(Edit: I wrote this early Saturday morning with no intention of publishing. However the media was still at the six word spin furnished by the GOP Monday night and feel the need to post it.)
When does spin become news, maybe it always has been but with cable news and pontificating shows on 24/7 it is a staple like bread, milk, salt and sugar unless we are gifted with hours of a “Prison” interruption.
However it smacked me upside the head yesterday like being hit by an NFL linebacker who has been smacked way too many times, think of them as the talk show host, a little numb in the noggin. But can I really blame them? They get paid large money to ease the mind numbing head slams making it nearly painless. A money drip instead of a morphine drip.
But why do they have to impart the pain on me without the comfort of drugs or money because the head slam I got yesterday certainly was quite painful. Luckily when I shook it off it all became quite clear to me. News is news and spin is spin but so can spin be news and that can be spun into news and the news no longer exists because the news is now the spin. Which is news! Newspin? Spinews?
Yesterday began with a press conference on the economy starting with a statement by the President and followed by questions from the reporter sect lasting 27 minutes and 31 seconds. That is news and it was reported as such. Fine. The part that the media reported was on the leak of the ‘Kill-List,” foreign policy stuff so not big news, who pays attention to that stuff, right? So from a 30 minute presser the cable is left with 15/20 second clip of the President showing his anger on the leak. Pretty lean stuff for them.
Then about two hours later: WHAM! A Republican staffer (unpaid intern?) found these words: “The private sector is doing fine.” That’s it. Out of a 30 minute presser those six words and out of context became the news because the Republicans spun it so. And by news, I mean we had to have the Speaker of the House say those six words, then the Majority Leader and the Majority Whip. It was news! But was it? No, it was what the Republicans saying what they thought that was what the president was saying. Not news, spin but the spin has now became the news. All this and the reporters and news departments didn’t have to lift a finger. The Republicans could even provide them the clips if they wanted (C-Span was there.)
Mission accomplished the Republicans have now framed both the news and the questions the news people will now ask and they did very little work, the media did most of the work. The Republicans spent very little time on it actually, they did some Luntzesque twist on six words, C-Span made their clips to furnish to the media the media spread it and they own the news.
Pause: Anyone remember what the news was when the day started?
Oh, but it’s not over, not even close, we still have the talkers and what is their lede, yep, those same six words gratis the RNC. No need to any work there. Let’er ride! And who joins in to lend a hand with the spin but good solid Dems. “Let’s go to our super panel….Was Obama wrong.” Sure, they may voice their disagreements one way or another, they will even get in a heated discussion with the host and/or others on a point or two and while being well meaning, fully supporting the President, they are discussing the Republicans talking point. The Republicans have framed the question, done, over, painless and nearly oblivious.
And this is on the “librul channel.”
Think it stopped Friday night, that it would end when the “smart shows” came on in the morning? Nope, both Chris Hayes and Melissa Harris-Perry let the RNC spin, spin like a brand new top. And when the “news” came on with Alex Witt should we expect anything different?
I’m not even sure if it’s something like “corporate media” can be blamed. More like a lazy news department I think, and that they are somewhat ignorant, unconscious of what they are even doing, part of the whole fairness thing, what draws veiwers/ratings and it’s just the way it has been done and will be done. What I fear, they think it is news.
What could they have done before going to the spin? Maybe watch and or read the transcript from the press conference and look for any facts to see if what the President said had any validity what was the context. I just did it in about 5 minutes while sipping coffee and watching TV, tough job. It’s called fact checking, it’s called TV production.
Q What about the Republicans saying that you’re blaming the Europeans for the failures of your own policies?
THE PRESIDENT: The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government — oftentimes, cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.
And so, if Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is, how do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry. Because the recipes that they’re promoting are basically the kinds of policies that would add weakness to the economy, would result in further layoffs, would not provide relief in the housing market, and would result, I think most economists estimate, in lower growth and fewer jobs, not more.
They also might like to take some pride and thought into their work before ratings. Who’s to say that the whole story, not the Republican spin may have brought them better ratings? People may appreciate the truth and taking six words out of a thirty minute press conference is not news or even good spin.
Now that would be a shocker!