Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Overheard at Table 3: Ukraine Invasion in the Two Medias

At the gym the other night, I'm on the treadmill and watching the huge panel of screens in front.  There were about twenty, all down the length of the wall.  From each position you could only see about six or seven with any quality.  I didn't have any headphones with me, so for 40 minutes I was watching all of them by their subtitles, which actually proved to be a great equalizer, of sorts.

The stark difference that was most clear was the difference between CNN and Fox News.  CNN was discussing the Russian war in Ukraine, and for the entire span of time, there was detail about Russian troop movements, where they were advancing and where they were bogged down, there was discussing about their targeting of the nuclear facilities, there was a story about a "heroic" boy who walked alone for a day to the Polish border with nothing but his passport and a sandwich (to which I immediately thought, "Central American children do this all the time, but with no passport and no sandwich.")  The coverage seemed clear, concisely stated, thorough.

Fox News, by contrast, was nothing but a barrage of scattershot.  There was one guy before Tucker Carlson, but both seemed to be of the same thread.  The articles were: Joe Biden has been dangling NATO membership for Ukraine for years, Joe Biden has been playing Ukraine for years, Hilary (note they used her first name and not her last) admits that US could be tougher on Putin.  There was also a segment with some former military official discussing Russian troops missteps in Ukraine.  

Also, there was a brief segment about Russian troops finding chemical making facilities in Ukraine.  This seems to be alluding to the Far Right Q-Anon conspiracy that Putin (aided by Trump) is trying to find and destroy secret storehouses in Ukraine where Dr Fauci is making some sort of concoction to rule the world).  It was a brief segment, but interesting to note: it seems as though Fox News keeps throwing stuff out there to see what sticks.  So, if this idea gains traction, they can say they broke the news first, and if the story goes away, they can quietly bury it.

Fox News also caught onto Joy Reid's segment in which she claimed that the world is watching Ukraine because Ukraine is filled with white people.  What saddens me about her stance is that it really does nothing but give more fire to Conservatives to say, "SEE!  They make EVrything about RACE!" ... Fox then went on to mock the Democrats:  "Media Blames Ukraine Invasion on Racism and Trump"

Fox kept saying, "Media" as though they are not "Media" ...bizarre.

Fortunately, both CNN and Fox were separated by Chopped, a cooking competition show, and "Ride Along" with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart.   Chopped was competing with lobster, and Ride Along was right at that hilarious scene in which Hart thinks he's on a 126 in a strip club where two guys are brandishing guns and threatening to shoot, and he (thinking it's not real) keeps taunting them.  That was a very well done piece of cinematography and screenwriting: really builds the tension with a balance of danger and humor.

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