Monday, March 28, 2005

Lest We Forget Why We Blog, Look to a Red State Newspaper

Lest we forget why we blog, check out this front-page story in Nashville's daily newspaper. This red state Gannet paper is surely vying for the Irrelevancy Award of the 21st Century. In my view, it deserves it. I can remember when I was proud of The Tennessean. Those days are long gone. The mission of this paper (which pretends to be liberal) is not to educate or inform the public; its mission is to entertain. If only that was the paper's worst offense.

Increasingly, The Tennessean seems to be in the business of telling the public what it thinks.

Headline: Few in state see fallout for Frist over Schiavo: Tennesseans say his role in Senate's involvement not politically damaging

Perhaps you might have made the same assumption I made: Oh, they took a poll. Think again.

Or better yet, read the story and count all the Tennesseans who say that Frist will suffer no political fallout. Or, you can count them here and on the fingers of one hand. You can also gauge
the weight of their statements:

1. Brad Todd, a Roane County native and GOP political consultant
"He doesn't see the Schiavo politics having much of a political effect."

2. Randy Button, the head of Tennessee's Democrats
. ."there may not be any political downside . ."

3. Prof. Coleman McGinnis, Tennessee State University, political science

". . McGinnis doubts Frist's intervention will cost him with the voters . ."

4. Prof. John Geer, Vanderbilt University, political science
''I don't think it has any long-term political effect.''

It was bad enough when I read the hard copy; it got really annoying when the headline appeared in my inbox as a google alert. It should come as no surprise when I tell you that this same newspaper practiced a very similar art of deception throughout the entire presidential campaign.