The Media You Have

This is the type of response I would expect from the Media:

As to the emerging meme that the media is playing up this sensationalism while ignoring the real story ó the horrific plight of women in Africa ó itís nonsense. Of course the latter is much more important. But itís not news.

Absorb that sentiment for a moment. And then consider it is NOT from a member of the Media, but rather from James Joyner who then expands on this thought in responding to this comment - "Its only news because you say so:"

Well, me and every editor and news producer on the planet.

Joyner does not recognize that is in fact the problem - every Media type thinks that way. It is the classic response to media criticism - that's just the way it is. 'The way it is' is atrocious and unacceptable. That is the point of the criticism.

Speaking for me only

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    It's not news? (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:17:52 PM EST
    And I suppose the real news from WWII wouldn't have been the Holocaust but what kind of scat play Hitler liked in the bedroom.  

    Sure, Hillary could have stopped and genuinely inquired why the guy would want to know her husband's opinion, and could have used it to more diplomatically give the guy a little lesson in sexism, but so what?  She was human, she reacted, and she was right.

    Nope. See Dr. Molly above (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:08:15 PM EST
    the intended audience for her comments wasn't the questioner and wasn't the U.S. media for sure, it was the women in Congo.

    and the difference is? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:26:13 PM EST
    nothing.  any answer she gives on this trip is a de-facto message to women, her mere presence is.  the idea that in those few seconds she thought, wait, i'll give my response to all the women in the congo, i can't read minds so i'll say, ok, whatever you think.

    Oh, and you really (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:44:34 PM EST
    imagine the women she'd spent all her time meeting with and hearing the stories of that day weren't in her mind when some jerk male asked her such a denigrating and male-focused question?

    OK.  Whatever you like.  Sorry the world must be so confusing for you.  We women are just irrational, touchy you-know-whats, right?


    you know nothing about me (none / 0) (#36)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 11:17:27 PM EST
    i was raised by a single mother who was ABUSED by men, I WAS ABUSED by men my entire childhood.  if i didn't phrase something to your liking, so be it.  stuff it with your assumptions about me or how confused i am about life.  Stuff.  It.

    Sales not News (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by dead dancer on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:52:29 PM EST
    As to the emerging meme that the media is playing up this sensationalism while ignoring the real story -- the horrific plight of women in Africa -- it's nonsense. Of course the latter is much more important. But it's not news.

    Replace news with SALES.

    Well, me and every editor and news producer on the planet.

    Once more: Replace news with SALES.

    I suppose this is a confession of sorts. (5.00 / 6) (#10)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:54:33 PM EST
    Of course the latter is much more important. But it's not news.

    Ergo: what's important is not news and what constitutes news is the not-important.

    Good ONe (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:13:31 PM EST
    Hoisted by his own petard.. lol

    Exact;ly; the guy doesn't get (5.00 / 7) (#25)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:19:01 PM EST
    that an SoS goes to countries precisely for the purpose of making their situations news as defined by our event-oriented (i.e., not issue-oriented) media.  I know the definitions of news; I've been taught them and taught them.  This trip to Africa by our SoS was news, and any statement otherwise is just lame excuses.  Very lame.

    that was a blow up? (5.00 / 7) (#27)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:27:13 PM EST
    please, the characterization is a joke and reveals far more about your paradigms than it reveals anything about hillary.

    This is a "Amen and Hallelujah!" comment (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:30:58 PM EST

    Also In Nigeria (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by squeaky on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:35:34 PM EST
    Speaking at a town hall meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, Clinton addressed the issue of corruption in elections, a common problem in the West African country. After urging Nigerians always to reject election-related violence, America's top diplomat pointed out that the US has had its own electoral problems.

    "Our democracy is still evolving," Clinton said. "You know we've had all kinds of problems in some of our past elections as you might remember. In 2000, our presidential election came down to one state where the brother of the man running for president was the governor of the state, so we have our problems, too."

    Raw Story

    Quite apt considering that international election observers commented that the 2000 POTUS election in Florida resembled election practices of some of the poorest and corrupt regions in Africa.

    She really said that? (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Steve M on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:42:42 PM EST

    And we all remember ... (5.00 / 7) (#30)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:40:48 PM EST
    that before the Iraq War there were some of the largest anti-war demonstrations ever held in this county.  They got virtually no coverage in the media.

    But a very small number of anti-reform advocates are covered 24/7.

    If TV always plays up sensationalism and conflict then where were they in 2003?

    And there are countless other examples of this.  It's just not a credible explanation when the press says, we always cover conflict and the sensational sides of stories so stop complaining.

    They're very selective in the types of conflict they cover.

    the media does think like that (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Bemused on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 05:20:37 PM EST
      and it is wrong.

      That's not a defense for saying or doing something foolish but trivial. If you know the foolish trivial thing will overshadow the serious things and you do it anyway, it's your fault.

      If I put on a meat suit and walk into the hyena cage it does little good to blame the hyenas for acting like hyrenas.

    Lay this in the lap (none / 0) (#1)
    by ChiTownMike on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:04:20 PM EST
    of Hillary. She is the one who killed her message, not the media. They just took her action and ran with it. Without her outburst this conversation would not even be taking place. Much like Obama killed his health care message with his Gates comments Hillary killed hers. Those are just facts.

