Sunday :: Oct 4, 2009

The Bee Drinks The Kool-Aid

by Steve

Hello to all, and I hope things are well at your end. Without getting into too much detail, I hope to be writing a little more over the coming months, and wanted to get back in the game to a small degree.

Imagine my disappointment at opening this newspaper yesterday, and seeing this story and an accompanying AP news box gobble up a large part of its front page on a Saturday, telling us that it was a significant political defeat for President Obama that the IOC went with Rio instead of Chicago. In addition, the AP news box quite helpfully told us how much taxpayer money was spent on Obama’s trip to lobby for the Olympics (up to $1 million).

Keep in mind the same newspaper never ran any similar story gobbling up three-fourths of its front page telling us how much taxpayer money was wasted on Bush’s trip to the 2008 Olympics, or how much was wasted on Bush’s record-setting time away from Washington in Crawford. But nary nine months into Obama’s term, and we’re already seeing the flagship paper for McClatchy splashing on its front page stories quoting up high the Drudge Report. Well, if you've already soiled yourself with ads on the front page, you might as well go for the full measure I guess.

This paper, through its stable of McClatchy national reporters, is home to some of the best journalists in the world. Yet the Bee’s editors decided to run this story and an AP news box making the 2016 IOC decision a personal political loss for Obama, as if the Bee were the New York Post. Moreover, they managed to bury in the last nine paragraphs the fact that Quinnipiac states there really is no public opinion impact from this decision, and that this decision had more to do with internal politics between the USOC and IOC than anything else. Never mind, as the Bee saw a need to splash something across its front page that Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity could have authored.

Now, I haven’t seen a similar front page commitment by the Bee to any stories telling us how much insurance industry money has been spent this year to buy off Max Baucus and the rest of Congress, with a fancy AP news box and graph that shows nearly $400 million in industry expenditures and 6 lobbyists for every member of Congress. Nevertheless, the Bee felt it was important to parrot Fox News and tell us that Obama may have spent up to $1 million to fly to Copenhagen to lobby for something other leaders did also.

Then again, this same newspaper feels a smart cost-cutting strategy is to dump its own reporters, and replace in-house material with AP wire copy and a flood of ads. And in a brainstorm, they also created an online data base that reveals what every state employee earns, in a town full of state employees, while exempting legislative and judicial staffers from that effort. Now, the public employee-hating folk can see what the single-mom Office Technician makes who hasn’t had a cost of living raise for decades, but still not see what the legislative staffer makes who's partly responsible for a dysfunctional state government, yet who hobnobs with the Bee higher-ups after hours.

This same media swallowed Bush White House lies for years before the public turned on Bush itself over the lies and Katrina. And now, less than nine months into an Obama presidency, we are treated to a front page story that could have been written by Limbaugh on how Obama spent up to a million dollars of taxpayer money on what they claim is a personal political loss. Hell, Limbaugh spends that on "medications" every year.

There were other stories in the media on this subject that didn't legitimatize the screamer mentality, and saner, wiser heads saw this issue differently. But for some reason, the Bee has jumped the shark already nine months into this administration, through the work of Margaret Talev, a seasoned reporter and the now-questionable judgment of her editor Joyce Terhaar.

They should be ashamed for doing Glenn Beck and Michael Steele's work for them.

Steve :: 10:59 AM :: Comments (4) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!