Brookfield Basics

A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.

Mainstream Media Blues - Revisited

"It wasn't a speech - it was a symphony". 

So opined one network reporter on live national television just minutes after Barrack Obama's acceptance at the DNC in August - so much for journalistic detachment and integrity.  The Wall Street Journal's incomparable columnist Peggy Noonan nailed it when she deplored this  "inexcusable suck-upedness" for what it was.  

But this column is not about Barack Obama or his speech.  It is about America's hopelessly biased mainstream media (MSM).

In early 2007 I wrote a column entitled Mainstream Media Blues (see link at bottom), in which I used the example of the un-reported crimes of Sandy Berger to demonstrate this bias.  Another personal favorite is from many years ago, when the NBC news show Dateline enshrined itself permanently in the "You Can't Make This Stuff Up" Hall of Fame.  The producers of the show actually removed the door panels on a General Motors pick-up truck, placed incendiary devices inside of it, replaced the panels and filmed a contrived collision; all to promote the show's eggregious and criminally libelous claim that the trucks were excessively prone to explosion on impact.  The arrogance of the NBC personnel who consciously chose to do this was incalulcable, as they damaged not only the good name of a company, but the employment prospects of thousands of people.  Cases like this lead me to conclude that the question of whether the MSM is biased is one that is not seriously debatable.  Its bias is not a matter to be debated.  It is a reality  - as axiomatic as it is odious.


The most revealing work I have read on this subject is a book entitled Bias by Bernard Goldberg, who served as a senior national correspondent and reporter at CBS News for over twenty years.  Many MSM journalsits stridently claim to be un-biased.  Some, groping for a semblance of self-respect, say that if any bias comes through it is unintentional.  Goldberg's book gives the lie to such claims, as chapter after chapter contains irrefutable firsthand evidence of the media's willful and conscious efforts to "manage" stories.  Goldberg is now persona non grata in his profession - the proverbial mafia rat who broke the sacred law of Omerta.  


Why did I entitle this posting Mainstream Media Blues?  It is because for decades the very institutions that have railed against the greed and rapaciousness of coprorate America are now fighting for their own financial lives, and realizing for the first time that making a buck actually IS important and actually DOES matter and actually IS a good thing. 


There is no question that developments in technology have caused seismic shifts in the news and communications business, and have been the primary factor behind the industry's financial ill health.  But there is equally little doubt that subscriptions and viewer rates decline because Americans are simply fed up with with the sanctimonious dishonesty that is proferred on our front pages and our televisions every evening. 

In record numbers, people are deserting these once hallowed and unchallenged bastions of news because they simply don' t trust them anymore.

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