UPDATE 10/4: The claim that ESPN provided a canned soundtrack of cheers for Bush, Sr. has been refuted by another Kos diarist.
Who is right?
I don't know.
What I do know is that a free press responds to public interest by checking out stories and reporting them. A propaganda press, having its own agenda, is unresponsive.
BTW, I know that many good reporters don't believe that they are doing agenda-driven reporting. Unfortunately, I have direct experience that there are blinders in place, that editors don't have to tell them what not to see. It's very difficult setting aside the worldview of the corporation one works for to see how something might seem from outside.
Also, thanks to Nezua for pointing out that there was another side to this story. As I commented to him, I haven't seen an official ESPN comment, but would gladly include it if I did.
This was a story I picked up on Ed Schultz and had forgotten about until Avedon
reminded me to read The Daily Kos, where davefromqueens
has the skinny, straight and long:
For several years, ESPN has been manufacturing fake cheers and fake boos for politicians. It's a very simple rule. If you are a Democrat not named Joe Lieberman, ESPN will play a tape of boos previously recorded and insert them into the audio after the Democrat is announced. If you are a Republican and ESPN is expecting boos, ESPN will play a pre-recorded tape of cheers unrelated to the Republican.....
When John Kerry was shown on screen at a Red Sox game in 2004, ESPN played a tape of boos. It was NOT the crowd reaction. I knew the tape was fake by that quick click that transitions from live to pre-recorded. ESPN has done this stunt of playing fake cheers and fake boos time and time again. Last night, during Monday Night Football, ESPN did it again. I heard that same click.It started with right winger Mike Tirico announcing George Bush Sr. to the crowd. Instantaneously you could hear an echo of cheers and not a single boo from the audio. But if you listen carefully to the audio, that audio was not live. ESPN shut off the sound of the Superdome crowd for a few seconds and played this audio of fake cheers. About ten seconds later ESPN had to shut their fake tape off and go to the NFL official on the field for the coin toss. That's when you could hear the REAL crowd noise. The audio on the field was a couple of hundred feet away so ESPN was probably thinking that crowd noise could not be picked up. ESPN was wrong.
As George Bush Sr. was flipping the coin, you could hear a chorus of boos so loud that ESPN had its proverbial hand caught in the cookie jar.
We keep getting told that we have a free press, that our media just call it as they see it.
So... if journalism is so free, why haven't any major media picked up this story?