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September 18, 2009

Arrogance knows no ideology

Most of us (at least those of us who follow politics at all) have our own opinions of news channels like MSNBC and Fox. Both conservative and liberal people both think one is excellent the other is the AntiChrist. Ok, some people hate both networks with a passion, too.

We also have our own opinions of the media in general. Some of us think that they've completely made themselves subservient to the President while others don't think that.

But one thing some elements of all these networks share is the arrogance of somebody who thinks that they are the most important institution in the country. Frankly, it sickens me.

This is two different reports, the first from MSNBC and the other from Fox, both of them covering the Values Voters Summit that's currently going on. Both of them decide to do their reports from the back of the room where speakers are speaking, making it so the people in the audience around these reporters can't hear what's being said. Some audience members come up to them and tell them that they're being rude and asking them to stop what they're doing because they can't hear the speakers.

Now, first of all, the organizers of the summit do bear a little responsibility because they didn't set up a press area where these reporters could do their job. However, the reactions of the reporters and the anchors in the newsroom are disgusting. Never mind the fact (as one woman points out) that they paid good money to come hear these speakers, and these reporters aren't allowing them to do that. Instead of trying to accommodate them or acknowledging that these people have a point, the reporters instead go off on how the audience should be happy that the networks are even deigning to grace the summit with their presence.

And calling these audience members who are complaining "hecklers" really takes the cake. These media people do really think it's all about them, don't they? I love the "we are allowed to be here" and "we're doing our job" reactions. I'd love for somebody to go into their newsroom and start talking over the anchor as he/she's trying to do their report.

Message to the media: IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU! There's nothing that says you can't do your reporting from outside the auditorium, or in the auditorium when they're on a break or something like that. If they felt it so important to show the speaker talking (so important that they had to talk over them!), they could have taken video footage of them and spliced it into their report.

But no. Instead, they have to make it so people sitting in the back can't hear the speaker, and then act like they're the victim when somebody complains.

A pox on both your houses.

(h/t: Hot Air)


  1. Luckily for the world, the good qualities in people also don't restrict themselves to conservatives, liberals, or any other label.

    I was thinking about this last night before I finally went to bed, and I wondered if these media people develop a "tunnel vision" about what they are doing; they just aren't thinking about trying to not be RUDE because they really believe that doing their job is more important than anything else.

    Sometimes people develop this out of necessity (at some point I'm going to have to get over my reluctance to wake people up because nursing care seems to constantly require it, even though most patients also need the rest...).

    The media people clearly weren't engaging in the type of lateral thinking you describe (i.e. hey, we could cover this event by standing outside, maybe take some footage, splice it in...).

    I think what I'm trying to say is that it's not just arrogance, but a kind of stupidity that develops when you can't take in the big picture of what is happening around you. Or maybe that's a more specific kind of arrogance.

  2. Hi Sara!

    That's a good point, and you're probably right.

    Part of the "arrogance" though is the anchors who seemed so shocked by all of this, and just totally dismissive of what these audience members were trying to do. The reporters certainly may have the tunnel-vision you describe, but I would have trouble attributing the anchors' responses to that as well.

    Maybe just a little.

  3. Yeah, the anchors are just a bit baffling there.

    It kind of reminds me of a manager I used to have at Barnes and Noble who was so gung ho about the job that she really did not see that we weren't, you know, performing brain surgery; we were just selling some books. Some people really lose perspective on their life's work (it is The Most Important Thing Ever! - regardless of what it is).

    I wonder if that is some kind of thing that some people need to feel like what they do matters...?

    btw, I've basically given up watching cable news stations (time constraints), but tended to watch MSNBC - not because I'm liberal, but for the lolz. Chris Matthews says whatever pops into his head and it's often unintentionally hilarious. He had me rolling the morning of the Inauguration with his absurd commentary. I've developed a bizarre fondness for Pat Buchanan as well.

  4. We'll agree to disagree on MSNBC. LOL

    But I'm definitely familiar with the bookstore example you give. I used to work at a Waldenbooks for 5 years, and had a few people like that.

    I think you're right, that this kind of attitude definitely (at least partially) stems from a need to demonstrate that what you do matters.

    It's just media folks (and celebrities too, as you remember from my post about "The Pledge" that forces them all to inflict it on the rest of us.

  5. The great thing is that we have the power to just tune it out if we want to (turn off the tv, etc). I can't say it was anything but time and money that caused me to cut down on my cable (and I do miss some of the funnier moments, I admit!). But you can make that choice, too, if you want to.

    It's a double-edged sword, though, because then it's hard to know what is out there to criticize.

    I can't figure out if I give the impression from my comments that I'm a nut or that I'm really jaded; I just find that it is less crazy-making to laugh at things sometimes than to get mad about them. (This probably explains my love of parody. But, hey, Chris Matthews is almost a parody of himself, just walking around. How can you resist it once in a while?)


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