Everyone on the left thinks that the mainstream media is corrupt, doesn’t cover the stories that matter, is paid off by the other side, and so on and so forth.

Everyone on the right thinks the same thing.

So which is it?

10 Replies to “Hmm.”

  1. I don’t think the “mainstream media” is corrupt. I just think that individual media outlets’ attempts to “correct” themselves in the face of a well-organized neocon press-nudging machine are misguided. The subsequent efforts to achieve “balance” by juxtaposing demostrable truths with right-wing spin only serve to misinform the public.

    Look at the Abramoff scandal — a pretty simple one to deconstruct. A Republican fundraiser pleads guilty to felonies involving payoffs to elected officials — all of them Republicans. The right-wing press-nudging machine hits the phones and spreads the falsehood that Democrats also took money and campaign contributions from Abramoff, even though this statement is at worst demonstrably false and at best incredibly misleading. But the talking point, once out there, doesn’t die. I’ve seen (and I expect I will continue to see) professional journalists continue to repeat this falsehood.

    So to conclude:
    1. I don’t believe in the idea that there is a Mainstream Media. It’s a nice sound bite, and it’s caught on, but it doesn’t really exist in any definable way. Most people just use it to describe all the media outlets they don’t like in the particular instances that they don’t like them.
    2. Journalists on the whole are not corrupt.
    3. Television news spends very little time covering important stories in a way that properly communicates their importance.
    4. Some individual columnists have taken money from the government to endorse agendas without disclosing those payments. As far as I know, all of them have been fired. On the whole, I would guess most bad journalism is driven by ideology, not by money.

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