Talking Points: The Power of Fake News(-casters)

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Nowadays, we can rarely see and even experience the same kind of journalism that Cronkite and the many masterfully made into what people consider a respectable, noteworthy brand of media. Surely so, we have Larry King who matter greatly in the craft. The people who sat with King for years were construed as not only the people who significantly matter for the world (for us to realize it), but they were seen just like the common people who watch or tune in on the show everyday: hardworking people, teens, and even those who hate King himself. I’m just not so sure.
But sure do, it inspires people. But that’s all but crap right now. In my previous posts, I surely did want to come across the idea that the likes of O’Reilly and the rest of the FOX News anchors and self-proclaimed journalists, in retrospect, lacks that sentimental embrace for fair media. I don’t think these guys even value what Cronkite worked hard for. Even King himself is losing some mojo here. I notice, in several of his shows, the questions he asks, if not most, are awfully and oafishly simplistic. Seriously, it seems that his questions don’t want to be answered with value. Even his comments are quite platitudinous. I mean, come one, Larry King Live is too much a syndication to fall from grace and drop so ruthlessly in shame, especially when I feel disgusted about it. I don’t mean to put some loathe over the craft of King. I don’t. It just that what makes the show so syndicated in the first place is not there! Again, the mojo is losing! And King getting too old (maybe this could explain some numerous fill-ins for the show, including Seacrest and Probst, and by all people, why Behar?). Really, I would admit the show itself becomes more and more parochial, more so banal. There is much absence of adulation or something for the show to be considered “syndicated”. The reason why King became so famous (and so the show) is that the show wants to invoke that kind of journalistic craft that explores personality, events, trends and the like and the people especially that move behind them to be revealed and be known under the light of truth. It may sound dramatic but, really, we know people more than what they are known for – they as themselves people.
Or even talk about our dearly loved talk shows. They too are syndicated. Two things: it’s either they make the best out of ordinary (or even famous) people or they make fun of them. And we know on the top of our head who these people are.
Now we go to what we might call the power of non-journalistic craft. What comes to my mind is....no, not the likes of Chelsea Handler who appears to be too perverted for a talk show or The Dish or The Soup (although I do like these shows)....it’s the always fun (and critical) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. I know what comes into the minds of some when they hear these people. Two words: FAKE NEWS! The Colbert Report is a parody of.....well......The O’Reilly Factor. The Daily Show is...well...a unique show of its own. But let’s look at how these two FAKE NEWS SHOWS became so influential that America in fact chose Stewart among others the most influential person in the country.
The story goes when these two shows became the voice of the enemies of the FOX News gang. The sanctimony of Conservatism and Republicanism (and unbalanced and unfair news at that) in the channel has scoured so much in our TV sets for their propaganda. Exactly no fair journalism there. But people expected that the other half of the political divide (that, I will passionately stress, has compromised the fundaments of journalism), CNN, would counteract the shoot-and-kills or FOX. Well, CNN never did engage in the war so openly but in the least subtle way. But this one ‘expected role’ the media company tried not to do (I’m relieved then) was taken over by these two brilliant guys. When Colbert went to O’Reilly’s show, O’Reilly asked Colbert if he’s imitating him. Colbert responded so brilliantly, saying that Bill might be mistaking the terms “imitation” and “emulation”, which the latter Colbert chose of what he’s doing in his own show. Yet, over the years, these two guys keeps on becoming (not only Emmy-award winning) visionaries of politics. If the other half has Beck as their visionary, the other got these two guys. But all came so clear that the power of FAKE NEWS become so immense that the craft of these two is not just being fake, but also being the REAL THING. And here’s the catch: President Obama is the first sitting president to be interviewed in a FAKE NEWS SHOW! Yeah, you’re reading this right! You might ask, who does this? A FAKE NEWS, as a guest, a president? Really? Another thing, Colbert and Stewart’s Rally To Restore Sanity And/Or Fear makes things clearer: the power of fake news goes unstoppable!

