Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Our Shallow & Vapid Corporate Media

As usual, President Obama was poised and coherent during his third prime time press conference (click here for a transcript) this evening. After eight years of George W. Bush the way Obama presents himself still makes me proud. For damn sure I would not have been reassured if Bush were on that podium asking questions about the Swine Flu pandemic.

But so what? The real story to me this evening was our pathetic corporate media.

Why didn't any reporter ask if President Obama is receiving too much council from Wall Street centric economic advisers? Jeff Zelny of the New York Times actually asked what "surprised," "enchanted," "troubled" and "humbled" President Obama during his first 100 days! Yet his newspaper recently published a profile of Treasury Timothy Geithner's close relationships with the very people he was supposed to be overseeing while leading New York's Federal Reserve Bank. The New York Times also recently reported about bonuses in the banking industry returning to 2007 levels. Alas, Zelny opted to waist his prime time moment with vapid nonsense instead of asking questions the very newspaper he works for recently provoked!

There was some worthy give and take as Obama spoke eloquently of Winston Churchill who rejected torture while Great Britain was bombed by Nazi Germany in World War Two. So why didn't any reporter engage President Obama about investigating Bush administration officials who designed the criminal "enhanced interrogation techniques" policies? How come there were no questions challenging President Obama why he won't appoint a 9/11 type commission to investigate this horrific chapter in our history?

There were interesting questions and answers with respect to immigration reform and why Obama supported the Bush administration's policies regarding state secrets in court cases. I thought the press let President Obama off the hook too easily with respect to our increasing involvement in a Pakistan civil war. The President delivered reassuring platitudes regarding Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and dodged further inquiry with the cliche about not answering "hypothetical questions."

Overall, I didn't learn much this evening because the corporate media seldom asks questions that illicit revealing answers. I admire President Obama. I'm glad he's president instead of John McCain. But I don't give a damn whether anything in the White House "enchants" him. Neither do the millions of people absorbing the brunt of our economic calamity or our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hence, tonight's press conference is a reminder of why we need the blogosphere.


Jude Cowell said...


And it seemed to me that perhaps the White House had a bit too much control of what questions were asked and which subjects came up - like the obvious 'plants' and set-up Qs in the audience for Bush - i hate to say it, but tonight's presser seemed very similar in format to the last 8 years.

Pres. Obama did a masterful job yet my intuition (and a little astrology) tells me that tonight's performance was meant to soothe not fluff our feathers and the press simply played along nicely (and will be invited back.)

Besides, the 'threat level' fear raising had been accomplished by the WHO, the CDC, and certain media outlets - for whatever ultimate purpose.


Timeshare Jake said...

wow what a spin! They slobber over Obama and never ask him really tough questions. You should be happy about that. There is nothing poised or coherent about Obama unless the TotUS is five feet away. Watch a little closer, uh, uh, and you might see both of these facts about Obama.