September 21st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

News media responsible for outbreaks of rude behavior in U.S.?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Ask the president and he'll tell you it's the news media's fault that the country has descended into a screeching, yelling, nasty batch of rudeness and lack of manners.

Serena Williams argues a call by the line judge which led to her disqualification during the Women's Singles Semifinal match of the U.S. Open.

President Obama appeared on five Sunday morning talk shows - which is a lot even by this visible president's standards. The idea was for Mr. Obama to continue selling his health care plan to the American people, which by the way, some Republicans now say is dead.

But during several of these interviews - although President Obama insisted he wasn't doing media-bashing - he seemed to do media bashing.

Right here on CNN, the president called out the three cable news networks, and said the easiest way to get on any of them is to "say something rude and outrageous." He said if people are polite and sensible and don't exaggerate about their opponent, it's harder to get noticed by the press.

President Obama said that instead he'd like to see "all of us reward decency and civility in our political discourse."

The president went on to say news organizations can't get enough of the conflict, calling it "catnip to the media." He says in the 24-hour-news cycle, the extreme elements on both sides get the most attention. And he's right.

Just last week in the Cafferty File, we reported on celebrities from Kanye West to Serena Williams to Congressman Joe Wilson behaving badly; and about what their uncivilized behavior says about the rest of society.

Here’s my question to you: Are the news media responsible for the recent outbreak of rude behavior across America?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Rob from North Carolina writes:
Rude behavior is a choice. There is rudeness everywhere and to assume that the media is somehow responsible for this is insane. I agree it probably doesn't help to show it, especially in role models, but this was a problem before and it will be after. You can't make people care about and respect each other.

Allen from Illinois writes:
The media is not responsible for the crazy people out there. That being said, they do know that being outrageous may get them on TV. All you have to do is watch local news reports to see reporters doing a report on a murder or something. Some nut is usually behind them laughing and smiling while the report is trying to do a serious story. The media is not to blame, but they do help bring the nuts to the forefront.

Cy from Arlington, Virginia writes:
Largely. 24-hour news channels, like yours, have substituted heat for light. All of you would rather show yelling and screaming about nothing than risk someone hitting the remote because facts are boring. In "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" there's a line: "When the truth conflicts with the legend, print the legend". In our day and age when the truth conflicts with red-faced lunatics spewing venom, go with the loonies.

Ron writes:
The president did not mean CNN. I think he meant your competition.

David from Munhall, Pennsylvania writes:
Yes, because that's the only thing you vultures will cover, the more tasteless the better. When's the last time Cafferty had something good to say?

John from Colorado writes:
Serena Williams is still playing tennis, Joe Wilson remains in Congress, and Kanye West continues making big bucks doing his gig. Whatever happened to personal responsibility and real consequences for very bad behavior? The news media are only reporting the facts, and the facts are that these people should all be unemployed, but they aren't.

Filed under: News Media • U.S. Global Image • United States
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Rick in Texas

    Unfortunately sexuality and controversy sell and a number of people know that. If you want to get your “fifteen minutes of fame” just do or say something outlandish and you’re front and center. And let’s be honest here, for the media it is all about ratings and getting the drop on the competitors. Very few media outlets are concerned about anything else.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  2. Karen, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    The news media can be blamed for a lot of the rude behavior across America. Just watch the coverage of news events to see reporters egging on the protesters with inflamatory questions, badgering guests to incite an attitude of "who can yell the loudest or butt in to talk over the comments of the other guests", and making snide remarks to co-hosts inserting their own point of view into a news story. I really long for the days when news was news and not entertainment and when CNN meant Cable News Network and not Cable News Entertainment.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  3. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    News media stopped being about the news and started being all about the money years ago. It's all about ratings. Do I, as a viewer, want to see a tennis star politely give their pre-printed, "Hallmark card", media address and the broadcasters fawn over how nice the person is or do I want to see a Superstar explode on the court in front of millions in a profanity laced verbal assault on someone 1/10th her size? Hmmmm...I think I know which station I will be watching.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  4. Christian

    No Jack, don't blame the news media for the bad behavior of public figures. I guess if that's so, lets blame them for 9/11.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  5. Sherri-Illinois

    The media doesn't start the fire, they just fan the flames that keeps the fire going AND building up in intensity. Stay above it all CNN, you're better than that.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  6. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Watchout Jack, sounds like a job for the newly created Media Czar to oversee that our exercise of freedom of the press is in line with what the administration feels freedom of the press should be. I know he was given a book about the evilness of America as a gift, but maybe Obama needs to get Hugo Chavez off his speed-dial.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  7. Susan from Gettysburg, PA

    Fox News, Rush, etc. are responsible along with the larger entertainment industry that glorifies the rude, the gross and the violent. If that's not what we want, we need to tell them that, or its our fault too.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  8. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, the fact that the media reported these incidents, doesn't mean they are responsible for the behavior of people caught in moments of regrettable behavior. What the media are responsible for though is giving these events more air time than is warranted. When this happens the credibility and intelligence of the media becomes the real issue.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  9. Jim Bailey

    No Jack, the FAKE news media is the debaser of civil discourse in this country...Rush Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and O'reilly and their ilk are the culprits, lot's of money to be made stoking fears with unabashed lies.
    Cripple Creek CO

    September 21, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  10. Donna Wisconsin

    Absolutely!! The media always wants sensational stuff–that's why all we hear is NEGATIVE Stuff! Positive stuff, positive comments aren't wanted. No one has said BOO about the economy getting better since the Pres. started his plans. But it is! Everyone wants to bash the Pres. Healthcare–but no one has an hour show on why we are low on the totem pole for good healthcare compared to the rest of the world! Now I ask–CNN gave full coverage to the Tea Party stuff in Washington. NEVER did they do a full coverage of the ANTI-WAR marches in Washington when Bush was there. Favoritism? HMMMM?

    September 21, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  11. Terry from North Carolina

    The news media is responsible for much more than rude behavior in our society. There is way too much coverage of the negative issues people have a tendency to be depressed and give up after they finish watching the evening news.

    September 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  12. Cameron in SF, CA

    Of course Jack! When you turn on the 5 o'clock news, what are the first few headlines? Murders, sexual assaults and general bad behavior! Media thinks those are the stories we want to hear and think normal, decent behavior is boring. I won't even let my kids watch the news anymore because it's worse than watching an R-rated movie. We've been conditioned to look for the bad/evil in society and glorify it by giving it air-time!

    September 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  13. george

    I don't blame news media any more than I blame any of the medias for given coverage of these incidents, and making celebrity to those who do these acts. That goes for sports coverage, and these supposed to be sportsmen, and sportswomen, and their win at all cost attitudes regardless of the reasons we play the games, and that is for the sport of it. Instead of sportsmanship, we celebrate ignorance. Common sense has gone out the window with the medias, and has been replaced with the "we got it first" attitude, and put it on camera, or in print . Why can't we treat all acts of ignorance, as we do (such as a drunk running onto the field, and then ushered to the exits) are no longer shown, but let a quarterback get nailed by a late hit, or a bad call is made in a tennis match (remember it is a game that has rules), and it is on every talk show, and news cast for the next two weeks. It is more important to do the right thing than it is to look for ratings.....

    September 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  14. Denis Duffy

    They are but a part of the problem. Each and every one of us are to blame.

    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  15. Bob White, Kansas

    Yes, the media (not just "news") is responsible in large part for all the "rude" and "aggressive" behavior in America. That behavior gets attention! We need standards of behavior and meaningful consequences demonstrated in the media. All we get from the media is the highlighting of the personalities and their bad behavior. And that is what is emulated. The consequences for victims are often neither immediate nor highlighted in the media attention. The consequences need to the the important part of the story not merely the acts of rudeness and agression which are perputrated. Same with crime. The media illustrates the wrong things.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  16. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Dear Jack,
    I refuse to blame the media or for that matter the parents of the offenders. If a person behaves like the south end of a north bound horse, well that's their own damn fault. I think it's called "personal" responsibility for a reason, don't you?
    As for Fatmouth Joe of South Carolina, he is not the worst in history. In the British House of Commmons members must stand behind a line maked in the carpet on either side of the chamber. Those lines are exactly two sword lengths and a foot apart. I cannot imagine why.

    Pablo in Arlington Texas

    September 21, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  17. Joanne from Medina

    Yes, to some degree. The media show outbursts of bad behavior over and over ad nauseum. It would be interesting to know how many times Wilson's "you lie" was shown. And this in turn encourages people to do outrageous things for the camera. Instant publicity and fame. And sometimes the media is there to revv it up as was seen in a recent video of Fox News.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  18. Jay in Texas

    No, the media isn't to blame. Parents, who have been brainwashed to believe that corporal discipline like spanking their kids is child abuse, are to blame. Most American children are raised with no respect for others including their parents and their elders. It seems the "Time Out" theory has failed miserably.
    Brownwood, Texas

    September 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  19. ken

    This one is simple. The news media is not responsible for rude behavior, the people who are rude are responsible.
    The right wing talk shows hosts like o reilly, beck, limbaugh, and hannity are paid to be rude. Don't listen to them or try to act like them. That would be a good first start.


    September 21, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  20. Albert K.. L.A, CA

    Jack, Obama is wrong. Blaming our media for what they serve to the American people is as wrong as blaming fast food fry cooks for the garbage they dish out. Consumers are to blame because if they were more demanding of everything they consume we would see less of the Republican race tantrums (feet stomping at town halls and making hateful drawings) and we would be better informed about the true issues in the health care debate. We might ever be healthier and in less need of health care reform.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  21. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    I don't think the media is entirely to blame, the world is full of rude people. The problem comes when cable news plays up the rude behavior over and over and over again. Sensationalism is the norm in all news reporting activity. As a result, much of the rational news barely gets talked about. it doesn't help when the media fails to put anyone one to refute and denounce bad behavior, no matter what that behavior is.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  22. Lou from North Carolina

    It seems that we could "go around" the problem areas. What did it add to our children to see the things they have been seeing recently that showed them how stupid some people can be? Why did we adults need to see it? I think it is time that the media start weighing what they are putting out there for us to HAVE TO WATCH AND HEAR. Why is it important in the true scheme of things?

    September 21, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  23. Andrew

    Simple and short answer to your question is Yes. The news media is responsible for the U.S. rude behavior.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  24. Matt


    I can't believe you would ask this question. Let's take away responsibility for one's behavior one more time. The problem is that no one is held accountable for their actions anymore. It is far easier to blame somone else.


    September 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  25. GWTripp

    That is just an excuse. Rude is as rude does. It is up to the American community at large to hold people accountable for their actions. I don’t have to watch Fox News and I don’t have to tune into other media that airs “non-news” just to increase ratings. I can always write to your blog to voice my concerns, even though you may choose not to include them in your blog—a case that has happened more than I care. That is our right and responsibility as viewers and citizens. That is what makes our country great.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  26. Judi from Reno

    Yes!! When the media gives constant coverage to the radicals in either party, they just extend the exposure time and escalate the arguement and increase the nastiness. This is exactly what the radicals want and the general public does not want. These radicals make their money on being extreme, not on what is best for America. Some of the most rude, obnoxious people are the media.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  27. The Broker.

    It's the whole atmosphere of today. Blood pressure!

    September 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  28. Rich McKinney, Texas

    No, not at all. What the media is responsible for is airing it over and over again. With the lack of any real news to report things like Serena Williams and Joe Wilson give the media something to pontificate about. In reality it changes nothing. Not what happened and not the outcome. It is simple something to fill air time and on a 24 hour a day news channel you have to have something to talk about. That is why your bringing this up once again on your show Jack. Frankly it is getting a little old like both of us.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  29. Carol - Fort Worth Texas

    The media is not responsible for it, but the media is responsible for showing the rudeness over and over. The voices of reason on either side of our political debate have been drowned out by the shrillest ideas whether they are truthful or not. Do we really have to hear about Mr. Obama's birth certificate again? Can we not believe an American hospital records? It's like both sides have dug in and each seems determined to win at all costs, including spouting downright lies and avoiding common sense solutions. I thought democracy required compromise on issues in order to work out the best solutions FOR ALL. Read the book THE DEATH OF CONSERTVATISM and maybe it will open a few eyes to the fact that if we and the media don't change our insular opinions, our country is in trouble.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  30. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    Although the media is not completely responsible for the bad manners the media does play a role by publicizing it. If these adult brats didn't get additional air-time by their antics they would be less likely to do or say some of the things they are. If we ignore them like we would a child having a temper tantrum the behavior would stop soon enough and we could actually return to discussion on the issues instead of dueling sound bites.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  31. Doraine Gordon in Texas

    Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, other right wing radio hosts and some preachers start the ball rolling and the media keeps it up. These people spew hatred and propaganda like it's going out of style. They can incite the nut jobs who listen to them to commit violent acts. Then they sit back and laugh because they got some idiot to do their dirty work. They are all decadent and disgusting and should be ashamed. The idiots who follow them should be ashamed too for being so stupid. Wake up America!!

