Deconstructing modern politics, one shibboleth at a time
About Features The Iran Page Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | March 23, 2010 Artificially Staged with 100% Chance of DemagogueryIt was an unpleasant shock this morning when The Weather Channel – The Weather Channel – broke into its regularly scheduled reporting of, well, “weather,” to take viewers to the Obama signing of the House health care “reform” package.

There is nothing conceivable to make of this programming decision, other than that the TWC executives consider the Obamacare legislation so historic-n-epic that even The Weather Channel, which has no charter to bring viewers such non-weather-related coverage, would be doing its audience a service by getting in on the act.

It’s not like viewers had no other options for watching the ceremony. Just through my cable service, I get 11 other channels on which the signing ceremony was being broadcast. Three of them are NBC Universal properties, which TWC is as well, since the 2008 buyout.

Seriously, why was a domestic political signing ceremony being broadcast on The Weather Channel? I don’t remember that kind of coverage being accorded the political events after 9/11, even though that was arguably a much bigger single episode in America’s national life. A bill signing ceremony has nothing to do with weather. Any connection with weather is tenuous to a degree of absurdity – unlike, for example, TWC focusing on how weather was affecting relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake, or how weather was affecting the post-9/11 recovery and clean-up efforts in Manhattan. Even weather’s effect on a presidential inauguration establishes a connection that meets the common-sense test. Weather does affect such activities, as it does big sporting events and military operations overseas. There’s some “hook” for involving TWC in coverage.

But an indoor signing ceremony in Washington, DC? We’re not, after all, talking about a segment predicting the weather for the signing ceremony. We’re talking about running live coverage of it, on a TV channel where such coverage has no purpose conceivably related to the channel’s charter, as understood by the viewers.

There’s a creepy aspect to this, an aura of programming decisionmakers clobbering the infotrons with political coverage from one particular perspective. Fortunately, NBC is one media outlet among a number of them. We in the public have the requisite knowledge about its ownership (General Electric holds 80% of NBC Universal) to form judgments about how that might affect its editorial perspective. We have experience with NBC properties (NBC, MSNBC) to inform us where its news programming executives and senior editors are coming from. We know that GE has benefited from more than $120 billion in federal bailout money and is positioned to profit from carbon trading under new US laws for which it has been lobbying hard.

So forewarned is forearmed, and all that. Hallelujah for freedom of speech and the press, and for thinking independently and forming our own judgments. Yet the sense of a media giant pushing “themes” on viewers gathers steam. I thought the past week’s commercial blitz with the GE-Reagan Centennial ad was almost miraculously timed to juxtapose in people’s minds their memories of Reagan, and his association with GE, with Obama’s great FDR-ite moment of Progressive political triumph, which the left is playing up for all it’s worth. I was ready to let the impression of the timing go, but then The Weather Channel interrupted its broadcast for live coverage of the bill signing this morning, and the sense of a media theme blitz became too great to ignore.

Frankly, this TWC programming decision was inappropriately political. Since I’m bailing out GE, NBC’s parent company, that’s more than an issue of consumer choice. I’ve already changed the channel, but I shouldn’t have to keep the parent company in operation so it and its subsidiaries can impose wholly-unrelated political themes on weather coverage.

Take back Congress in November.

Cross-posted at Hot Air’s Greenroom.

Posted in Health care, Information, Journalistic bias, Political commentary | Tags: Health care, Media, Obama, The Weather Channel
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Responses
The over exposure of the Obama crowd has been commented on for some time now. As propagandists the O group is also 3rd rate. instead of always leaving the public wanting more, they’ve over saturated the market. Can’t wait for the no popcorn at the movie theaters bit, aught to finally kill off the movie theater business. All Obama, all the time, every where, very, very boring.

By: Orcas 4 Palin on March 23, 2010
at 8:39 pm

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great topic though…

By: azizmoummou on March 24, 2010
at 5:38 pm

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Yeah, the guy is rather full of himself.

By: Emmitt Langley on March 24, 2010
at 5:52 pm

This is not just an issue of which party/opinion gets what coverage, but arguably a part of a bigger issue: TV has a tendency to not understand what is important, and will often choose ceremonies and other nonsense without news-worthiness over more important things. With regard to this particular issue, the signing is uninteresting—we knew that it would take place and it was just a formality. News-worthy items, in contrast, include debates around the reform and the actual vote taking.

An excellent example of this mispriorization is how Olympics and World Championships in e.g. Track & Field are treated: Prize ceremonies are regularly given precedence over the actual competitions.

By: michaeleriksson on March 23, 2010
at 10:04 pm

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“All Obama, all the time, every where, very, very boring”
except…except when he’s meeting with leaders he disapproves such as the Dalai Lama, and today Bibi Netanyahu. No cameras allowed, no welcoming tone. Just boorish, arrogant BHO.

By: mère on March 24, 2010
at 12:02 am

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are there any Americans who do approve of the very boorish, truculent, and second-rate brother that is Bibi Netanyahu?

By: fuster on March 24, 2010
at 12:16 am

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Well we are getting instructed, I guess, as to who we are supposed to respect and who were not supposed to respect by when the photo opts are allowed and not allowed. So far Obama has picked two of my favorites( the Dali and Bibi ). I should send the White House a list of people I’m in favor of so they don’t have to invite them to the White House, that should save the State Dept. a ton of money right there.

