THE BLOG
07/18/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Media Trolls

I was on Jet Blue yesterday and had the time to watch the news -- CNN, ABC, FOX and I can only begin to tell you how much the news folks were nattering about Rev. Jackson's remark about Sen Obama -- talking in shocked or righteous tones about what was said,"I can't even put it on the air!", interviewing this person and that asking loaded questions "Does the Black community...". I'm feeling angry about this use of prime media time because this is a pure media issue creation. Rev. Jackson thought he was off the air and speaking privately when he spoke. He apologized as soon as he realized what had happened. In a world with responsible media this would not have been the top story of the day.

The media is manufacturing its own headline news and I don't like it. I feel manipulated. You are not going to tell me that a whispered comment was the most important thing that happened yesterday. These folks are working to stir up a fight for their own purposes. That is irresponsible and self serving. Worse, this is business as usual in American news. I bet most folks viewing thought this was news because this is what they have become used to. No wonder so many people watch the Daily Show instead of the news or turn to other trusted sources to become informed. Yesterday's coverage of Rev. Jackson's aside sure didn't cause me to understand national or world events better. It was more of a brain twist -- is there a more devious underlying motivation behind this media circus? Are the media trying to manipulate the election? or are they just craven lovers of discord? Hard to say.

I want to propose a new term for news people that are purveyors of negative personal gossip rather than hard news -- Media Trolls. The "reporters" lurk near prime public figures intent upon digging for media gossip that is salacious. The newscasters are seeking the emotional and shocking. Their work lacks the underlying motivation of keeping the public informed about key issues. This used to be the territory of the supermarket tabloids. News outlets that have historically been our serious news providers are now right in there with the tabloids. This is death to democracy.