Thursday, September 24, 2009

What would it take for the St. Louis media to do their job?

I saw this amazing video a few weeks ago where Anderson Cooper calls out national tea party leader Mark Williams for writing that Obama is an "Indonisian Muslim Turned Welfare Thug" and a "Racist in Chief" (around the 1:07 mark if you don't want to watch the whole video).

Williams was on the show trying to make reasonable sounding points and claiming to represent mainstream America.  But Cooper's question revealed just what an extremist Williams really is.  He's not an "average working American" with questions about the government but rather a cynical political strategist who's willing to say vile and obviously false things to rile up his base while turning around and playing the, "oh we're just reasonable people concerned about the size of government" card when in front of the TV cameras.  I'm so glad that Cooper did a little homework and found Williams' absurd claims.

Unfortunately, however, we have a similar tea party situation in St. Louis but without a local media willing to do their homework.  The St. Louis Tea Party is made up of leaders who peddle vile conspiracy theories to rile up their base, and then turn around and say to the TV cameras things like, "we're not opposed to all health care reform, we're just worried about this bill," or "we're just a bunch of hard working Americans concerned about taxes on the middle class."   So, I wonder, what would it take for our local media to start doing their job the way Anderson Cooper did his in the above interview?

What, for example, would it take for the media, when interviewing Bill Hennessy, to ask him why he claimed that Obama "wants to turn everyone into a Nazi snitch?"

What would it take, when they decide to interview Dana Loesch, for them to ask her why she blatantly lies about Obama school speeches and about a government agency designed to encourage public service?

What would it take for them to ask both Loesch and Hennessy if they really believe, as they say they do, that Obama sent an "operative" to St. Louis to "start a riot?"

What would it take for them, while interviewing Kevin Jackson, to ask how he could possibly still believe that Obama wasn't born in the United States?

What would it take for the local media (with the exception of the Beacon's Jo Mannies who did cover the event) to turn out when 200 citizens show up to challenge a health insurance company? 

And what would it take for someone to ask why 90.3 regularly has on a right wing blogger who links to race-baiting videos from white supremacist web sites?

I don't know the answer to these questions, but I'm getting a little tired of waiting to find out.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect STL media is trapped in some time warp that prevents them from really seeing its audience. But David Simon (The Wire) attributes lousy media coverage to the corporate raison d’ĂȘtre - increasing shareholder value. The product of this remote ownership is a skeleton crew that provides info-tainment. It’s also been observed that these employees are well trained in their craft but a poor education in history. Without a foundation for context, they’re oblivious to import.