Clooney made a movie last year, The Ides of March, which while full of a lot of the usual lefty rhetoric, was a pretty interesting reflection on how that which matters in politics and public life doesn’t get the attention it deserves and that which does get attention ought not to have mattered in the first place. Clooney picked a bad time to try and reverse this dynamic and get the American media focused on Sudan because of (1) the refusal of the MSM to do the math in the GOP presidential primary race creates an easy-to-cover ratings generator that sucks up lots of broadcast minutes and lines of print, (2) a left winger’s deceit has created a tax-payer subsidized, media-generated scandal involving Apple, and (3) we are in the Mayan calendar NCAA tourney which has destroyed every bracket submitted by everyone in America.
But Clooney’s got a point, a huge one actually. Sudan’s Omar Hassan al-Bashir is a genocidal war criminal who ranks with Qaddafi, Assad and Ahmadinejad on the evil meter. American media would do well to sustain coverage of his killing. Suggestion: Clooney ought to seek out Franklin Graham for a joint presser, as Graham has enormous credibility on Sudan with center-right America and Clooney with center-left America, and both have star power with MSM.
At that presser they might well ask the assembled media to pay attention to the issues that are in doubt and in which enormous numbers of lives are at stake –Sudan and Syria to name two, Iran’s thrust for nukes to name a third and the biggest one of all– and to leave off with the endless pursuit of created drama, like Occupy generally, the Wisconsin recall specifically, and the GOP nomination “drama” especially. It won’t work, except on the margin, but marginal change in MSM focus is a powerful thing.
MSM really has lost the capacity to evaluate seriousness. Folks like John Burns (see the post below) used to be the sort of newsroom force that could compel an editor to pay attention to the stuff that really and truly does matter. Instead we get pictures of Rick Santorum with his shirt off poolside and it dominates a news cycle.
There’s a very good chance that Rick Santorum knows a great deal about Sudan from his long years studying the various Islamist dictatorships while in the Senate. That knowledge doesn’t fit the MSM’s narrative and especially not the snark that passes for reporting on the GOP race (a very striking contrast with the homage that defines the coverage of the president), but it will take a lefty like George to redirect the news coverage. If he really, really wants to do that, he should reach out to the conservatives who know the score in Sudan and have for a long time, and who have been delivering help their for a decade. George Clooney asking Rick Santorum to sit down to talk Sudan –now that would get headlines and press time, but there is probably a limit to what George is willing to do to help the cause.
And as for the GOP race, Romney looks poised to win another big state with lots of voters and lots of delegates. The Chicago Tribune endorsed Romney yesterday which helps with Main Street, Chicagoland suburban voters, and polling has him comfortably ahead in the Land of Lincoln. As NRO’s Robert Costa explains, this won’t do much to impact Newt, and it probably won’t push Rick towards the exits either. A Romney win in Illinois is just more “inevitability data” to be ignored by MSM because they relish the fake battle for the nomination so much.
Jay Cost –of course– explains why Romney hasn’t “locked up” the GOP nomination int he way McCain did, and that is because the rules were changed to prevent such a lock-up, even though the Romney “lock-up” is inevitable.
But each minute the MSM spends on this “constructed” story is another minute it doesn’t spend on the stories of Syria, Iran and yes Sudan. Every walk through every unicorn fantasy of a brokered convention postpones the time when Governor Romney can set up the fall campaign by addressing issues and offering solutions which challenge the president to do other than fill out brackets and host fund raisers.
So George’s inability to get attention for what he knows is a life-or-death issue is just another complaint about the endless media hurricane that blows and blows and blows. Welcome to the world of center-right disdain for Manhattan-Beltway media elites, George. There are ways to beat the bias against real news. If you really and truly want to.