Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Resistance to media bias is unexpected

Jerry Stratton, June 10, 2009

This is an example of how the media plays its bias. They wanted a fight here; they wanted a controversy; they wanted to make Governor Palin appear petty: David Letterman made an insulting joke about Governor Palin, and Governor Palin called him pathetic for it.

Listen to her opener. Letterman “struck a nerve”, and Palin has no sense of humor. She overreacted. That’s the story they wanted.

But to get that story, they had to heavily downplay what Letterman said. He didn’t just make an insulting joke about Alaska’s governor; he also made an insulting joke about her fourteen-year-old daughter. Airing Letterman’s joke about the public statutory rape of a 14-year-old and contrasting that with Palin’s “pathetic” wouldn’t be controversial. Of course Letterman’s joke was pathetic. You can’t get much more pathetic than that.

In order to make a controversy, and make it sound like the “other side” overreacted, they cut that part out and pretended it didn’t exist. Ziegler confidently called them on it and described the real reason for Palin’s response. The interviewer cut him off. She had lost control of the interview.

This is the part that amazes me. MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer was confident that anyone on her show would go along with downplaying the teenage rape joke. When Ziegler didn’t go along, she got flustered, and clearly had no idea where to go next. The entire point of the interview was undercut when Ziegler wouldn’t let Brewer pretend that Letterman’s teenage rape joke wasn’t relevant. So Brewer cut the interview.

Ziegler’s resistance isn’t harsh or strident; all he’s doing is refusing to pretend that Brewer’s version was truthful. If that’s all it takes to throw the biased media off its stride, how little opposition do they normally receive when they try to spin?

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