Sunday, March 28, 2010

St. Louis Media Still Asking the Wrong Questions

About a week ago I wrote a post claiming that the TV local media is enabling extremist antics from the local Tea Party by allowing them to act as crazy as they want at their rallies and on their blogs while going out of their way to present them as reasonable in news reports. One might think after a week of "coffingate" that this is starting to change, but I have to say that the coverage has been almost universally disappointing.

First of all, the St. Louis media (with the exceptions of Chad Garrison and Jake Wagman) did not really report on coffingate until an article appeared on Politico. At that point, all three TV stations picked up the story. But it's not like the information about what happened was hidden, and I think it speaks poorly of St. Louis when the local media doesn't recognize an interesting story themselves and instead only covers it after it was reported by a national outlet. Furthermore, the TV news reporting all left out relevant context to the story, such as the fact that photos of Russ Carnahan were burned the day before while the tea party chanted "death to the dictator."

Worst of all, in my mind, is the fact that after at least four days of reports on this issue by TV, newspaper, and radio outlets, the Tea Party has still not been asked to explain why they went to Congressman Carnahan's home. As I mentioned in a previous post, they had already said a prayer outside Carnahan's office, so what was the further message being sent from going to his house other than, "we know where you live?" Just another example of how there's zero accountability for the St. Louis Tea Party when the media allows them to say and do anything without bothering to ask questions.

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