More Media Massaging

If we’re rounding up emerging media narratives for Elections 2K10®©™ it would be remiss of us to ignore other, non-Toronto Sun ones that are beginning to percolate. (And frankly, that one is so predictable as to be non-newsworthy. Corporate elitist anti-progressive screed wrapped in an outraged grassroots populist package. My colleague, Cityslikr’s obsession with Sun columnist Sue-Ann Levy teeters perilously close to an I-hate-her-so-much-that-I-just-might-be-in-love-with-her line that we may be witnesses to a tempestuous journalistic romance in the making.)

How about the Toronto Star’s coverage of candidate Giambrone’s announcement soirée? Hip hip and squeals greet Adam Giambrone from Katie Daubs and Paul Moloney. The title itself underlines the idea of ‘young’. Hip hop music is the kids’ music. Infants squeal. Second sentence in hit that mark with “teenage supporters” squealing. (I’m assuming one of either Daubs or Moloney verified that claim by tracking down the squealers to confirm their age.. their teen age.)

Third sentence, be sure to state Giambrone’s age, 32 which, holy mackerel, that’s young. He wants to be mayor? Fourth sentence use `boyish’ to describe the candidate. His reaction to the overwhelmingly positive response his initial appearance elicited from the crowd? A ‘bashful’ smile. Beautifully used as it not only denotes a certain youthfulness once more but also a hint of girlishness. Nicely done.

Then after a brief stop to report on something Giambrone actually said, it’s back to squealing teenagers, hip hop music and Twittering which is a social networking tool that only the youngsters really understand. Young. Youth. Teenagers. Hip hop. Tweeter. Inexperienced. Inconsequential. Not worthy of serious consideration. Etc., etc. etc.

Now, I was in attendance and recorded the proceedings as I do most dialogue driven interactions (both public and private) in order to sift through them afterwards to discover hidden, subliminal meanings and messages. (Don’t look at me that way! I am an academic. I research!) Replaying Giambrone’s speech, I can hear no squeals from either teenagers or anyone else. There is plenty of cheering, hooping and hollering, yelling. But these are sounds one might expect to hear at a campaign rally especially one where the candidate is announcing that he/she is running for office.

Perhaps the teenage squealers Daubs and Moloney incessantly talked about were not in my vicinity. Perhaps they had been cordoned off, away from the cash bar where I had taken up residence. Or maybe (to borrow some stylistic panache from Sue-Ann Levy) Daubs and Moloney were “editorializing” on the news rather than “reporting” it. That is purely conjecture on my part but at least I’m admitting to it unlike either Ms. Daubs or Mr. Moloney of the Toronto Star.

As for the tales of protestors that both start and end the article? On my way out of the venue, I counted in the neighbourhood of 20-25 of them. That’s not only a number heavily dwarfed by the amount of supporters inside but the protestors were even less numerous than people who were standing in line, waiting to be allowed into the already full house. So, in fact, the protestors were significantly less prominent than the article would have readers believe.

While the Toronto Sun wears its antagonism toward Adam Giambrone on its sleeve, the Star attempts to be much more subtle in its disdain of the man. Either way, both newspapers are advocating rather than reporting. That’s an important factor when readers go about trying to gather information.

Thank you for reading.

submitted by Acaphlegmic