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16/06: Manipulation

Category: Media and Politics
Posted by: an okie gardener
There are no windows in any casino I've ever seen. No clocks either. Casino managment wants to control the game-room enviroment absolutely, so as to separate the player from external reality. Cut-off from any external reference, plied with alcohol, over-stimulated with electronic lights and sounds, given enough wins to sustain the illusion of beating the house, the player becomes a Pavlovian animal with a twist: when the bells ring the players feed the house.

In American politics, if the media do not maintain an objective independence, the voters can lose touch with any external reality, and be manipulated by whomever controls the house. The media infatuation with Obama frightens me. May it end soon.
We have criticized the National Organization of Women on this blog before. We worry that they are more concerned with promoting a political agenda than speaking out for the general well being of all women. However, they deserve kudos for their response to the Letterman-Palin abomination.

This trenchant statement from their website is a welcome condemnation:

NOW Analysis: After two nights of "jokes" at the expense of Palin and her family, Letterman tried to explain himself and offer something of an apology. On his June 10 show, Letterman said he was referring to Palin's 18-year-old daughter, Bristol -- not the 14-year-old daughter who actually accompanied Palin on her New York trip. Letterman said "I recognize that these are ugly" jokes. NOW agrees. Comedians in search of a laugh should really know better than to snicker about men having sex with teenage girls (or young women) less than half their age.

The sexualization of girls and women in the media is reaching new lows these days -- it is exploitative and has a negative effect on how all women and girls are perceived and how they view themselves. Letterman also joked about what he called Palin's "slutty flight attendant look" -- yet another example of how the media love to focus on a woman politician's appearance, especially as it relates to her sexual appeal to men. Someone of Letterman's stature, who appears on what used to be known as "the Tiffany Network" (CBS), should be above wallowing in the juvenile, sexist mud that other comedians and broadcasters seem to prefer.

I associate myself with these remarks.
Category: Media and Politics
Posted by: A Waco Farmer
Stuart Rothenberg writes today:

"Like most of the evening programming on MSNBC and the Fox News Channel, Hardball has become a partisan, heavily ideological sledgehammer clearly intended to beat up one party and one point of view."

"I don't mean to single out Matthews for criticism because he actually understands politics and I believe that he would prefer to do a serious political show. Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and the newest addition to MSNBC's unfortunate lineup, Ed Schultz, are far worse than Hardball."

"When I surf the channels and pause for a moment on O'Reilly or Hannity [FOX News], I rarely see guests who aren't openly partisan. But MSNBC's left-leaning shows do use political reporters and columnists who would bridle at the notion that they are ideologues or favor one party over the other."

Read it all here via RCP.

I agree with Rothenberg. These shows are fun, but they are also addictive and poisonous (and, for the record, I include Hannity and O'Reilly in that assessment).