Monday, July 16, 2007

Media bashing

You get to see these clips of Rumsfeld - "I never said we know for sure where Iraq's WMDs were" and thanks to some really great archiving, the folks over at Jon Stewart's Daily show are able to pull up another, older clip of Donny boy saying "Yes, well they're north of xyz, south of abc, etc, Yeah, we've got good intelligence".

But what I'd REALLY like to see is taking this up another notch, so that the likes of Tony Snow, and heck, even Bush, when lying at Press conferences, can immediately be told off for their two-faced, no-good, double-dealing ways.

This doesn't need magic. If you're a half decent journalist, and you've got your questions mapped out right, you already know the line that Snow, Bush and their ilk are going to toe.What that means is if you make an accusation, they're going to deny it. If you ask them about how something they'd said earlier turned out to be untrue, they're going to deny having ever said such a thing. If you tell them you love their hair, they're going to say it wasn't their fault, they had to wear a helmet on the way over.

The point is, many of these press soundbytes are given at events/press conferences that are telecast live. All that the journalist needs to do is to dig up a video of the guy when he was asked the same question a few months earlier. The difference between this and Stewart's daily show is that the video needs to be ready PRIOR to the journalist's question being asked.

Journalist then asks question. Snow goes "Ermm..No, no, I never said anything of the sort. The media always distorts facts". BAM - Journalist whips out her new iVideoplayathingy in front of the TV cameras! Yeah, I'd like to see THAT.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I have wondered about that simple it would be to pull anyone's bluff by simply playing back an earler recording. But you know what it is for nothing that they talk of the 'media circus'. TV news is more about entertaiment than truth. No one wants to make a move which will end up with " The president will not give anymore interviews." Or that "Only approved journalists will be allowed in." It may sound not to good now. But they will find some justificatio..National Interest and bla bla bla. But another way of looking at it is people are not dumb. They can read between the lines. That is the only reason why anyone can waste one's time on TV news.

indra said...

Hey l.thoughts :)

Thanks for your comments. Those are valid points,
1. about the media circus - where the U.S. media, though intelligent enough to call a bluff, might rather not, if only to perpetuate the cycle of the circus


2. about hearing one fine day, that the President will not give anymore interviews."

That said, the reason I used the U.S. as an example, rather than say India is because it's still only the U.S. public that (a) own up to their mistakes of putting the wrong people in office and (b) have the freedom, in both letter and practice, to take those in power to task, even if it's only by public humiliation via bluff-calling.

Also, the dangers of those in power refusing to give interviews is mitigated in the U.S. because the country thrives on media and public perception. They need every last bit of face-time that they can score. And that means giving interviews. In turn, that would lead to blatant lies. This fuels the media circus. The cycle will continue. Only, those that *give* the interviews may be recycled far more often if caught lying.