Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Why the White House is Smart to Take on FOX
I don't know if this is prevalent in other cultures, I've mostly seen black folks do it as of late - but the one thing that I hate more than black republicans or extremely toothy blowjobs is a person who passionately defends an artist that they like by simply noting the size of their bank account. Let me give you an example. I'm of the firm belief that Tyler Perry's movies are cinematic poison. Even though I don't wish any physical harm on the director, for all I know he has a heart that should qualify him for Sainthood, but the gruesome things that I want to do to people who incessantly gush over his extremely shitty movies would scare the shit out of Stephen King. Stereotypical characters. Phoned in storylines. Cringeworthy dialogue. A black man in a goddamn dress. I'd really have to dedicate a blog series to accurately cite every reason I loathe the creative vision of Tyler Perry. Whenever I've expressed said disdain whether online or in every day conversions, the winning retort that I usually find myself on the business end of goes like this: "Yeah, but he's making money!!" You also get the same clumsy response when you criticize some monosyllabic rapper with a limited world view that they happen to be a fan of. Forget about the substantive gripes that you may have, from sub par lyricism to the fact that said artist happens to be a new millennium minstrel act, the fact that he/she never has to look at a price tag again is supposed to easily thwart all of your artsy fartsy critiques.
I'm only highlighting my least favorite defense of substandard artistry because Rupert Murdock reminded me of it recently when he pointed to FOX's increased ratings after he was asked about the White House taking on his News channel. Tyler Perry's vast fortune doesn't address the piss poor craftsmanship of his movies, a rapper who can pawn his platinum chain collection and singlehandedly pay for sufficient Health Care reform doesn't negate his mindnumbingly wack lyrics - and Rupert Murdoch pointing to an increase in ratings due to FOX's back and forth with the White House doesn't fundamentally answer their claim that they aren't a legitimate news channel. Besides, the White House could care less if they help FOX News get 10 Million more viewers, because their attack on FOX really isn't about FOX.
The White House doesn't have to look any further than that last Democratic Presidential Debate that ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson hosted to know how quickly right wing smears can infiltrate the mainstream media. People forget that it took both moderators 52 minutes to ask anything resembling a substantive question, most of the time was allotted to silly shit like Flagpins, Reverend Wright, and William Ayers. Stephanopoulos was basically a puppet for the right wing in that debate with Sean Hannity and Steve Malzberg pulling the proverbial strings - being that both men personally urged him to ask about William Ayers when he was on their respective shows. We also can't forget that Reverend Wright was a personal fetish of Sean Hannity's months before the mainstream media finally bowed to right wing finger wagging and started covering it, yet another example of the national discourse being sullied by the mainstream media taking its cues from FOX. Remember the Democratic Presidential Debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that Tim Russert moderated? I'm sure the White House does. That was a debate where the sorely missed Russert not only asked Obama about Reverend Wright, but didn't seem to accept a clear word like "Denounce" when grilling him on Minister Louis Farrakhan. Undoubtedly more right wing influence.
Listen, that was only a small example of how right wing meems seeped into all facets of the press during the campaign season, if you are an ardent watcher of the news like I am then you know that that sort thing happens all the time. (See Czars, "Enemies lists", "Death Panels") The White House knows this all too well. Their attack on FOX isn't about them "whining", something that many intellectually lazy writers have accused them of. Their attack on FOX isn't about garden variety pushback, they know that the bottom feeders over there will continuously call him everything from a Communist to a puppy torturer no matter how much they fight back. The White House tapping FOX News on the proverbial shoulder and asking them to "step outside" is more about shaming all the other news outlets who from this point forward proceed to regurgitate their horseshit smears as if it were legitimate news. It's an extremely smart tactic. I can totally imagine, after 6 more months of saying that FOX "isn't really a news network", some White House official sarcastically prefacing their answer to someone at CNN with, "Wow, that's a FOX News question.." Its a great way of marginalizing FOX while rhetorically wrapping legitimate news organizations on the wrists for clumsily reporting smears. This is a brilliant strategy, please keep it up.