It’s very difficult to not reflect upon the horrific state of media in this country when offering up a reflection on the words from President Obama this evening. So, before getting into tonight’s main event, bare with me.
I tuned in ten to fifteen minutes before Obama was expected to magically appear in front of the press who gathered to ask Obama questions.
I circulated between FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC before I was struck by one of the most vacuous creations ever conceived by a media organization.
The Word Cloud---a cloud of words. A conglomeration of terms and buzzwords that would be heard in Obama’s opening statement on the budget.
I looked on in horror as John King and Wolf Blitzer drooled and ogled at the screen with words like “invest”, “renewed”, “budget”, “jobs”, “foundation”, “prosperity”, etc.
The Word Cloud showed words of different sizes and, as King explained, the larger the word the more often Obama would use it and the smaller the word the less often Obama would use it (for example, CNN told me you would not hear “pessimistic”; I wonder why a press conference meant to garner support for a budget would not use words that might make citizens doubt Obama’s intentions.)
King and Blitzer both giddily talked up the Word Cloud that was before them and said it was the first time this had ever been done before. It was not the first time the media had reduced an important political event to a gadgetry gimmick.
Is it the media’s job to quantify the statements and words of a president or is it the media’s job to qualify a president’s statements and words by questioning and discussing key issues that are manifesting themselves as a result of the flaws in America’s economic structure?
What next CNN? I suppose next press conference I should expect to know how many E’s and A’s are used? I bet you will tell us he won’t be using the letter Z much.
There you have it---A news network one step away from the point where its reporting is more likely to help you prepare for your upcoming Scrabble tournament (especially those with the theme “Recent Obama Press Conferences”) than inform you on our nation’s most pressing issues.
I'm not the only one who reacted to the "Word Cloud" negatively. Linda Milazzo posted "WORD CLOUD - Your Brain on CNN" . She wrote:
Any viewers of cable news, who for even one silly second doubted corporate media's desire to fry the brain of its audience and render it hopelessly confused, need only to have seen tonight's bizarro 'WORD CLOUD" on CNN.
She went on to say:
REAL news isn't fantasy. Real news isn't supplanted images and incomprehensible collages. Real news demands reality delivered factually and comprehensibly. Furthermore, real news doesn't include placing on your schedule hyperbolic megalomaniacs who advance their personal causes - Lou Dobbs being CNN's principal example.
Reporters Were "Zombies" at the Press Conference