In a week the US media devoted to every nuance of the commercial and human tragedy that is Charlie Sheen, the following was said:
“Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it’s real news,” …
“You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads, and the kind of stuff that we do on our news,”…. “Which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners.”
Almost every time I flipped on television last week, there was a deeply angry guy on a running tirade about the conspiracies afoot, the enemies around all corners, and how he alone seemed to understand what was under way. While it’s true that Charlie Sheen sucked up a lot of airtime last week, I’d been watching Glenn Beck, the Fox News host who invoked Hezbollah, socialists, the price of gas, Shariah law,George Soros, Planned Parenthood, and, yes, Charlie Sheen, as he predicted a coming apocalypse.
David Carr at the NYTimes on The Fading Power of Glenn Beck’s Alarms
Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.
Washington Post’s George Will on the Spotlight Chasing GOP Presidential Candidates
Now you know why ye Editor calls this topic the Media Muddle.