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Scorned media fail to provide helpful news analysis

While the manufactured media story related in my most recent post dealt with the non-issue of Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal not heaping enough encouragement on Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu for a measure he likes in a bill he hates, the latest non-story about the episode focuses on a somewhat different angle, that Jindal has not protected enough Landrieu’s honor.

I guess I need to go through all of this again, since some slow news reporters and/or editors can’t find out enough real news about which to write: Landrieu has faced criticism that she had sold a vote that could have stopped consideration of a disastrous health care reform measure in the Senate for the chance to have as part of that bill a passage that would shovel anywhere from $100 to $300 million to fund Louisiana’s Medicaid program in 2011. Part of this criticism came from conservative media commentators, including calling her a “prostitute” for her willingness to trade a vote for political favors. Jindal said he would not criticize any delegation member and left it at that. He also said that while he disagreed with the bill, he would be thankful for whatever any delegation member could do to help with Medicaid funding, echoing a previous statement where he said criticism of her on this was unfair.

(Meanwhile, the sun rose in the east and the grass is still green ….)

But the angle the Associated Press’ Melinda Deslatte pursues in a “news analysis” (translation: an editorial by a reporter about the things she covers termed this way to try to square the circle that reporters for the sake of objectivity should not reveal their own views about them) is that Jindal didn’t go far enough by “refusing to denounce the prostitute slur against the senator …. is it too much to expect him to push for more dignity in the political discourse and to rebuke those who resort to gender-demeaning slurs?” She answers, “Apparently so,” and in leaving it at that – despite the fact she should well know the real reason why Jindal might not do Landrieu any great favors on this account because she reported on it.

During Jindal’s campaigns for governor, Democrats have used such tactics as darkening his face in campaign ads (juvenilely thinking that it would turn off potential voters who didn’t think he was “white” enough) and cherry-picking his words to assert that the Catholic Jindal was anti-Protestant or a religious weirdo. And did fellow Catholic Landrieu ever issue a statement “to denounce the racist and religious slurs against the candidate?” Or did Deslatte ever write a “news analysis” that chided Landrieu and/or other state elected Democrats for not doing so?

Those answers would be, “apparently not.” The story to the objective observer is that Landrieu, who if she was serious about the Medicaid bailout money would attach it to a noncontroversial bill or in the regular appropriation bill for that area of government, is not going to get more than a tepid defense from Jindal for criticism of her action that would make him swallow a poison policy pill because out of partisanship she never did anything to defend him from denigrating attacks – and even then he said she should not be criticized in contrast to her total silence.

But that violates Deslatte’s template that Jindal is a semi-hypocritical meanie, stoked by the fact that he has preyed upon the most potent insecurity rampant in the media – being made irrelevant by being ignored. Deslatte moans about how “Repeated efforts to get Jindal or his spokesman to answer a direct question about the prostitution comments got no response. Asked a half dozen times if the governor believes those comments were appropriate, Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin never provided a direct answer. He didn't respond to a request to speak to the governor about the issue.” To repeat, there’s no fury like the media scorned by refusal to cooperate with its agenda – especially when the agenda is to make the object not talking look bad.

So we get her waste of paper, ink, and electrons. And more of using it to line bird cages while we turn our attention elsewhere – as newspaper circulation figures show – to find genuinely informative, sophisticated analysis about politics.


Anonymous said...

Did it ever dawn on you Mr. Sadow that the only governor in a position to stop Obama care was Bobby Jindal? All he had to do was say he did not want the bribes offered to Mary and she would not have had a crutch to justify her vote.

Did Jindal elect to stand up against Obama care? No.

Did he publicly encourage Ms. Landrieu to oppose Obama Care? no.

Jindal could have done the right thing and said we will cut spending to make up for federal short fall and will not help push the bill he described as horrible on to the public.

Jindal does not want a confrontational session this year as it might tarnish his political career. He is a careerist and that is all.

Anonymous said...

I'm confused as to what Professor Sadow would know about "objective observers". Surely he's not so asinine as to suggest that label appplies to his daliy apoligies for all things Republican.