The Incompetent, Iowa Stubborn News Media, Wasting Our Time and Theirs


I kid you not: I have been waking up with “The Music Man” ditty “Iowa Stubborn” ringing in my head two days running [ “We can be cold as our falling thermometer in December if you ask about our weather in July; And we’re so by God stubborn, we could stand touchin’ noses for a week at a time and never see eye-to-eye….You really ought to give Iowa a try!”] and I am not happy about it. The reason I am suffering from Meredith Willson-itis, of course, is because the network and cable news shows will not shut up about the Iowa caucuses, and have been allowing their endless, pointless, non-informative, inside-baseball, useless analysis of nothing (analyzing polls is the definition of “nothing”) for how long now? A week? A month? Forever?

And yet there is no news! Nothing has happened in Iowa yet that is newsworthy, and there is a fair argument to be made that the caucuses themselves deserve only passing coverage even after the results are in. The Iowa caucus winner almost never wins the Presidency (you would have better odds picking the winner having a chimp pick a name out of a hat), and because of the screwy demographics of the voters and the weird procedure, it isn’t surprising that the result is, or should be, irrelevant. The game, supposedly, is that it isn’t winning that matters, but exceeding or failing to meet “expectations.” Whose expectations? Why, the news media’s, of course!

Reporting on what might happen is not journalism but prophesy, and maybe it would be excusable with a public that is completely versed on world events and is current and informed on everything else going on of significance, but we are not. While the media are blathering on ad infinitum about Rick Santorum’s last minute surge in the polls, and how Newt says he won’t win, and Mitt says he will win, while Rob Paul says he’ll win and Michele Bachmann says she might surprise everyone, most of the public..

  • Doesn’t understand the significance of the power shift in North Korea
  • Isn’t paying attention to the riots in Egypt
  • Hasn’t been briefed on the building popular resistance to Putin in Russia
  • Knows nothing about the rising dissent in China
  • Has no clue what is going on in Syria
  • Only vaguely knows something is amiss in Iran
  • Can’t explain the perils facing Iraq
  • Missed the GAO’s report about the frightening financial obligations the US is incurring in Social Security and Medicare
  • Doesn’t know what Fast and Furious is and why the Justice Department’s mishandling of it and current obfuscations are important
  • Hasn’t heard that a parasite in the Bay area is “turning honeybees into zombie slaves”
  • Doesn’t know that Katy Perry and Russell Brand are getting divorced
  • Don’t know that if they miss seeing “Hugo” in 3D while they can, their life will be incomplete..

I could go on, because literally every single one of these and many more are more useful and important to the average American than what might happen in tonight’s Iowa caucuses. expecially since we’ll be able to find out easily what did happen in Iowa tomorrow, if we give a damn, and there’s little reason why we should. And you know what the apologists for NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox and the rest will say when a media critic slams the broadcast media for not keeping Americans informed enough to be competent participants in democracy? “We don’t have enough time to cover stories in depth”!!!

 A lie.

They do have time.

They just waste their time, and ours, covering nothing at all.



13 thoughts on “The Incompetent, Iowa Stubborn News Media, Wasting Our Time and Theirs

  1. Who IS Katy Perry, anyway?? But you’re right, Jack. The networks are correct in paying attention to the first primary of the season, as it is a preliminary reflection of where the heartland stands. But the rest of the country and the world hasn’t shut down in the process. The irony of this is that a good number of these other events are illustrative of why the GOP primary IS important. A lot of “fluff” journalism could have been dispensed with for more informative and professional reporting.

    • She’s a mediocre pop singer who autotunes everything. And all the coverage would have been helpful if they had actually vetted the candidates.

      • I beg to differ about Katy Perry. She is a professionally trained singer. She started out singing gospel music because she was the daughter of two pastors. She wasn’t allowed to listen to “secular” music when she was young. She took voice lessons for 7 years and studied opera for a short time. She is the first female artist to have 5 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in one year. She is also an accomplished song writer, writing for other artists as well. You may not like her but she is legitimate. I am not a fan but my daughters are. So I hear plenty about her and her work. I know she is getting a divorce and I will not speculate to why.

        But there is plenty of other things on Jack’s list that are more interesting than Katy Perry’s divorce or the Iowa caucases. One thing that is cool though….we don’t have to listen to Bachmann as a “presidential” candidate any longer.

        • I beg to differ, Michael. Susan Boyle is a legitimate songstress. Katy Perry’s prime assets are her face, her body and the fact that she flipped the bird in the face of her family and all her Gospel music fans to pursue the Big Money. That rates as rank illegitimacy in my book.

          “What mattereth it if a man should gain the entire world, but lose his soul?”

  2. I’m not up on the Amy Grant story, so I can’t comment. Elvis didn’t start out as a gospel singer and shift to rock ‘n roll, though. He just took a side track there in his later career. Katy Perry made her sexuality her top selling point. Elvis started as “The Pelvis”, but edged away from that with time.

    • I agree about Susan Boyle. She has a beautiful voice. I am not a fan of Katy, but she hasn’t done anything any worse than other artists. Many didn’t like Elvis early because of his “naughty” hips. At that time it was considered sexual and controversial. He won his only competitive Grammys for gospel music. That was over 10 years after he started his career. She is young. She is also a writer. I don’t foresee her changing but it could happen. You often hear about people becoming born again or returning to their roots. The sad thing about that industry is the idolatry and what it turns people into. Elvis was talented but he became a victim of his success as well. Another point I agree on is the use of the electronics and digital use in recording. I have heard countless musicians angered by this and it has definitely trivialized many truely hard working and talented artists.

      I really could care less about her private life. That is just celebrity gossip. My main disappointment….. is the journalism associated with most current events. Rather than facts, we get poll numbers and opinions. I have to read and watch so much to sift through to get the truth.

      • I’m with you on all counts, Michael. It’s just that I have a particular wild hair about performers who sell out on their fan base for cheap fame and their former principles in the quest for the big payday. Perry cashed in, all right, but she lost what counts the most. The most heartbreaking cases of this is when agents and parents lead child performers down this road. But Katie Perry was an adult and did it to herself.

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