Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Collecting Talking Heads

James O'Keefe and his merry band of assholes at Project Veritas have one goal, and that's to get every journalist in America who doesn't like Donald Trump fired for bias.  Normally they fall on their faces and have to be disavowed by Republicans, but this time they've apparently been able to actually collect a head: ABC News correspondent David Wright.

ABC News suspended one of its veteran correspondents late Tuesday for unguarded remarks he made in a video by operatives of Project Veritas, the conservative group that records “undercover” footage of mainstream journalists to bolster its accusations of media bias.

The network disciplined David Wright, who reports for ABC’s signature news programs, including “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America” and “Nightline,” several people confirmed late Tuesday.

The choppy, poorly shot video, released Wednesday morning by Project Veritas, captured Wright on what appeared to be a hidden camera, seeming to complain in general terms about political coverage.

“I don’t think we’re terribly interested in voters,” he said, echoing gripes about the superficiality of some aspects of White House and campaign coverage that have been raised by journalists for decades. Also: “Commercial imperative is incompatible with news.”

At one point he says: “We don’t hold him to account. We also don’t give him credit for what things he does do.” In subtitles, Project Veritas indicated that “him” stood for President Trump. He refers to Trump at another point as “the f-----g president.”

Oh, but here's why ABC actually kicked Wright back down to the minor leagues:

But ABC probably was also alarmed at Wright’s criticism of ABC News, which is owned by the Disney Co. At another point, he raises another longstanding critique of ABC News — that it blends news with promotion of Disney-owned movies and TV programs.

“Like now you can’t watch ‘Good Morning America’ without there being a Disney princess or a Marvel Avenger appearing,” he says. “It’s all self-promotional.”

In a statement Wednesday, ABC News said, “Any action that damages our reputation for fairness and impartiality or gives the appearance of compromising it harms ABC News and the individuals involved. David Wright has been suspended, and to avoid any possible appearance of bias, he will be reassigned away from political coverage when he returns.”

The House of Mouse doesn't like things like that, you see.  The real story here is that Wright is correct, ABC does tend to push Marvel, Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars properties an awful lot on its news programs.  It would be ideal if Disney learned from this, but then again, they won't.  And Project Veritas knows now they can hurt the corporate Village news.  They won't back off.

It also means that journalists, reporters, and correspondents are going to be told to mind their manners off the air as well as on it, which is O'Keefe's real goal: to make the press miserable enough that they crack.  Expecting journalists not to have personal opinions is ludicrous, but then again so is the concept of Donald Trump in the White House.

We live in ludicrous times.

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