Greg Mitchell on Fox’s ‘Grassrootsy’ Astroturf

Just one highlight in Brad Jacobson’s wide-ranging interview of Editor & Publisher‘s Greg Mitchell (Media Bloodhound, 5/5/09) is Mitchell’s scorn for “media coverage of the anti-tax tea parties”:

Greg Mitchell: Most amazing was that they tended to treat it like protests in the past. There have been national abortion rights protests and immigration rights protests and of course anti-war protests and everything spread out around the country. But never, that I’m aware of, has there ever been protests like this that were essentially promoted by a major news organization, that is Fox, who were actually promoting it, not just saying we’re going to cover this. And so it was almost like the mainstream media was afraid to sort of say, “Look, this is not just grassrootsy or even sponsored by a national organization.” It was also promoted by talk radio and promoted by the leading cable news network, which makes it a completely different thing than local activists who want to speak out. They’re going to a rally to see Glenn Beck. It’s a whole different thing.

Well worth reading, the interview also hits upon coverage of the McCain/Palin ticket, Internet media’s effect on for-profit journalism and Jon Stewart’s “boiling point.” Also listen to any of Mitchell’s CounterSpin appearances–on topics as varied as media presentations of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima, friendly fire-victim Pat Tillman and the New York Times‘ mea culpa for pre-Iraq War misreportage.