Anyone who's been following the political threads in these here forums know that I have a special disdain for the American news media. Alternately, if you participated in either of my Daily Show Phallas you will know that I loathe them pretty passionately. Especially David Broder, even if he's dead. They're terrible at their jobs for one, but more importantly they face absolutely no accountability. But before we begin, a few caveats:
1) This is not the LOL Fox News thread. Nor is it the LOLGOP thread. While they are frequently ridiculous, the topic here is the news media. This is explicitly
not a place to talk about whatever crazypants thing that Louis Gohmert said. You can criticize someone for not challenging said crazypants thing.
Did you hear that Gohmert said that Obama wants to kill all white children so there are only minorities in the future?
Jesus Christ, David Gregory just failed to challenge Jon Kyl lying about Planned Parenthood.
Dammit, Ron Fournier, Obamacare is not like Iraq or Katrina. No one drowned/got shot waiting for the website to load. Moron.
2) As such, if you are a conservative and would like to point out failures of liberals in the media? Go for it. Hell, if you're a liberal and want to point out the failures of liberals in the media, I would encourage that. This is about document awful, stupid things the media does. We are bipartisan in our shitty media (as most of MSNBC in primetime will attest). Or Roger Cohen.
If you attack Rachel Maddow though, I will cut
With those caveats in place, let's talk about the media.
(I'm leaving this passage in because it amused me)
Recently I've been frustrated with the general tone of the coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden and the generally wrongness
of most of what they say. Obviously they were mindlessly repeating everything the White House said initially and the White House's initial reports were confused, at best. This is a tendency the media has, to blindly repeat the claims of the powerful. Which is an obvious problem. The other issue I have with the tone is my Chris Matthews example up above. He conceives of the mission to kill Bin Laden in terms of cowboys and indians and dudes with big balls. And the same of politics generally. Bush was great back when he was flying out to the flight deck because the flight suit emphasized his groin.
Anyway, someone decided to actually do a study (link is a PDF)
on a selection of media members and politicians used as pundits and see how accurate their predictions were. Senators did poorly, some of the better columnists (and Maureen Dowd, somehow) did well. Paul Krugman was the best, mostly because he tended to stick to his main areas of expertise when it came to making predictions. Cal Thomas was the worst. While I was reading some analysis of this study though, I came across something that made clear the extent to which pundits in particular face zero accountability (though the entirety of the Iraq War is pretty good evidence).
“Liberalization is a ploy…the Wall will remain”
George Will wrote that in Newsweek, in an edition of that magazine appearing on November 9, 1989. Within twelve hours of it being published, this happened:
George Will, as I'm sure you know, is still writing for the Washington Post
as probably their premiere conservative columnist. These days he's mostly writing false things
about climate change.
So there's no accountability, little accuracy, and general failure in the American news media. Obviously things aren't changing, but at least we can provide some catharthic relief by mocking them here.
One term of art: I tend to refer to the media collectively as "The Village." The origin of this term is from this post
. Its general meaning is explained
In political terms, the term “Villagers” denotes a kind of small-minded refusal to think outside an “acceptable” center-right consensus, and a refusal to acknowledge it when a majority of the American people take a view on a particular issue that is not in line with that center-right consensus. Thus, the “Villagers” include, in part, Democratic elected officials and consultants who insist that their party can’t succeed unless they ally their party with that center-right consensus; think-tankers who churn out position papers designed to prop up this elite consensus view; and elite pundits who insist that mainstream liberal views are radically leftist and insist on “bipartisanship” for its own sake, damn the consequences.
This elite consensus, in the view of the bloggers, represents this particular Village’s hidebound small-town values, which must be maintained at all costs to protect this elite’s status and interests.
The slightly more
generous term is "Versailles on the Potomac."
Once again: not a partisan thread, all media bashing/analysis is welcome here. And not an inherently political thread, or it will become locked.
Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.