When to Turn the Cameras Off
One of the big stories in the past 24 hour news cycle has been that of “balloon boy”, the six year old son of an inventor who was thought to be floating in a helium balloon lost in the skies of Colorado. The boy turned out to have been safely hiding in his parent’s attic the entire time that various Colorado rescue officials were trying to find him. Now attention has turned to his parents and particularly his father with a suspicion that the entire event was a hoax to get him publicity.
I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon of those criticizing the young boy’s family. There is a far more odious culprit to talk about this evening. That is the bottom feeding hypocritical media that covered this story. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”, Mika Brzezinski was practically apoplectic over what she considered to be child abuse. To prove her point she and her co-hosts played video tape of the family’s appearances on “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show”, expressing all sorts of outrage that the parents would exploit their child on TV even when he was so sick that he vomited on both shows.
The point that they missed entirely was that the producers and “journalists” involved in both morning interviews couldn’t figure out when enough was enough. On “Good Morning America”, the child named Falcon, excused himself to go to the bathroom and vomit. Diane Sawyer essentially gave the mother “permission” to go see how the boy was. It didn’t occur to anyone at ABC, ok folks, interview over? On NBC’s “Today”, the situation was even worse. Falcon could not even get to the bathroom on time and vomited on camera. As he left the room, Meredith Vieira announced she still had a couple of questions she’d like to ask. No, Meredith, the kid just tossed his breakfast, time for the interview to be over!
One has to wonder if the child started choking on a pretzel on live TV, would the cameras have kept rolling or would some anchor or producer have had the decency to stop the tape. The only solace I got out of watching this episode was seeing the reaction of Newsweek Editor and “Morning Joe” guest Jon Meacham, who called Mika and her crew “meta-enablers”. He basically told them, they make the story worse by covering it.
They’re angry that the father might want media attention but to get ratings, they give him all the attention he craves. Hypocrites and bottom feeders, plain and simple.
Obama Tone Deaf in New Orleans
The optics were bad enough with President Barack Obama doing a quick stop in still devastated New Orleans on his way to a San Francisco fund raiser. But things got worse than just bad optics when a young New Orleans resident, Gabriel Bordenave, asked the President why help to the region was still only trickling in four years after Katrina and nine months into what was supposed to be a fresh perspective administration. (The following video is poor quality but the audio is clear.)
When Bordenave says that the foot dragging he would have expected under Bush was still going on now, Obama responded with a defensive posture, going as far as to say if he could write a check now he would. Not to be put off, Bordenave asked “why not?” Obama’s surprisingly snide response was that there was this little thing called the Constitution that needed to be accounted for.
Excuse me? We are pouring trillions of dollars into current and contemplated programs, most of which I support. So, why is it so hard to get money down to the people who need it in New Orleans? When Obama could have said that he was sorry for the suffering still going on down there, he took a totally defensive stance, going as far as to say folks oppose spending except when the money is spent on them. True, of course. The right place and time to say it? Hell no. To make matters worse, Obama’s next stop was San Francisco where couples would be paying $34,000.00 each for a lousy dinner to raise funds for the DNC to get Democrats elected to various offices. Why don’t we do some campaign finance reform and funnel all that wasted money down to New Orleans so hospitals can get rebuilt?
There is no doubt that some retraction of Obama’s comments is on the way. He so misread the time and place to be defensive and sarcastic that it is mind boggling. My prescription for the President is to take a break from health care and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He needs to find a quiet place in the White House, put his headphones on, and listen to this warning call from The Who:
I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss