Best of Show — Our Pick For Alpha Lap Dog Is . . .

We have previously remarked about the competition by elements of the local media for the title  “Alpha Lapdog” in support of the Obama reelection campaign. In the newspaper category we can see from today’s editions of the Quad City Times and the Rock Island Argus that President Obama’s visit to the Village of East Davenport* presented a glorious opportunity for each to prance their stuff.

However amateur judges should well understand that the competition for Best of Show is not an easy one to gauge. One metric we used is the number of column inches devoted to fawning human interest type stuff — call  it the fluff factor —  another is the instant impact or the curb appeal of the front page presentations — call it the pizzazz aspect.  Those are but two possible Best of Show aspects to evaluate.  Another is the uncritical repetition of crowd size and campaign press releases , the “lap it up’ competition.  And of course for the serious nitty gritty types, there is the content of the main articles associated with the visit apart from the “pizzazz” the headline writers add to the story.  That aspect is referred to as the scatology factor. Unfortunately this aspect requires putting your nose to the pages to read the articles.

So then the four criterion for Best of Show in the media lapdog category that we use are “fluff,”  “pizzazz,” “lap it up” and “scatology.’  You will have to borrow a copy of the newspapers to responsibly judge (we would love to see your opinions and analysis). We offer below our humble opinion on the matter but keep in mind this is but one judgment about one show in an ongoing competition.

The Rock Island Argus / Moline Dispatch Receive Today’s Alpha Lap Dog Best of Show Award!

The pizzazz factor of their front page picture combined with the over the top typographical emphasis on the pull quote and the accompanying sub-headline story line really overwhelmed the QC Times’ surprising matter of fact choice of a headline.

The QCT lead in fluff with the entirety of four of the first five pages (apart from advertising) devoted to the Obama visit. The QCT fell in scatology judging, not in quantity, but in purity. The Ed Tibbits article was balanced and that is just not what this competition is about. The QCT editors no doubt tried to make up for it in fluff, what with the Wundram column, but the timeliness of his theme, the Obama’s visit to a sweet shop,  was unfortunate given the first lady’s recent critique of a young female Olympic Gold Medal winning athlete being shown chowing down on a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich.  Four pages is a lot, but the relative purity of the AD turning itself over to quotations from Chairman President Obama was most compelling.

The lap it up factor goes to the AD as well because of the purity aspect, and dearth of competing analysis of Obama’s statements.  The QCT also made the mistake of qualifying the crowd estimate as coming from the Obama campaign.   They did repeat the estimate of three thousand which from our own cursory analysis of the photos would suggest two thousand, but so it goes. The AD story said it was a police estimate, which we doubt, but if so, would suggest it was unstudied.

This entry was posted in MEDIA BIAS. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *