Did you catch the Sean Hannity interview with Fred Thompson on Hannity and Colmes yesterday? The man is utterly uninteresting, poorly-spoken, and actually a little nervous in the spotlight (not that I was voting for him anyway).
I’ll tell you what I found to be the most annoying aspect of the thing. It was how they billed the interview as “Exclusive First Interview with Fred and Jeri Thompson.” Indeed that’s what they had at the bottom of the screen, in all caps, for nearly the whole interview, for all of us to look at with pride and amazement of Fox’s exclusivity arrangement.
OK, for starters, I have always hated how the news media touts various interviews as being “exclusive.” They say it as though it’s some sort of benefit to us, the audience. But what exclusive really means is, “We did whatever we had to make sure that nobody else gets this interview,” which really — since they have denied anyone else from interviewing the subject — only reduces the information we may consume about him or it.
I’m not saying they shouldn’t try to get exclusives, sure, that makes good sense, but to brag it as this great favor to us that we should celebrate is bullshit since exclusivity only serves the media outlet in question and, in effect, screws us.
Still, it’s the industry norm so, whatever.
But this Fox tag line really bugs. “Exclusive first interview,” is dishonestly redundant. What does it even mean? That he’s not doing any other “first” interviews with anyone else? Of course not, duh! You can only do one first interview. And Thompson’s first interview happened to be with Fox, which should have been billed simply as a, “First interview.”
It’s a total manipulation of language. Because Fox News knew they weren’t going to keep Thompson from doing interviews with other media outlets. He’s a goddamn presidential candidate for crying out loud! Exclusives are usually reserved for one-timers in the news world. You know, a person who survived a plane crash perhaps, or a witness in a high-profile murder case. You can’t do an exclusive on Presidential candidates because they’re jumping at the bit for coverage. They would never agree to it. So Fox called it an “Exclusive first Interview” to make it seem as though they have more juice than they actually do because Fox News is more about licking it’s own balls than legitimately covering the news.