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April 24, 2006

'Mainstream' Media as self-anointed 4th branch of Government

Legacy Media has increasingly grown desperate over the last decade as newspaper subscription has dropped and "alternative" channels of information (ie the Internet, radio) has increased in popularity. They have usually been coy in much of their partisanship, fluttering eyelashes like a shocked Scarlett O'Hara when their Leftwing petticoat slips down.

Anyone with a passing acquaintance with more than a few of the bigger stories of the last five years understands how the framing of the narrative by the MSM has become a wrestling match with the uppity citizen journalists that fact-check stories that just don't pass the smell test. From the Dan Rather Fake Memo debacle to Christmas-in-Cambodia, the power of networking tens of thousands of individuals with their own specialties in close to realtime has helped wrest from the MSM the complacency and hubris they have long indulged in with their almost monopolistic position as "information gatekeepers."

One would have hoped that the MSM just might have learned a lesson and abandoned the advocacy journalism that has been the underlying raison d'etre of "reporting" since Vietnam. One would hope old-fashioned the facts, ma'm, just the facts might once again take priority.

Greg Mitchell disabuses us of that silly notion.

you have watched any baseball at all, even the occasional World Series game, you are probably familiar with the concept of the bullpen ace getting a chance for “redemption.” That is, he can blow a game one night and come back the next in the ninth inning and save the day, or even the season. Announcers always say, "he got a chance to redeem himself."

Newspapers may be in the role of bullpen stopper right now, with the current Iran "semi-crisis." In baseball lingo, they should try to "put out the fire" there, after losing one for the home team in Iraq three years ago.

To those who would say that this inflates the power or even role of the press in America today, I would reply: You don't expect the Democrats to keep us out of war, do you? Just as they would not stand up to the president on Iraq for fear of appearing "weak on terror," they would likely be wary of appearing "weak on the Tehran Bomb." Let’s face it: All the Democrats want to do right now is stagger through to November with an unpopular president in office, and hope that, maybe, they can re-take at least one house of Congress -- without having to stick their necks out.

So the media, usually only a middle-reliever or in a mop-up role on this playing field, might have to pitch with the game on the line.

Mitchell's cutesy analogy aside, it is clear that he believes that MSM's role is not one of reporting but one of making policy equal to the Executive and Legislative branches of American Government (and recently, the MSM has declared itself as the only legitimate entity responsible for deciding which information is worthy of declassification).

Ok, Mitchell, so when do we get to elect editors and reporters?

hattip LGF

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Posted by Darleen at April 24, 2006 09:02 AM

Comments

MSM doesn't make policy. It does report on it.

Which is what it is supposed to do.

MSM newspapers are disappearing,however, at least print-paper versions.

Paperless news is the news of the future.

Looks like you're worried about bias.

I wouldn't Everyone has biases. Most professionals try to overcome their biases when reporting a story.

Posted by: Carl W. Goss at April 24, 2006 10:36 AM

Silly girl.

The position of "Editor" is far too important to be left in the hands of the proles. These positions will continue to be filled by and with the consent of the J-School nomenklatura only. And if you're smart, you'll quit with the inconvenient observations. Capiche?

/leftist swine

Posted by: Fred at April 24, 2006 10:37 AM

Darleen,

FASCIST "DEMOCRACY" WINGNUTTERY!! HOW DARE YOU SUGGEST THE POWER OF OUR INFINITELY WISE MORAL SUPERIORS IN THE PRESS BE SUBJECT TO THE UGLY, ARBITRARY WHIM OF POPULAR VOTES BY THE IGNORANT AMERICAN MASSES!!

I swear, the nerve of some people.

Posted by: TallDave at April 24, 2006 12:15 PM

During the Reagan era, the rules against media consolidation were lifted, and it has only grown more concentrated into fewer hands since then, so the very very rich tha profit off the war and also Bush's policies own the vast majority of the media. That is why there are so many more young Republicans. The Republicans bought up most of the media.

True, they report left leaning news, but only after the alternative news has already informed everyone of the right wing shenanigans (to put it lightly...criminal antics is more like it).

Look at how far reaching General Electric is in the military industry and media. Rupert Murdoch who owns an astonishing amount of media is supportive of the neo-cons PNAC plan. Do you know what the PNAC plan is? Project for the New American Century. It is ominious. Look it up.
There is presenty a fusing of media and government through Rupert Murdoch and the military industrial complex. MIC/government/media all one and the same. check out:

http://www.peace-justice.com/fascism.html

Posted by: blubonnet at April 27, 2006 11:38 AM

blubonnet: Could you clarify your conspiracy theory? I got confused around the time you said that the right wing media has a left wing bias.

Posted by: mrsizer at April 27, 2006 07:58 PM