Hillary/Condi cat fight. But, hey, whatever we can do to gin up the salaciousness of all those 50-something white guys so they'll buy the paper/magazine/newscast. Heaven forbid they should cover Edwards or Richardson or Gore with the same enthusiasm because they could actually win the election. And that wouldn't be good for business and businesses advertise in the papers/magazines/newscasts. Edwards looks like he's being chased by the paparazzi, except the press looks to be bored out of it's collective wits.

(concomitant with the drip, drip, drip of inevitability)

Thank you for the new word, concomitant. The NYT used to stump me with words I didn't know. They don't now, either I'm older and wiser (certainly older) or the NYT has changed it's writing style.

But ya, it reminds me of the drip, drip we listened to six to seven years ago about how
'he may may not be that sharp but most people would like to have a beer with him'.
Over & over & so on & so on ... "if we repeat it enough you will absorb the thought."

JfC(!), who wants to have a beer with him now? If they do he had better order those beers in plastic bottles like they sell in the stadiums!

And don't forget to tip your server, George.

Thank you!!!!! On MSNBC, there has been a week long coronation going on for Hillary. To the point where it's alluded that we should not bother to support our candidates because Hillary is going to be queen.
And then, to discuss, they have nothing but clintonistas and not one word of negative is allowed about her.
The coverage of Obama has died to a trickle except to say he is not as good as Hillary. Or to use to compare with her and finding him coming up short.
Then, Chris Matthews ongoing on air love letters to Hillary all the time is sick.
Even though I am a supporter of my senator, Barack Obama, I resent the trivialization of him. They make him out to be Mr. GQ with no brains or ideas. The senator is very hard working and serious and does alot for us in Illinois. He takes his job very serious. But, to hear them, he is just some shallow male model.
I also think the ignoring of John Edwards is wrong. They are now making it sound like Hillary is Iowa's darling when we all know they are for Edwards. They discount him and minimize him. This is unfair and I don't blame his supporters for being angry. I even heard today where they pretty much said he was not a factor. This is wrong as I know he has strong support and to cut him out while coronating Hillary is disgusting.

sorry for the double but, I just thought of something. How about we all email these idiots and nail them on their Hillaryfest. let's just do an email campaign with maybe other blogs and tell them the truth. Hillary is not our choice and the party is not enthralled with her like they are. That we resent this.
And to quit beating the drums for Hillary and trying to unfairly influence the race and ignoring other viable candidates.

Obama/Clinton are on the same team.
I am now a regular visitor to your blog for stating the blindingly obvious.

I take what you mean to be, what is so significant about Hilary or Obama at this point in time, except that they are the current celebrity candidates. It really isn't about political dialogue or debate or discussion of ideas. It is all one giant Paris Hilton moment.

We all want drama,.... and drama we await...

Who will make the first faux pas, and how we will all sit back and sadistically guffaw as the worm writhes under the magnified gaze.

Yours, in mutual amazement and disgust.


I've noticed the same thing with Obama and Hillary, like the MSM is this beast shouting everyone else down: You WILL like this guy/gal!

About the many Democratic candidates for president, The BAG said: "I will continue to push for more visual equity in the coverage."

Which means pushing for more visual coverage of all the white males who are running. Is that "equity"?

Like it or not, there *is* something actually *newsworthy* about a woman and an African American running for president of the United States of America. In the historical context of U.S. presidential elections, more rather than less MSM coverage of Clinton's and Obama's campaigns would be "equitable."

With the National Association of Broadcasters here. Many people involved in the media ownership debate are vastly overstating the impact of TV, radio and newspaper concentration. There are those who act like we are back in the 1950’s and this is the only way to get news. The internet has dramatically liberalized information gathering, and local TV radio and newspapers are only part of the puzzle now. Americans have more choices when it comes to getting their information than at any point in history, and no matter who owns TV stations or newspapers, they will succeed or fail based on whether or not they can deliver a quality product to their viewers and readers.


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