Sunday, May 15, 2005


Last night I fell asleep in front of the TV and woke up at 1:30, just as Tucker Carlson's PBS show Unfiltered was beginning. I have to admit up front that I hate Tucker Carlson. It's just pure prejudicial hate based almost entirely upon the way that he looks. His bow-tie-and-mussed-up-hair schtick is very contrived and it makes me sick.


I watched the show. And -- Good lord! -- what a tool!!

For the first half of the show, he had an interview with Ken Tomlinson, chairman of the board for the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, which, by the way, pays almost entirely for Tucker's lame ass show. If I may be permitted to do injustice to the facts here, from what I understand, PBS came under fire for being too one-sided in the so-called liberal direction, so Tucker was one of the items added to the networks offerings to balance things out. And, judging from the interview with Tucker, there was recently some sort of take-out piece about Tomlinson in the New York Times recently, and it didn't make the Bush appointee look to good.

Anyway, it was a god-awful interview. Tucker kept lobbing out softballs peppered with lines like "I think you're a great guy" and "I think what you're doing is great." And they were talking about how Bill Moyers was biased and he pissed ultra-corrupt senator Ted Stevens off for daring to run a story about the evils of ANWR with out giving Stevens and his cronies an appropriate amount of time to spew lies.

And hell, Moyers no doubt is biased, and, hard as it is to imagine, he might be just as much of a tool as pretty-boy Tucker.

Which sort of gets me to my point, in a disjointed, Saturday afternoon sort of way, which is: I seriously don't know what to believe any more. I sure as shit don't believe Tucker, because he's so clearly a suck-up sucking hard on what appears to be a generous Republican titty. I guess I believe Moyers and the like a little bit more, because, being a journalist, I can tell their work begins with at least a nodding respect for reality, as in their reporting actually acknowledges that there's a lot of damn powerless people who are struggling in myriad ways. Right leaning reporting seems to either write off these folks as losers who've gotten what's coming to them or, more often, to simply ignore them altogether.

But, being a reporter, I also have to admit that I know how the game is played, and that nothing's really true; all reporting is, in varying degrees, superficially true. And sometimes the veneer of truth is so thin that it actually is completely untril, even though all the facts check and it passes for true by just about any standard.

Like when I was a reporter at the Pitch. I could most days confidently brag that my stories were truer than those in the Star, mostly because I had more room to work with and could provide more context. Granted, I probably had more small, inconsequential inaccuracies in my stories than, say, Lynn Horsley did. But my stuff was probably closer to the real gritty truth of what was going on than her stenographic tripe.

But then, I leaned pretty heavily on a somewhat limited number of sources. And they were mostly all folks who were outside the winners' loop. And, for the most part, the folks in the winners' loop didn't talk to me (actually, that's not true; I had some pretty solid sources who had breakfast with the mayor and all that happy horseshit).

But, when you get down to it, I was pretty much a tool of the more radical folks, which pretty much suited my readership, and damn sure suited me.

But it still all comes down to, what the hell do you believe? And I guess the de facto answer is: Whoever you want. The media is clearly splitting into this polarized marketplace of ideas, where folks can choose to get their info from places that package it according to how they already see the world. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, though I'm tempted to say it's neither. And I'm not sure it's all that different from the way things used to be, because the so-called unbiased newspapers and network news shows of old were anything but. They were perceived to be, and that's pretty scary. (But then, they also were run differently; they weren't expected to turn as high a profit as they are now, so there were more reporters and more enterprising news reports).

So I guess where I am now is: Screw it. It's all bunk, and I'll pay as little attention as possible, at least until election time. But then, that might just be a spring time thing. When there's wonderful things sprouting out of the ground, who wants to listen to Amy Goodman talk for an hour about how freaking awful the world is? Who wants to slog through a City Hall memo by Lynn? Who wants to watch Tucker suck GOP dick?

Not me.

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