Assessing the MSM Coverage of the Democratic Convention

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters rips the Mainstream Media for its coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

How 15,000 credentialed journalists could descend on Denver and produce such unvaryingly weak and shoddy coverage of a staged news event -- and do it with coverage that celebrated sameness and shallowness -- was a sad spectacle that newsrooms nationwide ought to ponder.

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    An excellent piece by Boehlert (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by bjorn on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 11:43:15 AM EST
    if on the press/media would read it and take it seriously.  

    The media (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by JThomas on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 11:48:00 AM EST
    was never more exposed as having herd-like tendencies than last week. Obviously, they decided before the convention that they had one actual human interest story they wanted to push..the drama between supporters of Obama and Clinton. Only Chuck Todd was heard saying even on Monday that they were overhyping this story.
    Otherwise, the chorus was loud and in unison..sad.

    The media (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by TimNCGuy on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 11:51:35 AM EST
    would read that article and assume he was talking about everyone in the media...except THEM.

    It's the same reaction the "media" had when discussing the sexism in the primaries.  The "media" would admit that maybe some blogs and some on MSNBC were sexist, but wouldn't admit that the media in general had participated.

    Yeah I had to change the channel to c-span (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CaptainAmerica08 on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 11:59:47 AM EST
    because all the pundits insisted on talking OVER the dang speeches. How could they comment on how the event was going if they weren't even listening? Chuck Todd was the only one that something like "Uh... the actual convention is going on right now" in response to Tweety's idiocy.

    For the MSM... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by ctrenta on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 12:08:17 PM EST
    .... the main story line was the so-called conflict between the Clinton and Obama camps. It was about the Clinton camp not being satisfied with x, y, and z, while all kinds of awesome stuff was going around Denver. Did they forget Bill and Hillary's support for Obama? What about Hillary's suspension of the rules via acclamation? Oh no, it's best to focus on the unhappy Clinton supporters.

    The other story not covered was that the Big Tent was a HUGE success. The MSM was coming to us, not the other way around. Politicians came to visit the Big Tent, not the other way around. The international media covered us and not the other way around. The blogosphere took it up a few notches and I think we're finally gaining respect on a variety of levels. That's one news story people are forgetting too. Instead, it's the manufactured hysteria of the unsatisfied Clinton supporters which was not big news in Denver. It was actually quite small in comparsion to Obama's nomination or the Big Tent.

    You sound just like them. (none / 0) (#13)
    by echinopsia on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 02:31:09 PM EST
    manufactured hysteria of the unsatisfied Clinton supporters

    Yep, I was there. It was beyond shoddy (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by goldberry on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 01:37:07 PM EST
    It followed Fabian's Faux Feminism model just as it was condidtioned to do.  if I had one more reporter stick a mic in my face and ask me, "Is Hillary's nomination going to cause Obama not to win?  Why is she doing it?  Why won't you vote for him if she tells you to?"  
    They completely missed the delegates who stopped by our headquarters who were alarmed by the strong armed tactics that the Obama campaign was using against them in order to get their votes.  They completely missed the sham roll call vote and how unbelievable it was.  They completely missed that it wasn't Hillary stepping on Obama's toes.  It was the whole DNC visiously stomping on a legitimate candidate and her supporters.  
    Yes, I was very disappointed.  I felt like dope slapping more than one.  It's just too easy for reporters to accept the script handed out to them and check their brains at the door.  I think the only exception I met was a female reporter for the Boston Globe who actually followed up on some of what we were saying.  I passed names and phone numbers on to her as well.  But the others?  Comeplete waste of time.  They just didn't get it.  

    exactly! thanks, Jeralyn (none / 0) (#2)
    by Josey on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 11:43:29 AM EST
    >>>And what about Times heavy hitter Jill Abramson, who wrote matter-of-factly on Friday that the Monday-through-Wednesday portion of the convention had a theme, and "its narrative was [the Clinton] soap opera." And specifically, the "narrative" was whether Bill and Hillary would "behave themselves" and "embrace Barack Obama."
    She wrote that after the convention had concluded, after Bill and Hillary Clinton had enthusiastically endorsed Barack Obama and after Democrats ended the convention on an historic and united front. Even then, the Times was still pushing the media's beloved narrative of a Clinton "soap opera" and how the two nearly ripped the party in two inside the Pepsi Center.

    The MSM has such a bad case of (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 11:57:26 AM EST
    CDS and it was evident to anyone who pays attention.

    In fact it is clear to me, whether it is the liberal or the conservative media, blogoshpere or what, the only time the media is comfortable with personal bashing, with the isms (sexism, ageism) is when it is directed at the Clintons.
    Maybe because they got away with it for so long starting in the 90s. Maybe because the Clintons let certain media pundits know that they did not appreciate their ugly attacks.  I don't know.

    But I went to left wing blogs and saw posters comfortable with using attacks on Senator Clinton that were sexist, ageist and just plain mean spirited.  The MSNBC crew now so carefully treading lightly on how to criticize McCain and Palin were gleeful in their attacks of candidate Clinton and her spouse and her daughter.

    Hypocrisy and sanctimony is amazing and shocking (for me( on the left. (I expect it on the right so it has never been a surprise ).


    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by echinopsia on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 02:29:09 PM EST
    It's as though seven years of Republican rule has turned the Democrats into ugly imitations of Republicans. It's sad.

    I don't even know what we're supposed to stand for anymore, since everything I once believed about my party has been proven untrue.


    An extinct breed (none / 0) (#8)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 12:31:38 PM EST
    15,000 Journalist! What a joke. I could count the journalist on television on one hand and still hold a cigarette. They're all celebrities and the news is only of interest when it can be used to enhance their screen image.

    OT: To andrys, re Total Popular Vote (none / 0) (#9)
    by Don in Seattle on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 12:42:30 PM EST
    [This continues a discussion, from the Monday night open thread, about the legitimacy of including Michigan in the "Total Popular Vote" talking point.]

    andrys, first you argue that the votes in Michigan are countable, since the DNC restored Michigan's delegation to full voting strength at the convention last week.

    Then you turn around and argue that "No, the DNC does not determine state votes, or, more accurately, State-certified votes." The DNC, you admit, can ignore the results of primaries that violate DNC rules, "but that does not change the votes that were made by individual humans during this primary season."

    Let's put aside, for now, the very relevant question of who gets to decide when "primary season" begins. You do see the contradiction here, don't you? You can't very well argue that the DNC has no power to determine which popular votes are to be counted, and also claim that the DNC's removing the 50% voting penalty means that the Michigan popular votes now "count".

    I agree that Obama and his people were equally guilty of making "total popular vote" a talking point. Obama also regularly cited the number of state contests he had won, another bogus metric. For her part, Clinton tried to interest the superdelegates in the superior "total electoral vote" of the states she won.

    All of those arguments had no real purpose except to sway superdelegate opinion. Thus they became completely academic three months ago, when the superdelegates decisively broke in favor of Obama.

    Sylvester and Tweety were great (none / 0) (#10)
    by Exeter on Tue Sep 02, 2008 at 01:24:34 PM EST
    Very professional and balanced.

    Sadly, local media did no better... (none / 0) (#14)
    by bmenezes on Wed Sep 03, 2008 at 12:39:42 PM EST
    As Colorado Media Matters documented, the state's print and broadcast media frequently fell down in their coverage of the DNC, whether by opening their pages to known right-wing smear merchants such as KHOW's Dan Caplis, or reporting GOP talking points as fact. Read some examples here:


    Bill Menezes
    Editorial Director
    Colorado Media Matters