This Year in Media Jackassery: America Pretends to Be Interested in the Rest of World

This Year in Media Jackassery: America Pretends to Be Interested in the Rest of World

Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,30 December 2014

As 2014 mercifully draws to a close, let’s look back briefly at the times when ‘Murica attempted to be interested in things that were happening in the rest of the world and the 24-hour noose cycle came forth with some truly inspired reporting.

1. If you got all your news from CNN in 2014, you’d be pretty convinced that the year was chock full of plane disappearances. It’s not that we think the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 wasn’t news, we just could’ve done without CNN’s constant coverage of the issue, complete with Don Lemon’s hypothesizing that a black hole was somehow involved. And hold onto your asses because the recent disappearance of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 resulted in CNN canceling on current, former and outgoing political officeholders to provide no actual news whatsoever of the missing plane.

2. #BringBackOurGirls. In April, an extremist militant group who believes all western education is evil kidnapped more than 240 girls in Nigeria. It took 3 weeks for American media to start covering the issue and then they were tripping over themselves to deride each other for such poor coverage of the kidnapping. Global media coverage was so piss-poor it allowed the Nigerian government to pretend nothing was wrong for weeks. Sadly as of late December, about 200 girls are still missing.

3. Ebola=ISIS? Finding a way to ratchet up the panic to threat level midnight, the media lost their damn minds when it came to Ebola. Everyone’s reporting was pretty terrible, from 60 Minutes neglecting to interview any Liberians when in Liberia covering the epidemic to CNN wondering if Ebola was the ISIS of biological agents. Panic spread in the United States to the point where we were quarantining everyone who could find Africa on a map and demonizing the selfless healthcare workers risking their lives to stop this terrible disease.

4. When discussing the fact that first female fighter pilot from the United Arab Emirates led the UAE strikes on ISIS, Fox pundits Gutfeld and Bolling hopped in their DeLorean and cruised back to the 1950’s with their inane, sexist comments. First Gutfeld pointed out that once she landed, the pilot couldn’t park the plane because you know, women have a hard time driving because our thinking gets all clogged up in our Fallopian tubes. Then Eric Bolling displayed not only his lack of respect for women in the armed service but also his complete lack of understanding of what airplanes do (fly in the air, not on the ground) by asking if this would be considered “Boobs on the ground.” He later issued a non-apology saying his wife gave him “the look” because she was probably on her period and feeling extra sensitive. But some real men, along with women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, beautifully called the pundits out on their ridiculous reporting.

We’d like to say we think 2015 will feature more fair and balanced reporting but as long as it sells, the 24-hour noose cycle will keep serving it up. In the meantime, we recommend a dose of NPR and a shot of The Daily Show when you actually want to be informed (and entertained) and have minimal exposure to cable news — and then only when you want to be irritated, frightened or enraged. 

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Hat Tips:

TimeThe New YorkerMediaite, Business InsiderThink Progress, Image Credit: Flickr

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