The media hurts my head. First up: a short presentation from the TED conference demonstrating, in graphical form, why the American news media is failing its viewers:
Speaking at the TED Conference, Alisa Miller (CEO of Public Radio International) explains why Americans know less and less about the rest of the world. Along the way, she uses some eye-popping graphs to put things in perspective. Watch the video below or find it on our YouTube playlist.
Next, we have Scott McLellan criticizing the news media for…umm…believing what he told them.
He excludes himself from major involvement in some of what he calls the administration’s biggest blunders, for instance the decision to go to war and the initial campaign to sell that decision to the American people. But he doesn’t spare himself entirely, saying, “I fell far short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be.”
He includes criticism for the reporters whose questions he fielded. The news media, he says, were “complicit enablers” for focusing more on “covering the march to war instead of the necessity of war.”
Kind of reminds me of when I was kid and my older brothers would grab my wrists and beat me in the head with my own hands, asking “Why are you hitting yourself? Why are you hitting yourself?” Anyway…
My final example is a bit of a stretch, since Michelle Malkin can hardly be considered “media” but really, any news organization which actually reported on Malkin’s silliness and put pressure on the advertiser deserves ridicule.
Dunkin’ Donuts has pulled an online advertisement featuring celebrity chef Rachael Ray after criticism from conservative U.S. bloggers over her choice of scarf.
Ray, while promoting an iced coffee, was wearing a black-and-white scarf, similar to the kaffiyeh, a scarf commonly worn in the Middle East. Critics, including conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, argued that Ray should not be wearing such a scarf because, they said, it has come to symbolize Muslim extremism and terrorism.
The kaffiyeh “has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad,” Malkin said in her blog last week. Malkin welcomed the decision, saying, “it’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists.”
Amahl Bishara, an anthropology lecturer at the University of Chicago who specializes in the Middle East, said complaints about the scarf reflect a misunderstanding of Arab culture. “Kaffiyehs are worn every day on the street by Palestinians and other people in the Middle East — by people going to work, going to school, taking care of their families and just trying to keep warm,” he said.
Malkin really does have a knack for picking the most absurd arguments out of thin air. Hey Michelle, I notice the Klan always carry around crosses (and occasionally burn them, but that’s neither here nor there); has the crucifix come to symbolize Christian extremism and racism? Should advertisers distance themselves from anyone who wears a cross around their neck?
[tags]news media, ted conference, alisa miller, scott mclellan, rachel ray, michelle malkin, dunkin donuts, kaffiyeh[/tags]