Friday, March 11, 2011

Un-"Evening News"

This week, I tuned back in to the “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric.”  While her wardrobe was questionable, the lack of objectivity was undeniable.
Link to the episode:


This segment covered Thursday’s Congressional hearings on the potential radicalization of America’s Muslim population.  Anchor Katie Couric opened up the package with a generalized statement about how Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., called this hearing to discuss recent terror plots and how they relate to the United States’ Islamic faithful.  Reporter Nancy Cordes then took over, reporting that some Democrats said King was “demonizing an entire religion” with these hearings.  Cordes also stated that King ignored calls for the hearings to be canceled.  She then described the room in which the meeting was held, making note of the new “fiery imagery from 9/11.”  The witnesses are depicted as people who all share King’s exact view on the subject of American Muslim extremism.  Cordes said that Democrats were calling this hearing a blatant abuse of power.  King felt it justified due to the increased number of domestic terror plots from radical Islam.  Cordes ended her report by saying that King thought this to be his “happiest day.”
                This report made King look like a monster who had no knowledge of the first amendment and who wanted to see Muslims expelled from the country.  The mention of how the room had imagery from 9/11 was totally irrelevant to the report, but only served to slam those people who feel it appropriate to use images to remember that horrible day.  However, I will grant Cordes the fact that having pictures of a terrorist attack in a room for hearings on homeland security is somewhat crafty rhetoric.  Furthermore, Cordes just kept making King seem like he was the only one who wanted these hearings.  Other Republicans were there, as were Democrats. As to the Democrats, if they really had a problem, why did they not actually do something rather than just sit and moan like Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas?  Cordes also attacks the witnesses.  This just is not right.  Some of those men have lost family members to Islamic jihad.  They should be looked upon with sympathy, not spite.  This report was typical CBS attacking Republicans.


This story dealt with how the Wisconsin state government used interesting tactics in order to pass labor reform and how protestors are vehemently opposed to said changes.  Couric began this section by discussing how budget battles were being waged across the nation.  She then sent it off to correspondent Cynthia Bowers in Madison, Wis.  Bowers started her report with images of the police and protestors struggling against each other.  She also mentioned that even some members of the state senate were barred entry by the police.  Bowers then explained the tactics used by the Republicans to pass this bill.  They realized that the bill would be unable to pass as written with the language of budgets.  The 14 democrats who fled the state would have to be present for that vote to take place.  Instead, the Republicans changed the wording to be about labor rights and benefits.  Bowers spoke of how the remaining Democrats could only fight against their eventual defeat.  The bill passed.  The reported ended with a threat from Democrats that they would challenge the legality of the bill, questioning the methods by which it was passed.
                Bowers does a good job of keeping things even here.  She does somewhat criticize the Republicans for trying to get their bill passed by any means necessary, but that is their job.  The Democrats obviously did not see the Republicans using the gambit of changing the bill’s language.  I find it interesting that Bowers mentions the clashes between the protestors and police.  Interestingly, police have a union and will probably be impacted just as much by this legislation.  Frankly, this issue is being blown out of proportion.  Only 11.9 percent of workers are actually part of a union*.  The issue of union rights has hit the national stage, but for what reason?  Is the government forgetting the benefit of the whole in order to secure the benefits of a little over a tenth of the working population?    Once again, the media has conflagrated an issue that would have otherwise stayed in a state government into a full-blown national problem.

*  <--Bureau of Labor Statistics Report of Unions

1 comment:

  1. Looking at it the other way, why are the Republicans protecting the 10 percent or less who make so much money? It depends on whose 10 percent is getting gored. I don't believe the media have made too much of it. It's a pretty large crowd of protesters with a pretty close-to-the-center, scary loss facing them -- not the loss of wages and benefits, to which they agreed before Walker took this thing further. Instead it's a loss of the right to have a say in government at all. It smacks of dictatorship, at least on its surface, and needs to be addressed from both sides.