Sunday, October 31, 2010

Parsing the Herald's Dismissive Coverage of Stewart/Colbert's Rally

Given that Stewart's satiric message has always been directed to the mainstream media and their failure to (1) hold the crazies accountable; and (2) raise the level of discourse without lapsing into clich├ęd "he said-she said" hackery or alarmist stupidity, it's no wonder the MSM has pushed back so hard on his rally yesterday.

A fine example of the dismissive nature of the mainstream coverage appears in today's Herald, courtesy of McClatchy News Service.

Here's the first thing that caught my eye -- dismissing or minimizing the number of people in attendance:
[A] pair of comedians drew tens of thousands to the National Mall on Saturday with a blend of jokes and music meant to counter some of the anger and fear they see in the country.
Got it -- "comedians," they just make jokes and throw spitballs.

Would it be that hard, given the context of this event, to at least describe them as the NYT does -- as "political satirists"?

"Tens of thousands" is technically correct yet highly misleading.   That makes me think maybe 40 to 50 thousand showed up.  For that matter it would be technically correct to say "tens of hundreds."

Yet, although estimates vary, there is no question a fairer description would be "hundreds of thousands."

Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?

Here's the part that really annoyed me:
The smell of marijuana wafted through the air at one area of the mall.
How utterly gratuitous!

Gratuitous, unless you were trying to reinforce the Fox News/O'Reilly meme that Stewart's audience is merely a bunch of  "stoned slackers."

So, to summarize, perhaps thirty thousand stoners showed up to listen to music and watch comedians make jokes.


Anonymous said...

Happy Halloween SFL!!

Bill said...

The MSM media showed just how out of touch they are with their handling of this story. From NPR and other outlets banning their off-duty reporters from attending what anyone could see was just an extension of their show to the after-action reports on cable with inane lines like "was it political or was it satire?"

Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

miami herald is a shit newspaper. meaning, its good for shitting on and nothing else.

Godwhacker said...

If there was pot smoking, blame the gay Mexican atheist Muslims!

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