Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mutual Media Seduction: FOX 9 & Brodkorb

Michael Brodkorb, continuing his return from the land of the politically dead, went on FOX 9 News last night to talk politics on a show which looked like a pilot for something FOX wants to run up against "At Issue." Watching the show I was reminded of Faye Dunaway copulating atop William Holden to what looked like a more than satisfactory climax all the while talking market share in the landmark movie "Network." Paddy Chayefsky is what Aaron Sorkin hopes to be in the next life.

I was put in mind of Dunaway & Holden's mutuality, as it were, by what I saw last night on my tee vee after attending the media ignored (double agent  Cyndi Brucato was there) John Fund appearance in support of voter photo id.

I hadn't wanted to launch Minnesota Media Monitor™ right now because I have my hands full. But after taking notes from last night's show, I realized that this post would be my initial entree into that thankless task. Having said that, don't look for another media blog post from me any time soon.

The show started out pretending to report news: a substance free report on the Chicago teachers strike. This story was reduced by FOX to disputes over evaluations and principals' discretion to fire demonstrably lousy teachers. Nothing about drop out rates, illiteracy and the outrageous salary demands by these people who should be fired outright.

Next came two stories: first, a small Minnesota fire but everything is BIG when it involves the land of hot dish politics. You heard about Obama's shout out to Minnesota, dincha? Almanac had several segments on it.

Second, mere seconds of air about the Stillwater lift bridge being closed temporarily for repairs because lift bridges.

Now on to the main bill and the get of the year: Michael Brodkorb is in our petting zoo.

First, of course, came window dressing and badly at that: some talk of presidential fund raising, a mashup of polls (just guess who they favored? Hint: this isn't national FOX, it's local urban farmers FOX). But the axis question of the show came soon enough, more or less, to whit:

"What does the President need to do to keep up his lead?"

This is called a media narrative because the truth is the opposite of what is being reported: Obama is in big trouble so consequently he is ahead. Yes but the bounce? Look up the definition of bounce: they end. The point is to show in a favorable light the candidate they prefer. And to keep that partisanly framed narrative going through election day. Don't forget early voting (an abomination) will start soon. This style of coverage is designed to effect that under the rubric of news. I'm feeling postmodern.

Next came a token bit of a clip by Jeff Goldberg talking to a man and woman on, you know, the street.

It was as you might expect from Jeff's producers (hello Minnesotans, news is "produced." Yes, I realize you don't know what that means) and it was hot dish, not hot that scatological word. Hot dish politics, (as utterly representative of the reporting scene generally), puts the journalistic bar so low they make Kurt Bills look like a winner. I'm hearing some blue buses bearing bromides are coming on the market November 7th.

I also understand it finally dawned on the hapless Kurt Bills that he was used as a tool by Keith Downey in order to further the latter's gubanatorial ambitions. After Pawlenty & Dayton, the governorship bar is not low, it doesn't exist. How else to explain Kurt Zellers thinking he's leadership? I was hardly by my self in watching him fail. He, alone, seems to have missed his own performance. Is there a Hazeldon for political staffers who have risen too far above their abilities?

Speaking of which: the MNGOP seems to reaping the whirlwind of its appeasement of the Ron Paul crazies whom, with empirical evidence, are not, in point of fact, republicans. New blood, these Vichy Republicans told me, oblivious to vampires. If you're sick of hearing me talk about this topic, imagine me! More on this another time soon.

Back to FOX 9's Brodkorb Fest (FOX 9 ran promos in the afternoon about Brodkorb's appearance which is how I understand MN GOP Chair Pat Shortridge learned about it). A telephone call between the two, at the instigation of the Chair, ensued and yes, I heard both sides. Unhelpful.

After Goldberg's pointless clip with two white people on Marquette Avenue the topic changed, with no segue, to the Electoral College. Why?

To continue the media narrative. After rattling off OFA talking points about the latest manipulated polls, Jeff summarized for the exceptionally stupid Minnesotan who had not yet gotten the message: "things are looking a little bit tough for [Romney]." Well thank G-d for that, no?

By this time it wasn't just Jeff who was looking stupid: it was everyone on the show thus far. I could not imagine it would get worse. Which is to say . . . .

Tom "I used to be an investigative reporter, the only one in the Twin Cities, come to think of it" Lyden then said: Romney's pulled his ads in Pennsylvania. False Tom. Romney wasn't up on air in PA. Brodkorb didn't know enough to refute that. That is a measure of how off he is on his game. I'd rather have a dead Brodkorb than a neutered one.

That we are lied to our face by the media daily is but a truism. They went into journalism to change the world. Nothing self-aggrandizing in that. They think highly of themselves and you should, too.

Lyden, reprising his role in slashing Andy Brehm to ribbons on air a few weeks back [for whose unpreparedness in that interview there is no excuse], then said:

"Is there a way for Romney to win?"

Gee, Tom, I don't know. Maybe in something called an election? But you tell us because, you.

Why isn't your question: "Is there a way for Obama to win?"

We all know why. Why belabor the point?

Remember, these ace reporters had not yet mentioned the economy to this point in a presumed educated (for television) environment in a presidential race. And they think themselves knowledgeable enough to lecture us. Right.

Brodkorb proved entirely co-opted which is why he should not appear on tee vee for some time. Which, of course, is precisely why FOX 9 News wanted him in the first instance. We won't allow him, however, to become our Steve Schmidt.

Yet he was David Brooks in moronically saying that Mitt Romney needs to move to the middle, at which bobble head Randy Mier readily agreed: da midl. Anything about President Infanticide moving from the outer edges of the left political universe? No.

Mitt Romney? He IS the middle and I've been road kill for him locally fending off purity crazies and Ron Paul zombies. As someone said about these types on Twitter: forget elections, let's win arguments!
But for Brodkorb to say something as useless, if not outright wrong, as that is indefensible.

The intro to this segment by Lyden was classic media herd narrative: Romney has had a change of heart about some aspects of Obamacare. Untrue but on he droned. Pro tip: Yuval Levin on NRO's The Corner and anything Jennifer Rubin. I'm confident when you find the truth you won't report it.

The side show then moved on to Michele Bachmann. One stood in awe of the bravery of local media bringing her up. Such courage. The usual questions were asked. Norah Ephron, I mean Nancy Nelson, provided the more naked talking points the hosts couldn't quite bring themselves to say. Brodkorb punted but I give him full points. Some senate caucus staffers (aim high!) at O'Gara's last night were said to be unimpressed with his defense of Congresswoman Gardasil. Such an observation reveals why they remain staffers.

Still, Brodkorb erred by going on tee vee, even under the fake auspicies of FOX local which is a head fake to those used to viewing FOX NEWS cable nationally.

Being forced to watch local news was something of a revelation to me; I never watch. I knew why last night again.

Norah was suitably effusive in congratulating Tom & Randy on their new show at the beginning of her segment. The viewer who didn't know that this was the pilot for FOX's competition with "At Issue" would have wondered what the fuss was about. The hosts drank it in, South Park-like.

Weirdly, Tom Lyden whined about Michele Bachmann not being accessible to the local press. But she's the stupid one, right? He claimed she was allergic to the local media.

She has a great deal of company.