Friday, August 21, 2009

News Reporters or News Makers?

Although every media has an opinion section, you want to hope that you are largely getting real news and not a political agenda. That "hope" is quickly becoming a joke thanks to the clear agenda of the "mainstream" media.
For example, much of the mainstream media has created a "profile" of what a "Tea Party" member looks like. He is white, angry, and racist. His interest isn't nearly as much about taxes and government control, we are told, but has much more to do with the fact we have a black president. This assumption about Tea Party members was challenged by a recent health care rally being held by President Obama. Sure there were protesters, but this particular one even included the favorite media stereotype of all -- someone actually carrying a gun. MSNBC reported that "A man at a pro-health care reform rally...wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip....there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....white people showing up with guns." The one thing MSNBC reporter Contessa Brewer failed to mention is that the gun man was a black and they edited the video in such a way you would never know. A black, gun carrying, protester, didn't reflect MSNBC's obvious agenda.

Than there is the story of a leaked email from Tea Party Patriots and reported by TPMMuckRaker.com, a decidedly liberal website. Zachary Roth points out in the article that "CNBC approached Tea Party activists, looking for angry protest events that would make good television, according to a leaked email from a Tea Party discussion group. And one Tea Bagger responded by flagging an upcoming event that, he said, 'should be a riot ... literally.'" Having had witnessed Tea Party events and having been a speaker for them, I know first hand they are very peaceful demonstrations. Loud, but very orderly. Members of the Tea Party went on to say that they intended to provide an event that was "above reproach." For me, the far bigger issue in the exchange between the CNBC and the Tea Party. The network abdicated its role of merely reporting stories and not trying to create it. It is interesting that CNBC made this request to a conservative organization and not one of the many left wing "truth squads" who naturally create riots at Ann Coulter, Tom Tancredo, and others.
It is the burden of the media to monitor people and events and provide stories of these accounts to keep us better informed. This often includes investigative reporting. But creating stories themselves is not reporting but the worse form of political activism.

Kevin Price is Host of the Price of Business, the longest running show on AM 650 (M-F at 11 am) in Houston, Texas and on AOL Radio. His articles often appear in Chicago Sun Times, Reuters, USA Today, and other national media. Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal calls Price the “best business talk show host in the country.” Find out why and visit his blog at www.BizPlusBlog.com and his show site at www.PriceofBusiness.com. You can also find Price on Strategy Room at FoxNews.com.

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