Friday, May 18, 2012

Right Wing corporate media shows interest in Counter-Summit

There were two corporate media outlets at the Counter-Summit for Peace and Economic Justice: a video camera labeled Fox News and a Chicago Tribune reporter.

I did not check if the camera guy was on assignment from WFLD-32 (Fox's Chicago affiliate) or the cable news channel. Fox's local stations do not pursue the dishonest propaganda policies of Fox's cable channel. However, if the camera was from Fox News, I wouldn't have let the guy shoot. I would have told him, "Your network lies. You aren't welcome. Come back after you find a new employer or Fox News acknowledges past lies and makes a commitment to stop lying."

As for the Trib reporter, she came into a session I was in and asked who considered themselves an activist. Everybody raised their hands. After a few minutes she left. About 15 minutes later I saw her in the hallway interviewing an elderly women who described herself as attending this kind of function for the first time.

I didn't interrupt, but it seemed like the Trib reporter was shopping for someone to interview who wasn't tainted by being an "activist". There are at least a couple ethical concerns in doing this. One, it kinda looks like shopping for the person that's easiest to manipulate. Two, if 95+% of the people at an event are in category B, but not category A, it seems a little--unrepresentative and misleading--to shop for quotes from a category A person.

Maybe Ms. J-school already had her "activist" quotes. Maybe it wasn't exactly what it looked like.

I do know from covering Tea Party rallies you don't have to look too hard to find people to say goofy or racist stuff. But that's not the way the corporate media outlets cover Tea Party events, is it?

When the corporate media covers Tea Party events, the media is dutiful about carrying the message the organizers want to project. When does the corporate media go shopping for quotes from participants who are "more colorful"?

But it's a regular staple of covering peace events to shop for quotes from individuals. Why not pick the elderly lady who is attending her first event?

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