Saturday, April 16, 2011

Your press corps at work

I'm starting to think of the No. 4 slot on the Fair 'n' Balanced homepage -- the right-hand story under the lede -- as the Two-Minute Hate position. This remains an untested hypothesis so far, but at a guess (H1), when there's red meat, that's more often than not where it goes.

Our example here (the TMH story from Friday morning) is actually an AP tale, illustrating that charming literalism in the press corps that sometimes manages to mistake the ordinary for the sublime. Add a faint hint of cover-up thwarted:

The president made his off-the-cuff remarks with donors as he took questions and after reporters had been ushered out of the event. But the question and answer session was piped back to Washington by mistake and into the press briefing area where a few reporters were still working late.

... and you get the AP's breathless "Obama Unplugged":

WASHINGTON -- Turns out President Obama would like a phone upgrade.

The president, in an unscripted moment with donors in Chicago, was talking about the need to innovate in technology.

"The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff," he said during a small fundraising event at a Chicago restaurant. "I'm like, c'mon guys, I'm the president of the United States. Where's the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn't happen."

Now. A large part of "news judgment" has always consisted of ignoring reporters who write "ZOMG president makes lame joke about technology" stories. There are 200-some countries out there, no more than three dozen of which are imploding; tornadoes are ravaging the landscape; there's a scout troop short a child -- file it with "ZOMG president has sandwich for lunch." With the occasional obvious exception -- Ike's first visit to the washroom after the 1956 surgery, say -- there's not much point in wasting people's time with the sun-rises-in-East doings of the executive. Unless, of course, your readers have been waiting to be fed all morning:

He is a child. Not that it is one of the most historic rooms in the world--the history and momentus decisions made there---no where is my sci-fi phone. Use the Blackberry you carry or hopefully the Secret Service took it off of you for NATIONAL security.

... This shows just how much of a "man-child" this jerk really is. America needs to elect an adult in 2010, which means the democrats are out of the picture.

This guy is a flaming embarrassment....but what do you expect from someone who's been nothing but a community organizer?

I'm disappointed with the LACK of an intelligent, smart president in the oval office. Which is worse, him not liking his telephone or the country having a bozo president?

What an idiot ! Is he really the president of a country or just playing. Think he is just playing. The world is burning, our economy is going down the toilet, Gas prices sky rocketing and all this guy can think of is a phone. REALLY!!?? he just needs to get out and go where he belongs. Wherever that is. Chicago? Kenya? Indonesia?

Wonder how the maggot would like the phones as Joliet.

This ingrate is a pathetic empty suit. He's doing so much damage to this country that I'm worried we'll never recover. ...

This phone does not bling and a rap ring tone. $145K per year that is what his supporters are expecting for their 2008 votes. overpaid community agitater, street corner hustler.


Good report on the punk in time please do not pick a child to do a MAN'S more community organizers and please no more on the job frea king training ...

I loathe this narcissistic psychopath. I cannot believe there are still morons that believe anything he says. He should be in the brig for treason.

I started collecting comments from Obama stories around the time Fox was first puffing the Tea Party gatherings. What's striking about this batch is not just how disconnected they are from the content of the story, but how little they've changed since 2009. There are somewhere between 12 and 20 ways of talking about Obama -- thug, narcissist, man-child, community organizer, hustler, idiot, Marxist, foreigner; addicted to the teleprompter, victimizing us with his on-the-job training, demanding privileges while the rest of us suffer, bowing to foreigners and denying our greatness. (The only big category missing here is a Jeffersons joke or jungle reference.) And they're interchangeable. It doesn't matter what the guys is doing or not doing; you can mix 'n' match a few of your favorites and your fellow posters will know exactly what you're talking about.

Fox, of course, didn't write the story. It just turned the lame-humor-o-meter turned off long enough to accumulate 3,000-plus comments. That's some readers service for you.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

FWIW, should be "zomg" or "zOMG" sted "ZOMG" throughout.

3:04 AM, April 22, 2011  

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