Herman Cain dropped out of the presidential race and blamed the media for hurting his wife and family. You would think the four or more women accusing him of sexual misconduct would have had something to do with it. Or maybe it was his extreme lack of policy knowledge about Libya, his 9-9-9 plan hurting the poor or possibly his comment about “Uz beki beki beki beki stan stan?”
But no, it’s the media’s fault. Darn news media, reporting what he says and sharing it with the people. The media should know better than that.
On Cain’s website there is a terribly written, typo-laden diatribe calling one of his accusers a “loser.” I would link to it, but it’s so poorly done, I just can’t bring myself to send anybody there. Ol’ Herman is blaming everybody but himself.
I’m not sure when people in this country started blaming the media for everything, but it probably began back about 1690, when the first newspaper, Publick Occurrences, was published. It’s not much of a stretch imagining Cotton Mather telling Foxe Newes, “a wytch made me commit adultery in my heart.”
No, the media shouldn’t be held blameless. But neither should the candidates. Both are fallible, extremely so. Apparently you can have an affair with someone more than a generation younger than you and still be a presidential front-runner, as is the case with Newt Gingrich. As long as you say you did it for the good of the country — as Gingrich claimed with a straight face — everything is forgiven. At the time of that particular dalliance, Newt was busy chasing after President Clinton, who was also having one himself. Ah, the affairs of state.
The news media itself has had some impressive gaffes, ranging from the Dewey Defeats Truman headline, to the more benign MSU Gives Head Job To Williams. Incidentally, I was sitting right next to the older, bespeckled gentleman who typed out that little nugget back in 2000. Boy, do I wish I could’ve clued him in, but I was busy racing against a photo deadline and never saw his page before it went to press.
And that, believe it or don’t, is the biggest problem with the media today. It’s not “gotcha” journalism as Sarah Palin called it, but the lack of resources — both human and otherwise — as newsrooms pop out of existence on a daily basis and the CEOs who “oversee” them, take the money and run. You can’t blame the news media when, in many cases, there is no media to blame.
What about social media? Take the case of our ridiculous mayor here in Troy, Michigan. It was a blog that broke the story of her extremely homophobic comment on facebook. Certainly you can’t blame the media for something our anti-gay mayor actually wrote herself.
In the broadest sense of the word, “media” includes television shows and movies too. Jersey Shore would be considered “the media” as would Harold and Kumar. I am making a choice, right here, right now, to believe that when folks like Herman Cain or Sarah Palin blame the media, they are referring to Snooki and The Situation. Because that’s about as ridiculous as blaming stressed-out, under-paid journalists who are as worried about their jobs disappearing before the holidays as they are about right-wing nut jobs trying to smear their reputations.
If the Republican presidential candidates want to blame the Kardashians for all of America’s woes, that’s fine by me too.