Thursday, May 22, 2008

Obama or The Decemberists?

News Busters, a website devoted to "Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias," is claiming that the 75,000 person crowd that showed up to Portland, Oregon's recent Obama rally were really there to see band The Decemberists open up for him (article here). They conclude that the media has completely dropped the ball on this issue:

"There's nothing wrong with a candidate using celebrity power to draw a crowd, but the media have a responsibility to report their presence. By ignoring the free concert, the Times and other outlets made it appear that 75,000 people were drawn only by Sen. Obama's considerable charisma."

Wait a minute, hasn't everyone in Portland already seen the Decemberists live about a hundred times? How many times have they seen the next president of the United States?

And don't The Decemberists usually play to crowds of about 1,000-2,000, not 75,000? I definitely think getting a popular local band to open up for Obama was a smart move that influenced the decision why some people attended, they got a twofer (two for the price of one), but it's impossible to quantify how much of a draw the band had. Honestly, a bunch of friends and family attended and they all went to see Obama... not one even mentioned The Decemberists or took pictures of them, yet they flooded my email box with pictures of Obama, the crowd, and tales of what Obama said. Who goes to a concert to see the opening band? That's when you're drinking beer in the alley. And the idea that "the media" has a responsibility to cover opening bands for presidential candidate rallies is ridiculously stupid. "Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias" shouldn't mean having a conservative biased instead.

I also think it's funny that "conservatives" (I put that in quotes because today's conservatives aren't true conservatives, while they are socially conservative, no conservative in previous decades would have supported the decision to invade Iraq, growing the federal government to the largest it's been in US history, or growing the debt 3 trillion+ dollars) think the media has a liberal bias, while most liberal people think the media has a conservative bias. As someone that's worked in the media, I can tell you roughly 90% of America's media is owned by about 5 companies that tend to be conservative, but really, for them making money is the bottom line, not politics.

ps- I love the Decemberists by the way and was happy to hear about the band supporting Obama

1 comment:

The Great Melonoma said...

You make a good point. They really put a spin on that for sure. However I don't think Obama is going to be the next president. We'll see what happens.