The Tattlesnake Sly Like a Fox News Edition

Properly Framing McCain and Rupert’s Little Joke

“The press loves McCain. We’re his base.”
— Chris Matthews, MSNBC, Sept. 10, 2006.

What’s with the New Hire at MSNBC the other afternoon, hosting a senior member of John McCain’s entourage for a free 15-minute campaign commercial disguised as an interview? The vacuous cheerleader, while following the Big Media diktat of having McCainites on unimpeded by disagreeable Dems who might raise doubts or rudely break out laughing at the GOP candidate’s hapless flip-flopping, forgot to curtsey appropriately and properly word her sole question of any substance.

While in the first part of her question she observed the standard BM structure when addressing Big Mac or his affiliates, she didn’t quite genuflect enough at the end: “Well, we all know what he meant by that ‘hundred years in Iraq’ remark, but could you clarify Sen. McCain’s position a little more for our audience?”

Listen, kid, you want a future in this business, you’re going to have to frame your questions better. The preferred form of respectful recumbence would have been: “I’m so sorry to trouble you with this, I truly am, but just in case any of our viewers may have gotten the wrong impression and thought that Sen. McCain actually said that we should occupy Iraq for a hundred years which we all know is just so untrue and unfair could you please clarify his position on this, please, sir?”

And make sure not to play any video clips contradicting the McCain flack’s answer, as you would with a lowly Democrat or other political trash. She also only called him a ‘War Hero’ twice in a quarter-hour spot, that phrase should be repeated at least six times, along with the words ‘maverick’ and some variation of ‘straight-talk.’ Usage example: “Next up, an interview with war hero John McCain’s campaign manager. He’s here to deliver some straight talk from our nationally-beloved political maverick who toughed it out as a POW for six years during the Vietnam War, making him the logical choice for our next commander-in-chief!”

For further tips, consult Ana Marie Cox’s new book, “Obsequious On the Campaign Trail with That Lovable Old Sweetie-Pie, War Hero John McCain.”

Murdoch’s Idea of Stand-Up Comedy

“It’s very hard to be neutral. People laugh at us [Fox News] because we call ourselves ‘Fair and Balanced.’ Fact is, CNN, who’s always been extremely liberal, never had a Republican or conservative voice on it. The only difference is that we have equal voices on both sides but that seems to have upset a lot of liberals. … The more voices the better.”
— Rupert Murdoch, speaking at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall, April 2, 2008, as live-blogged by Patrick at Media Bistro.

As Eric Alterman at Media Matters (April 3) points out, CNN habitually hosts such raging leftists as Robert Novak, Bill Bennett and Jonah Goldberg, as well as regular analysts Terry Jeffries, Bay Buchanan, Amy Holmes and J.C. Watts, not to mention that Time-Warner gives an hour of airtime every weeknight on CNN Headline News to the low-rated homicide-fantasist Glenn Beck. (Beck’s so far around the bend he’s uttered crank-speak like, “Every night I get down on my knees and pray that Dennis Kucinich will burst into flames,” and “I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it.” Imagine the wounded ‘hate speech’ finger-pointing from the right if Keith Olbermann said the same thing about Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.) And among the defiled ranks of CNN’s noticeably conservative-leaning reporters and anchors are Campbell Brown, Dana Bash, Candy Crowley, John King, Kyra Phillips, Howard Kurtzman, Wolf Blitzer and ex-anchor Judy Woodruff.