Sunday, May 07, 2006

Mainstream Media M$M, failure: Who was Colbert LAMPOONING? by Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Speaking Truthiness to Power:
Why the mainstream media and the far right treat Colbert with icy silence

In today's Bartcop, he wrote, "Last issue I asked who the Bush administration idiot was that hired Colbert. One reply said, 'Maybe this White House is so stupid, they thought Colbert was a rightie.'"

When I heard Steven Colbert was going to host the correspondents’ dinner, I had the same thought. For the past year, he has been doing a half-hour show on Comedy Central that is a brilliant parody of a Faux News show, complete with the overblown and ever-shifting graphics, and the "I am the repository of truth" approach of the host. Not to put too fine a point on it, but he was lampooning Bill O'Reilly.

Right wingers don't have an evolved sense of humor. They couldn't. If they had the ability to laugh at the absurd, their entire movement would implode.

On the other hand, they get mocked often enough that they should be able to spot that. I decided that maybe they didn't think Colbert was just O'Reilly with good hair. Besides, it's the Correspondents’ Club that does the hiring, not the White House.

Of course, they had no idea what they were in for, either - and should have. Does the name "Jon Stewart" ring a bell?

Stewart got invited onto "Crossfire" last year, and he proceeded to dismantle the show's hosts, begging them to stop their facile and confrontational approach to the issues of the day on the grounds that "You're hurting America." The show's hosts and the right wing waffled and snorted in outrage, but the upshot was two months later Jon Stewart was still going strong, and Crossfire was history.

Colbert is a protégé of Stewart's, and shares, along with much of the American left, a deepening disdain for the corporate media. You find it all over the web, where corporation news is dismissed as "mainstream media" through the pseudo-acronym, "M$M".

So Colbert did his thing at the Correspondents' Dinner, including his usual shtick of fulsome, if back-handed, praise for Putsch and his administration. He hit the unamused Prez hard with some real zingers, which left his audience, used to a new order of political satire that involves throwing marshmallows at carefully neutral objects, shocked and gasping for breath.

It was for this reason that Lou Dobbs, and a host of other smarmy talk show hosts on radio and TV, accused "the liberal media" of covering up for Colbert. They were right in that the media did bury the story of what Colbert had to say. Some stations didn't even mention him, and outside of the internet, nobody quoted what was indisputably his best zinger of the night: "Over the last five years you people [M$M] were so good - over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out ... Here's how it works: the president makes decisions ... The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spellcheck and go home ... Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!"

(Paschal: Now that is BRILLIANT, in what it says, what it doesn't say, and in the extraordinary courage of its timeliness, in front of the entire cotton-picking company of hacks that are the Washington Press Corps, and in front of Putsch himself.)

That's what Lou Dobbs was really talking about when he wanked about "the librul media covering up" for Colbert. But then, Lou Dobbs is a fatuous, overpaid idiot, like most of the other fatuous, overpaid idiots in what passes for journalism on TV and radio, and he'll cheerfully lie to you to cover his ass.

The media reaction to this at the dinner was, as you might imagine, strained and thin. You could almost hear the assembled M$M crowd remembering that this was a friend of Jon Stewart, and, like Stewart, unimpressed with "the librul media."

Yes, Colbert gave Putsch a kicking around. Given the disaster the man has been, it isn't one one-hundredth the kicking around that he deserves, and if Colbert's irony was biting, nobody could say that it fell outside the realm of what was expected at a roast-type function like this.

But Colbert's real target was the media, the media which has been bought out and turned into mouthpieces for major corporations, and which reports nothing that would displease their corporate masters. For years, they didn't breathe a word of criticism of Putsch, not when he bungled America into two pointless and futile wars, not when he blew up the federal debt to unimaginable levels, not when he raided the national treasury to give his wealthy benefactors returns of thousands to one on what they donated to get him elected. The press remained mute and neutralized through endless scandal and arrogance and contempt for law and the constitution. They remain largely silent, and they do so because their masters fear that being outspoken might hurt profits, or be bad for business.

Mainstream media is a disgrace, and a sad parody of what once had been America's crowning jewel in her democracy - a free and independent press that demanded accountability from elected leaders and bureaucrats alike.

"Liberal media" covering up for him? Bollocks, Dobbs' Liberal media - AirAmerica, Bartcop, columnists such as Sydney Blumenthal - are praising him to the skies. Various websites captured his speech for streaming video, and in the 48 hours following the dinner, over 800,000 downloads were made, an audience far larger than that which watched the original dinner.

No, the ones who tried to pretend it didn't happen, or who clucked indignantly that Colbert "crossed the line" and was rude to the poor little president break down into two camps: the far right who still have their boats tied to Putsch's administration, and the safe, sorry little twerps who heard the disgust and anger in the voices of people like Stewart and Colbert, and quivered in their little booties. They -did-cover up the Colbert story - not to protect him, and certainly not to protect Putsch - but to protect themselves.

But Colbert merely said what tens of millions already think, and millions more think it every day. America's once-proud free press is a sorry disgrace. "The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spellcheck and go home ..."

That's how America sees you, M$M. It's time to either start doing your jobs, or move out of the way for people who are willing to do the jobs you can't.

But don't worry about feeding your kids. Corporations always need blow-dried grinning ninnies as press flacks.

You might even get back pay for it.

Copyright, Bryan Zepp Jamieson


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