Thursday, September 17, 2009

What was Maureen Dowd thinking?

What an amazing week for the Nations news media. Talk about a smorgasbord of subject matter to draw from. But probably the biggest news story was the “You Lie” comment from Congressman Joe Wilson during the Presidents televised Health Care reform speech and the subsequent firestorm.

The issue has ginned comments and commentary from both sides but probably none more incendiary than Maureen Dowd’s musings that what she heard in her head was “You Lie Boy”. Of course the comment is not only ridiculous, but her assessment that she knows what is in Mr. Wilson’s heart and head is purely speculative.

Her attempt at mind reading has confused and confounded both her critics and supporters alike. But if you want to fully understand her position consider this claim, consider this:

Everyone in the media is fighting for attention to be seen and heard these days. The incredible growth in the industry, especially with the addition of the internet pundits, has fostered a climate of shear news noise. It’s painfully easy for the Dowd’s of the world to be drowned out and now many of the mainstream reporters are resorting to the outlandish in an attempt at remaining relevant.

And in the case of Maureen Dowd the strategy is working. Every conservative news outlet on the planet is talking about her and the story. She has not only helped keep the story red hot – she has expanded it.

It does not matter if the allegations against Mr. Wilson are true, and obviously they are absolutely un-provable. What does matter is that Maureen Dowd has done something more and more news pundits are resorting to in an attempt to gain the spotlight – that is no longer reporting the news but rather becoming it.

While it would be easy to dismiss the article as mere journalistic prose by someone who is more writer than reporter, doing so is a dangerous and cowardly stance because far too many people in this country take as fact the opinions of anyone in the press.

So it seems that out of desperation an otherwise competent, articulate, intelligent and trusted member of the media has resorted to the same kind of amateurish antics employed by so many fresh off the vine bloggers and tarnished the reputation she has worked so hard to acquire, in a sad attempt to step into whatever piece of the public spotlight she could find. And did so with no regard for journalistic integrity

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