Monday, June 22, 2015

Yet again, Jon Stewart > Chuck Todd on real news

Not that we didn't know Chuck ("It's not my job to give the facts") Todd was a disgrace to journalism. But he took it to a whole new depth this weekend when he tried to blow off the motivations of the white supremacist who shot up a black church in Charleston, S. Carolina and killed 9 parishoners. Instead of discussing what type of hate might drive someone like 21-year-old Dylann Roof over the edge and ask why GOP politicians and right-wing radio have at the very least condoned such a destructive mindset, Chuckles decided to defuse the race part of the Charleston shooting... by showing black criminals talking about the gun crimes they committed!

Not only is it a borderline racist segment and a sickening attempt at false equivalency for a despicable hate crime, but it's not even the right journalistic angle to take. This is a story about racial hate and the violence that resulted from those hateful thoughts, the prevalence of guns (while a problem) are a very minor part of this story. The fact that Chuck Todd and this crew has judgment like that and are in charge of the highest-profile show on NBC News is disgraceful, and the great Charles Pierce hit it out of the park on just how bad this was.
Of all the things that weren't "hidden" this past week, I'd say "the consequences of gun violence" are at the very toppermost of the poppermost. Translation from the Original Weaselspeak: we knew this segment would goose the ratings, particularly that portion of the audience susceptible to the reasoned argument: "What about the blacks who kill people? How come they don't get covered? Huh? Huh? Gubba, gubba!" And then, of course, the piece derp resistance.

[Chuck Todd speaking] As I say to all audiences, Meet the Press should make all viewers uncomfortable at some point or we are not doing our job.

No, goddammit. NO! If you want to know how one of our two major political parties has gone insane, there's your answer. If you want to know why its nominating process has become the ghoulish farce that it is, there's your answer. If you want to know why climate denial, creationism, and all the forms of anti-science and weaponized ignorance continue to survive in the 21st century, there's your answer. The weekend after nine African Americans are slaughtered at prayer by a racist barbarian is not a point at which to "make all viewers uncomfortable" by running a segment that can do nothing except enable the people who want to make the massacre about anything but race. This was beyond moronic. People should be fired. Programs should be cancelled.
Yes Charlie, they should.

Compare Chuck Todd's blowing off of this massacre with how a "less legitimate" newsman handled it, Jon Stewart. And notice how the crowd at "The Daily Show" gets it, and turns as serious as Jon continues on his thoughts.

I honestly have nothing other than sadness that, once again, we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other and the nexus of a just, gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist,

I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it — by staring into that and seeing it for what it is — we still won’t do jack shit. Yeah, that's us....

9 people shot in a church- "Whaddya gonna do? Crazy is as crazy is." That's the part that I cannot for the life of me wrap my head around. And you know it, you know it's going to go down the same path, "It's a terrible tragedy", they're already using the nuanced language of lack of effort for thus. This is a terrorist attack, this is a violent attack on the Emmanuel Church in South Carolina, {which} is a symbol of the black community, it has stood in that part of Charleston for a hundred-and-some years and has been attacked viciously many times, as many black churches have.

And to say that - I heard someone on the news say "Tragedy has visited this church," this wasn't a tornado. This was a racist. This was a guy with a Rhodesia badge on his sweater.....I hate to use this pun, but this one is black and white. There's no nuance here.
- Jon Stewart
To me, this begs the question- why is a "comedian" like Jon Stewart making the obvious point that this is a racist attack and to ask questions about why these attacks happen, but Chuck Todd and a number of other "serious news people" don't want to?

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