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Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Hyperbolic Media in America is Thoroughly Dishonest

Ted Cruz mercilessly skewered by Seth Meyers 
in amazing late-night interview

Please understand that I am neither Republican nor Democrat, I am not a Ted Cruz fan nor am I a Cruz detractor. My motivation, as it usually is, is to identify what is true, which is not something one can take for granted when watching media reports these days. Hyperbole reigns supreme in the media, especially since the advent of the internet where there is so much competition for attention.

In my own blog posts, I look for more emphatic headlines, otherwise no-one will read my blog. But I have a problem - I am hindered by scruples from headlining something that is not supported in the blog post. Salon.com is not, apparently, so encumbered. For that matter, Zergnet.com and Time.com, which linked to the Salon page, don't seem overly concerned about honesty in headlining either.

Please watch the "skewering" and then we will examine what you just watched.

COLIN GORENSTEIN, Salon
In surprisingly testy interview, late night host grills GOP senator on video of him scaring a 3-year-old girl 

Ted Cruz and Seth Meyers on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" (Credit: NBC)
Last Monday, a video went viral of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx.) yelling at a child at a New Hampshire speech that the world was on fire. The 3-year-old, who appeared to be in the arms of her mother at the time, asked aloud “The world is on fire?!” To which, the senator responded with urgency, “Yes! Your world is on fire!”

Would you seriously consider that "yelling"? If you do your spouse must walk around on egg-shells all day.

Turns out, Cruz’s account of that whole debacle was a bit different. A bit different from what? He joined Seth Meyers — a New Hampshire native, incidentally — on “Late Night” Tuesday to set the record straight.

“In the last 24 hours there have been 50 media stories that say ‘Cruz terrifies little girl’ and by the end of it I was Freddy Krueger and had the finger nails — I mean it was terrible,” Cruz said.

“Now the funny thing is, it’s not true,” Cruz continued. He paraphrased a conversation he had with the daughter’s mother after the fact who, in Cruz’s words, was “so upset” by all these stories. Especially since her daughter didn’t seem to be shaken by the encounter with the finger-wagging Republican. “My daughter was incredibly happy,” he recalls her saying.

The video clip cuts off after Cruz says to the little girl, "Yes, your world is on fire." Consequently, it did not show Cruz's next statement to the girl that, "your Mommy and I are going to put that fire out." Whereupon the girl decided that Cruz was a fireman and the world was not lost.

Meyers quipped that he thought with all the “world is on fire” talk that Cruz might be finally coming around on the topic of global warming. Nope. Cruz, we learn, is still a firm nonbeliever.

The definition of 'skewered' is to 'criticize sharply or ridicule'. Did you hear Seth Meyers ridicule or sharply criticize Cruz? If you did, please let me know where in the video it is because I missed it.

Cruz's position on global warming is a discussion for another day, but Meyers in no way ridiculed him for it. He gave him the opportunity to ridicule himself which he fully took advantage of, but it was his doing not Meyers'. 

So, in summary, I saw nothing that could be described as 'merciless', or 'skewering', or 'testy', nor did I find the interview the least bit 'amazing'. It was entertaining. Meyers was quite humorous, quick-witted, and good-natured. But the media headlines were completely dishonest and completely lacking in journalistic integrity. Such reporting does nothing to improve the near hysterical bi-partisanship in American politics these days.