Long quote of the day

I don’t ordinary expect particularly insightful political analysis from Mark Halperin, but he’s spot on here (compares OJ coverage to Sherrod coverage:

But the coverage of both sagas — Simpson’s, literally, for years; Sherrod’s for the better part of a week — was insanely overblown. The Sherrod story is a reminder — much like the 2004 assault on John Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — that the old media are often swayed by controversies pushed by the conservative new media. In many quarters of the old media, there is concern about not appearing liberally biased, so stories emanating from the right are given more weight and less scrutiny. Additionally, the conservative new media, particularly Fox News Channel and talk radio, are commercially successful, so the implicit logic followed by old-media decisionmakers is that if something is gaining currency in those precincts, it is a phenomenon that must be given attention. Most dangerously, conservative new media will often produce content that is so provocative and incendiary that the old media find it irresistible.

As far as blame goes, I don’t “blame” Fox too much, it’s like the scorpion and the frog, and we know which Fox news is.  The problem is that the mainstream media knows this and plays along anyway.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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