Mika Brzezinski's at it again on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", spreading FUD and assisting the administration and the terrorists with her coverage of shoes found with blasting caps in the hollowed out heels. What she fails to also mention which would add a little bit of context to the viewer's understanding of the issue are the news reports citing a report that states airport screeners "failed to spot 70% of the knives, 30% of the guns and 60% of the dummy explosives carried by secret investigators in the months after September 11."
This recent catch, despite how it was hyped, is nothing new and barely 'news'. I'm trying to figure out if it was 'filler' for the show, TV 'hype', or intentional right-wing FUD. Maybe I'm being overly cynical, but either way you slice it the story was poorly done. News should be about getting stories to the viewers with little to no personal bias evident, putting the issue in the correct context, and providing the basic who - where - when - why - and how of the story. Even those basics are woefully missing from so much of the 'news' we see these days in the main stream media.
Newspapers and online news sites do a much better job of covering these basics but there's no good reason that twenty four hour news channels can't do the same if they chose to. I don't want to hear the same old excuse that blames the attention span of the 'average viewer'. That might be partially true, but only because they've been trained that way by the very same institutions that use this as an excuse.
News shouldn't be presented the same way advertising is. Maybe the marketing industry's techniques have been co-opted by the big media owners for news coverage, filtering down to the producers over time but the end result is a shorter attention span of the average viewer and diminishing the end product, which should be news that educates the viewer rather than just entertaining them or lazily parroting the talking points the White House sends out.
It has contributed to the 'dumbing-down' of viewers and to a certain extent contributed to our country being misled into supporting the Iraq quagmire.
[Edited for clarity on 10/27/07 1:15 PM]