dishonest stupidity

Now, I realize that the Today Show is not exactly a shining beacon of journalistic integrity. But I was still appalled this morning.

In their whirlwind headline-a-second tour of the news, they covered the Rumsfeld/McGovern showdown (video here). Her summary of what happened was, to my best recollection:

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was interrupted by protesters while giving a speech. A man questioned Rumsfeld and asked why he lied about weapons of mass destruction. Rumsfeld responded, “I did not lie.”

Now, did they mention the part where “a man” was not just one of the hecklers? Did they mention that he was 27-year CIA veteran GeorgeRay McGovern? Did they mention that Rumsfeld lied, again, in his response to McGovern’s questioning, and was then left utterly speechless before moving on to other questions? No, they didn’t.

This is not a matter of “you report, we decide” – they didn’t even report a modicum of facts. Their summary was pretty irresponsible.

Every morning for the last couple of months, Amanda has been leaving the Today Show on in the morning, so it’s what is on when I wake up. I have to say, it’s about one of the dumbest programs I’ve ever seen. I don’t mean “dumb” in the traditional tongue-in-cheek “I disagree with them” sense. I mean that the show’s format itself seems to attempt to convey a pointed aura of stupidity. The fluff stories, the meager, meatless headline news, the celebrity-worship, Katie Couric’s affable “I’m just a dumb girl, durhee” attitude – it’s all just a little too affected.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the Today Show comes off as being different from the idiocy on the rest of network TV, or cable, where the shows are stupid because they are catering to certain key demographics of people that like stupid shit. The Today show comes off as self-consciously and deliberately inane, like their hook is “Look at us, we’re idiots, isn’t that cute?”

Maybe it’s just me – maybe I just don’t watch enough TV.