This Year in Media Jackassery: ‘Murica

This Year in Media Jackassery: ‘Murica

Adrienne BoettingerMonday,29 December 2014

We originally wanted to recap what happened in Congress in 2014 but since single-celled amoeba are more productive than American politicians we figured the juice wasn’t worth the squeeze. When we really thought about it though, there was something that irritated us even more than Congress (or at least as much): the 24-hour noose cycle. Major media — and particularly cable news — didn’t so much as report the news as they created it in 2014. With a cocktail in hand, TSD takes a pained look back at what happened and how media reporting made us collectively more stupid, fearful, and misinformed. First up: ‘Murica.

1. Ah, Cliven Bundy. Remember way the hell back in April there was a lunatic who didn’t pay taxes, didn’t recognize the authority of the U.S. government and used women and children as human shields? Then he became the darling of some of our favoritest politicians and the most honorable journalists at Fox “News.”  All until Bundy outed himself as an idiotic racist by opining that African-Americans were better off when they were slaves and modern day African-Americans “abort their children and put their young men in jail because they never picked cotton.” While this caused his former political supporters with presidential aspirations to run like hell, Fox’s own Howard Kurtz expressed his disappointment in Fox’s belated and weak-ass way of handling the whole issue.

2. When the year began, Ray Rice probably thought he was on top of the world. A star with the Baltimore Ravens, Rice made national headlines this past summer when he beat his then fiancée (now wife) in plain view of a security camera. All coverage of this terrible event makes us hold our heads in despair. You had “Fox and Friends” saying Janay Palmer just should have taken the stairs with others blaming her for spitting on her now-husband and appearing inebriated. Because women need to realize that we alone are responsible for any attacks we incur what with our feminine wiles and such.

3. #Lattegate. Proving that their hypocritical criticism of President Obama knows no bounds, Fox “News” talking heads nearly wet themselves with glee when the President saluted the Marines with a coffee cup in his hands. According to Sean Hannity, “our commander-in-chief displayed his complete disrespect for men in uniform.” Don’t get us wrong, we think there are plenty of things to criticize President Obama for; we just don’t think this salute, eerily similar to the one President Bush gave with his dog in his arms, is one of them.

4. Don Lemon reared his idiotic head in November with the time-honored tradition of victim blaming. When interviewing one of Bill Cosby’s many alleged sexual assault victims, Lemon wondered why she hadn’t just bit Cosby’s penis. Although #DonLemonRapePreventionTips led to some hilarious tweets, everyone involved would’ve been better off if Lemon had actually thought about his words before uttering them.

5. Police Violence and Violence Against Police. The latter half of this year has seemed rife with racially charged protests. In the media, all nuance was lost. If you were on the side of the protesters, you were accused of supporting attacks on law-abiding and law-serving police officers. If you were on the side of the police, you were accused of being at best willfully blind to injustice and at worst you were considered a racist. Fox favorite and former NYC Mayor Giuliani laid the blame at the feet of President Obama, Mayor DiBlasio and Attorney General Eric Holder for creating “an atmosphere of severe, strong, anti-police hatred in certain communities,” ruling out the possibility that the police bore any responsibility for anti-police sentiment.

6. Rolling Stone proved it should stick to reporting on music and felony stabbings by former child stars. ‘Cuz when they try to report on other things, most notably a rape case at the University of Virginia, they fail. Miserably. Not only did the magazine neglect to interview the accused rapists, they left out information provided by the University and blamed the alleged victim for their journalistic fuck-ups because they thought victim blamers needed some more material to work with.


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Hat Tips:

Washington PostMedia Matters, , The Daily ShowWashington TimesESPNRolling StoneSlate, Image Credit: Gage Skidmore on Flickr

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