    September 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  32. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Yes, but some are more responsible than others. Reporters have brought suit against their previous employer for firing them for not broadcasting stories known to be misinformation.

    One "news" organization doesn't let the truth get in the way of a good story. There are other organizations that make every effort to verify what they report. There is good and bad, even in journalism.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  33. Conor in Chicago

    Corporate media benefits from the rude behavior of pundits and the public. Since it is not in their interest for people to think critically and ask deep questions about anything they force a media format that is based on opinion, innuendo, the occasional fact, and a tagline mentality that not only keeps people from thinking, but makes it so the only way to get noticed is to go for shock value.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  34. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    No Jack, ignorant rude people are responsible for the rude behavior, when you see people acting that way you can bet their IQ probably doesn't equal their age.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  35. Theresa - Mississippi

    I agree with the president on this one. The lack of civility in this country is directly related to the media reporting on what they know we will slow down to look at (like a car wreck or tea party) but it hurts us as a nation, dumbs us down and in the long run will make corporate media at best irrelevant and at worst, guilty of promoting the hate spewed by the birthers and gun toting tin foil hat wearers that follow Glenn Beck's every word. Giving credence to the most hateful and afraid people in the country can only lead to violence, and I fear it will lead to violence against the president, but unlike Kennedy in Dallas, everyone with a computer will be able to see how complicit the media is in promoting it.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  36. Sharon

    News Media's fault – no, the media is just reporting the news, specially when people make asses out of themselves. I think most of the rude behavior is because people think they're better than the other person, the "how dare you treat me like that, do you know who I am?" There's no respect anymore – it's all about ME! What can You do for ME!

    Sad to say that this is the world we live in.

    Sharon, Republican in the big liberal state of TAXachusetts where all the dems have their hand out – gimme gimme gimme!

    September 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  37. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    YES. The news media is starting problems just they can report on the outcome of the problem they just started.

    This is not the Edward R Morrow type of reporting that we all deeply miss in this country.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  38. Laura

    No the media isn't responsible for bad behavior..that's always been there and there's no shortage of it but television at one time used to be a filter keeping bad reality away but not any more. Cable TV and satellite brought us reality and for the most part reality ain't pretty.

    Cable news run 24 hours a day and they all compete against each other for the most shocking scandal plagued stories out there. They are only responsible for the endless coverage they give to bad behavior.

    San Angelo, Texas

    September 21, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  39. Dan, Chantilly VA

    Like any other form of television, the news media is a battle for viewership. More viewers means more advertisers means more money. And what stories get the most viewers? Sensationalized soft news topics involving celebrities behaving badly, politicians saying stupid things or just in general, people being idiots. Train wreck television beats intelligent television any day. So I'd put it at a 50/50 split between loss of journalistic integrity in the name of ratings and a loss of societal virtues in the name of entertainment.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  40. Lucy

    Ummmm...partially. These people are narcissists; they are acting like narcissists. I think the news media feeds their ego. Although I know some of you will claim "individual responsibility."
    SF, CA

    September 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  41. Gigi

    Of course they are. We live in the age of reality shows and the cable shows fill the bill to a capital T. Then the supporters of these show wonder why their children, spouses and parents can't behave.


    September 21, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  42. Rick

    Oh, and don't forget the one "the Cambridge Police acted stupidly." The TV cameras should have had the plugs pulled.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  43. Jim S

    I don't think it's so much the news media per se, but radio talk shows like Rush Limbaugh, Shaun Hannity, and Glen Beck's TV shows that appear to be encouraging and inciting violence as well as rude behavior by their listeners. This is a new trend in this country that hides behind freedom of speech and I think it's doing tremendous damage to our country. If it isn't stopped or curbed in some way, bad trouble is headed our way in the streets of this nation. Politics isn't worth what these people are doing.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  44. Richard Green


    Journalism is more than just reporting "he said" "she said". There's an element of truth seeking that must be present in all reporting. That's what is missing. What has taken its place is drama for drama's sake, distraction, promotion, and sensationalism......because news outlets are all owned by huge companies whose goal is higher and higher profits brought about by greater viewership. What other reason is there for the tail [Fox Entertainment News] wagging the dog [ the rest of mainstream news]?

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  45. Andre R. Newcomb

    Pardon my behavior. I forgot. We're supposed to be little girls while we choke on the love.

    Andre R. Newcomb of Sierra Vista, Arizona

    September 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  46. Rob in NC

    Rude behavior is a choice. There is rudeness everywhere and to assume that the media is somehow responsible for this is insane. I agree it probably doesn't help to show it, especially in role models, but this was a problem before and it will be after. You can't make people care about and respect each other, as much as I wish you could.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  47. Dan in Texas

    Yes, indirectly – because everyone knows that the media is more likely to repeatedly air coverage of an unruly event – rather than a civil (boring) one.

    By stilting their coverage to the bad stuff (for ratings) the media makes it look like there is more bad behavior than there really is.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  48. Arlene, Illinois

    Well it must not be me as I don't have that camera right in front
    of me 24/7 so all you talking heads just take a time out and
    go to your room.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  49. Doyle from Canada

    I read & watch media every day.
    I'm polite & considerate.
    I take full responsibility for that.
    Everyone should.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  50. richard a. winkler

    No. The people of this country are evolving into ignorant, insensitive, jerks, starting with the Republicans.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  51. Tim in Texas

    While not responsible for it, bad behavior is, as you say, what gets covered. And it is irresponsible of the media because it portrays a skewed version of what is actually taking place in this country. Look at your coverage of town hall meetings. Again and again, you showed the only the meetings where people were screaming and yelling - and you emphasized only those people. You covered the 'tea parties' but not the quieter rallies and meetings around the country that were taking place in favor of health care reform. So now when the republicans come out and say that American's are angry about a "Government Takeover" of health care, it sounds like they're right - even though every poll out there suggests that the 'public option' is supported by the majority of Americans.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  52. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack, 'if it bleeds, it leads' [??] !!
    Stop showing idiotic behaviour on the 'air' and it will become a nonentity!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  53. Drew Meltz , Boynton Beach Florida

    The fault lies with the masses. The vast majority of people who tune into the reality show based world of television should look in the mirror if they want to find fault and blame for the outbreak of rude behavior in America. Stations may have lowered their ethical standards and bare some responsibility, but they are in the business of ratings and providing a return for their shareholders. We live in a culture that celebrates the individual triumph and sadistically craves a fall from grace story. We need to take a look at our own priorities and reevaluate choices we make on a daily basis. Say no to Anna Nicole Smith and yes to PBS!

    September 21, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  54. bill rupert

    No Jack – This type behavior has been going on forever. Think back when Jimmy Conners told his own mother to "shut up b--" when he played Rod Laver for a winner take all match in Las Vegas. And when he dropped his drawers in match to moon the crowd. And the out bursts of both he and Johnny Mac. during the 70's- Have to admit it was exciting tennis in those days though
    It's just that now-adays it's all over the place with the news outlets. Plus we are just not use to it coming from a female. Actually, I think Serena handled that particular episode with a bit of class and dignity.
    My sense is she a real nice person.

    September 21, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  55. Barbara

    Now Jack, don't take this personally. I do think the media rehashes the "bad" behavior. I like Dr. Phil's description of Kanye West - a narcissist personality who thinks they can do no wrong. Sadly, manners do not exist in today's environment. Adults are rude, therefore their childen are rude. There is absolutely no knowledge of PROTOCOL!! Three words, rude, crude and unattractive. I do think the media could put a damper on it...everyone wants those 15 minutes of fame and if bad behavior gets you there...

    Virginia Beach, VA

    September 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  56. jchildless

    Each human being is responsible for his and her own behavior. When hockey, baseball, and other professional sports teams allowed brawling during the games and local law enforcement agencies looked the other way rather than arresting professional athletes on assault charges, America began a downward trend. Americans feel that ALL venues are open to physical and to verbal attacks and abuse. People are just too lazy to practice self-control. Rude behavior by Americans is the expected norm. Have you tried going to a movie, lately?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  57. judeimo

    The downside of 24-hour cable channels is that they have to fill time, so everything is talked to death. I've given up listening. And rather than get a neutral expert to make comments, the media always calls on polarized opposites, knowing that a fight will ensue. I say corporate America, sponsors of TV shows, stop sponsoring shows that capitalize on incivility–staring with so-called reality shows. I'm 70 years old and have never witnessed people behaving like they do on reality show ads–I don't watch the actual shows. They are encouraged to be mean and nasty. My favorite channel has become the weather channel–they're nice, their news changes constantly, and they have pretty pictures.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  58. Steve, Clifton, VA

    The news Media itself has business plans that are centered around ratings and competition with competitors which subsequently results in getting people to watch and tone in. The media learned long ago that people are drawn to violence; poor behavior; crime. That's what sales. A responsible media would be more balanced and would give equal emphasis on ,if not make it a priority, providing the public with information and education on all aspects of the human experience. The media should stop being so defensive when someone calls them out yet they exploit others who become defensive when the media places them in the spot light for some things that are not so complementary. Can the media do no wrong?

    Clifton, VA

    September 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  59. Annie, Atlanta

    No, we are. But the media is overdoing it. And we’re seeing an incredibly right wing slant, giving tea baggers, town hallers, and the idiot politicians who kiss up to these loons an oversized platform. The media is helping to spread just one side’s propaganda (Fox envy perhaps?) I thought the President was too kind. I can't be.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  60. Jill

    Yes and no. Yes, because the President was right–the best way to get on the news is to be obnoxious. No, because it's what the American people want to see. If people didn't flock to the internet and television every time there was a hint that someone did something rude, the news media would cover it less.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  61. S, Michigan

    No one else is responsible for rude behavior than the people showing the rude behavior! Why is it that in our current society we constantly have to pass the buck for bad behavior to someone or something else instead of taking personal responsibility for the behavior? Sad and pathetic!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  62. Jo Ann/Gulf Shores, AL

    They help fuel bad behavior by showing clips over and over and over and having pundits on their programs that just do a non-stop monolog making sure that they get all they favorite points in. Anchors need to stop them when they will not engage in a dialog or answer question. I am waiting for the day someone has the guts to say to one of the pundits, if you lie again I will not have you on. Probably a cold day in hell before that happens.

    And then of course, we have one network that is non stop over the top critisim of anything Obama and of the Democrats in general.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  63. Alex in Seattle

    The news media is not responsible for an individual's behavior, good or bad. But the media's focus on the sensational certainly may influence an individual's decision to act out in order to get the media's attention and air time. The days of objective journalism died with Uncle Walter.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  64. Mary in Florida

    Although the news media never seems to get enough dirty laundry, I don't feel it is their fault that people act so rude as to get attention.
    More than ever people are saying and doing things the wrong way than they ever did before and they are getting by with it.
    Role models and represenatives are sending a terrible message to our youth. Those that are guilty of this kind of behavior need to be punished more severely than just getting a slap on the wrist.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  65. Sylvain

    TV in general (not only the 24 hour news cycle stations) has always been a tool for trend setting. that's why it's a multi-billion dollar marketing vehicle for businesses all around the world. We emulate movie stars, sports athletes, and even our grumpy news show hosts. Neverheless, our rude behavior originate from somewhere else, which is: Decrease in our quality of education, our poor health care system, our bad selection of government representatives and mostly our self-consumption and greed.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  66. Mike Armstrong TX.

    This was nothing but a matter of mouth malfunktion the media is paid to be there she just screwed up so live in the bed you made.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  67. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    The news media play no small part in stoking the fires of rude behavior with its constant looping of out-of-control people and groups, whether they be town hallers, tea partyers, sports stars, rappers, or people in public service who are expected to at least act as if they know better. Would we be “treated” to all of these theatrics if these “actors” did not expect to see themselves on the evening news? Even toddlers have sense enough not to throw tantrums without an attentive audience. What the media has been serving up as news of late is little more than vaudeville and circus acts. It’s past time we separate the genre and report the news that affects and impacts on the well-being of our nation. “Just the facts [media]… Just the facts.”

    September 21, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  68. Kim - Blair, NE

    Not intetionally responsible, no. However, as has recently been said, those who speak to the public & those who cover the speeches should probably be a little more careful as there are may among us who may not be quite as balanced as we would think. Some of the stuff out there is downright scarey & even those are balanced act differently when scared. I don't watch CNN as much as I used to. I try to tune in to see your segment & that's about it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  69. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

    Pres. Obama should be reminded that the media made him and if he doesn't watch his language, the media can break him. He thinks because he was elected as the "MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD" he can do and say anything he wants, no matter whose feelings he hurts.Someone should tell him the title is only a cliche.

