That Darned Media!
Blame it on the media. When in doubt, blame it on the media. When there is a political campaign crisis, of course, blame it on the media.
If one is a conservative, then it is the fault of the “liberal” media. Conversely, if one is a liberal, blame the “conservative” media.
Instead of blaming it on the media, defeated incumbent Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley took the extraordinary step of barring the media from his election-watch headquarters. He had no comment to the media after his 55-45% defeat by County Attorney Jana Duty. Duty was available to the media all day and all night the day of the primary.
Bradley may be blaming his defeat on the media. There is no way of knowing because he has no comment. “No Comment” is never every acceptable in any circumstance.
The handling of the Michael Morton case was always being thrown in Bradley’s face by his opponent Duty, and by extension, the media. Of course Duty’s ads in the media accenting Morton’s innocence in his wife’s murder due to DNA were also in the media.
That darned media!
And Bradley took media heat in 2010 for when Governor Rick Perry appointed him to head up the Texas Forensic Science Commission. The commission was asked to review evidence that led to the conviction and execution of a Corsicana man in the arson killing of his family. Some have said the conviction was based on “flawed science.”
State Senator Rodney Ellis was critical of Bradley’s response: "It is disconcerting to hear that the Chairman of the Forensic Science Commission would characterize legislators' concern over the use of flawed science to convict Texans as a 'circus sideshow.'” (TexasTribune.com, September 12, 2010)
That darned media! How dare they report emails such as this.
To be fair, County Attorney Duty’s ongoing problems with the Williamson County Commissioners Court also received media attention as did her reprimand by the State Bar of Texas.
That darned media!
Duty isn’t done yet. She still must defeat Democratic Party challenger Ken Crain in the November election. Crain, a Georgetown attorney, was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Little has been heard Mr. Crain so far.
But DA Bradley must want to control the media by not communicating through the media to his constituents. He’ll still be DA for six more months. The news media, after all, are the eyes and ears of the public. Election night, reporters were kept at the curb and left at the curb waiting.
Attacking, avoiding or blaming the media is a common political ploy. Check out former Speaker of the House and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich during the debates in early 2012. Find highlights on You Tube.
This past week, it was Donald Trump’s turn to take on the media again. His recurrent topic: The so-called “birther” movement. On the eve of his Vegas fundraiser with apparent Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Trump again questioned the authenticity of President Obama’s Hawaii certificate of live birth.
"A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate," Trump told CNN of Obama's birth certificate. When CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer told Trump he was "beginning to sound a little ridiculous," Trump responded, "I think you sound ridiculous." (The dailycaller.com, May 29, 2012)
That darned media!
“It’s something that bothers Obama very much,” Trump said. “I tell you, it’s not an issue that he likes talking about, so what he does is uses reverse psychology on people like you so that you report, ‘Oh gee, he’s thrilled with it.’ He does not like that issue because it’s hitting close to home, you know it and he knows it.
“You won’t report it, Wolf, but many people do not think it was authentic,” Trump said. “His mother was not in the hospital. There are many other things that came out and, frankly, if you would report it accurately, I think you’d probably get better ratings than you’re getting, which are pretty small.”
The odd thing about it all is that Donald Trump was using the very medium he insults. And, Trump of course ignores newspaper announcements of the president’s birth repeated often in other media, as well as Mr. Trump’s own investigation which produced no reportable results.
Working in news, one must have thick skin, never taking things personally. Wolf Blitzer’s skin is bound to be quite thick.
And regarding Mr. Trump, he certainly doesn’t avoid that darned media.
© Jim McNabb, 2012
Photo Credit: Erich Schlegel for The Texas Tribune