Monday, September 8, 2008

Post Convention Coverage Relief: The Best Media Ecology Joke, Ever!

It seems clear that, with a few notable exceptions, the mainstream media are going at this election with the same lazy journalistic habits used in previous campaigns. Eric Boehlert at the blog Media Matters explains why mainstream media coverage of both the Democratic and Republican Conventions has given him a headache:

It's impossible to escape the conclusion that journalists for much of the week in Denver weren't informing news consumers about the unfolding event, they were purposefully misinforming people. (Bill and Hill might snub Obama!) Think about where journalism is heading when an entire industry knowingly adopts a false narrative and pushes it for days simply because it likes it; because it gives journalists a good storyline.

Fifteen thousand journalists in Denver and they couldn't even report what actually happened there. Instead, they invented a storyline of their liking. And (surprise!) it was one that demeaned Democrats.

Marshall McLuhan noted that all jokes are grievances. On the Media Ecological premise that the journalists aren't totally to blame, but that, inevitably, political discourse on television will degenerate into entertainment, I invite all Media Ecologists, or would-be Media Ecologists to come grieve with me:

Several students of Media Ecology consult a famous psychic in order to contact Marshall McLuhan and finally get a clear explanation of his writings.

The seer goes into a trance, but says nothing for several minutes.

Losing patience, one of the students cries out, "Dr. McLuhan, are you there? Why won't you speak to us?"

A deep voice replies, "The Medium is the Message!"

Take this joke or its equivalent two times a day and call me in the morning.

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