Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weiner Controversy Exposes the Problem with Media Advocacy

Democratic New York Congressman Anthony Weiner allegedly did or did not send a picture of himself in his underwear on social media to some young women across the country. I don’t know of any criminal in that kind of action if it can be proven Weiner did it.

To me, the problem is not whether Weiner did it or didn’t do it; it the way the news media reports on these types of embarrassing sexual situations.  If you turn on the different cable news stations, you get a different accounting depending on the bias of the station and the host of any particular news and political show.  For instance, last night MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell said on his show that the whole controversy was hyped by right-wing social conservatives who want to bring down Weiner.  O’Donnell actually referred to Weiner as a friend of his show “The Last Word.”  Sounds like some real objective reporting there.

On Fox News and to a lesser extent on CNN, the reporters and show hosts are taking the controversy a little more seriously, but they are rightly pointing out that Weiner has learned nothing from past political scandals.  The pundits on these stations spent a lot of time opining on the foolishness of Weiner dragging out the controversy by not be immediately forthcoming.  Ever since the Watergate scandal, politicians still haven’t seemed to learn that the cover-up usually is far worse than the act itself.

I have repeatedly in my posts lamented about the bias on all sides in our modern-day news media.  As with many politically embarrassing stories, you can’t get a straight story from any one source.  The liberals in the media are trying to protect Weiner while many conservatives in the media are doing their best to mock him.

The problem with advocacy media is that many questions that should be asked do not get asked. I would like to know what kind of adult man in any position of responsibility would take a picture of himself in his underwear and then upload it on a social media site, especially since Weiner has been married for less than a year. I am not a technical genius, but it is my understanding that no one could hack into Weiner’s site and download the picture if it didn’t exist in cyber space in the first place.  It is true that someone can upload a picture and claim it is Weiner, but if Weiner never uploaded a picture of himself in his underwear, then he can easily deny that the picture is him, and he has yet to do that.

Certainly, there are more important issues in the public arena.  The economy appears to be headed for a double-dip recession, and the Middle East is still very much in turmoil.  Nevertheless, another political self-absorbed narcissist can’t seem to learn a simple lesson of modern politics and the media....get the truth out as fast as possible, and move on.

No comments:

Post a Comment