Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Trying" to "redefine" is simply false

A bad headline by an otherwise capable reporter (and here's hoping it's just a bad editor who wrote it, and not Rick Dunham):

"Democrats try to redefine Michelle Obama"

Here the readers are forced to accept the premise that the GOP has "defined" Michelle Obama to a degree that she needs the Democratic Party to "try" to "redefine" herself. That's a frame worthy of Fox News, not the Chronicle.

Spectacularly poor job of utilizing the Republicans' talking points. Grade: F.

Another one scores a 'D':

"Kennedy outshines Obama's wife at Democratic convention" (that's how it reads at the top of the Chron.com home page), but "Democrats connect past to future to start convention" when you click in.

I don't believe it was a competition between the two, for openers.

This reveals part of the problem with the traditional, corporate media and their efforts to "show both sides" of every issue: sometimes there's only the truth, and the conservative spin. See Warming, Global or Science, Creationist for more examples.

Once upon a time a journalist's primary task was to dig for and present the facts, letting the chips fall where they may. These days it presents the point and the GOP's counterpoint.

Update (10:20 a.m.): It's now been changed to "Kennedy the highlight of Democratic convention opener".

The electorate needs better effort from the media than this.

In more entertaining developments, Keith Olbermann told Joe Scarborough to "get a shovel":

Now that's how you're supposed to hit back.

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