    Perhaps someone should send him Dale Carnegie's book"How to win friends and influence people"

    September 21, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  70. Kelvin in Canada

    Hey Jack, this is particular to some media not all, and it boils down to the uncultured way we have defined our "freedom of"; we now raise arrogant generation who are comfortable at talking back at parents etc, at no expense; this is the trend and it's definitely going to ruin our values.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  71. Tina Tx

    There is no one person to blame. WE are all to blame. We quit teaching manners in school and the kids are saying filth to each other and to their teachers. Teach manners again and we will return to being near civil but don't and we will continue to see the down fall of normalcy.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  72. Kevin in Madison, AL

    I do not think the news media is responsible for the rudeness in today's society. I blame it on the moral decline in the American society. Most of our role models or Icons today are brash, rude , and self absorbed.

    For example look at our wonderful political parties. Both democrats and replublicans.

    BTW... The failing of parents, schools helps in this sort of negative behavior.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  73. Greg, Ontario

    Of coarse not. You are going by the premise that Americans were once civil when frankly you never were. You attack other countries for the worst of reasons, you know nothing of the other cultures around the world and respect nobody unless you have to. You drive like the lines on the road and the traffic lights are there for decorations and the list goes on and on. So to say that the three you mentioned aren't normal Americans is just plain wrong. The rest of the world sees them as typical Americans. When Americans come to Canada they usually end up pointing out to someone how nice we are, how friendly we are. Amazed if a door is held open for them or a driver backs off to let you park or pass. Jack that's a normal, civil way to act and the fact that you notice it means you Americans are not civil. Personally I love you all as neighbors but you guys need to look in a mirror now and then.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  74. Michael in Albuquerque,NM

    I blame it on summer heat and high fructose corn syrup. But some people are just jerks.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  75. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    No. They simply report the antics of people who have seemed to go over the edge lately! I think that the talk radio people have stirred up certain people with so much hate filled rhetoric, that the lunacy is spreading like wildfire. People have absolutely lost their minds lately and I'm afraid it's going to get much worse. People like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck should be held accountable for the crap that they put out over the airways, and first amendment rights should not be used as an excuse for being stupid!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  76. Brian - Trinidad

    Please don't blame the media.Power and Freedom in this country is measured by how badly you can behave and get away with it.The media just reports on who gets away with what.When was the last time the people stood in line to express admiration and support for someone who used power and freedom to help the poor,protect the weak,etc.etc.Never and will never happen.And please don't tell be about that phony baloney Angelina Jolie.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  77. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Jack - there is no need for President Obama to cover for these loud, rude, and obnoxious celebrities - there's an old saying: "If you make your own bed, you've got to sleep in it!" - let's let these disrespectful individuals "sleep in it"!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  78. Author J. DARROLL HALL Indianapolis IN

    Certainly Jack, the Foxy news channel is pouring fuel on this fire, with producers pumping up crowds and directing the actions of the gun-toting, bigoted, out of the closet hood-less clansman, and Insurance company operatives trying to play patriot saints... This situation is a self-writing book I just can't wait to release... Wonder if Michael Steele dancing a jig would make a good cover for the book? I wonder....?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:24 pm |

    The news media, yes, mainly Fox News, Hannity (I betcha Combs is glad he left), Bill O'reilly, and Glenn Beck (aren't you glad you got rid of him CNN, he turned out to be a monster). These people do not have to blame the media, they were going to do what they are doing anyway because Obama is black. They just needed a little instigating from Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  80. william fitzwater

    Blame the babysitter and not the baby so to speak. Those people who are acting the way they are are symptomatic of the way every one else is acting nowadays.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  81. Jane (Minnesota)

    Yes it does! I also wouldn't call them "News channels" either. News used to be reported unbiased & wasn't designd to be a revenue producer – how can a channel be unbiased when they are accepting advertising dollars.

    I prefer to listen to Bill Maher's show on HBO.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  82. Thom Richer

    Partly. However, it is more ego and greed. These athletes and celebs actually believe they are doing something of more value than the rest of us. One plays games and the other play acts. Whoopie ding! They are paid more than they are worth and given media attention for basically doing nothing of worth to humanity. We put them above the law and acceptable social behavior and the media is without a doubt their biggest enabler other than the paying public groupies.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    September 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  83. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    Well you guys do help them get noticed. Although I wouldn’t want the public seeing me on TV ranting about something I can’t change. In all veracity, Americans are sort of to the brink with all of this. Starting with all of the foreclousers at the front end, Then all the bank bailouts. Really Jack, who is going to help the middle class, we end up paying for everything. It is a huge injustice, it does not seem anyone cares to force accounability except the ones doing all of the paying. When are we going to see some arrests? I would like to see some of those at the top end of this doing some federal prison time. And have them pay back the American public.

    Ron K. Temecula Ca

    September 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  84. Dale

    No. Celebrities may be getting too much coverage for what they do and/or say. But, bottom line, is that they are all adults and they should all know how to interact with people on a mature level no matter what the circumstances are. Quite honestly, I am getting very tired of watching these people throw their tantrums and acting like spoiled little kids.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  85. Donald in CA

    Rude behavior gets you on cable news. Just look at all the yahoos that made it on cable news by acting ugly. The negative stuff always out weigh the positive stuff. Remember, other countries are watching this mess.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  86. William Courtland

    Where is moral education for little girls?

    I grew up with the valor and just intent of Transformers, gummie bears, ducktales, G.I.Joe, Superman, and Spiderman, Knight Rider, and Star Trek: what did little girls have to look up to: where do they get such moral teaching? Teen Idol magazine... Nope they just eventually fall into television soap-opera drama: and reflect that non-sense in public affair.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  87. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    No, Jack, we can not use the media as a scapegoat here, we must take responsibility for not being civil with our families, friends, neighbors, fellow drivers, etc. There are a lot of angry people out there who are incredibly rude. God help us, if we continue along this path.

    Thank you, Jack for a great question.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  88. willie

    Hell,everybody blows off a little steam.Excuse me did i say hell.See what you made me do.You either square or you don"t

    September 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  89. Shawanda

    I think so alot of people see whats happen on the news example town hall meetings and it makes them mad and they take it out on other people like what kanye did to taylor swift

    September 21, 2009 at 4:35 pm |

    Yes. The squeaky wheel gets the grease and your the greaser.
    Words cannot travel in a vacumn. They need a media and thats where you come in Jack.
    In all due fairness,media only plays a certain percentage of the role in getting these idiots like Serena Williams to spill the puke from her mouth. We the listeners are the other part to blame.
    I say its a good thing. We should see the true colors of these so called "professional celebs so we can weed them away from our children. That woman belongs in a straight jacket.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  91. jerry

    I think media and government are the two main reason for loud, rude behavior. The media stopped doing their job of "just the facts" news years ago and has not gotten any better. Until a conservative and a liberal can listen to the same news report and not know the leanings of the reporter this will not change. And Government, these career politicians from both parties are not there for America, just party and themselves. Who can blame anyone for screaming to be heard?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  92. Carol Auburndale, Florida

    Jack, No it is not the media causing all this rude behavior, it is the lack of discipline in our homes and schools. Parents can't discipline their children or they go to jail, schools can't discipline students or they go to jail and we wonder why this type of behavior goes on? If I had acted like some of these people my parents would have made sure I didn't sit down for awhile or had a few loose teeth.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  93. Doug - Dallas, TX

    I believe the news media is responsible for perpetuating it. The media has educated the public that the more outrageous the behavior, the more coverage it will get because with 24 hour news cycles you got to talk about something.

    The problem is there is no punishment for behaving badly. Joe Wilson raised over a million dollars in 4 days because of his rudeness. Serena Williams had to pay a $10,000 fine for her #$&*^% outburst; she made more than that before she got home that night. Nothing happened to Kanye West other than everyone said poor Taylor Swift who, by the way, acted with total class throughout. When the consequences are you get rewarded for bad behavior, there is no incentive to stop it. The media didn't cause it but they are not doing anything to stop it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  94. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Jack, how many people would make a video of themselves being rude and crude if they weren't sure that some "news" organization would pick up their video and show it on the 6-o'clock news (or the next "breaking news" segment? How many people are influenced by the Rush Limbaughs of AM radio, who wouldn't have much of an audience if cable TV didn't air the rants of the radio cowboys?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  95. Infantryman, MN

    Saying the media is responsible for this behavior is a close parallel to those that say rappers are responsible for violence among youth. There was already little in store for most of those inner city youth long before they ever heard that rap music. The sad thing is we often can't discuss these issues because people come to the table with their minds made up. We as a culture have become less interested and open to the other side of an idea. This is apparent in every aspect of left and right polarizing politics. When in reality if we just came together and listened to one another we'd see we all wanted a lot of the same things. Who's responsible? I know I've done my share of not listening, have you?

    September 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  96. moe highland village tx

    It's not the news media as much as the rude politicians that are inciting the bad attitudes of the people....rude people need to be spanked. Vote 'em all out of office or impeach them....

    September 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  97. Doris/St Louis

    That is ridiculous, rude behavior has been around long before the news media, however the new media is quite selective in it's reporting.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  98. Rudy Baron Irvington, NY

    Puhhleaze. the news media responsible for our rude behavior? What are we going to do, blame Bill O'Reilly for calling everyone an idiot? Many Americans have a natural tendency to be nasty, we just don't see it that often. And now what, because Joe Wilson, Serena Williams, and Kanye West behaved boorishly it's suddenly an epidemic? There are just too many people that act as if they were born with entitled impunity and too many of us who look at it and think it's OK. It's not and we should just not accept it. PERIOD. The media doesn't have anything to do with it. It's the fact that we, socially, reward it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  99. William Courtland

    It is just the reflection of how children are brought up.

    65% of marriages in the West dissolve less than twenty years after the oath till death is made.

    85% of Fathers do not see their children but for maybe 4 hours of face time a week.

    More than 70% of Mothers are found at work and not able to regularly attend their childrens upbringing and moral center.

    Children learn morality from two places: media and environment: in school the laws are different: it is not a democracy and innocence is worthless. From media... Boys watch cartoons and play videogames into their twenties: the sci-fi and other programming is based on the eternal struggles of good verses evil and the regular moral intent of such characters champions: figures created in film which are larger than life: and have characters which are ni-impossible in reality and situation. As boys want a new bike: or some other play thing: girls want clothes: or a cell phone: girls want to twitter to jitter about boys: to them sexual relations are important at age seven: to a boy such things are not important until maturity in the early teens. Girls do not have the social programming required to facilitate an equal level of cultural morality due to the lack of imprinted ideals and universal truths. School is designed to teach a female to be equal to a boy: while a boy is forced to fall down to that level when it comes to preparing for a working world: and this makes humanity suffer in a egalatarrian format of society engineering in the education system: denying males the required instruction to find and conduct real work: often beginning before social education ends.

    Girls get social teachings: it is just underground society where men are concerned: almost occult like...

    September 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  100. monica von berndt

    Jerome Idaho No I don't think the news media is responsible most of the news channals are reporting without bias or prejudice and are commited to the real news weather it be a politicion who can't controll his nastiness or a drunk punk who don't know when to stop. I think the polticions have a real effect on the atmosphere of this country and the way some treated others during the election and know are saying its ok to be disrespectful to say the least of others, then there are those who are making millions every year by disguising lies and inticing hate and getting away with this because they are going under the mask of reporting news when this is halted maybe the anger will diminish

    September 21, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  101. Darryl Smith


    It depends. When cameras and microphones are constantly stuck in your face, I'm not sure any of us could get by without doing or saying something we might later regret. In certain situations during a heat of the moment situation, some media members enjoy fanning the flames. That said, Kanye West, Serena Williams and Joe Wilson were out of line and it had nothing to do with the media.


    September 21, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  102. Johnny Groves

    I do believe that you the President has a point. Anyone you talk to will say that bad news spreads faster than good news. The problem is that when the media report's things to millions of viewers that can be proven to be untrue. Unfortunately; to many people don't take the time to decifer what's fact or what's fiction. The end result is people exercising their right to bear arms at a healthcare townhall instead of a NRA convention.

    Johnny Groves,
    Anderson, SC

    September 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  103. T. G. from the virgin islands

    In a way, yes. Although they are some news outlets that at least try to br fair and balanced, they are some who will put more emphasis on bad news in order to sell papers and get big ratings, which means big money.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  104. Chad from Los Angeles

    When the so-called "news" networks convey the idiots at these town hall meetings and events as somehow even remotely representing the country as a whole, it is extremely irresponsible.

    CNN, MSNBC, and FOX (GOP) news should report these outcasts, but only as often as they report conspiracy theorists stories, such as a bigfoot sighting or Rush Limbaugh eating a salad!

    September 21, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  105. Wm in PA

    Yes, but not so much in the direct way of giving "fame" to the rudest. The content of our media is designed to attract the eyes and ears of the public so the Advertising Departments can charge more for ad air time. The news departments were supported in the past and had some values and morals but that was in the Edward R Murrow days. Long gone, now we have to show a profit from the news. Hence Octo-mom and the screaming U. S. Congressmen. He got you on that one, millions of dollars worth of free air time and he has the contributions to prove it.

