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Playin’ Games

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A report in the West Coast version of CBS This Morning spoke succinctly on LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling.  Mr. Sterling is accused of making racist comments to his girlfriend, which she allegedly then released to the media.  The content of that conversation isn’t the focus of this blogpost.  The way the report shared a surprise to this viewer, is.

In the report, video from a paparazzo and his cameraman were shown tracking Mr. Sterling down to a restaurant and caught he and his fellow diner as they were leaving.  His fellow diner, according to the report, was his wife.

It was such a quick and passing reference in the CBS This Morning story that you could’ve easily missed it.  But faries don’t conceive, schedule, shoot, voice and edit news stories.  Nothing gets in by accident.

And I’m sure it is well known that Mr. Sterling is married.  But news reports over the last few days have heavily emphasized Mr. Sterling and his girlfriend in audio clips and photographs of them seated side by side at LA Clipper basketball games.

Perhaps it was just in the course of good journalism for CBS to reference another media source trying to get a quote from Mr. Sterling.  Reporters do it all the time.  But to show video of Mr. Sterling and his wife, in the wake of the last paragraph, telegraphs an entirely different message.

I’ve said before how media can be a dark art.  Often, the work it does can be accused of being dual use, like a pharmaceutical plant that can also make chemical weapons. What can innocently seem like one can actually and deliberately be the other.  To parahprase the old Clarol commercials, “Only the reporter knows for sure”.

It’s an example of how a news story and the reporters and outlets that do them can be as innocent as the driven snow, and at the same time, be true wizards of the dark side.

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Written by Interviewer

April 29, 2014 at 21:34

Posted in Scratchpad

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