Every now and then, when they aren’t indignantly denying it, mainstream media journalists let their guard down and hand the public smoking gun evidence of their unprofessional, unethical, partisan Democratic Party bias. There’s not much risk anyway: after all, the only ones likely to call them on it are card-carrying members of the conservative media, and they are biased, don’t you know. The hosannas and halleluiahs all over cable news and the web celebrating Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy, however, is pretty hard to spin. This is Clinton worship from the news media, and nothing less, part of the embarrassing effort by uncritical, star-struck liberal reporters and pundits, particularly feminine ones, to ram Hillary Clinton down America’s throat in 2016. There is no excuse or justification for it. None.as. There’s not much risk anyway: after all, the only ones likely to call them on it are card-carrying members of the conservative media, and they are biased, don’t you know.
Do you recall if Amy Carter had any children? How about the two Johnson girls? Does Caroline Kennedy have offspring? The Nixon girls? When Jenna Bush was pregnant, do you recall it being a headline? That’s because the pregnancies, if there were any, of these women were not newsworthy, beyond a “Lifestyle” section line in a gossip or “People and Places” newspaper column. Chelsea Clinton’s sole significance is the identify of her parents, and nothing more. She has no independent significance to American life, welfare or history, and whether she is fecund or barren as a sack of flour makes no difference to the state of the union whatsoever. Her pregnancy is less interesting, objectively speaking, than the unfortunate daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, as at least one of her parents is a genuine artist and the mother’s family’s inexplicable notoriety is a harbinger of the end of civilization as we know it. Chelsea? She’s a nice young woman, apparently. I met her once. She’s done nothing to justify an entry in Who’s Who, much less a headline. Yet yesterday, one would have thought that she was going to be mother of the presumptive King of the Colonies. Candy Crowley cheered! MSNBC was in rhapsody! CNN’s Headline News made it THE headline of the day!
How’s that Malaysian airplane doing?
The choice of what matters to report on and what not to report is the primary method of news and information manipulation, and every second of news broadcast time and print space devoted to Chelsea’s pregnancy keeps more important and useful information from the public. What information? Any information. There is literally no information that could be less newsworthy than the fact that a little Mezvinsky will soon make his or her debut. The only reason to treat this story as news at all is to assist the political aspirations of Chelsea’s mother. Don’t ask me why anyone in their right mind would want to do that, because I have no idea. But that’s what American journalism has become, tragically.
In a column today on the Washington Post site, Alyssa Rosenberg bravely attempts to rationalize the outlandish journalistic excitement over Chelsea’s approaching stork, calling her tortured explanation “Why we root for Chelsea Clinton.” The threshold question is “Who’s “we”?” Her explanation: Chelsea is important because some mean comics and talk show hosts made fun of her when she was an awkward teen, so the fact that she is happy and making her way in the world now is satisfying to all the other former awkward teens out there. Yeah, Alyssa, that must be it: news value based on sweet revenge. “Take that, Rush Limbaugh!”
So, based on this theory, I guess the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s youngest daughter, when it occurs, will be headline news in order to stick it to David Letterman, who famously and churlishly made the little girl the butt of his jibes and refused to apologize. That, of course, 1) will never happen, and 2) shouldn’t, because it would be dumb, unprofessional and juvenile news judgment. It didn’t happen this time, either, in Chelsea’s case. Her pregnancy is news because the mainstream media worships the Clintons, and wants to make Hillary President in any way it can. If pretending that the pregnancy of a relative non-entity is a major news story is going to help achieve that objective, then that’s what it will be.