    September 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  106. D.J.Lauter

    Television and movies in general have turned this country violent with their violent stories and graphic display of victims, dead and alive. The media just reports the crime and bad behavior. People are conditioned to accept violence. I'm glad I was born when people were civil to each other.
    Ojai, California

    September 21, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  107. a.c. of La.

    Jack.....It is true, the media like to be first, and they like the scoop, so rude, outragious,crude, brutal, lude, behavior, is all rewarded , by being constantly repeated, until we turn off or tune out......it should be required that all media do some positive uplifting stories along with this other crap.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  108. John, Fort Collins, CO

    Serena Williams is still playing tennis, Joe Wilson remains in congress, and Kanye West continues making big bucks doing his gig. Whatever happened to personal responsibility and real consequences for very bad behavior? The news media is only reporting the facts, and the facts are that these people should all be unemployed, but they aren't.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  109. ed in ri

    You have asked an impossible question to answer. There is no news media today; be it, newspapers, network, or cable. This countrys news audience has been so "dumbed-down", that any social event will be promoted to gain the biggest TV ratings. Fox, is a good example.
    The only real-time news available today, is on the internet; any other information to the consumer is pure propaganda! How long will the internet access survive, in lieu of current congressional ideas about changing the rules about the internet?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  110. Greg

    Malcontent Media Culture suffers Meltdown tries to create own reality and becomes destructive and irrelevant

    September 21, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  111. R Wendel

    Absolutely, because our current media is committed as much to making the story as to passively covering it. There could be a crowd of 10,000 at an event behaving properly and civilly but the media will hone in on the 1 person yelling out or carrying an assault rifle and looping it over and over and over. Sports coverage long ago made a point of NOT showing the one idiot who runs out onto the field because they are there to cover the game. Guess what? Incidents of such childish behavior have almost disappeared. Take the hint, news people... and while we're at it, can you all cut your number of talking heads in half? I'd much prefer 46 minutes of Wolf Blizter telling me the facts to 14 minutes of Wolf then 32 minutes of talking heads giving me their "informed" opinions!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  112. Chad from Los Angeles

    Yes, for every story showing a yelling hooligan claiming Obama is this or that, they should have a story about how due to Bush Regime policy, another person died due to lack of Health coverage.

    How can the GOP support pro-life for one issue (birth of a child), and support pro-wealth for issues of health care?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  113. Greg

    Since the election the media have become a very sad disaster for the United States. They are mostly lazy and void of any real journalism or reporting . When you see a true journalistic piece, that the hidden producers allow, you recognize it immediately because it truly gives you a more genuine understanding of Health care.

    The media interview each other and create phony “bombshells” and everything is “breaking news”. You are malcontent, caricatures of yourselves.

    Everything is angry, everything is adversarial, even the smaller things are exaggerated and fabricated to be sensational. Example: "Obama pulls out of public option" You listen to the full context of the interviews and they said no such thing.

    So much for the illusions and excesses you create with, “30 second sound bites”, “fighting political strategists”, “news reader eye candy”, “the phony one hour news cycle” and “following the blood”.

    Media’s performance grade is “F”, their poll number is 10% and that 10% are carrying guns.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  114. Clay

    The news media, especially FOX, is definitly responsible for the proliferation of images of outrageous behavior. In a country of 300 million some odd people, what do we see every single day on the news: Obama in white face, Obama as Hitler, Obama as a witch doctor. The news media focuses on the worst of the worst to the point that it becomes the norm for most viewers. So answer your own question, Jack: Is the media responsbile for this perception? You bet.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  115. Susan in Louisiana

    No, this is a grassroots campaign and I think it began on the internet

    September 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  116. Patricia

    Of course he's right that the media makes it more acceptable to blurt out ignorant remarks. The more acceptable it is, the more it happens. Ultimately the individuals who are making the remarks are responsible, but the media stimulates and normalizes it.


    September 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  117. Charles Culbertson

    The news media are not responsible for rude behavior, they are responsible for IRRESPONSIBLY FOCUSING ON IT !!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  118. Karl from SF, CA

    When the ill-mannered see how easy it is to get attention that is repeated endlessly and overly discussed by everyone, they want a piece of the action and act out their stupidity. It seems to me that the real news stories get an occasional mention between the overreaction to some moron who should have been ignored.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  119. Durran

    the president is exactly right. The media reports of the most extremes. For instance, there were thousand of town halls that had rational discussion about the healthcare and other Washington subjects. And the what did the media show....All the crazies.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  120. Terry Smith

    The media certainly has a lot to do with it. It allows what was once intelligent debate to now become a shouting match with all the participants screaming at once. So why would we expect anything less.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  121. Bob Watts

    Sorry Jack, Obama is correct! If all media stopped given these loud mouth liars 15 minutes of fame their behavior would soon fade into never never land. Let's be honest here Jack, the media wants rating and as Obama said do and/or say something that should not be on the news and it will. The news Does Not have a responsiblilty to broadcast unresponsible behavior.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  122. Eric

    Yes, the POTUS is exactly right.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  123. Ken in NC

    I beg to differ with President Obama on this issue of the media being the problem. The reason celebrities and other adults today react in the manner they do is because they have been given a signal that it is OK to do and their parents have not made it clear to them that it is not ok. When anger raises it’s ugly head within me, just before I explode I can hear my mom that passed in 1967 calling me by my name and of course when mom calls, you listen.

    That’s the difference.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  124. Kevin

    No, the media is not "responsible" for the outbreaks. The media is absolutely for fanning the flames. Please stop.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  125. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    Of course it is your fault!!!:>)

    Seroiusly, with the 24 hour effect of media use such as the internet and all twitters...and so on...people communicate more all the time...I prefer to take more time to think about what will I say! In french there is an expression tourne ta langue sept fois avant de parler...bad translation...turn your tongue seven times before speaking...which we do not see yet happening through the web and the new social networkings!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  126. Charles

    No, rude behavior is a symptom of the declining morals and values in our country.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  127. Mark MacDonald

    Yes the media is part ( a large part) of the problem. The media feeds the fears of the already confused masses. These supposed grassroots demonstrations are all brought on by fear, prejudice, and hate. Surely you must take some responsibility in spreading that.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  128. Marion Lamberti

    Y-E-S. Most people worship TV more than God. Marion Lamberti

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  129. shepherdwong


    Obama didn't say the media was responsible for the rude behavior (nice framing though) he said it was like catnip, which I take to mean that the media just can't resist pawing, throwing and rolling around in it. That sound about right.

    Steve in Clio, CA

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  130. Jeremy, Myrtle Beach South Carolina

    Of course not! People who say that are just using it as an excuse. Aren't we adults here and responsible for our own behavior? I love Rick Sanchezes report about Fox news, I thought about the movie "Anchor Man", and I busted out laughing. My money is on CNN's Rick, Jack, Wolf, and Lou!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  131. Bruce - Delaware


    September 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  132. cy

    Largely. 24 news channels, like yours, have substitued heat for light. All of you would rather show yelling and screaming about nothing than risk someone hitting the remote because facts are boring. In "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" there's a line: "When the truth conflicts with the legend, print the legend". In our day and age when the truth conflicts with red faced lunatics spewing venom, go with the loonies. cy arlington va

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  133. Carol

    Is the media responsible. No - but it media definitely perpetuates it.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  134. Alveta, Maryland

    I must say ignorance gets way attention than the positive, WHY I'm trying to figure that one out.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  135. Jason Meyer

    In the recent instances of rudeness over the past few weeks, individuals were most certainly to blame – not the media. What the media WAS responsible for was rewarding this behavior, giving free publicity to the individuals in question. Seriously – did the average person even know who Joe Wilson was until his outburst? And I may have lost count, but I think this is the fifth time Kanye West has rushed the stage during someone else's award ceremony. The media needs to learn to ignore these people, and start treating them like the cranky children they are.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  136. Sandi W

    The unabiased news shows just report what is happening, the bigger the noise the more you see it. Especially on cable. Does a tree make a sound when it falls. If there is no one around to listen to the remarks, they wouldn't make them. It's called an audience, wheather it's a news story, a showbiz story, or a sports story, if they didn't have an audience, they wouldn't be making such loud noises. It's called my 15 seconds of fame – weather its good fame or bad fame. It's fame.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  137. Liz Homer

    The media is responsible for creating the social context in which
    rude behavior receives attention, whereas in general rude people
    are ignored.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  138. Rich

    Jack, the problem is not the media, but the lack of diverse media ownership. And it's not just a problem for America, centralized media ownership is hurting democracies all over the world...IMHO

    Toronto, CAN

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  139. eric

    A disturbingly high lack of what we in the Black community call "Home Training" is responsible for outbreaks of rude behavior in the U.S. The media is just cashing in by showing these folks degrade themselves for a little screen time, much to my delight!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  140. Edwin

    ABSOLUTELY! Statistics back up the media's extraordinary attention to the negative and gives less attention to the issues. Interview Kathleen Hall Jamieson, unless she is too balanced and intellectual to gain viewership! She is a leading media analyst and will likely corroborate that the media is largely responsible for perpetuating myth surrounding the issue of health care – as opposed to perpetuating the ISSUES surrounding health care!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  141. John Meissner

    The news media presents just about all that I want to see. Yes, I get stirred up when I see things that disturb me, especially if the presentation is biased. But to blame the media for a supposedly mature adult(s) for bad behavior? Preposterous!!!

    Sturgeon Bay, Wi

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  142. James, NYC

    Of course it isn't, and the President never said it was. This President does not "bash." How thin-skinned are you people, that you can't take a little reasoned criticism? CNN may not be responsible for all the rude and extremist people in America, but it certainly is responsible for all the rude and extremist people allowed to air their craziness - Most of the people in the town hall meetings in August weren't screaming or calling the President a Nazi, but those that were got airtime that could have been used to examine policy proposals in a reasoned fashion.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  143. sue dinetz

    I agree with the President that the 24 hour news media is, in part, responsible for giving credence to bad behavior. CNN was all that I used to listen to during the campaigns. Now, I randomly will turn on CNN only to find the same boring story being told at 8:00PM that was being told at 8:00AM. By putting so much emphasis on Serena, Joe Wilson and Kanye West, you give it life. How about spending some more time focusing on issues that Americans care about such as where we stand on Health Care Reform, what can we, as individuals, do to help the process of Reform move forward and as President John Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country." Maybe that will be better food for thought.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  144. Jonathan Tranter - Toronto, Canada

    The media is not responsible for the rude behaviour, but they are certainly responsible for giving any idiot celebrity status when the media finds it. If the media could give as much air time to hearing and seeing sensible people as the President called for, the rest of the nation wouldn't be so jaded and encouraged to behave in such a way. Big media has big responsibilities, and you have a thin line to walk between sensationalism and news reporting.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  145. sam

    unfortunately cable news is a complete waste of time because of all the opinions from the pundits and so called experts. why can't you have any objectivity? all stations are guilty. foxnews the worst offender because they are INCITING and PROMOTING human behavior. our country will not survive at this rate. i can guarantee that. partisanship is rampant. WE ALL NEED TO TRY BEING REASONABLE.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  146. TZ

    OH MY LORD! Obama stop. Although he makes a valid point about the media what obama will not mention is that he uses the news media as he see's fit. For example he used cnn this weekend thats why he appeared with Mr. King this weekend and not on fox news. He can count on cnn to ask easy questions and do nice story's on health care and appearing on fox and haveing hard questions asked could have produced a head line that is not positive for his health care plan so he avoided them. Obama owns the media hateing on them would be hateing on himself.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  147. Marvis

    The news media is not responsible for the bad outbreaks, but the news media certainly feeds the frenzy. The news media continuously air them over and over until some of us are sick of the reports. Can't you find more favorable things to talk about. No, you like the sensationalism. You think that is what we want to see and hear, but it is not.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  148. Ruth

    The news media gives too much air time to the loudest voices (as in the rude) and most dramatic stories. They know the worst behavior gets the most coverage. Why not just report the incident ONCE, as you do most stories, and then let it go.
    Ruth from Atlanta

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |

    YES JACK, the news media are like junkies looking for the next outrage fix.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  150. odis

    Yes, the media don't want to report about anything positive. A positive story is not where the rating are.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  151. Hal D

    Yes, cable news in particular. It is cheap news, readily available copy without much effort. A platform to every idiot on the planet.

    Hal D

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  152. Miriam

    Yes Jack, the news media salivates when there is discourse. There were candle light vigil in over 300 cities in the USA for healthcare reform and no cable news channel covered them, but you are all ready to go to the townhalls where all of you knew were going to have tea baggers and screamers.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  153. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    Hey Jack and Wolfe how are you guys.

    Ultimately, Jack, it's the individual's own responsibility in how they act. With that said, it sure doesn't help when you have personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck who's heated rhetoric borders on madness. All they do is stir the pot of discontent on one side and infuriate the other side. And I'm sure there are those on the other side that do the same. But, it is these guys who's flamboyant over zealot positions that fan the flames of division in this country.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  154. Bob In Florida

    I DO believe the NEWS MEDIA is responsible for MUCH of the rudeness, lack of decorum, and interruptions people do.

