Friday, December 3

The 5:02, Right On Schedule

ON the heels of yesterday's rant, La Palin turns up for her third visit to Indiana, which is to say her third book-hawking in Hamilton County, Indianapolis' restricted country club, and the local news hairdos treat the thing like an Erik Estrada sighting. In contradistinction to the President's visit last week, which was turned over to the political reporters, Palin was covered by the news crews (8 sent one of its six anchors, coincidentally, I'm sure, the same one who lobbed puffballs at the corpse of Fred Thompson in her '08 exclusive).

Which is to say that they sent reporters to cover the grand spectacle of a couple hundred white people lining up to buy a book. And held out microphones so a select few--one with "Palin 4 Prez" written on his forehead--could let us know whether or not they liked her.

8 did eventually bring on Jim "The Dean Broder of Local Pundity" Shella, who offered the stunning insight that Presidential politics is often about celebrity. (No, really; that's as close to a political analysis as he dared come.)

And lemme just say this: I'm not really too fond of this Dueling Media Bias stuff. It's awfully easy to see what you believe; in fact it's damned near impossible not to. The point isn't that there's a conscious personal bias, though there certainly is some. The point is that there's no seeming awareness of the solid reasons, as well as the ethical obligation, for simply being fair. This is greatly magnified on the local level, and, of course, it's made much worse by news management and self-congratulatory appeals to ratings. Jim Shella is a comfortable white suburbanite. His employer is licensed to use the public airwaves to serve the population of the city of Indianapolis, not the Ultima Thule and The Woods of the Ultima Thule subdivisions where its white population fled. The city of Indianapolis is 25% African-American; furthermore, that community has a long and storied history: the third-oldest African-American newspaper in the country, the Klan takeover of state and local government in the 20s, de jure segregation in the schools and de facto segregation everywhere else, a lively history in the Arts, and the dilution of the inner-city vote, and the near-abandonment of its schools, by the Dick Lugar-led unification of local government in the late 60s. Shella displays no knowledge of this. Neither do the other stations' political reporters. It is, instead, just another special interest group after tax dollars. There's precisely one African-American reporter on local teevee with career longevity who gets to do political stories. The rest of the "minority" presence on air is basically talent hired from elsewhere.

And that includes the woman who tossed it to Shella two weeks ago when Al Sharpton came to town as part of an ongoing effort in response to the police beating of a fifteen-year-old kid last May. She got to hear Sharpton described, repeatedly, as "controversial" (assuming she bothers to pay attention.) Another anchor would later remark that Sharpton had some "surprisingly conciliatory" comments about the police. Or Da Police.

This is the world these people inhabit: not just one where Al Sharpton's middle name is Controversial, and Sarah Palin is a celebrity, freed from responsibility for the things she says, but one where there's no apparent awareness that anyone could possibly see it any differently.

And I have no idea what prodigies of cancer of the bowels an African-American woman feels while she reads off a teleprompter under such conditions. I only know that it isn't supposed to work that way, and that we're much the worse because of it.


timb said...

Out news stations are located IN Indianapolis?

I call bullshit on that. Everyone knows two are located in Carmel, one in Westfield, and one in Noblesville. EVERYONE knows that from their coverage.

When the inaptly named Jim Brainard is seen on Indianapolis TV as often as the current Bumbling-tool-of-the-Oligarchy who sits in an office on the 26th floor of the City-County Building (seriously, for a minute when I started typing this, I could not remember this non-entity's name), then it is difficult to prove that any of these stations can find the Indianapolis where I live. An Indianapolis which has plenty of poor, black and white people.

Gezz, when Jim Shelia actually finds out Hispanics live here too....well, that might cause a stroke.

theo said...

Wow talk about loosening of associations… your blog was so much word salad that I had to comment. The complete lack of institutional memory you have (like all progressive leftards) is what makes your discussion so pathetically sad and barely readable. Obama got so much celebrity coverage during his presidential campaign that I am surprised that you would even venture to breach this subject by pointing fingers at anyone else. He had nothing but softball questions thrown at him and he & Biden got away with some of the most gaff-tatsic moments in political history. Now you are bitching about Palin, who was raked over the coals by the MSN and we knew more about Palin’s underwear drawer than about Obama period. Do you need a ride in the Whaambulance now that she is getting the same coverage?? Bear in mind that Palin is the “monster” that the liberal MSM created. Their constant ridicule, vilification and mental masturbation of all things Palin has kept her in the spot light. If they had left well enough alone, she would be forgotten in Alaska. But because she really scared them they colluded (i.e. the Journolist group et. al.) and conspired to destroy her and they gave it their best shot. I must admit most people would have curled into the fetal position and crapped their pants. Obama most certainly would have. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Harry Reid, Frank etc etc. could never had stood such scrutiny. But there are other people that this type of vilification does nothing but put more steel in their spine. She now has a following, can hire the best advisors and has been given an unprecedented amount of experience in dealing with people and the press because of the MSM. So now behold Palin a force to be reckoned with and the monster that you all helped to create……..

timb said...

Ha ha. Theo said "their spine." Must hurt to share spine with someone, but maybe this is the price to pay for "them" having so much spine? Pronouns and their antecedents are so difficult for the new generation!

I'll note once he starts talking about Mrs. Palin that he mentions her underwear drawer and masturbation in quick succession. One, again, is reminded why this lady is so popular with right wingers.

Theo, it is exceedingly impolite to accuse someone of a world salad and then write 1500 words jammed into a SINGLE paragraph. At first, my grammar sense was offended, because Mrs. Gray always said a paragraph break was needed any time the writer had a new idea. It occurred to me shortly thereafter that Theo STILL had one more paragraph than idea and thus he was guilty of a different transgression.

Lastly, Theo, despite your full-throated defense of her, this post isn't about the Palin. It's (ironically, you wrote the words without understanding them) about the poverty of our local TV news; their desire and willingness to cater to an absolute sliver of the metro area (dominated by rich, white Republicans), which is betrayed by their general lack of interest in the President who saved an Indiana city and fervent interest in the deviant political porn that is white peoples' fascination with the Half-governor; and, how their lack of institutional knowledge leads them to ignore the actual city of Indianapolis and the 800,00 people here.

The upshot, Theo, is they can do that because 100 years ago people like Palin helped segregate the city in a de facto manner and 40 years people like Palin incorporated the segregation in the local law.

Still, thanks for playing.