Dog Bites Man, Hannity Supports Bush
by Jonathan Singer, Sun Apr 16, 2006 at 06:41:37 PM EDT
Being America's premier wire service and the largest such organization in the world is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but the Associated Press still functions quite well and reports on important and interesting stories nearly 160 years after its founding. Not every atricle can be a gem, however. For instance, take a look at the lede of a David Bauder story currently on the wires:
Sean Hannity will not abandon ship. President Bush's approval ratings have sunk into the 30s, but Fox News Channel's tenacious conservative isn't wavering in his support, even while parting ways with the president over immigration and the Dubai ports deal.
Is this newsworthy whatsoever? Is it really a surprise that someone who is essentially a parrot for the Bush White House, someone who toes the Republican Party line night in and night out regardless of how ridiculous the talking points of the day might be, would continue to support President Bush?
I understand that Bauder is constrained by the tenets of his medium, primarily that the AP -- perhaps rightly -- tries to separate analytical content from pure reporting. But this is a piece begging for a wider perspective, which could have easily been achieved through a quote from Ken Auletta or someone else of his ilk (save for Howie Kurtz, of course).
The article is sorely lacking a juicy quote from Auletta or another quotable figure well versed in media theory -- and there are quite a few of them out there -- saying something to the effect of "Hannity's continuing and unwavering support of the President, regardless of the clear failure of some of his policies, exemplifies Fox News' role in the Republican noise machine," or "The fact that Sean Hannity backs the President no matter the circumstance indicates that he is less a serious commenter and more a Republican operative who is given airtime by Fox News." If Bauder still can't find a professor of media studies, he can feel free to use one of my quotes instead or one of your comments from the thread below, I'm sure. But without providing even an iota of context to Sean Hannity, Bauder is simply forwarding a press release about his Fox News program, and just how worthy of newsprint is that?