Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The “Lamestream Media" – AKA Dr. Palinstein

So now Sarah Palin is complaining that NBC News broke their promise to her for not broadcasting the content of her written statement regarding the journalist who moved next door while he writes a book about her. In her Facebook rant, she pouted that NBC didn’t intend to air her comments, preferring to interview her instead, adding “which was their aim all along because journalism today is about ratings and not the truth.”

First off, Sarah, I agree with you. To a great extent, TV news is about ratings. Which is the only reason they ever report on anything you do, anywhere you go, or anything you say. You should be kissing their asses daily for all the news stories they’ve run about you. Why do they do it? Because, as you say, they are about ratings. And, putting your face on the news gets ratings. ‘Cause you’re popular. You’re folksy. You say cutesy things like ‘hopey/changey” and “lamestream media.” By the way, that “lamestream media” line. I hope you gave Trig an extra cookie for writing it, ‘cause you’re certainly getting some mileage out of it.

But why do you hate the media so much? For almost two years it has been nearly impossible to turn on the news without a story beginning with “Today Sarah Palin said…” During the campaign it was your smirky, winky cracks about hockey moms, and Barack Obama “pallin’ around with terrorists,” The answers you gave to legitimate questions were so remarkably dumb, it was like someone walking on stage with the New York Philharmonic and doing armpit farts. And the most frightening thing is that you knew you were unqualified, uninformed, and intellectually outgunned, yet you still thought you deserved to be Vice President. But you lost. But you didn’t go away, which is one way to reclaim your privacy. You just go away. But, instead, we’ve been treated to “death panels” “mama grizzlies are comin’ to getcha!” and, oh yeah, how’s that “drill, baby, drill” thing workin’ out for ya?

Your comments are still reported in the news. But why? You’re not a politician. You quit. Then you made some speeches. You went on Fox. You spoke at a liquor convention. And you put out a book. Oh, and by the way, the only reason a publisher put out a book with your name on it is because you’re popular and could get booked on the “lamestream media” shows to promote it. Because just as news is about ratings, publishing is about marketing and sales. Even if your own people gobbled up thousands of copies so you could claim to have written a best-seller. You are, because you sell.  

But the news still reports on you. And every time you’re on the news I ask myself the same question: why are you on the news? Why does the media care who moved next door to you or how big a fence you built? (By the way, are those Russian jets still flyin’ over your house? Maybe you need to build a dome as well as a fence.) You are not news. You are yesterday’s news. Or you would be, if the “lamestream media” would stick to airing legitimate news stories instead of reporting every smirky, snarky, hopey-changey crack you make to whatever inebriated liquor salesmen or collection of Dick Armey’s fat, pasty tea baggers you make them to. But they don’t. They air what you say right up front. They don’t even save it for the last two minutes of the broadcast where they usually stick the amusing video. The piano-playing cat. The singing dog. The waterskiing squirrel. The blind skier. The 80-year-old skydiving granny. You know, the novelty acts that aren’t real news, but are just there because they’re popular. You’re right up front. With the real news.

Some speculate that you’re on the news because you’re contemplating a run for 2012. But to do that you’d have to venture out of the Fox cocoon and dip your toes in the Sunday morning talk shows. And we both know you’ll never do that. Because that is a venue generally reserved for serious people, on both ends of the political spectrum, commenting on serious issues. You can’t smirk, snark, grin, wink and soundbite your way through that. Your people know that. You know that. So you save the soundbites for the tea baggers because you know they’ll get reported in the news because the news loves soundbites.

Of course, tomorrow, some network news producer could decide that until you sit down for an interview with an actual journalist, as opposed to those reach-arounds you do with Hannity, Beck and Oprah, they’re not going to report on you or the things you say. But no news producer will do that. Because, you’re popular and you get ratings and, as you say, news is about ratings. Which is why you’re on the news. So, instead of carping about the “lamestream media,” you should be sending them flowers. Daily. They only report on you because you’re popular. And by reporting on you, they have legitimized you. John McCain may have created you in his lab. But the “lamestream media” has given you life. 

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