Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Should Matthews' Smackdown of Priebus Should Be Taught in J School?

Huffington Post media blogger Andy Ostroy loved Chris Matthews' smackdown of Reince Priebus on Morning Joe Monday.

Ostroy wants Matthews' cross-examination of Priebus taught in journalism school.
Bravo to Matthews. His cross-examination of an obnoxious, defiant Priebus was unrelenting. Like O'Brien last week, he had the balls to challenge the lies and rebuke the liar. Unfortunately though, he didn't get any support from Brzezinski or Scarborough who, rather than applaud their colleague for doing his job in seeking the truth, seemed horrified at his behavior...more worried that Priebus might never want to bring his lying, smarmy self back on the show again. They scoffed at Matthews' allegations and appeared annoyed and defensive of Priebus. When the segment was over they seemed utterly shocked, as if something strange and unacceptable had just happened.

When did television news people become so horribly neutered...so afraid to demand honesty and truth from their guests? Instead, they roll over like sheep, allowing these propagandists free, unchallenged airtime to spew their dishonest, divisive rhetoric. When someone finally steps up and holds them accountable it is they who are viewed as being out of line.
I'm not so sure Matthews' smackdown merits a seminar in journalism school, but Ostroy has a point.  TV journalism has become a joke.  Talking heads from both parties simply repeating talking points with little to no challenge from the supposed journalist on the set.  Even once venerable Meet the Press has become a joke.

Imagine a world in which outright lies were actually called out?  Imagine how this would change the tone of the debate.

But journalist don't do this for the very reason Ostroy suspects, they won't do the show again, and too many hosts crave the approval of the political guests. 

Scarborough and Brzezinski should be embarrassed.

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