By: Orcas 4 Palin on March 24, 2010
at 12:48 am

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Orcas, if you send the list to the Weather Channel and it gets to the White House, that might be interesting….

By: fuster on March 24, 2010
at 1:14 am

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All bow to Obama!

Sigh

Yes, the cult-like worship of the man is a bit much.

By: Tom the Redhunter on March 24, 2010
at 1:27 am

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Did you flip over to the Cartoon Network to see what they were carrying?

By: Thomas Paine on March 24, 2010
at 1:42 am

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Since you don’t like “artificial staging” I’m sure you equally disapproved of another president who landed on on aircraft carrier and declared “Mission Accomplished” a few months into a war that is crippling and bankrupting the country!

By: Jim Hagen on March 24, 2010
at 2:49 am

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How is that relevant to this post in any way, shape, or form?

By: peaches on March 24, 2010
at 6:25 pm

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This comment is ridiculous on so many levels. It’s also irrelevant, but let me at least point out that if the war is “crippling and bankrupting the country!” you must be aghast at the fiscal consequences of ObamaCare.

Landing that jet on the aircraft carrier was a greater accomplishment than anything PBHO has done over the entire course of his life. Unless, that is, you consider crippling and bankrupting the country an accomplishment, in which case PBHO takes the prize.

By: Rodney on March 24, 2010
at 7:14 pm

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All this govt intrusion into our lives and the takeover of what was once in the hands of the private sector and the use (or coercion) of private companies to do what the leadership wanted them to do and attempting to force the citizenry to live their lives in the “proper” manner – wasn’t that what the fascists did in the 40’s?

Is it unreasonable to declare that what Obama & Co are doing is the same thing that the fascists did in the middle of the last century? Minus the violence of course (except for some Black Panther indiscretions here and there).

By: Ritchie Emmons on March 24, 2010
at 3:10 am

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But the fascists of Germany and Italy offered the people a great and usually payoff type temptation if you have sort of slippery morals, world conquest. That’s what I don’t think is a big selling point by Obama’s crowd. It’s getting hard to keep up with the list of all who are now defined as rotten by the Obama left. I must belong to a couple of the sub categories of the rotten and since late November 2008, I even left the Democratic Party for the Republicans. I mean who is interested in supporting a government who thinks entire groups of the middle class are the worst of the worst(for some of the categories check out VDH’s posts on Pajamas Media). I just went on the Reclusive Leftist (the blog owner is a true feminist, I mean a lady who is consistent and honest about her value system). I can respect that type of honesty. The Reclusive Leftist can’t stand this health care bill! It’s like living in the Tower of Babel.

By: Orcas 4 Palin on March 24, 2010
at 3:37 am

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A noticeable resemblance to the early days of Nazi Germany. As Nazi’s took control of the media to advance their message, through half truths and lies. Those who fail to learn their history are condemned to repeat it. Where were the public debates that were promised on CSPAN??? I hope people can remember the socialist Nazi’s who voted for this in November, if Herr Obama hasn’t done away with the right to vote by then.

By: TR on March 24, 2010
at 3:39 am

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Good post.

The Weather Channel? Really? I would have been stunned with that programming decision.

By: slamdunk on March 24, 2010
at 3:48 am

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If you don’t like the message, blame the messenger, right? I have no idea whether or not GWBush’s Mission Accomplished aircraft carrier charade was played out live on the Weather Channel as it was everywhere else, but I bet if it was, you right-wingers would have cheered.

By: ian in hamburg on March 24, 2010
at 8:05 am

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I doubt it, but at least that event was outside so an argument could have been made for it appearing on TWC (although it would have been tenuous at best).

By: peaches on March 24, 2010
at 6:29 pm

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So what’s different about this over-exposure from any other country? UK – Brown/Cameron?Election etc!! I am now resident in Spain. Skye News is available if you want to quickly catch up on UK News. It takes 10 15 minutes for a quick run thro’ of the News, and then …. it repeats it again….and again….and again…by now you know it off by heart. Believe me, your Govt. intrusion has a long way to go to catch up with the UK!!

By: Moranna on March 24, 2010
at 11:19 am

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You bring up and interesting point, and that is, liberals have succeeded at creating a state religion right under our noses.

The religion is secularism.

Their god is a totalitarian government.

Look at how Obama ran for pres…based on Hope, which is a spiritual ideal.

Their government schools do a poor job of educated, but a great job of creating secular humanists. Don’t believe me, look at this fact…gov school attendees are MUCH more likely to hold secularist views than kids FROM THE SAME BACKGROUND who went to private schools or who were homeschooled.

Schools are failing. They’re doing exactly what they were intended to do–create good little liberals who look to the state as if to a god.

By: emmittlangley on March 24, 2010
at 12:44 pm

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So the weather channel’s in on it! Thanks for the heads up.

All these conspiracies to brain wash the public into lying down and accepting a government that wants to help sick people. Dam it. It’s un American.

By: MJohnson on March 24, 2010
at 1:26 pm

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If the government was interested in helping sick people they wouldn’t have prohibited the interstate sale of health insurance.

This is about control.