TALKING POINTS BARNACLE: THINGS THAT MAKE CABLE TV USEFUL TO HUMAN SANITY

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O’Reilly – The View Syndication

Bill O’Reilly’s visit to The View that went ugly made me realize some aspects of what makes TV so, so great. One, O’Reilly can really be a total jackass. This simple yet powerful realization had been in front of me ever since Family Guy, Jon Stewart, Colbert and the rest of TV’s great thespians and worthy jackanapes (in an award-winning way) became part of what revolutionizes media today. I had so much respect for O’Reilly before, and up to now I really want to buy his book (not Pinheads and Patriots, the Bold Fresh). [i can’t help but writing something about his new book. I haven’t read it yet. But I have a very strong gut feeling on what it is about. Surely, this is again his namby-pamby attacks on his enemies, the liberals and his hates in writing. If you look at the cover, you can say that the Pinhead whom he’s referring to is Obama, and by all means the Patriot is himself. Really? Ego much? I think the term Pinhead is more suited for him.]
The View fiasco (maybe it was more humiliating to Behar and Goldberg than to Bill himself) touched on an issue which might have its connection to previous uproars against the New York mosque stuff. It’s an issue of Islamophobia, one can tell. But O’Reilly defends, it’s far from the “b-word” that joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg tried to label him. O’Reilly, in his show, strongly disdained the word – but a few instances shed some light on this. Should O’Reilly be called a bigot for airing some sentiments which Behar and Goldberg construed as purely anti-Muslim? On his show, O’Reilly might have slipped on this one. A contention of his in one of his shows is that the problems of terrorism among others is a Muslim problem, meaning, Muslims should in the very first place be doing most of the job in taking care of it. He defended he would never generalize the issue that the Muslims , all of them, are causing these. But what came more interesting on this issue is when obviously O’Reilly was leaning on the side of the NPR guy who was fired for making anti-Muslim remarks. And this, now, makes O’Reilly such a jackass. If he wants to wrestle down issues where he appears to be losing, he would weave outlandish issues along with the case at hand.
Talk about the firing of the NPR guy. This guy commented (on O’Reilly’s show) that he always feels unsecure whenever Muslims wearing burqas and what have you board the same plane he is in. What did he mean? Simple. The same old defense of those who want to ban burqas and the like in some countries like France – because these garments can conceal bombs. This is absolutely nothing new an issue. Here in the Philippines for example, insurgent-terrorists wear burqas, in recorded cases there are men, trying to sneak in public places and conceal bombs in God knows where – basic terroristic strategy. Was the NPR guy right? A Muslim thinks so. In one of the Doha Debates, a Muslim arguing for the ban contended that burqas do really enforece such terroristic image, especially to women – hence, making a bad reputation for Islam. But the problem (the same as O’Reilly’s) with the NPR guy is how he wants to be understood. His remarks would invoke the same element of generalization. One can say that we he said is that whenever you see Muslims wearing these garments, boarding the same flight as you are, expect to be u comfortable with it. Is this bigotry? Were Behar and Goldberg right? Maybe. But let’s see how O’Reilly dealt with this.
The defense is simple (in relation to the firing of the NPR guy): freedom of expression.
This is very common over the news. Some months ago, a CNN newscaster was fired for making remarks against Jon Stewart. Some defended the guy, even Stewart himself. To be truthful, CNN was wrong on this one. O’Reilly on the other hand seemed furious over the firing of the NPR guy. Same defense: freedom of expression. But here’s the twist – he’s making it appear to be a political propaganda. Our dear old Bill drags for example billionaire investor George Soros (he labels far-left) to the issue of the firing. Sounds familiar? He’s making it a blame game – this is all the Liberals’ doing. Period. Is he a jackass? Definitely. But the syndication never ends. O’Reilly never got over The View walk-outs. In several instances, O’Reilly tried to demonize The View hosts Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg in whatever way he wanted it. But to give credit, the game wasn’t played well. Even Behar and Goldberg seemed a little bit unfair. They never gave O’Reilly the chance to defend himself on the show, making it appear as if O’Reilly was the bad guy. Not fair. Even labelling someone ‘bigot’ might be very risky and hasty. Both hosts were hasty. So was O’Reilly. So maybe the score goes to Walters. Rock on! Syndication never let us down!