Sep
04
2009

Big Media Ponder Source of Right's 'Media Firestorms'

One of the items enumerated in Glenn Greenwald's round-up of "Various Matters" for Salon (9/4/09, ad-viewing required) addresses how NBC's "Chuck Todd this week noted the series of petty scandals the right has been manufacturing and remarked: 'The ability of some conservatives to create media firestorms is still much greater than liberals these days'"–which viewpoint Greenwald calls out as really

reflective of one of the more irritating media syndromes: their tendency to talk about media coverage as though they have nothing to do with it and can't exert any influence over it; media coverage is just something that happens to them. During my interview with Todd a couple of months ago, he said:

Now you're getting–this has always been something that I've been–not to go off on a sidebar here–but I've been waiting for somebody, during the campaign, to ask both candidates. Because both of them, in the general elections, and frankly even during the primary with then Senator Clinton, all said that the Bush administration tried too hard to expand executive powers. And then you would say, which executive powers are you willing to give up? And none of them would actually say which executive powers, because once you're president you don't want to give up any of your powers.

He was "waiting for somebody" to ask the presidential candidates which executives powers they would relinquish. It's as though someone forgot to tell him he works at NBC News. It's very common for media stars to lament how the media covers petty stories or otherwise distorts them–as though someone is forcing them to do it and they have no agency.

Explaining that "if the right is better at 'creating media firestorms,' that's due to what 'the media does," Greenwald goes on to ask, "does anyone ever wonder why the right would be better at that if we had a Liberal Media?"