Wednesday, April 30, 2008

op-ed: Why is Jeremiah Wright still in the news?

Bob Cesca of the Huffington Post wrote in an op-ed piece "Have You Left No Sense of Decency" about the mainstream media's near-obsessive hounding of "Reverendgate" or whatever the Wright fiasco is being called now (Note: I googled "reverendgate," and yes, people really are using that term):

"If the corporate media had been as diligent about watchdogging President Bush as they have been about watchdogging Reverend Wright, it's very likely we wouldn't have invaded Iraq.

If the corporate media had spent as much time exposing the obvious flaws and grotesque inequalities of Reaganomics throughout the last 30 years as they've spent on Wright, we wouldn't necessarily be staring into the maw of another depression.

If the corporate media were as diligent about debunking the lies surrounding Iran's so-called nuclear program as they've been about Wright, there wouldn't be such a sense of inevitability in terms of attacking -- or entirely obliterating -- Iran."
Though Cesca goes on to make many more valid points that I would talk about if it wouldn't seem like plagiarism — race-baiting, the focus on sensationalism and ratings, the scariness of a "scary shouting black man" — I'm reminded of a Bill Moyers documentary titled "Buying the War" (which you can watch here) that focuses on how the mainstream media dropped the ball leading up to the invasion of Iraq.

In this case, it seems to be the same story on a different day. Instead of performing their watchdog duty as journalists with the Bush administration, hours each day are being wasted by cable news stations discussing the pastor and his effect — largely created by the same media coverage — on a certain Sen. Barack Obama. Though the story certainly is (was?) newsworthy, there are many other things that should grab a lot more focus: the war in Iraq, climate change, the economy. Or... Sen. John McCain.

McCain has been blatantly wrong and inconsistent on multiple occasions, confusing Shiite and Sunni Muslims and asserting Al-Qaeda's presence in Iraq rather than Iran's. That's not to mention that a certain Pastor Hagee — whose endorsement McCain was "glad to have" — claimed that New Orleans was "damned" because of a "level of sin that was offensive to God" and a "homosexual parade."

In short, the mainstream press is tripping up, big time. I think Stephen Colbert nailed it during his lampoon of the situation: "Oh thank God! Oh thank you Jesus! We will have more on this Revered Wright controversy... as often as we can."


  1. Kell said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  2. Kell said...

    Because the 24 hour news cycle must be fed.