Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Worst Persons For March 2 2011
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Another day of handing out the laurels of bat guano to the foolish and mischief-making. The top two finishers were so strong that I've decided to skip a weak bronze so as not to detract from their glorious absurdity.

The Silver: Somebody named Joe Bershad, at the largest bad media site extant, the execrable Mediaite. It has been bashed since its inception as another reactionary, right-leaning dog's breakfast that ultimately serves merely as a kind of internet hairpiece to cover its founder's vendettas and personal dislikes.

In point of fact, from day one, Mediaite has been a safe house for morons.

Mr. Bershad addresses the subject of the eject-milk-out-your-nose-funny Fixed News deception last night on The O'Reilly Propaganda Factor (see screen grab at "Snappy Answers" on this site). O'Reilly was debriefing 'reporter' Mike Tobin about the 'violent' protests by liberals and union members in Wisconsin. B-roll marked "Union Protests" was rolled. The video showed guys in summer or at least spring clothing, shoving other guys. A row of palm trees was visible, screen right.

Mr. Bershad actually writes:

While, in the 43-second clip that's being linked to on YouTube, it does look like Fox News lied, but watching the entire segment for context makes it clear that they did not... Taken out of context, these few seconds would seem deceptive. But, if you'd already seen the full segment, you'd recognize what the footage was (besides, this same clip has aired on other Fox News programs like Glenn Beck and been identified as coming from California). Further, the protest footage from Wisconsin is clearly labeled "Madison" as well as date and time stamped, while the "palm tree footage" is labeled "Union Protests." Confusing? Not really, though if one were to simply see the 43-second clip on YouTube, one could reasonably raise their eyebrows. A reminder of the importance of context.

Actually, it's a reminder of the importance of not letting children operate media websites. The writer is arguing that if you already knew that the video wasn't from Wisconsin, why, then, when you saw it, you'd know the video wasn't from Wisconsin! That, Mr. Dimbulb, is the entire point: if I did a segment on O'Reilly's personal life and showed video of hookers, porn stars, and falafels, with the label "Things Men Cheat With," the idea would be to compensate for the fact that there is no such video of O'Reilly nor any video evidence connecting him to those people or things. The "Palm Tree" video was run so it could mitigate against the fact that there has not been violence in the Wisconsin protests.

It is an essential element of propaganda, and Mr. Berstad's piece renders him the most naive of some pretty gullible folks at a site that has been as unsuccessful as understanding how television works as its founder was, or as a pure - albeit not very good - Fox apologist.

He might as well have argued that the video was appropriate because some time in the ancient past - and perhaps with climate change, again in the near future - Wisconsin actually had some palm trees.


But our winners: Half-Governor Sarah Palin. You may have heard, Fixed News self-righteously suspended contributors Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum because their intentions about their possible presidential candidacies are unclear. Murdoch's Bedlam also said that by May 1, each must get out, or their contracts will not be renewed.

One can argue whether this boosts the longshot chances of Mr. Man On Dog and/or The Man Who Impeached Himself, but in so doing you'd be missing the bigger picture.

Fox said nothing about the muddy presidential aspirations of another one of its contributors, Mrs. Palin. An implication of this is: the vision of her as president is too much of a joke for even Fox to take it seriously.

Sarah Palin, today's Worst Person.