Media melodrama: Push this back

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah “Caribou Barbie” Palin continues her reign of stupidity in American culture by her remarks over the weekend that the president’s health care reform would result in “death panels” to decide who lives or dies.

The ex-leader and failed Republican vice presidential candidate later backed off and asked for “restraint,” perhaps because folks in her own party were calling her contentions “nuts.”

Perhaps what is worse than the moronic expressions and downright silliness coming from those who are basically shills for big corporations who oppose health reform is that national media coverage of it all has received so much play.

If it could be proven that the anger we see each day on TV at townhalls is genuine as opposed to manufactured, or Astroturf, then the overwhelming media coverage would be warranted. But I think enough doubt and enough evidence has been raised that these shouting matches that pass for civic discourse is largely a tactic by big business and the Republican establishment to scare and whip opposition for health reform into a frenzy.

It would seem after being used to gain public support for an unnecessary war in Iraq that the media would get it.

So much of what one sees today in, at least the national media, is political conflict. That seems all that matters to news producers and editors in these national newsrooms. It is like Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz observed in a WP online chat yesterday when he said that the media likes to “keep stirring the pot and reducing everything to melodrama.”

Is the media in such coverage these days reflecting what the public wants to hear or are they molding the message to keep stirring the pot and turning the news into soap opera fodder?

That’s what it all seems like sometimes to me and I wish the media would stop it. And stop it right now! Cover the news, damn it. If I want soap operas I will watch “One Life to Live” or read about the Palin family.

And while you are at it, will you all in the national media and on cable channels quit using the gratuitous use of the word “pushback.” Yes, it is a real word and in most cases the meaning is being used somewhat in a correct fashion. But it is a buzzword and buzzwords get old in a hurry, especially if they aren’t funny.