Monday, December 22, 2008

Ace, on media arrogance

He has a point:
I think this is 90% of the press corps' problem -- they're overly taken with themselves for, um, having a job.
Mechanics don't assume they're all-purpose experts without portfolio on every subject in the universe simply because they're fixing cars.
Reporters shouldn't assume that merely because they are capable of asking questions, writing down the answers, and cranking out pedestrian copy they've somehow become Einstein.
As a journalist with more than two decades in the business, I am familiar with and resentful of the attitude described -- despite my own pride in being a journalist.

Here's the problem: Ace is talking about TV news people. He's particularly talking about Andrea Mitchell of NBC News. TV news people are an entirely different (and fantastically overpaid) breed from us ink-stained wretches of the press corps, and a lot of what drives public resentment of "the media" is the attitudes and behavior of TV news people. I will not argue that there are no arrogant print journalists -- I'm pretty damned arrogant myself -- but a lot of what makes you hate "the media"isn't our fault.

This is why, for example, I get mad at Republicans who blame all their problems on "media bias." Look, I was out there on the campaign trail with all those people. Do you suppose if Sarah Palin had popped over to the press section for a few minutes of questions after a rally Pennsylvania, that reporters would have been playing "gotcha" like Katie Couric? Here's the headline on the Harrisburg Patriot-News story: Palin wows crowd at Shippensburg rally. Wow, that liberal bias hurts, huh?

So why, oh, why, couldn't the McCain campaign allow Palin to do a press conference? And why, oh, why, do the GOP assholes who run these campaigns -- and yes, I mean you, Tucker Bounds -- go out of their way to treat the working press like crap? You can blame the media for their bias all you want, but as long as the Republican Party considers clueless assholes like Tucker Bounds fit to be "media strategists," you're missing the point. Focus on what it is within your power to change.

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