December 15, 2006

Our Caring Journalists

Just yesterday, dear reader, a fan of this humble “website” dropped us a line to inform us that he had voted for us for “Best Humor Blog” in the “2006 Weblog Awards.” In addition, this regular reader chastised us for dilating on this nugatory award whilst the control of the US Senate hangs in the balance. Don’t you think, he asked rhetorically, that you have better things to discuss at this critical juncture?

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” reply: Come on, sir. Darn near every journalist—from the staffs of Time, Black Hair Care, and Cat Fancy—are covering the Tim Johnson stroke story. And pardon us for getting all high and mighty, but we find the tenor of this incessant discussion a mite disturbing.

Let’s review the facts (or as Nietzsche would say, the interpretations). Democratic Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota recently suffered a possible stroke whilst immersed in an interview.

Incidentally, we know this in part because the paragons of moral rectitude at NPR (National Palestinian Radio) delightfully played the audio clip of Senator Johnson’s attack. How lovely: We wonder if the powers-that-be at NPR would like their families’ medical disasters to be broadcast thus.

After this supposed stroke, the Senator was rushed to the hospital, where he has undergone major surgery. Given the life-and-death nature of the story, one could reasonably assume that our journalist friends would care a great deal about Senator Johnson’s health. Is he going to be okay? We sure hope so. &c.

Ah, but that’s not the angle that intrigues our media buddies. Rather, the title of The Wall Street Journal’s piece on Senator Johnson gives us a sense of the magnanimity of the journalistic profession: “Johnson Illness Imperils Democrats’ Senate Control.”

Come again? Uh, gee: doesn’t Senator Johnson’s illness also imperil Senator Johnson? We don’t mean to come across like a passel of bleeding hearts, but the fellow is in grave condition. Wouldn’t it be nice to can the political jabber for a bit? Wouldn’t it be nice to hope and pray for him?

Yes, yes, we know: The Democrats’ control of the Senate in the upcoming session of Congress is so slim that the Senator from South Dakota is needed to sustain the majority. But for crying out loud: The guy may die. Show a little bit of respect.

We don’t mean to sound like Howard Kurtz (believe us on that one), but we can’t help but see the coverage of this story as an instance of media skullduggery utterly unrelated to liberal media bias. (Or, as Eric Alterman would have it, conservative media bias.) The hacks and talking heads merely want a story, and they don’t care if it kills a man.

As such, as long as Senator Johnson is ill, we can delight in 24-7 coverage of a “What If He Dies?” nature. Ah, the charms of the media.

Posted at December 15, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack