MSM Plays Trivial Pursuit

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All day yesterday, cable news obsessed over Sarah Palin’s SNL appearance dissecting and trisecting.  Pundits on both side of the aisle were rolled our in force to discuss whether the appearance helped or hurt Palin.

CNN Anderson Cooper on his show Anderson 360 engaged in a bit of Palin rehabilitation.  Palin was discussed in a positive spin with the help of three conservative pundits.  In sum, Palin was called the future of the GOP.

Stephen Baldwin even showed up CNN’s Larry King Live as a guest to "analyze" the Palin appearance, since - you know -  Baldwin is such an expert on politics.  (One of the few lines Palin was given to say on SNL, she told Alec Baldwin that she prefered his brother Stephen.)

The gush over the Sarah Palin SNL appearance was dramatically out of proportion to its probably impact.  Twitter comments were running on the meh side.  She was given just a few lines to deliver, and she was stiff for the most part. Yet, the  MSM  relentlessly rehashed her sparse performance.   At one point the camera pointed to her staring off into space.

It’s yet another example of the MSM almost daily focus on trivia and melodrama at the expense of real information.  Every bit of information and event is somehow magnificed and elevated to the level of national importance and the MSM seems to have no powers of discrimination.  From Lipstick on a Pig to Sarah Palin on SNL, there’s a lot of chum in the media waters and MSM sharks just can’t resist.

CNN did something else yesterday.  Based on their own data, they made much of the presidential race tightening, sending their own reporters in a tizzy to explain it.  It’s all about Joe The Plumber, they crowed.  Except, no one in Ohio cares about Plumber Joe.  And now it appears that Indiana is in play.  One poll of likely voters has Obama ahead in that fiercely red state.

One only has to trot over fivethirtyeight.com - the go-to site for data - to see that the race is very complex indeed.  And with so many people with access to so much information, CNN and other cable networks look a little silly and superficial in their analysis.

There is also a kind of chummy, clubby naval gazing.  Palin’s SNL appearance is given a certain amount of weight because she appeared on show, in a studio at Rockefeller Center, with celebrities.  Palin, for her part, seemed to be setting herself up for a slot on "The View."

Humanizing a candidate is all well and good and there’s no question she has a warm and relatable telepresence. 

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