    Hillary is a diplomat. She should have used diplomacy. Had she then the media would be covering the essence of her trip just as they were until she changed the landscape.

    Nope (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:09:30 PM EST
    Your defense is Joyner's. I eviscerated it above.

    I'm not defending anything (none / 0) (#6)
    by ChiTownMike on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:36:47 PM EST
    I laying blame on the person who mishandled a question and stepped on her own message in doing so. The same as Obama did with Gates in which after much defense by you and others he had to clean up his misstep, proving your defense of him worthless. Clinton's handlers are now trying to do the same thing for her - cleanup her misstep.

    Your pointing at the press and not equally at Clinton is nothing more than putting the blinders on imo.


    See above (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:45:39 PM EST
    Then we expect our politicians (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:15:54 PM EST
    To be more than human, and we will fail in all our endeavors.

    Gotta do better than that, dude.

    We'll sooner have a more responsible media than a gaffless politician, so i, for one, would choose to focus on the people who blow minor things out of proportion in an effort to get ratings, distort truth and deny our society some of the progress it so desparately needs.


    Had she been more diplomatic (5.00 / 8) (#5)
    by Democratic Cat on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:32:44 PM EST
    then the story would still have been how Secretary Clinton was forced to justify, however politely, the fact that she holds opinions and a position of importance outside of who her husband is.

    It is not just Hillary: Faced with this situation, women cannot win. If you try to diffuse and deflect, you are considered nice but weak. If you try to confront, you are considered a shrew and unstable.

    Regarding the blogger to whom BTD linked, it is a sad day when the definition of news is divorced from the concept of importance.


    Whaaat?? (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by vml68 on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 12:43:55 PM EST
    Obama killed his health care message with his Gates comments

    How did you make that connection?


    She didn't "kill her message" (5.00 / 9) (#11)
    by Dr Molly on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:05:01 PM EST
    She sent a very powerful message, IMO, to all African women.

    That's a great way to look at it (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:11:31 PM EST
    And the American Media -- mostly men -- are sending a message to African Women what they think about the message Clinton sent.

    In addition to the message the media sends about what they think is news or important.


    Bingo, Dr. Molly (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:07:01 PM EST
    I suspect that's exactly why she decided to let loose. (And you can see her in the clip thinking about whether to hold her temper or not.) Let's hope the women there actually hear about it.

    Absolutely (5.00 / 4) (#34)
    by Jjc2008 on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 03:05:21 PM EST
    but the American media, the pundit class of mostly men, at least run by men, can't handle strong women still.  Hillary bothers them because she does cower to them.  
    And instead of focusing on all Hillary has done/wants to do for women around the world, the pundit class go into the locker room mentality....giggle, snicker.  


    And now there all beside themselves because she dared tell the truth about the 2000 election.


    Nonsense (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:04:40 PM EST
    The media showed zippo -- zero, nada, zilch -- interest in what Hillary was doing in the Congo.  Are you kidding me?  If the exchange had never happened, we'd not even have been aware she was there.

    You really don't understand how media decides what's "news" and what isn't.  Abuse of women in the Congo?  Snore.  Hillary losing her temper?  Stop the presses!!!


    NYT showed dancing (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 02:47:32 PM EST
    News = New (none / 0) (#12)
    by James Joyner on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    News involves things that are new. Gravity, for example, is very important; it's not news. Similarly, that things are horrible in sub-Saharan Africa is hardly a breaking story but rather a sad fact of life that we've known for decades.

    Gosh, but I'm reading good coverage (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Cream City on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:28:32 PM EST
    of the serious side of Clinton's African visit, written by a few other, good bloggers.  And a lot of the information on the work of advocates there for these women is new and news to me, even though I have been reading elsewhere and watching documentaries about the tragedy there.

    Maybe the difference is that they are "good bloggers"?  

    Btw, ever work at a small-town paper?  Now that's really work, and you don't know a slow news day, and the real challenge of finding news until you have done so.  Clinton's trip to Africa is a great news story, if you actually look into it.

    For one thing, "firsts" make news.  Is there anything about this trip that is a first?  


    News used to be a little more than that (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:45:32 PM EST
    At times it actually was used to raise awareness and champion social issues of our times. The emphasis could have been on championing women in an area where women need empowerment.

    Stories like auditioning off Michael Jackson's glove are what is peddled as news these days. I'm sure that "news" will have a real impact on people's lives.


    Pathetic. (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by nycstray on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:50:48 PM EST
    I'm sure it was unintentional (none / 0) (#18)
    by The Last Whimzy on Thu Aug 13, 2009 at 01:29:11 PM EST
    So there's no real conclusion to be made here, but the comparison between gravity and human rights violations against women in Africa was just made.

    But hey.  We can send people into space so at least it's fair to say we overcame gravity to some extent.

    Who knows what we can achieve?


    "But it's not news" (none / 0) (#37)
    by JL on Fri Aug 14, 2009 at 01:16:18 PM EST
    The point he was making was less about "that's the way it is." He actively said that the deplorable conditions of women in the Congo is not newsworthy despite it being "more important."

    How is it not news?  More to the point, how is Bill outshining Hillary in anyway news?  It's not novel and it's not important.