By Eric Seidel, CEO
The Media Trainers®
In a recent post, I made the case for not trying to manipulate the news media. A natural response to that: the coin has two sides. What about media manipulation?
Many contend, often correctly, that reporters have agendas. Certainly, all of them have opinions, but the good ones don’t let those things get in the way of doing their jobs well. But, there are exceptions, of course.
We were treated to a very illustrative example of media agenda and manipulation during the April 15th Tea Parties. Covering the Chicago Tea Party, CNN’s Susan Roesgen made her opinion of the demonstrations quite clear at the beginning of her report. “A party for Obama bashers. I have to say this is not representative of everybody in America…”
After arguing with a dad who was carrying his two year old son, and cutting him short as he tried to answer her questions, seemingly when he was about to say something she did not agree with, Roesgen closed her live stand-up saying, “It’s anti-government, anti-CNN, since this is highly promoted by the right wing conservative network, Fox…”
Her intentions were further demonstrated when she picked out an extreme case when she interviewed some guy claiming President Obama is a fascist. Of course, he could offer nothing to support his claim, but for Roesgen it probably made good TV.
She went out of her way to avoid posters and demonstrators taking both Republicans and Democrats to task. Evidence of Roesgen’s premeditated agenda can be seen on youtube.com in a video provided by foundingbloggers.com. In an off-camera confrontation she had with a woman at the Chicago rally, it was pointed out to Roesgen that she was singling out only the posters and protestors who validated her intentions.
Susan Roesgen’s bias reporting has no place in legitimate media, no more than it does anywhere else where we expect accurate, objective coverage. Hopefully, her management agrees and has reacted to her sad performance.
One interesting sidebar to this: foundingbloggers.com reports that Susan Roesgen twice applied for employment at Fox News, unsuccessfully. If true, could that have been behind her handing of this story?