Polarizing? Who is Polarizing? It Can’t Be Me Says…
OK, you guessed it. Your Curmudgeon said it, in a wide ranging interview with two former television news rock stars, Dan Rather and Brian Williams, we we accused of being a polarizing in American politics. And, we saw a dead body float by our Motel 6 in New Orleans after Katrina holding George Bush’s REAL military records.
Or something like that.
Would you believe that it was actually Barack Obama who was found, by Gallup, to be the most polarizing figure in America?
Barack Obama, our President. Polarizing. Imagine.
The President recently did a wide ranging interview with people who make Dan & Brian look pretty good. The bloggers at Vox. You may not have heard of Vox, they’re kind of a new kid on the block. They decided that the news was too complicated for average people to understand so they decided on a format that uses data and simplifies every issue so average people can understand it. If you’re smelling a progressive “newsie” operation, your sense of smell is working great. They throw softball “questions” to lefty politicians and frame their story around predetermined responses.
Here’s what they did for the President on the issue of him being a polarizing figure.
In a wide-ranging interview with Vox, President Barack Obama discussed how the changing face of media has polarized politics – although much of the information is simply giving audiences what they want.
Obama said data showing he is “the most polarizing president” is misleading, but one major factor is with media. Americans “just don’t have a common place where we go to get common facts and a common worldview the way we did 20,30 years ago.”
“And that just keeps accelerating, you know, and I’m not the first to observe this, but you’ve got the Fox News/Rush Limbaugh folks and then you’ve got the MSNBC folks. … But the point is that technology which brings the world to us also allows us to narrow our point of view. That’s contributed to it.”
Asked if the media “sometimes overstates the level of alarm” with terrorism fears as opposed to “long-term problems” such as climate change and epidemic disease, Obama responded, “absolutely.”
Rule 1: Bad news about the King is misleading.
We find it funny that he would compare Fox and Rush to the amateurs at MSNBC. Fox and Rush probably get more viewers/listeners in a week than MSNBC gets in a year.
The President, in his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, got his history horribly wrong on the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. Since he’s on a roll with that history stuff, he took a shot at the idea that polarized media outlets is something new. It’s not. We’re guessing he either didn’t take American history or skipped a bunch of those classes. If we could see his college transcripts we’d know, but that’s another story.
A quick Google search would reveal that in the late 1800s and early 1900s there were hundreds of newspapers. Virtually every small town in the nation had a newspaper. Cities had multiple newspapers, and those papers were often very polarized in their reporting. The difference between then and now is that the media made no bones about their bias. They were honest journalists, unlike the two mentioned at the beginning of this post.
A polarized media is an integral part of our history, Read about William Randolph Hearst or William Pulitzer. They, and their counterparts, made no bones about working to shape public opinion.
When Hearst Artist Frederic Remington, cabled from Cuba in 1897 that “there will be no war,” William Randolph Hearst cabled back: “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”
The biggest difference between the news of 100 years ago and today is that 100 years ago the media, as a whole, wasn’t the mouth organ of the Democratic Party. There were certainly newspapers that slanted to left and there were papers that slanted to the right, but unlike today, they didn’t bow down do a party leader’s bidding. There were actually journalists who would have investigated the stories like Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and the IRS scandal. With the exception of Sharyl Attkisson, those journalists are long dead.
Mr. President, you’ve got a tad less than two years left in office. Since we’ve thankfully got a Republican Congress and it’s not likely you’ll get much done we’ve got a suggestion for you.
Between golf games why don’t you go to the nearest Community College and take some history classes.