The Postmodern Media
Posted in Journalism by Richard Adams
For the Postmodern Presidency. Headline on the first page of today's Wall Street Journal: "Obama Makes Populist Pitch." The news is his strategy, not what he said.
12:41 PM / January 25, 2012
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The usual punditry suspects in the media were telling me that populism was shallow, simplistic, and bad when the Tea Party was supposedly doing it**. I'm so confused.
**It, incidentally, wasn't.
I suppose "Obama Makes Demagogic Pitch" sounds derogatory.
The best line of President Crackpot's SOTUA
"No more bailouts, no more hands and no more copouts".
Yep. And I am Princess Diana.
For what it's worth, there's a really, really good reason that WSJ did that. Because by the time you've opened your Wednesday morning paper, at LEAST 12 hours have passed since Obama said the stuff. So reporting what he said...well, that's pretty stale by then. It's been on TV and online; if you didn't see the speech you then you can summon it up on YouTube or (as I did) read the transcript. If WSJ just puts out what everybody already knows, then people aren't going to want to buy and read the newspaper so much.
Thus, the rise of analysis, with much more emphasis put on what stuff means instead of what actually happened.
It's a strategy for survival in a 24/7 world. But it also lends itself to criticism and charges of bias, because "analysis" can...drift. I'm not a Rupert Murdoch fan, but I've been an editor at a newspaper. I would've done the same thing.