Movie review: Media Malpractice
posted at 8:19 am on February 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
The overwhelming sense that one gets on first viewing John Ziegler’s new documentary, Media Malpractice, is deja vu. I’d call it nostalgia, except John doesn’t relive “Happy Days”, but a constant drumbeat of advocacy for Barack Obama on the part of the media. On top of that, John also documents a blistering, biased attack on Sarah Palin that occasionally veered into the pathological, as well as an ancillary attack on Joe Wurzelbacher, who happened to ask Obama the right question at the exact wrong time.
Happily, or perhaps unhappily, I recalled each incident and attack quite clearly, as I had spent most of the last two years documenting them here at Hot Air or at Captain’s Quarters before that. In that sense, it’s difficult to predict how many eyes Media Malpractice will open. At its premiere last night, the audience comprised mostly conservative activists and writers, the very people who could have quoted chapter and verse from the media Obama hymnal. The compilation of so much material into the span of this documentary may prove very shocking to the people who paid less attention, or who took media reports at face value during the campaign.
John has made this an entertaining trip into the heart of Obama as media creation. It runs a little long for a documentary, and starts off less organized thematically than it ends, with a strong, organized finish — but that may be from the very nature of the widespread effort by the media to run interference for Obama. Skeptics will find openings for criticism, as John casts a wide net; for instance, Palin herself notes that commentators have a place in news media while John focuses heavily on pundits like Chris Matthews and Campbell Brown for criticism. John also uses Saturday Night Live events for both support and criticism, which weakens his argument slightly regarding NBC.
No matter. The sheer weight of the evidence John expertly documents, and the clever and telling juxtaposition of the widely varying treatment Obama and Joe Biden received from the media from Palin will have even the skeptics admitting that John has a point. In fact, John saves his best evidence for last, in two widely-remarked polls showing and confirming that Obama voters were significantly less knowledgeable about politics and the specifics of the election. That is John’s entire point; the media served the nation poorly in one of its most important functions and left an electorate drowning in ignorance. John claims that he bears no ill will towards Barack Obama and hopes he succeeds, but that the media failed — utterly.
The most affecting moments of this documentary come when John shows Palin watching the specific clips he documents in this film, some of them the first time Palin had seen them. When the topic runs to Bristol, Trig, and maternity, Palin is unable to hide her pain, at least momentarily. John has also included in the DVD the entire unedited interview with Sarah Palin, which we did not have time to watch last night.
John told me last night that he will hold showings of the movie in selected cities over the next few weeks. Keep an eye on John’s website for more details, or better yet, buy your own copy now.