    How many times a day (JUST ON CNN) to comentators INTERRUPT, CUT OFF AND CONTROL what is said by the very guests CNN brings on the tube????
    But it IS NOT just CNN. Most other cable news outlets are FAR WORSE, even going to the point of verbally attacking their guests or EVEN telling them to "Shut Up."

    September 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  155. Vicki Kay

    Responsible? Yes. Totally responsible? No. Primary responsibility goes to the corporations, ratings grabbing (read Fox) anchors and right wing nut hatches that rile up the ignorant and encourage abhorrent behavior KNOWING that the news media will obligingly spread it around. And spread it around you all do. Why? It ceased to be interesing a long time ago.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  156. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Hell no it isn't. Obama would not know the difference between Cat Nip and Cat crap. That arrogant fool has a long list of people and agencies to blame for all sorts of things. If you don't believe me just ask him. It is always everyone else's fault and the Media is an excellent presidential Scape Goat.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  157. Mike - Utah

    Times are stressing and hard. People give respect to hard work and what they feel they've earned more then ever. These kinds of things are sure to happen on a non-media level everyday. From kids drama in a bar, to a fight at a local-football game by parents. However the coverage isn't there for non-Kanye, or the US open.

    The media is not responsible for the actions, it has even incorporated attacking the people acting out. All of these people were wrong, the media highlights these actions. It is the media's right to report the news.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  158. Jeremy McFarren

    The news media can't be held responsible for human behavior. 24/7 news channels may be responsible for creating a culture where the presence of cameras may do 2 things: give the wrong people more access to more viewers or desensitize viewers to the degree where they no longer check their own behavior.

    In both cases, it creates a viewership more interested in faux pas, than actual information.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  159. Robert in KC

    People are bound to make bad decisions. It's a matter of timing whether the cameras of the world are pointing at them. Sometime it's the media that plans the timing, sometimes it's the people, sometimes it just happens by chance.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  160. Bassman

    I can't speak to who is responsible for rudeness. I do konw the Tea Party Protesters and those that attend the townhall meeting do so because they/we feel the media is not doing their job, and we are forced to ask the tough questions for them. If The media was treating Pres. Obama like they did with Pres. Bush, there would be no reason to protest.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  161. Thomas in Miami!

    hahaha! Jack, of course the news media is not to blame. People have only themselves to blame for their silly and rude behavior. I would agree media benefits from this ongoing rude behavior phenomenon, but to point the finger at them to be the cause if it? We gotta love the blame game! Silly silly silly.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  162. Joanne Hall

    The media is only responsible via the ethics of reporters and their editors in specific cases
    exception: FOXNEWS because they create their news and that insults everyone.
    use the small paint brush on this one

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  163. Bob

    The simple answer is yes! Media gives visibility and acceptance to these acts.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  164. Mary in NC

    Not responsible, but the News Media certainly perpetuate it by reporting all of the negative foolishness. It makes people want to have their 60 seconds of fame so they create more fodder for the media.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  165. Pete - Augusta Ga

    Jack –

    Of course the news media is responsible – these people are already rude, void of any sense of responsibility for their actions, but putting them on the tube only rewards their bad behavior.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  166. Geri - Mead, Ok

    It's true if the media didn't focus on celebrities bad behavior they wouldn't act out as much, but, as a teacher substitute all I can say, whether their boys or girls bad & rude behavior is here to stay.

    Geri, Mead, OK

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  167. Powell, Raleigh NC

    I hate to say this, but laately, the news media has only added fuel to the fire. The outrageous acts are often spurned on by knowing that they are "entertainment" which is what the "new" seems to be about these day. CNN even utilized and Inside Edition correspondent recently- and they are nothing but "entertainment journalism". The Teabaggers, And Kanye act they way they do, because they know they will get a free media ride out of their ridiculous antics..As opposed to showing the majority of Americans who think this country is headed intro dangerous territory. If something terribly wrong happens in the near future, you guys have nothing to blame but yourselves. And we all know what I am talking about.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  168. Larry Butts

    Generally, I agree that the news media is giving these rude individuals too much attention. If they were dismissed out of hand , perhaps they would not be so quick to come up with more new and bizarre ways to be rude.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  169. Jacque D (Oregon)

    No, not for the outbreak but definitely for connecting the dots and spreading the virus of fearmongering thru repetition. If you could ignore your need for the attention that sensationalism brings and stop hyping it up, the easily influenced wouldn't be so convinced of the truth of the misinformation..

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  170. Harvey Nudelman

    Why people do things depends on more thatn one variable. Do they contribute? Yes Are they responsible? No

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  171. Pam holt

    Pam holt foley,al. As in fox new"s Shawn hannity , bill o-Reilly and friends, hellllo. That"s the only hope they have of trying to ressurrect their party, the same ole, same ole, pit the people against one another. It seemed to always work for them in the past. then they pretend to play dumb and blame it on the present administration for making them angry. Their actios speak so loud, I can hardly hear what they"re saying. Wake up America, don"t allow them to continue using we, the people to better their agenda....

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  172. Sonia

    Ignorant, rude people are our byproduct of bad parenting, bad manners and bad taste. Was that rude to say?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  173. Linda Lawrence

    Jack, it's easy. This started with the Republicans in Florida in 2000, jamming the buildings where poll workers were trying to count votes. They discovered how well anarchy and insane behavior derails the process of democracy. They won't stop until their antics no longer impress the American people. Let's hope it's soon. Let's hope we begin to long for civility.

    Laguna, New Mexico

    September 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  174. Jim in St. Louis, Mo

    Absolutely, it's all Jack's fault.

    The news media only reports what happening. Blaming the news media for rudeness, aw com on now, lets also blame them for everything else that's wrong with this country. Killings, drive-by-shootings, car accidents and today's floods in Atlanta, it's all the medias fault OK.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  175. ryland from atlanta

    Well Jack I must amit the President is about half right. It's not all the media's fault but the media is to blame for some of this mess it's not cnn it's just fox news network and msnbc for there super bias reporting that's why I watch CNN and the situation to get the REAL story's thank you CNN for not being so bias and President Obama please stop whining.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  176. Mike M, Fl

    Yes. to some degree, the news media (mostly Fox News) is to blame because it gives these people a "soap box" from which to propagate their delusions, misrepresentation of fact, and lastly, their anger. Caution should always be used when pouring gasoline on a fire.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  177. george

    classic cafferty..................i wouldent go as far as blaming the media, i do believe it's just a case subconcious crunch brought about by the lack of jobs,a bad economy and two wars and for some the idea of having a man of color iin the ovel office.
    regarding serena williams,she flipped out because of a bad call, kanye lost it because of booze and a miserable demeanor and the rest of the country is just pissed off.
    happy monday jack.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  178. KG

    Yes, the media is mostly responsible. Just like the paparazzi who try to get controversial photos to get more financial rewards, the media loves controversy to get more viewers and ratings. The public will watch sensational news. However, the media should have a greater responsibility to not over sensationalize rude / inappropriate behavior.

    People know that, in this age of information overload, your information has to stand out from the rest. Therefore, people try to deviate far from the norm to get noticed.

    The media should not take this bait and sensationalize this. Their should be more civility.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  179. Ann from Charleston, S.C.

    I wouldn't give all the credit to the new media for the rude behavior. Many Americans act as if the rest of the universe revolved around them. I blame parental permissiveness for that, and these spoiled darlings are adults now.
    The news media does beat a negative story to death, though. The Joe Wilson story was admittedly newsworthy, but I got so tired of hearing about it I changed channels whenever the story was reported.
    How many positive stories do we hear about the health care bill? about the progress our troops have made in Afghanistan? about the economy? If forced to report something positive, the cable news channels usually have some expert on hand to tell us how it won't work or won't last. The negativism can make the most positive person cranky.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  180. Seth in New Mexico

    The media is partly to blame. You'll get viewers with ho-hum moments of rational discussion but you'll get ratings for people screaming at each other like children. I don't tend to see too many clips of rational discussion.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  181. r.j.j.

    Is CNN responsible for the bad behavior decisions of others? Not as long as free will exists. But you in the news media are the enablers for the "drunken" escapades of the lewd and rude in society. The children in this hip hop generation already feel that the rich and famous are above the law, and your coverage of their antics just makes it more so in their POV. Why can't y'all be more like Walter Cronkite and take a more critical, reserved, and less licentious angle when reporting this kind of thing? After all, you aren't Hard Copy, and you shouldn't aspire to be FOX Infotainment Lite either. Bottom line is, that we expect more from y'all. That's why I pay for cable news, because I expect MORE, not less from the likes of CNN. Please get your act together. Before you air a spot, think WWWD? What would Walter do?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  182. Mason

    I don't blame the news for it. I blame the FOX conservative right wing propaganda network.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  183. Patricia/Georgia

    We can't blame the news media for the actual disprespect but we can hold them responsible for how they treat it. Do they blow it up and out of proportion....Yes.....do they give attention and stature to the person who is arrogant and offensive......yes. Some of the media seize on a statement before making sure where it came from and is correct ? And then saying it over and over like the time CNN said there was someone giving off shots on the day the president was going across the bridge in Washington. No confirmation of the report or what was really going on...it was more important to report it and then find out that is was merely an exerecise. This is only one example and CNN is not usually guilty but it shows where it is more important to report rather than to confirm.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  184. Joanne Hall

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Joanne Hall
    September 21st, 2009 5:17 pm ET
    The media is only responsible via the ethics of reporters and their editors in specific cases
    exception: FOXNEWS because they create their news and that insults everyone.
    use the small paint brush on this one

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  185. sally

    Jack, during all the town hall meetings where all this infantile yelling was being displayed, we saw it over and over again, but at the same time other civil town halls were going on and not a mention about them. I guess there wasn't any sensationalism there HUH? And disruption, we all know, people are eager to see. Civility is boring. So yes I believe the media plays to these things as should be, but it should also be balanced, boring or not. The whole message to the congress was overshadowed by the YOU LIE! Wilson. And that is just one example.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  186. Barry in FL

    Yes, Yes, Yes...
    Lets see, there were over 1000 Town Hall meetings in August. You (the media) only reported on TEN of them. The TEN where there was an outburst!!!

    If you guys would have paid NO attention to the first outburst of ONE screaming goofball, there probably would NOT have been a second.
    But since YOU guys gave attention to being rude, all that followed was your coverage of rude behavior!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  187. Amy

    The media must share the responsibility for the rude behavior. The media likes controversy and sensational news. Your anchor people are injecting their opinion through words and tone of voice, it is wrong. Unless you are giving an editorial then you report the news and nothing else. Also, the media is the last to admit fault, they always use the phrase, "just reporting the news and we have that responsibility". What is newsworthy needs to be re-evaluated. Admit when you made a mistake of over-reporting.....Reliable Sources is the only show taking a critical look at what the media does, bravo to them!!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  188. Pastor Donna Wright

    The mainstream media has been way too eager to appease the right wing that has for over 20 years made a lot of hay accusing the media of a leftward bias. And lately the media has also been lazy. It is easy to report on conflict; it takes a lot more work to report on the 80% of health care reform that Rs and Ds supposedly agree on. The media has rewarded incivility. What a shame for our country.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  189. Sara in ND

    No, you are not responsible per se, but you sure don't help matters. When you have two opposing side on to debate everything up to and practically including the weather report in the rudest possible terms to gin up the ratings, you should not be shocked or affronted by this observation by the President.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  190. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    The only public voice for the people is through the first amendment regarding free speech. Whether the media is causing rudeness or just reporting it is problematic to be sure. At least the media is listening ! When we say the "media" it is with a broad brush on a large canvas. More often than not, the national reporters are on the mark, more so than elected evildoers. I conclude that the only "branch" of government left for the people is the media. Is that rude ?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  191. Sherman

    Yes. It's a serious question going to the difference between "media" and what we once thought was "journalism". I think all of it is media, but journalism is today fragmented. We're reduce with media reading our emails back to us and to having a chatterhead called a party "strategist" facing off with another for conflict. Confict makes a boring story curious if not important to a democracy.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  192. Charles

    Yes, Jack, certain elements of the media are responsible and, as a result , the terrorists are winning without detonating a bomb. Talk media on the far right and the far left, with their constant barrage of lies, exaggerations and inflammatory comments are enriching themselves while dividing America against itself. When are we going to wise up?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  193. Gary Wilmes

    It's not the news media Jack, it's the producers of the news media who encourage people to act out for ratings and political subterfuge.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  194. Karel Rei

    Jack –
    Wrong Question., NOT – Are the Newsmedia responsible.
    They are not. The Health Insuramce companies and other interests,
    are the initiators.
    What the News Media do is MAKE IT IMPORTANT and cover it
    and cover it.
    This is a television crime, because it demeans the US and the
    political process. Television is different from all previous media
    and communication, and from the Internet for that matter.
    It needs to have a higher standard of TRUTH in what it reports.
    So that interests, and crazies, and ambitious politicians can make their way by simply barefaced LYING. If TV had a Truth standard
    most of these problems would dissappear.

