State of the News Round-Up

The third time ain’t a charm for Fox News, who has now apologized THRICE to the Barack Obama camp in recent weeks for bad pundit behavior. It all started when Liz Trotta said “Osama…I mean Obama” should be assassinated.

Then you’ve got E.D. Hill and her unsubtle attempt to describe Michelle and Barack’s fist-pound as a “terrorist fist jab.” Rumor has it she discovered the term on a comment on Now that’s classy, fair, and balanced: E.D. Hill gives voice to the inflammatory voices of fringey weirdos on conservative fringey websites. She apologized, but Fox pulled her show anyway. Bet she didn’t see that one coming!

Finally, on Wednesday, a running ticker on Fox News referred to Michelle Obama as “Obama’s Baby Mama.” (See above video.) While this racially/racistly charged epithet slowly rolls across the bottom of your screen, note the advice of Michelle Malkin, beacon of enlightened and elevated political discourse in a world of spiteful commentary. Responding to the recent realization among journalists that Michelle Obama could be the next Hillary Clinton–that is, the next woman to be ripped to shreds by a media threatened by assertive lefty lady types–Malkin explains that conservatives should attack Michelle Obama based on the content of what she says, and not “make gratuitous and [sic] cheap shots that have nothing to do with the substance of what she’s saying.”

Ah, if only “cheap shots” were what was really at stake! Instead we’ve got Fox News commentators attempting to subliminally message viewers into thinking Obama is a terrorist (instances 1 and 2) and another one to remind us that all black people come from a culture that does not share American family values.

Fox News hardly needs Stephen Colbert to mock them these days; they are a parody of themselves. Does this spell the beginning of the end for bloated non-news? In the post-Clinton Campaign media universe, even the New York Times takes note of the kind of tripe that passes for commentary on news shows. It is time that the news media, especially cable news networks, does some soul searching. But who am I kidding? Cable news is an industry built on the mountains of self-righteous and bull-headed NONreflection. Cable news applauds the loudest, brashest, angriest, most appalling people. Soul-searching is the antithesis of the pundit’s job description.

And yet with Tim Russert’s untimely death, maybe everyone will take a step back from the ungodly din of punditry and try to appreciate what it is to be an inquisitive, articulate, and excited member of the news media. We can only hope.



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