Dick Cheney has been playing the mass media like its his personal bongo drums. He beats on their heads with a consistent (or not) rhythm and they make the noise he wants them to.
The cable networks, MSNBC, CNN, FOX, etc. played Cheney's and Obama's speeches yesterday as if they were of equal weight and importance—a sitting president trying to clean up "the mess" Bush/Cheney let behind and an ex vice-president who was almost non-existent during the previous eight years and is not an elected official or even holds any official position in his party!
Cheney's speech was set up to follow Obama's no matter when Obama made his (Cheney actually complained that Obama was late, thus making Cheney start late, which showed explicitly that Cheney was not making a random speech but was using the media to counter whatever effort the president might be making to unite the country behind his policies).
Even the network news shows last night portrayed Cheney's speech as equally important as the president's.
Does anyone remember Gore's speeches being given this kind of coverage and validity and discussion by the usual "analysts" (like Cheney's daughter, someone we hold dear as an objective analyst!).
Of course not.
Because despite the phony charge that the mass media in this country is "liberal" it has been proven over and over again that they are prey to fears of being called "liberal" by rightwingers and have no principles nor any deep concern for the "truth"—what they are is slaves to easy manipulation by corporate or political forces that threaten their facade of objectivity, so they "balance" all reality with any bogus claim made by rightwing corporate or political powers well schooled by now in how easy it is to get the media to genuflect when they say so.
Gore was giving speeches about one of the most important issues facing this country and the world, but the media virtually ignored him until his documentary won an Academy Award. And they ignored him even more when his speeches criticized some of the Bush/Cheney policies that have since been proven to be not just misguided but disastrous.
But all Cheney has to do is give a speech to a crowd about the size of a decent poetry class (and as far as I could determine made up almost entirely of white males) in which he presents no evidence, no proof, for his assertions, and makes snide comments about our president (during wartime, didn't this same Cheney claim that when Democrats dared to criticize Bush Junior they were "traitors"!) including another of his references to Europe as if our president's being respected there was a sign of weakness (yeah, who wants one of the few places on earth where there is no war and almost no poverty and no one without healthcare and the basic human necessities to admire us!).
Grade F for the entire array of news shows across the free TV and cable spectrum on this one.
[If you want to see what the right thinks of the media, check this out.]