Friday, November 12, 2010

Backbiting & The Media Conflictinator

The latest in-party bickering amongst liberals - Bill Maher/MSNBC v. Jon Stewart - highlights why the left can't sustain a consistently persuasive narrative for the voting public and thus win elections. Progressives spend much of their time arguing amongst themselves on degrees of differences in opinion, rather than focusing on what they do agree on and using that to counter and correct the right-wing echo chamber.

I love all the personalities involved in this latest round of progressive self-destruction, I just wish it didn't come to this. I think the MSNBC broadcasters are the most thoughtful and engaging of any on television. [Yes, they can be over-the-top at times. But there is a difference between passionate yet reasoned analysis and hair-brained, sensationalistic, conspiratorial lies.] I find Bill Maher unapologetically courageous in trying to have an adult discussion about topics too taboo or touchy for many of our "investigative" journalists and television mouthpieces. And, Jon is a witty, shrewd, satirical genius with biting comedic commentary on the issues of the day. The fact that all news media are trying to come up with some type of program/format/delivery similar to the Daily Show is telling.

In-fighting amongst Democrats mirrors the divisive nature of unions in our country. The splintering into various factions over the past few decades, squabbling over petty territorial or policy perspectives, has decreased the reach, power, and effectiveness of unionization (alongside a completely anti-union legislative landslide). The conflicts from within are also weakening the Democratic party. At their best, unions and the Democratic party went hand-in-hand. Both, now, seem to be following a self-mutilation strategy.

Even though Jon likes to disavow any association as a "newsman," Mr. Stewart you are a newsman. Yes, you started in comedy. And, you're very funny. Yet, even though you deliver the news wrapped in humor, it's still news delivery. This isn't to imply, historically, that we don't expect a higher standard from The Nightly News than from comedy-news programs. But this also doesn't preclude viewers from finding value, meaning and/or insight from well-crafted, yet informative, humor. In the end, this may really just be a semantic argument. Whether anyone is a "real" newsperson may not depend on the vehicle they deliver their opinions from (MSNBC, The Daily Show, Real Time, etc.) but on whether, in delivering those opinions, they are being truthful and conveying a thoughful, reasoned, and maybe even funny, analysis or commentary. It's not so much where you speak from, but how and what you speak which (should) determines whether or not one is taken seriously on the public stage.

So, to wrap up, it's time to focus on the big picture, Democrats. Flesh out the minute details once you've secured power. Focus on the most important issues and deliver the message we can agree on (rather than the details we can't). We're being beaten by the kid who eats his own boogers right now. This isn't the time to be criticizing our allies over style points.

1 comment:

Annie K. said...

Amazing numbers of people are amazingly missing Stewart's point. Completely. It is not about style.
And it has a lot to do with why Democrats are not winning over the kid who eats boogers. But the Democrats and MSNBC all have vested interests in missing the point, and missing it big. It makes money this way, it's ""the way it's always been done" . no one seriously wants to think about how a change here and there might make a difference in the "ability to win against the kid eating boogers" They just want to do what they've always done. They want the "cure to be "doing it harder.

Also It's the same old schtick - whenever Democrats (after another magnificent loss) have it suggested to them that things MIGHT not be really awesome, instead of HEARING why people might be turned off by this or That, they GUILT people.

If you're not reaching people, it is NOT the people's fault. Your message is at fault. But dividing the nations up into 2 hostile teams makes a lot of people powerful and wealthy.
It's not particularly good for getting things done, it's not good for solving problems, it's SURE good for making sure world crisis are caught in crappy gridlock, but it works fr the people calling the shots.

All the people of America have to fight against the Booger Kid are the Democrats, there is no one else. And they've been doing a shit job.
The Booger Kid wins every time. Sadly the Democrats only want to be told how manly they are when they lose to the Booger kid, how really great a job they're doing. When they're not.
The Booger Kid is winning and winning big. The Democrats only want to keep doing things exactly like always and be admired for that. Sorry. The world is going to hell in a handbasket.
What's to admire. Obviously the Plan is not working The Party is ineffective. the team is losing.
Bill Maher is a fool,now he's "the establishment" condemning someone for not being "politically correct"

Also Stewart is not an "arm" of the Democratic party so this is not "in-fighting". Stewart is speaking for "just people" not a faction of Democrats.
Not in-fighting. Stewart has no obligation to "get on board" with Pelosi and Reid. And yeah, he's still a comedian.
Not getting it. Because you don't want to. one of Stewart's many points, that Maddow and many people are choosing to spin away is that MSNBC is COPYING the behavior of the Booger Kid Network because they saw it made money. So, yo know, it's a lot about that... making money. There's money in war, all kinds of war. Rhetorical wars too.

In the end, it doesn't matter if Democrats or Republicans "get it" other than the world will keep swirling around the bowl - other people get it. Mahr and Maddow can spin and Olbermann can get huffy or apologize of both, but people will think what they think. And people are thinking they're sick of the B.S.
That's how it goes.

In case you didn't notice , a couple years ago the simple word "change" made the entire nation go completely nuts. Now the extreme rightys are saying, they are fed up and want CHANGE.
That might be because people...want things to change, hard to tell. or. Maybe they just need to be more loyal to the parties and sit silently admiring whatever they do. Tough cookies if no one feels "represented" anymore. If the people are fed up, it's obviously The People's fault, Cuz politicians are all so cool.Just really fine people. Stewart should not be so mean to them.
boo freakin hoo.