I was watching the local (NYC) NBC News a few nights ago and the guy who covers sports referred to the USA loss in that recent international soccer competition as "a crushing defeat."
As I understood it, this was the first time a USA team made it to the finals in an international competition and they had defeated the world's best team to get there and were winning the final two to nothing but ended up losing three to two. If that's "crushing defeat" my name's Mickey Mouse.
Meanwhile, you had the usual rightwing influence on national TV news, with that Southern governor who disappeared the other day to visit his mistress in Argentina and lied about it and the affair until caught, and who was one of those condemning Bill Clinton for his indiscretion, something rightwingers said was as much about his lying as his sexual indiscretion, now defending the Southern governor with the idea that if it's "love" as the governor explained, then it's much more excusable than a mere sexual dalliance (!) ignoring the fact that many people convince themselves (and others) lust is love to justify their actions.
But it's an obvious ploy by the right to avoid comparisons between their cheating husbands and Bill.
Then there's the whole Michael Jackson news torrent and all the uncorroborated stuff flying around the networks and cable news about the circumstances of Jackson's death, and life for that matter.
Even news shows I dig, like Rachel Maddow's were addressing the Jackson rumors (though more conscientiously, looking into the veracity of them) (and under a lovely substitute while Maddow took a day off), making them way too prominent.
As is often the case, the places where all this news was handled most reasonably were the Daily Show with John Stewart and The Colbert Report. Stewart gave only a few minutes to the Jackson death, treating the way the media handled the event with the usual sarcastic humor but showing more respect for Jackson and his family by calling for the NY Post to finally stop referring to him as "Jacko" and moving on to news events that warrant our attention so much more.
And as an adjunct to this discussion, did anyone see that HBO documentary SHOUTING FIRE: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech that aired last night? It's heartbreaking to see how much infleunce the rightwingers have on not just the way news is skewed but on the outcome of news stories and their impact on peoples' lives. Heartbreaking.