    If does not justifu propagating lies by reporting that somebody
    else did. Allowing lies that all sensible people know as lies to be FEATURED on television (about birthers, or healthcareor whatever)
    is a CRIME.

    Enough Garbage out of the mouths of Media.
    We need to introduce a TRUTH standard in Television Speech. This cannot go on. Conscious lying or allowing known lying to pass without contradiction needs to be made a punishable offence if on TV.
    Not to apply to internet opinion or speech in other settings.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  195. Deb

    The loud and obnoxious are always heard above the rest of us. And those are the ones who are covered by the media. Who wants to listen to polite dialogue when crazy is much more entertaining. And todays media is all about entertainment first, actual knowledge second.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  196. Rosemary

    I don't think the news media is responsible from the sense of "causing" the behaior. However, I do feel that the news media is responsible for "hypeing up -sensationalizing" rude, disrespectful, and ridiculous behavior. Report the news then move on, don't spend the next several hours or days rehashing and getting opinions from people who were not directly involved.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  197. John

    Responsible for, no. Complicit in, yes.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  198. Lynda Reed

    Media is not responsible for the way people behave, however, giving air time to rude, cruel, mean behavior fans the flame of those on the edge and incites more copy cat or one upsmanship behavior. Many things are not worthy of air time.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  199. Nancy, Tennessee

    I don't think we can blame the news media for people's rude behavior, but we can be sure we will all hear about an incident numerous times thanks to the news. I am so sick of hearing about the three W's -Wilson, Williams and West. Did anyone check to see what phase the moon was in when these idiots starting showing their backside? Surely, there must be an explanantion.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  200. j. o'connor

    As a Canadian, I listen to some of what is said on your network and others, especially Fox and I can't believe you would not think that the media is partially responsible for the discourse that follows. It is absolutely amazing that people like Glenn Beck and Limbaugh are given the opportunity to spout their lies with no recourse. You might also want to consider education as the next important issue after health care - that is if you ever catch up to the rest of the world on health care.

    J O'Connor

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  201. neil fahey

    Greetings, the news media is not responsible for the rude behavior seen lately. However, it is responsible for making it 24/7 news, which it is definitely not! This perpetuates the feeling that, maybe this is acceptable for anyone, which it is not! Sorry to say but common sense-isn't (common). The media do have an onus to be responsible-not just sell advertising. Using the Public Air Waves is a privilege, not a right. neil MA

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  202. Sandy B.

    Rude people are responsible for their behavior and no one else. The only thing the media is responsible for is keeping the fire stoked up when things get heated.
    I call people out for their rude behavior and think it is good to publicize their inappropriate stunts. Remember Jack, "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
    Speaking of stupidity and changing the subject, was there a sharpshooter fixed on the nutcase that took the gun to a presidential forum?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  203. Chris Sailsbury

    No the media is not to blame, that would be too easy of an excuse for those who engage in bad behaviour. But the media certainly exploits this behaviour and effectively encourages it. If bad behaviour is rewarded with coverage, then we will see more and more of it. Like the old saying goes, any publicity is good publicity.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  204. Eliot Solomon

    We as a society do seem to have pulled away from to middle and to the extremes. Red states and blue states and all that. But is it true or does it only seem that we have? The way we look at ourselves is through the media, and if the media highlight the extremes thane that's how we'll seem to our selves. We should be able to rely on reputable news organizations to highlight the facts (usually found in the middle of the deate) and to include in your reporting of the opinions how well they align with the facts. If you in the media don't provide fact-checking and filter out the noise, but just give every opinion a sounding board, then you don't offer anything more than the Internet.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  205. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    News media stopped being about the news and started being all about the money years ago. It’s all about ratings. Do I, as a viewer, want to see a tennis star politely give their pre-printed, “Hallmark card”, media address and the broadcasters fawn over how nice the person is or do I want to see a Superstar explode on the court in front of millions in a profanity laced verbal assault on someone 1/10th her size? Hmmmm…I think I know which station I will be watching.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  206. Terry Gloege

    Now there you go again Jack. He did not blame the media for the rude behavior but kinda sorta blamed you for making that behavior even fashionable by talking about it for days on end. And, he's right.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  207. Dustin

    Yes, McDonalds is responsible for coffee being hot as well. Seriously, we just would rather blame anyone but the person to blame. I really thought for the longest time everyone was responsible for their own action, but sure it's "new" for the news to report violence.

    -Dustin from Dallas

    September 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  208. Sonia

    One Word Jack......Entitlement!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  209. Pat Weir

    The media's relentless coverage of the rude and outrageous is an invitation to anyone seeking their 15 minutes of fame to be as irreverent and disrespectful as possible. Stop rewarding bad behavior and start reporting the news again. 24 hour news has turned into a bad reality TV show.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  210. kelly holland

    No, they haven't helped, but they didn't start it. Reality T.V. started it. Jerry Springer is the first one I can remember. It was shocking at first, but by today's standards, it pales. If I had my way, all those mean spirited reality shows would be wiped out. Kids watch that crap, & they emulate their surroundings. The golden rule has been completely forgotten.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  211. Bob Ragan

    Other presidents may have blamed the media but I don't recall Walter Cronkite calling for a march on Washington. Fox news crazies and right wing talk radio muck rakers have gone well beyond reporting.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  212. OSUGradstudent-Theo

    The President is right Mr. Cafferty. The news media reports the news about as well as President Bush gave speeches. The 35 second "in depth" reporting that Fox, MSNBC and even my favorite CNN typically serves for entertainment and ratings, so of course the rude and outrageous stuff is most entertaining, but does the American people no good in the way of understanding the news of the day with any degree of respect to our intelligence, instead to our need for gossip.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  213. R Dorman

    President Obama is right. The news media thrives on being the "first with the worst" on any and all subjects. It doesn't seem to matter what the truth really is.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  214. T

    Not for initial rudeness, but it does cause more.
    It's a self sustaining system, just put a little in and it just keeps propagating more.
    Imagine what could happen if the same system was used for something good.
    Rudeness and the constant desire for 2 sides fighting should be left to reality shows. Just stick to the facts please. Wasn't that the point of journalism?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  215. Joleen

    Jack–I think the newsmedia has to accept some of the responsibility for reporting on the rude behavior. If your cameras weren't there I doubt if the rude behavior would be played out. Yet, you are not entirely to blame it goes back to the people who love controversary.

    I will give CNN a challenge. Seek out only the good happenings, news, for one week and check out the results!!! You would probably have the best news in the country.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  216. William

    Yes, but media can not soley take the blame. The entertainment industry (via television programs) exploits how society treats one another. People are so attracted to what everyone else is doing that they believe what they see is,t hey the way it is. We have lost our moral compass and respect for fellow Americans.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  217. Greg

    Of course, the media is responsible. We are much more interested in behavior than in substance. No need to report on what actual health care reform legislation contains; much better to focus on the wild claims and indecorous outbreaks during presidential addresses to Congress. It is the lowest common denominator approach to journalism. Don't assume the public can think. Pander to their base instincts.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  218. Sam

    I agree with the President, thank you.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  219. americanteacher2

    The corporate-owned media is more interested in entertainment and ratings than they are in news. Remember journalism? Seeking the whole truth and telling the whole story? I miss the whole truth and the whole story.

    I watched CNN during the town hall lunacy last month. The anchors promised that there were crews at all the town halls, and they would be periodically checking in .

    When they broke away to a civil town hall meeting, with respectful discourse, the audience was quickly brought back to the anchor. Civil discourse doesn't make great video for an American public that has been dumbed down to expect slapstick news.

    When the anchor cut away to the meetings where there were costumes, Nazi signs, screaming, shouting down, or semi-automatic weapons, the cameras and mikes were on for the long haul.

    Just ask yourself this: If there were no cameras or mikes at the town hall meetings or 9/12 hate-fest, how many of those rude screamers do you think would have bothered to show up, never mind stand up and shout Democracy down? How much do you think Dick Armey and his FreedomWorks would have been willing to spen to organize and finance those burlesque shows with no audience? It was ALL for the cameras and mikes, Jack.

    Reporting the news is your job. The question becomes: how do you do that without encouraging circus acts like the ugliness that now appears to pass for democracy, while threatening that very same democracy?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  220. Marie

    I don't think the media is responsible for the rude behavior, and I don't think that is what the President said. With that being said, I do think the media is responsible for what it publishes and should be more selective about what it continues to feed us over and over again during a 24-hour period. There is just as much positive news to report as negative - but the media boosts its ratings by publishing the "bad stuff." Who wants to hear about someone who is civil and does what he/she can about helping his/her neighbor? Like the President says - you get on the news if you say something negative or stupid!!

    On the Serena matter - I like John McEnroe - but he was/is a very rude player. However, you didn't see him blasted all over the news (even now on the senior tour); but you saw Serena and you will continue to see people focus on her every move.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  221. Dave in New Jersey

    No the media is not responsible for the outbreak of rude behavior, you just make money on the display of rude behavior and in essence propogate that behavior in society. Society (including the media) needs to ignore or demonize that type of behavior to reduce its influence in society.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  222. bailey

    most of the media isn't responsible in any sense of the word so i cannot just blame you all and feel good about myself again. we live in a so-called "christian" society that has no sense of civility for its fellow citizens and the paradox is mind-blowing. there is no way to pinpoint the source (i don't care whether you think it's democrats, republicans, gays, minorities, rap music...whatever) but something is creating egotistical monsters, in the public sphere as well as the private.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  223. Roy Hanner

    Because the News thrive on fear and negative reports for rating it is a burning inferno. If this nation ever gets into crisis it will be the media that will fuel the fire and will be the primary cause if its demise, but you know that.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  224. Bill

    When "Who, Why, What, Where and when", turned into lets focus on the opinions of polar opposite hacks so as to improve the ratings.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  225. Franz

    No, the media isn't responsible. Rude people are responsible for a rude country. It's like when people say, "It's a free country." Political freedom assume that the people with it have a level of responsibility. Americans are litigious and selfish. Blaming the media and having no accountability for the cultural trend of rudeness and misanthropy is so.........free market.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  226. David in Alabama

    We as adults must be responible for our conduct, not the media–news media is responsible to report the news what ever that is. They must report it fairly and allow the people to determine what that means to them. However, we as Americans must be allowed to express ourselves and our beliefs, President Obama did it five times on Sunday–Mr President take a day of rest.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  227. Nicholas Moran

    No, the news media is not responsible for the rude beheavior. It is from the lack of education as you see this in the younger people.the lack of Morals due to the Gay and Lesbian satanist beheavior.
    Also from letting in the foreigners and the 40 million Mexican illegals from past presidents,and now the crime is horrid and only going to get worse.

    The less productive we become the more the rude beheavior is going to get as frustration worsens.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  228. Bernadette

    Obama didn't say the media was responsible for rude behavior; he said it welcomed rude behavior because it was good for ratings. And, yes, I do believe that . Watch the talking heads on opposite sides of a a political view as they scream at each other. This type of "news" is near-hysteria, and, sadly has very little to do with the truth.
    A more important question is: When did the news media stop being interested in the truth?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  229. Amy

    Yes. The media gives immediate notoriety to rude and unacceptable behavior. You are saying "It's okay to be rude." and "If you want your message to be heard, you need to act up, be rude, shout down civil discourse."

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  230. Gene Simpson

    Yes! The media thrives on the negative, the sensational, the trivial, and on reporting bad behavior 24/7. CNN and MSNBC provide a megaphone for ever bit of nonsense reported on Fox or Drudge. The extremists, whether in sports, entertainment or politics, don't have to pay for commercials as you advertise them for free. What a perversion of freedom of speech! Not only do we need to read all the news that's fit to print, we need to see all the news that's fit to air!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  231. Joyce

    Yes!! The more outrageous the behavior the more you run it. U may have not caused it but u could sure give us a break and speak of other things. The fools make the news.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  232. Judy Charlotte, NC

    No the media is not responsible for people having rude behavior, and it's also a matter of opinion of what is rude behavior. People that disagree with what our president says and how and what he is trying to push through are all being "rude". During the entire Bush administration, every day I heard more than rudeness, downright being trashy and low class.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  233. Ann T.

    Ultimately the rude person is responsible for his/her behavior but the media IS to blame as well for overkill, playing the same clips over and over and over again, encouraging other lowlife rude people to crawl out of their hole. This whole "hate" atmosphere and the attention the media is giving it, leaves me very unsettled to the possibility of violence.

