Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Color me skeptical ...

... Nonprofit news is good news.

I don't think newspapers would be in anywhere near the trouble they are if they simply stood apart from the fray and reported what was going on irrespective of who got hurt. Case in point: DOUBLE STANDARDS AGAIN.


  1. Oh, really?

    FOX News, anyone? The media arm of the extreme right wing?

    I think if one throws stones one has to throw them through one's own windows, too.

  2. I have no problem with Fox News. The media is so much of an echo chamber that any competition is better than none. When Brit Hume was still with Fox, his evening newscast, I thought, was the best in the nation. Fox News is the top cable news channel in terms of ratings. It isn't even close. The people who watch it have the right to choose. As it happens, I no longer watch any TV news. As for what I linked to, that clip is from MSNBC.

  3. RIGHT!! Just try to tell the editors and the 6-digit salaried reporters the same thing. After all that's hard work. So much easier to re-write what someone else said, give them credit in the second to last paragraph, and take full-credit besides. Analysis and research and "muckraking" are so "old."

  4. Six-digit salaried reporters? To paraphrase Barney Frank, "On what planet do these reporters do most of their reporting?" Maybe on Fox News or the Daily Planet or similar parallel universes they get that kind of dough, but not on newspapers, which still break most of the hard news. Nowhere near it.

  5. My point was that Glenn Reynolds comment about double standards applies equally to ALL sides of the political spectrum with regards to the media. if Legacy Media is just an arm of the Democratic Party, well, Fox News has long been just an arm of the Republican Party. The point being: those who cry "media bias! media bias!" are usually quite guilty of it themselves, in the opposite direction to which they're objecting about. I find this to be true from whichever direction the shouting comes. yet I also note that more cries of "media bias! media bias!" come from the right than from the left, usually more often, and usually more loudly. That's a tendency that is notable in its own right.

    But you're also quite correct that most of the media is an echo chamber, one way or the other. With some notable exceptions, perhaps, but few of them.

  6. I don't quite agree, Art. I think it is a little simpler, actually. I think Roger Ailes perceives that if everyone on the block is selling apples, there might just be a market for pears or persimmons or whatever. The thing is the media should be neutral and flail at all sides with equal vigor, the way Mencken would have. Imagine if a Republican candidate had declared proudly that he had campaigned in all 57 states, that no wonder his rival was doing so well in Kentucky - after all, it bordered on Arkansas, where she was so well known (it borders on Illinois), and then made reference to the dropping of the bomb on ... Pearl Harbor. But no one called Barack Obama on any of those. I'm not suggesting he should have been called on any of them. Campaigning is a wearying process, and candidates are likely to say foolish things during that process. I am merely saying that if he had been a Republican all of these would have been fodder for media ridicule.

  7. Oh, but I should have pointed out, Art, that I do agree that those who yell about media bias simply would prefer bias in their direction. I'm an old guy - go after all the corrupt bastards irrespective of their party or ideology.

  8. We probably agree more than not on this, Frank.

    I'm definitely in agreement with Mencken that an unbiased media should pursue ALL sides with equal vigor, and trust none of them. I'm definitely in agreement with you, too, Frank, that the media should go after all the corrupt bastards regardless of party or affiliation. I am invariably skeptical of the rhetoric coming from all sides, especially from the extreme wings of all sides. Even normally balanced folk are capable of being outrageous when they let themselves go too far in their rhetoric.

    My only thought was to point out that none of the partisans can claim the higher ground by pointing out that the other side has a double-standard, when their own double-standards are so glaringly obvious. (I include Mr. Reynolds in this, for he is noticably partisan and does indeed seem to prefer bias to go in his direction rather than another.)

    On the other hand, I would point out that the media never once let go of their continuous hounding of Pres. Clinton; there wasn't a day of his Presidency when there wasn't a report on some scandal or other. By contrast, the media seemed almost to be Pres. Bush's lapdog, and often did not go far enough in criticizing his policies. If a media pundit currently thinks Obama is being given a free run without criticism, they're forgetting recent history.

    In ALL these cases, a partisan media, or a media dominated by loud-voiced partisans, set much of the tone.

    The reason the media picks on Sarah Palin is that she's an easy target to pick on. Few dumber candidates have ever been presented; except possibly for Dan Quayle. Although the rhetoric on Palin isn't substantially worse than that thrown at Lyndon Johnson, in which "hick" was one of the milder forms used.

    Again, I find it fascinating how much of this ignores history, even recent history. It is always convenient to ignore history, one supposes, when it doesn't support one's partisan views.

    But also again, I agree with you that Mencken had it right: they're all pretty much tarnished, and that needs to be told.

    verification word: unking