Can anyone honestly review the media’s coverage of the 2008 Presidential election and say that the media wasn’t completely in the tank for then-Senator Barack Obama? Didn’t think so. To that end, libertarian filmmaker John Ziegler put together his documentary/expose, Media Malpractice, to give evidence to the former statement. And after watching this documentary, I would suggest that it is required viewing for those who study the media or have an interest in how the American media has fallen apart.
As I looked at some reviews of this documentary on the web, I was shocked by the amount of detractors who suggested that Ziegler was your typical, aggravated conservative who was frustrated with his party’s candidate and is now lashing out. Well, that’s a ton of a bullshit if there ever was some! Ziegler is a committed libertarian and has only ever donated money to democratic politicians. Sounds like a regular Rush Limbaugh, right?
From my view, the documentary really dives into two major issues in the 2008 campaign. First, it looks at how the media deliberately paid no serious attention to the various three alarm fires associated with Senator Obama. For example, the audiotape that came out a few days before the election where Obama specifically cited that previous supposedly-liberal Supreme Courts had not gone far enough into redistributing wealth and addressing issues of economic justice. Second, the documentary looks at how the media absolutely destroyed Alaska Governor and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. When you watch the various attacks played in succession, it’s enough to turn your stomach.
People like Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric twisted and bent Palin’s previous statements and then asked her to respond. And when Palin questioned their phrasing of the questions, they lashed out at her like she was a dummy! The thing that always got me about Palin is that she’s just a regular Mom who rose up the political ranks. When she suggested that she was your typical “hockey Mom,” I can see that being true! And it shows you the vast disconnect between the media and regular Americans that they didn’t “get it.”
Understanding Palin boils down to one of the major issues that Bill O’Reilly has been going on about for years now – class warfare; the “elites” versus regular citizens. I put “elite” in quotations because most of the people who fall into this category may not even realize it. For example, I have friends (conservative, liberal, and independent) who have no idea that think in terms of class warfare and their “class” being better than those “below” them. It’s frustrating and a topic for another entry at another time.
There were some portions of Ziegler’s that will stick with me. Maybe the most glaring is how completely biased Katie Couric was in her interview with Palin. And, specifically, how Katie took Senator John McCain’s two major regulatory battles in the realm of the housing meltdown (his relentless pursuit of tighter oversight over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) off of the table when she asked Palin to explain what McCain had done to help stave off the mortgage meltdown. That’s the equivalent of asking someone, “Other than red, white, and blue, what other colors are there on the flag of the United States of America?”
And the documentary also does a good job of talking about how certain issues were blown up to mean much more than they actually did (i.e. race). If you look at the exit polls, race meant nothing to the voters. By and large, the voters went for Obama because they found what the media suggested that he stood for as a good thing (the nebulous concept of “change”). I have no issues with the voters voting anyway they choose, but to constantly use race as a battering ram against anyone who would even think to mention it (such as former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro) is absurd. Sure, if a pundit tried to use it as a negative, then they should have been criticized, but over and again that was not the case.
Watching Media Malpractice gives you a plethora of such aggravating and disgusting examples of the media’s bias. But, as has been reported on this blog by both my entries and my readers via their comments – the American mass media is a complete joke. It is an empire that has forgotten what unbiased reporting is supposed to be about and is, instead, dominated by profits and ratings. Just like now is the perfect time for a third party to rise at the national level, now is the perfect time for us as a nation to turn our backs on the biased media and support independent sources of news and citizen-led media.
In any event, if you have an interest in this stuff, then I suggest that you check out Media Malpractice. You’ll be as disgusted with the mainstream media as I am.