    Also, it's one thing to report these fits of rudeness and anger but (especially in these townhalls) the media doesn't do it's job calling out lies and misinformation on the part of these people, preferring to stirr the pot a little more for the sake of a story. So, yes, the do share in the blame.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  234. Rayshaun H.- New York

    No jack, why would the news media be responsible for the rude behavior of others? The question is weather the media is giving an unbalanced platform to these individuals by reporting on the most extreme of individuals and their actions rather then highlighting the majority of people who are decent and doing the right thing. Ratings suffer if you guys tried to do that I suppose. So in that case the answer is clearly yes.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  235. Greg

    Yes, since the media is to blame for giving rude behavior an inordinate amount of attention, they encourage it.

    If you only watched cable news, you would assume that the majority of Americans are opposed to reasonable healthcare legislation instead of the opposite reality.

    I'm tired of watching those "mad as hell" simpletons and, well... I'm not going to take it anymore!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  236. Kyle

    There is no "outbreak of rude behavior" in the U.S. This is another example of the media sensationalism. A handful of people coincidentally make a public fool of themselves at around the same time, and the media (not being able to help itself) magnifies that into a nationwide epidemic. This is what happens when commentary replaces news reporting. We need less commentary, more pure reporting.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  237. Carol - Chattanooga Tennessee

    No, the liberal and centrist news media is not responsible. However, the right wing news media hypes this stuff because the right wing is behind the movement, supporting it with money, air time and personal appearances of past and present congressmen (Dick Army, Kantor, etc). Fox News people acted like cheerleaders during the tea party held in Washington and after the demonstration was over, the right wing radio people inflated the number of demonstraters from 70,000 to 2 million. Meantime, people like me are afraid to attend our town hall meetings because of the guns that people are toting these days, even showing up with assault rifles. All of this 'ugliness' is stirred up by the ring wing news media and the Republican party is the benefactor. I, for one, am glad that CNN showed the gun toters because I knew better than to show up at a town hall and risk my life by holding a sign that supported Health Care Reform, or heaven forbid, ask my Senator if he believed that President Obama was a citizen.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  238. Don Drolet

    Hi Jack,

    O'bama is RIGHT! Although it's like asking who's responsible for the drug problem, the users or the drug dealer. The public is addicted to the kind of sensationalism you and most of the media peddle these days. CNN and most medias are addicted to the money you make from providing the sensationalism. Bottom Line, its's all about the millions of dollars your bosses make from what you do.

    True democracy is dieing because of yours and everyone else's greed. We are a self-centered cultrue and everyone's out for themselves now. That is a different phase in our cultural history. I hope we survive.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  239. Liz

    No but the influence and power the media has is terrifying.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  240. Rich Naso

    No, but the Media is responsible for exploiting rudeness to its fullest potential.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  241. Jack Beslanwitch

    Yes, they are involved, but some are more involved than others. CNN is less at fault than other "news channels" that are less balanced such as certain pundits on Fox, but even there I have to say that they are only one influence. The rude individuals are ultimately the ones ultimately responsible for their own behavior. But the media does slant the discussion by concentrating on one slice of the available news over others. I do not know how how this solved. And I would have to agree that reporters such as Cronkite might have difficulty getting lead position in this day in this climate. That makes me sad.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  242. Darren Johnson

    If it bleeds, it leads. If it's rude, it's viewed. News has always gravitated toward extremes, in behavior and ideology. Lately some have learned to manipulate that tendency to get loads of free publicity.

    Darren in Fairbanks, Alaska

    September 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  243. Cathy Butler

    Yes, Jack I am afraid that it's true the media tends to air far more bad behavior and controversies than anything else; and we know that our uncontrolled subconscious mind internalizes what it hears and sees the most. Which causes behavior and actions that stem from that which we have internalized. It is time for the media to become more responsible and realized that it can be the catalyst of a wildfires.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  244. Benjamin Roethig Dubuque, IA

    No, its not the media's fault, the general lack of civility has been a long time coming and extends to move than just cable news. That being said, CNN and to a greater extent your two competitors do seem to find the most partisan and out of touch pundits to put out for political commentary. People like Carville are not representative on the Democrats on the street.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  245. Allen in Illinois

    The media is not responsible for the crazy people out there. That being said, they do know that being outrageous may get them on TV. All you have to do is watch local news reports to see reporters doing a report on a murder or something. Some nut is usually behind them laughing and smiling while the report is trying to do a serious story. The media is not to blame but they do help bring the nuts to the forefront.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  246. eric

    Sometimes the media is not just responsible for rude behavior, it is the rude behavior, Take the story about Yeltsin...is that really news or is it news for the bathroom? Yes it came from a book, but so does a lot of other crap. The story rates about the same attention as the moanings of Monica and Bill. Please stick to real news.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  247. Carol in Tucson

    Is the media responsible? No - but it certainly perpetuates it.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  248. Kelly

    I think the world is in an information overload and we people haven't evolved enough to process this continual stream of information.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  249. William N. Clarke

    No! Jack, the news media are only responsible for the broadcasting of rude behaviors by people they know to be rude. I still believe that an open and free press is in the best interest of the american people, not withstanding the absolute rudeness of some americans.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  250. noreen

    People like listening to negativity and you sure hear a lot of that, the news is getting to be more like the tabloids.If you go into chat rooms on yahoo you will find an awful lot of Americans that hate people in Iraq and Afganistan and Pakistan just from hearing the crap and i mean they hate even children. I have heard many say they should all be killed. That is what i see the media doing too . Same on health care, So called free speach can be a disaster too , Hmmm how many in Afganistan has heard about maybe troups not being sent. Scary.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  251. Rick, Colorado

    Jack, You seemed to take offense to the Presidet's comments. There is a lot of truth to what he said but it doesn't all fall on the media. Society in general needs to follow Michael Jackson's advice, "Take a look at yourself and make a change."

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  252. Allen in Hartwell GA

    September 21st, 2009 4:42 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Jack, how many people would make a video of themselves being rude and crude if they weren’t sure that some “news” organization would pick up their video and show it on the 6-o’clock news (or the next “breaking news” segment? How many people are influenced by the Rush Limbaughs of AM radio, who wouldn’t have much of an audience if cable TV didn’t air the rants of the radio cowboys?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  253. Steven J

    simply put NO!! how can it be news media's fault for the behavior of these people. ms. Williams comment came from heat and rage form the game. A bit extreme I know. Mr. West was just being stupid even though I am not a big fan of Taylor Swift she should not have that done to her. and Mr Wilson was just caught on his republican beliefs. If any news organization is to be blamed it should be you competitor who said you did not do your job you know the one that distorts and hate all things democratic they know who I mean. my personal believe Fox should be kicked out of the news gang CNN rules keep up the great work.

    Steven J

    September 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  254. Michael C Kingston Ontario

    I think that the modern media does "glamorize" the bad behavior of the celebrities as well as spend more time reporting the negative sides of humanity, than they do reporting good behavior and the good side of human behavior. This in turn effects society in that we get so depressed and negative about what we see on the news that we in turn act out the same way. Like an earlier comment quoted "if it bleeds,it leads"...

    September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  255. Randy from Atlanta

    The news media is definitely NOT responsible for society's lack of civility but should continue reporting on it.
    The reasons for rudeness include the depersonalization of the internet and texting, the dissolution of the family unit, lack of parental integrity and leadership, and the fact that little accountability is rendered no matter what the behavior is. When's the last time you heard a child say "thank you" without being prompted?
    CNN and other reputable networks has a duty to report on these behaviors, as there is likely no other way we would find out about it and thusly monitor ourselves more carefully.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  256. Jason, Tampa

    The media is not respondsible for the "outbreak" of rudeness. But the media is respondsible for adding fuel to the fire. Can you tell me how Mr. Wilson deserved 2 weeks in the news as a leading story for calling Obama a lie. Thats not news reporting, Thats a recap. And what makes it worse, is people in the news media are still talking about it. Big deal, a better story would be why are there still two big holes where the World Trade Center buildings stood nine years after they came down?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  257. John B in Montreal, Canada

    No, the news media isn't responsible for rude the rude behaviour in the U.S.

    But, if there is one person in the U.S.A. who is ready to make a rude comment about the president or any other type of outrageous behaviour, you can rest assured that the news media will find him and make him or her the top news story of the day.

    But, if you really think about it, if that's the worst news the news media can find these days, maybe things aren't so bad after all.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  258. Joan in Canada

    The President is perfectly correct when he says that when a news media makes extreme comments they get the attention.

    Fox news is a prime example. They have been making extreme remarks and have gone to extraordinary lengths to ridicule the Democratic party. Their journallistic achievements have been nil !!! They only show how low their intelligence is.

    Unfortunately the people who are also in this intelligence bracket follow suit and soon you have the civility problems we now face.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  259. Nicole Hunter

    As an Obama supporter I have to say that in some ways the comment has some validity. While I personally don't think the news media is totally responsible but I do believe that it does hold a share in that stock. With so much time to fill with news we often see the worst over & over ad nauseum. I keep CNN on all the time to keep up on the news. Yet sometimes I think the evil & bad news receives much to much attention. That's what the psycho's want & unfortunately they are getting plenty of attention. Obviously, being rude gets attention as does reporting the rude behavior.

    If we think of leading by example then it is an easy to jump to say the news promotes rude behavior because that is a large part of the news lately. A classic chicken and egg hypothesis.

    Am I to blame for keeping the news channel on & watching/hearing it over & over? LOL Probably though I'm not always 100% attentive. Paying for television that is over filled with way too many advertisments, paid programming, and rerun after rerun is to blame too. At least with the news you don't already know the script word for word unless of course you keep it on all the time. 😉

    September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  260. shane lives near oakland, ca

    its not the medias fault, the state of our economy is the reason for this behavior. most of our belts are so tight these days that its starting to get under our skin, causing us to to be very rude and irritable and people are fed up.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  261. Mike G

    The upcoming report is a perfect example of how the media creates this vitriolic atmosphere. Pit Ben Stein against James Carville because one criticized the other and let the fireworks begin. This is not newsworthy. It's like a car crash – we all cringe but we have to see it. That's the mentality the media pays to. Why? Because it sells!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  262. Jana Stacy

    Absolutely the media is responsible. Everyone know that when you reinforce a behavior, you increase the occurance. Even a blind person can see that. President Obama's liken it to catnip is so apt, If you've ever seen a cat's response to catnip! The same mindles craziness.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  263. R. C. Bacon

    Amazingly, the press in all its wisdom can't see that sometimes it is the messenger. Especially when the messenger chooses which messages run over and over again. In each of the three big rude acts, bigger stories should have gotten the coverage. I only needed to see Serena loose it one or two times. It has run hundreds of times. The real story was Clister, a returning mother was already wiping the floor up with her. A very talented country/western newcomer received more votes than the reigning video queen, Beyounce. A very important message on policy from the POTUS is overshadowed by a headline seeking dilitaunt. Just a thought.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  264. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    I think President Obama hit the nail on the head. Clowns need an audience and some of these clowns will go to any extreme to achieve that audience. Have you viewed the clowns of anarchy on Faux News lately?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  265. Audrey Glover West Point Ga.

    Wrong question Jack. It should be "Is the news media responsible for for blowing all the negative out of propotion? A known fact people are responsible for their behavior, but that does not mean we the public need to hear about it 24/7 by the hyped up press. Once reported is fine but lets move on to more important subjects instead of gossip.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  266. Sally Adkins

    No, the media is not responsible, however, I do feel that the media has an obligation to "call out" obvious crazies and the vile, disgusting things they are saying. Responsibility to the truth is the media's main job. Not just reporting sensational sound bites. Faux News takes care of that angle.

    Clarksville, TN

    September 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  267. Alena

    Responsible for? No

    Encourage? Most definitely!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  268. Judy

    The news media is responsible for reporting the news. The news media shape the debate, and they more often than not will take the word of a known liar than someone who is trying to expose the lies. They decide what they want to report and what they don't – they have a tremendous amount of power but they don't seem to want to admit it.
    It is understandable to sometimes report rude behaviour by celebrities, politicians, etc., but it is not understandable that they often defend it, and most often see no problem with it. They report it 20 times a day and then yawn and carry on to the next little bit of catnip. Nowadays, anything goes, and shaming people for their despicable behavior seems to have gone by the wayside. You just have to look at the terrible things coming out of the mouths of the Rush Limbaugh's to see how rude despicable behavior is actually rewarded – no one is held accountable anymore for anything. It's become a circus.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  269. perry jones

    The media is like the parent that runs every time there child falls down or if they here a cry the world is ending . Let the world end for some of these wieners they know that they are at the top of the of the head lines so the keep doing stupid stuff. Hell don’t ask them how they fell ignore them for a while let them know the world dose not revolve around them. And then there are the members of the media that are as bad and most times worse that the stupid people the feel they are actually important because they are letting the rest of us know there are stupid people out there.

    Perry Jones
    Council Bluffs Ia

    September 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  270. Pat

    Everyone is responsible; if you say something insulting or report on something rude you are adding to the problem. What's worse is the quality and scarcity of apologizing for breaches of civility. A Congressman calls the President a liar and then is strong-armed to apologize to everyone. How is it any different when the President says that police acted "stupidly" and then fails to apologize for shooting his mouth off?

