Trying to Understand Media Motivations

I will now try to show the similarities between two ongoing news topics, the Planned Parenthood videos and the County Clerk Kim Davis story, and the differences in their coverage. All that follows is how I imagine the major media outlets and loyal talking point parroters  are approaching both topics as well as their reasoning. There will be snark. Oh yes, there will be snark. Perhaps it’s needed.

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Planned Parenthood: It seems like it would be bad form to report on videos where undercover persons tried to get members of a potentially questionable organization to admit to things in private that they would never say in public, but actually believe. That seems like bad reporting, and we’re not comfortable with that sort of thing.

Kentucky Controversy: Let’s make sure that we use the video where the clerk is getting railroaded bad-cop style by a yelling mob, demanding that she confess to a position she had already publicly proclaimed without all the hubbub, so that she may be seen as unreasonable and a bigot.

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P.P. : This story involves a government funded organization that may be using citizen tax money to do things that most Americans would likely be appalled by and demand an end be put to, if they were aware of the accusations being made and the videos being posted. BUT, that’s much too controversial for us to cover.

K.Y. : This story involves a government official who may be paid with citizen tax money to refuse a service that, on a state-to-state voting basis, most Americans did not think should be recognized, and which ultimately had to be forced into recognition by a Supreme Court that is demographically unrepresentative of its people and nation as a whole. That’s incredibly controversial. Let’s keep a livestream of every single development!

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P.P. : The Center for Medical Progress is attacking the most well-known women’s health organization in the country with a slew of bold and controversial accusations, they’re providing all news outlets and the American public a good headstart on some very inside information, and if we as a highly funded news organization were to pour our resources into some fact checking, personal research, and investigations, we could be responsible for one of the biggest stories of this decade or at least the disproving of one of this generations most well-coordinated, controversial, undercover operations. You know what, though? We’re not really feeling it.

K.Y. : Kim Davis is a no-name, highly conservative clerk — I mean just look at her frumpy, modest clothing and her awful hair! — whom no one knew any background information on before she showed up in that Associated Press footage which showed more of her being yelled at from across a counter than her actual stance on the matter. I mean, that’s not a lot for us to go on. We had to do a good deal of leg work, research into her personal background, and investigating just to get that deliciously juicy tidbit about her three divorces, which became unoriginal content in seconds due to the way every other news outlet spammed its discovery multiple times.

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P.P. : We believe in a woman’s right to choose, and showing these videos might negatively affect women’s consciences by making them feel bad about the actions they are choosing to commit.

K.Y. : This woman has no right to choose in this situation. Her conscience be damned. She should feel bad about herself seeing that she is a terrible, bigoted human being whose actions we disagree with.

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P.P. : We can’t let people think that abortions are all that Planned Parenthood does. That’s not true. It’s really only a small percentage of what they actually do. The rest of what they do is helpful to a lot of people. Removing them for that would be a disservice to the rest of the things that they do.

K.Y. : Everyone knows that the only thing that a county clerk does is issue marriage licenses. That is Kim Davis’s only job, nothing else, and she’s not even doing that! She does no other good to the county. Removing her for this is not even a minor disservice to her role, seeing as her job requires ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE.

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P.P. : Planned Parenthood says that they are innocent of all charges and that their accusers are angry extremists willing to manipulate the TRUTH by adding falsehood or removing true information. Naturally, we have to take their word for it because…well, because they’re the ones being accused. (It makes sense if you don’t think about it.)

K.Y. : Kim Davis, who at worst can only be accused of not doing her job, but certainly not discrimination since she purposefully refused marriage licenses to couples of any and all orientations, is actually a hate-brimmed, bigot extremist. The two gay men leaning over the counter, yelling at her while she uses an even-toned voice, and going out of their way to get a license in Rowan county so that she would be put into a situation where the maintenance of her conscience might land her in jail, they are the persecuted saints. We have been fair and balanced in our presentation of the information about Kim’s divorces, without adding or removing information (as long as you don’t count the fact that she had the three divorces before her conversion to Christianity, that Christianity actually does allow divorce in certain situations, such as adultery, like the extramarital affair we were diligent to note her as having [not that we went into any of the other details of Kim’s divorces], and that we failed to mention how Christianity pivots on that salvation and forgiveness of sinners stuff, which we clearly know nothing about). Besides, Kim Davis may say that she is sincere in her convictions and not out for ill-gotten limelight, but we can’t rightly believe the testimony of the bigot being accused! That’s bad newsmanship (or -womanship. Sorry. I want to be overtly inclusive)!

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Please, let me know if you think I’m off-base.

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