The pliant media learning a lesson? Ha!

The whole Shirley Sherrod incident has put a spotlight on just how far the Obama administration will go to placate the conservative far right — even though time after time those people are shown to be eager liars — at the expense of its liberal base.

It also demonstrates how remarkably pliant the corporate media is to the will of the right wing. For background on this story, listen to this NPR report, but pay particular attention to how reporter Ari Shapiro ends the story. After listing other recent examples of deliberate falsehoods from the far right which have led to the dismissal of Obama administration officials, he says:

In all of these instances, I think, the mainstream media and the government is learning that they have to be careful to analyse what is a real scandal and what might be, as in this case, a distortion of the facts.

Call me naive if you like, but shouldn’t journalists have learned this in Journalism 101? And even if they didn’t learn it in college, wouldn’t the last seven years of the Bush administration have taught them this lesson?

The truth is, this is a lesson so-called journalists don’t want to learn, because then they would have to, you know, actually do some journalism — what the rest of us call work.  I first heard about this story casually from my wife and some friends. When they said that this black woman from the Obama administration was fired for something she had said that had been totally misinterpreted, I said instantly that it must have been the work of the conservative distortion machine. I knew it isntinctively. You can’t tell me that the journalists first reporting on Sherrod’s “scandal” didn’t have some concern over the source!

No, I’m afraid we can look forward to the further adventures of the Gumby media as it continues to allow itself to be twisted to serve the desires of immoral, right-wing liars.


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