    Years ago young children were the ones who had temper tantrums and called each other names. We would politely take them aside, tell them why their behavior was wrong, have them say "sorry" and move on. Most times they stopped when the behavior stopped paying off for them.

    If rude people are not given constant attention perhaps they will stop behaving that way.

    Very sincerely....

    September 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  271. KC

    Don't blame the president for stating the obvious. Television news sources are definitely part of the escalating rudeness in America. You need not look any further than the townhall meetings. Events that were well behaved and informative never made it on to America's television screens. But you get some wacko screaming at a woman in a wheel chair and you can bet THAT will make it onto the news.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  272. George in CA

    Is the news media RESPONSIBLE for outbreaks of rude behavior in U.S.? No.

    Is it, in general, responsible for reporting on this rude behavior in an irresponsible manner? Yes.

    Some of the crap that is "news" isn't. From Michael Jackson's ongoing death march, to reporting on the wingnuts that talk of "death panels", to "Obama as Socialist", even "Obamacare". Then there's Sarah Palin; she thinks she's news but ...

    OK – I get that CNN has to keep pace with Fox, where most of the sensational stuff is fostered. Ever since Rupert Murdoch hit the news scene I've felt more and more that what passes for news in this country is more like trash talk. Even the WSJ – which I read religiously in grad school – has turned into USA Today. I find that when I want real news these days, I go to PBS, BBC America and John Stewart.

    Just by asking this question: "Is the news media responsible?" and implying Obama said it, you've become a caricature of what responsible journalism is supposed to be.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  273. Scott

    YES!! YES!! YES!! The media should focus MORE on positive news to set better examples for us. like CNN HEROES!!!!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  274. Eeugebarron

    The news media is not responsible for the "recent" outbreak, though they pay far too much attention to it, and distract us from learning and discussing issues with more depth, reason and civility. The whole idea of two sides bashing it out has been encouraged by the media as a form of entertainment, and it is sick.
    "Republican stategist", " Democratic strategist", what IS that? There is little proportion in the process.
    The three major cable networks play on the frustrations of the public in order to sell product, as they are dependent on advertising for their revenue, and ratings as they decide what to tell the public.
    I think the president called it correctly. Unfortunately, he needs the media to do his work.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  275. E. Alan

    I don't believe the media is responsible for the rude behavior of others, but the media does share some complicity. The president was right wehen he said that people (entertainers and politicians alike) say outrageous things to get on the news. And it doesn't really matter whether it's Kanye West rushing the stage at the Grammys or RNC Chairman Steele calling the POTUS racist, they do it because they know that they will find an audience for it on the news. Now some networks are more guilty than others, but overall that's just the current culture of television news.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  276. A Southern Lady - No. Carolina

    Jack – Rude is rude and the Republican party and their supporters win hands-down for unacceptable behavior. Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and just about every Republican politican in South Carolina need to have their mouths washed out with soap. They are without class or manners. They will say anything to attempt to embarass the President and Glen Beck on Fox News is the worst.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  277. Mike

    Sorry to say Jack,
    Pres Obama is kind of right about this. The lunatic fringe knows they can get on TV by acting out.
    At least CNN points out that these people are idiots and their behavior is inappropriate. On Pox, er I mean Fox News, they make it sound like these people represent main stream society and claim that the behavior is appropriate when directed at the President in particular and Democrats in general.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  278. sheryl NH, USA

    Yes and no. Please take a good look at what you report and why you report it... and I think you will be in denial if you believe you are entirely innocent. Ignorant rude people and evil calculating people use shock value to manipulate the public, the news media eats it up and regurgitates it regardless of whether it is true journalism or public/political scams. Get real, show some intelligence and journalistic responsibility... let alone self dignity.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  279. Shane in Oregon

    At the root, the media is responsible for the outbreak of rude behavior. They've made it acceptable.

    When has media ever truly looked out for the greater good, for society as a whole, for those voiceless in the world. We focus on things like Kanye and Senator Wilson, when there are more important issues that could be brought to light. Like the fact that nearly 300,000 minors are being trafficked for sexual exploitation in the United States alone...why isn't the media doing something about that. Or the fact that the conflict between Christianity and Islam is due to extremists in both parties...where are the stories about reconciliation. Or the fact that the government is more focused on politics than on serving the people in the nation.

    Was the election not clear? Obama won because people in America want change...now that it's beginning to take place, the politicians and media can't handle it. It's time we find common ground, its time we be civil, and its time people take responsibility for their thoughts, words, and actions.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  280. joyce from Jamaica NY

    ABSOLUTELY ! I've been saying it for the longest. If you didn't cover it – it would not happen. That is not to say that the hatred and discord does not exist, but without the 24/7 visual LOOPS on stage that you and the rest of mainstream media provide, they would not show up and put on their outlandish performance to be seen. If you would have shown and balanced the constructive town hall meetings that took place across America with the chaotic and unruly ones, then most people who depend on you for factual news and information would have a more honest and more balanced view of what is happening and why. STOP CREATING THE NEWS AND START REPORTING THE FACTS. YOU HAVE THE GREATEST BULLY PULPIT OF ALL PLEASE START USING IT FOR FAIRNESS BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  281. Rita Fort Collins CO

    I watch CNN daily morning noon and night and you do not get off this time by saying you are always blamed. While I think CNN is the best in the business President Obama was absolutely right in his criticism. You are way unbalanced in presenting the worst of our society. Much more focus on the normal American people would be most welcome. I especially get upset when you quote and show Rush and the idiots on Fox as I do not watch any of them and do not want to hear their rants as they mean nothing to the well being of our society. You can talk about them and report on them but do you really have to show video of them?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  282. Jefferson

    I believe that the media contributes to the simple mindedness of America by validating the lowest common denominators of issues in society. As the President said reasonable and polite delivery of your points of view generates little air time, while informative dialog without political venom gets top billing. The media has a responsibility to give equal time to the detailed education of an issue as it does the off the cuff comments of the radicals on either side.


    September 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  283. ed schleker

    I dont believe so - its like people are just so frustrated with the
    divided and devisiveness of every issue that they lash out to vent.
    the media is played for effect by those who can collar thier
    attention – the media needs to stop being the sucker for bad

    September 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  284. Helen Canada

    Yes Jack:

    The media can make you or brake you.
    The media is suppose to tell the truth,as it is without opinions.
    I watched Rick Sanchez to day.
    About the vidio with the Fox news.,at the tea Party.
    The media is to tell the News not like to promote the news.
    I trust CNN because they tell the truth,and know how to agree ,to disagree.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  285. John Figel

    To entirely blame the news media for the rude behavior of American society would be wrong. We need to take responsibility for our own actions, and not blame others, such as the media, for our shortcomings. We as a nation need to grow up and learn how to respect each other. We need to look to how we are teaching our children when they are younger, to help set a foundation for proper behavior in the future. I am an 18 year old college student and I feel like I have a good grasp on to treat my fellow citizens, why can’t these high profile individuals figure things out?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  286. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    I agree with President Obama to a degree. The news media in my opinion is partially responsible for the recent outbreak of rude behavior across America but not all of it. If the media ignored the stupid behavior at extreme right wing town halls and tea partys where the behavior is rude, then they would probably not be in the national dialogue as much and that would be a good thing to me!

    However I think that you will always find rude behavior across America from ideologues regardless of whether or not the media covers them so the news media cannot be held fully responsible for the recent outbreak of rude behavior. I just do not want to see the media reward any rude behavior by giving them attention which only helps to make their rudeness and stupidity a part of the national dialogue.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  287. Dave Mann

    Portions of the media are absolutely responsible for what is
    happening to civil discourse. Your show isn't one of them you
    might like to know. I have been concerned about this for quite some
    time. One network which rhymes with "socks" is almost 24/7
    anti-Obama. CNN occasionally frames information that is negative
    to Obama's programs but aren't as blatant as some others.
    Then, there are the "conservative" talk radio programs which
    are constantly airing information filled with half truths and outright
    lies. One sounds like a kind of cheese and the other that I have
    in mind is quite savage in its remarks. Yep...as much as you
    don't like to hear it....in this case, Pres. Obama is right on.
    It ain't that "left wing" media networks that are doing it.....mostly
    the cable new channels.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  288. Chris, Oregon coast

    Jack, a better way to pose the question is "Does the news media encourage rude behavior due to their rush to cover such acts?" The answer is– you bet! However, in the case of FOX news it appears that they strongly encourage rude behavior, which removes any shread of objectivity from their news coverage.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  289. GR - NYC Metro

    Yes, since the media decides what gets shown. By repeatedly looking for the sensational, like the foolish manufacture of news regarding the Coast Guard 9/11 exercises, you and your fellow news folk carry the responsibility of cheapening and polarizing the national discourse. My poor journalism teacher must feel like her grave is a centrifuge, these past 20 years.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  290. Chad from Los Angeles

    When the so-called “news” networks convey the idiots at these town hall meetings and events as somehow even remotely representing the country as a whole, it is extremely irresponsible.

    CNN, MSNBC, and FOX (GOP) news should report these outcasts, but only as often as they report conspiracy theorists stories, such as a bigfoot sighting or Rush Limbaugh eating a salad!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  291. John Gabriel

    Hi Jack,

    I am a firm believer that the current media business model has transformed todays media into a conduit for tabloid sensationalism that is competing for viewers and listeners attention among all of todays multi media and interactive sources.

    Ever since CNN's creation and the proliferation of specialized media, news outlets were transformed from information gathering and objective journalism that was driven by facts and ethics rather than profit. Since news has now become a commodity and the news channels have become glorified "dealers", the most sensational, controversial and usually, negative snippets have the best chance to grab someones attention.

    This is the proverbial ":what came first, the chicken or the egg" scenario. Did todays media create the cynical, instant gratification seeking society or is it simply giving us what we want? I think it doesn't really matter in the end because we are all the lesser for it.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  292. john

    of course they are, the media loves a good or bad fight

    September 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  293. Ian in Montreal

    The media is a major contributor to the rudeness – just check out Bill Riley who believes the only way to get a point across is to scream in your face – Whatever happened ot the William F. Buckley's of the world who could actually move you towards his point of view with his intelligent arguements. Polarizationis the real issue – demonizing the other side with outrageous claims WORKS only because the media is too thin on investigative talent and weak to call them on it.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  294. Ed

    I think to a certain extent the media is responsible for the increase in rudeness for the reasons the president articulated. It just makes sense. We live in a Jerry Springer world and like it or not, this stuff sells air time. Every network wants to be first with the dirt, electronic scandal sheets. If the media simply didn't report some of this stuff, which isn't really news, and spent more time airing civil discourse, our perceptions would change. By constantly reporting it, we get numb to it and even normal, calm, civil people may get tempting to let one fly so to speak.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  295. Chuck

    By giving these idiots air time whenever they pull their antics, yes you are.
    I'm sure the comedic media – The Daily Show, SNL, Letterman, etc.
    would pick up on these Bevis & Butthead moments on their own and
    display them in the forum that is more intellectually appropriate.
    Their 3rd grader acts should be fodder for ridicule in those venues
    rather than any which purports itself to be about responsible professional

    September 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  296. docb

    Jack, it seems that for those that have limited time to hear/see the news- it becomes evident that looped soundbites are the mode of the day and little of relevance or substance is available!

    If I scan the USA channels –the very same pictures and topics are being highlighted on every one..While if I scan foreign programing or public programing, I need to stop to get the jest of the topic being reported.

    So, if the media is a 'for profit enterprise' and no longer journalism then I would say YES–if an agenda is pushed for sensational reasons–they are culpable for the outcomes. The people are responsible for their behavior but if it reported on a loop we get the current outcomes! , Like –people not having facts, believing lies, rejecting discourse, or embracing vitriol and distortion, acting out when they have no grasp of the topics they are protesting! Promotion of critical thinking is not on TV or in the class room...we are going to be in big trouble in our dotage Jack!

    September 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  297. Tony

    Perhaps. It depends on the particular news media. We hear left wing radical commentators on MSNBC creating anger among conservatives. We hear right wing radical commentators on FOX creating anger among liberals. Anger breeds the outbreak of rude behavior.

    Those of us who are intelligent rely on CNN for civil commentary and reporting of news. Thank you.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  298. jody from Kentucky

    The media is not responsible for the outbreak of bad behavior–just constantly airing it. It seems if you want to get on tv–just scream or hold up a nasty sigh and you probably will get on tv.

    Oh yea, what is up with the "slam" thing CNN is doing i.e. Whoopie "slams" Kate about something. Whats up with that?

    September 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  299. Brian in Alpharetta, GA

    Jack, the media isn't responsible for the latest outbursts of the celebraties you mentioned in your question. I believe that Pres. Obama was speaking moreso of the talk radio hosts who gravitate to both far left and far right. Pictures and video from the Tea Party's march on Washington that highlight the more inflamatory images emanating from the march don't help things.

    September 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |