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The Market for Conservative-Based News
Free Republic | November 14, 2007 | conservatism_IS_compassion

Posted on 11/14/2007 7:44:30 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion

Is there any such animal as "conservative-based news?" IMHO there is not. At least, not that goes under the banner of "news."

In the Founding Era, newspapers were different from what we are used to today. Technologically, their inputs were more expensive and their output was very slow and meager. And they were all addressing small, local markets. They were mostly weeklies, and some had no deadline at all - the printer just went to press when he was good and ready. And they did not have telegraphed news.

IOW, the newspapers of the founding era were pretty much like the local freebie advertising weeklies we see today - which don't do national/international newswire stories because the presumption is that the customer has seen all that on TV, heard it on the radio, or seen it on the Internet just as quickly as the local printer saw it.

The linchpin of the difference between the modern journalist and the newspaper printer of the eighteenth century is that the modern journalist has the AP newswire - that is, his stock in trade is what he "magically" knows with amazing 200-year old technology which you do not know until he tells you. But of course the "amazing" newswire cannot hold a candle to the Internet, so the niche of the Associated Press newswire is by now an anachronism.

The AP, founded in 1848 as The New York Associated Press, aggressively monopolized the use of the telegraph to transmit news. And that raised the serious question of whether such a concentration of propaganda power was not dangerous to the republic. . . . now where have I heard that issue before? Oh yes, I remember - it came up when radio transmission was licensed by the FCC. And what was the answer then? Oh yeah - "Don't worry about a thing - we don't have any axe to grind, we are all objective journalists here." Well, it turns out that that argument, such as it is, was precisely what was used to justify the monopolistic Associated Press news service.

The claim of objectivity actually is an assault on the very premise that the public is competent to govern its own affairs and, via the "fairness doctrine" and more recently via "campaign finance reform," on the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press of those not "in the know" by virtue of being privy to the newswire. The claim of objectivity is essentially indistinguishable, as far as I can see, from a claim of wisdom - and arguing from a claim of superior wisdom is the essence of sophistry ("soph" being Greek for "wisdom").

That being the case, we-the-people have the right and the duty to assign the burden of proof for anyone's claim of objectivity squarely on the shoulders of the claimant. That is, we should not be embarrassed by their begging the question but should demand that they prove their case. Even were their claim true, of course, that is an impossible case to prove - essentially an attempt to prove a negative - but that does not suffice as an argument to prove that it is true. It even leaves open the possibility that proof that it is untrue could exist.

Yet how can we know if a fresh report, hot off the wire, is or is not objective? We actually cannot - but there is no necessary reason why that should be the criterion which we choose for judging claimed objectivity. We can wait. We can judge the stories which once were "hot off the wire" in the light of history. We can apply the biblical standard for testing authority:

"When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. Deuteronomy 18:22, New American Standard Bible (©1995)

By the standard of the light of history, whole books can be written on the fact that journalism is not objective. See, for example, Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right by Ann Coulter. Also see, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case by Stuart Taylor , KC Johnson. Another classic case of journalism run amok is the fraudulent "Killian Memos" promoted by Dan Rather and CBS News and never outted as a blatant fraud by the rest of "objective" journalism, a mountain of damning evidence notwithstanding.

And that last point illustrates how Big Journalism - Associated Press journalism - manipulates the public discourse. The system is quite simple - if some fact is not congenial to the worldview of the journalist, Big Journalism systematically stonewalls that fact and/or raises the standard of proof for that fact to the unattainable level of metaphysical certainty. As long as Big Journalism is able to control the standard of proof, the fatuous conceit that Big Journalism is objective will be unassailable. The fact that it has no basis in fact is irrelevant.

The question is, "Is there any significant venue in which Big Journalism does not control the standard of proof?" There are two possible avenues. First, the Internet has been eroding the business model of the Associated Press. The logical conclusion of which is that Big Journalism no longer has any real niche of information unavailable to the rest of us. The Wizard of Oz is being exposed as a mere mortal behind a curtain. Besides FR and the rest of the Internet, there is Rush and the rest of Talk Radio. And ultimately, the composition of SCOTUS remaining unchanged or improving, there is hope of success in not merely turning back further impositions such as McCain-Feingold and the revival of the Fairness Doctrine but of overturning McCain itself.

In any court case touching on the objectivity of journalism, the issue of the Clarence Thomas - Anita Hill hearing and the objectivity of Justice Thomas could be raised. But to raise that question against Justice Thomas would be to turn the issue on its head. The question is not, or certainly not so much, whether Thomas can be objective seeing that he does not read the newspapers as it is whether any of the other justices can be objective seeing that the do read the newspapers. If SCOTUS can hear the issue fairly, there is no question that the First Amendment not only does not assure that journalism generally and Big Journalism as we know it specifically is objective. The First Amendment forbids the government to require journalism to be objective.

Another question which naturally arises is, "What is the alternative to the status quo of journalism?" The status quo is, as I have pointed out, that journalism is:

There is a classical reaction to the position the Sophist. "You claim to be wise, and presume to denigrate anyone whose supposedly inferior wisdom you can ridicule. But you cannot prove your own wisdom, and your claim is therefore arrogant. I do not claim to be wise, but I admit that there is such a thing as wisdom and truth, and I am open to facts and logic because I love wisdom." The Greek word for someone who loves wisdom is philo (brotherly love) soph (wisdom, again) - "philosopher."

Who then is the sophist, and who the philosopher? Anyone who uses an advantage of power to control the debate and keep certain facts off the table (in the style of the "objective" journalist) is a sophist. Anyone who eschews ad hominem attacks and other propagandistic techniques, and who is open to the facts and logic pointed out from any quarter, is a philosopher. Your average FReeper, lacking any ability to control the debate, must perforce be a philosopher.

Of course the moderators of FR, and Jim Robinson, are in a position to be able to control the debate on FR, and actually they do. But their control extends only to FR in particular, and not the Internet generally - let alone to any of the so-called "mainstream media." And FR succeeds as a forum because in fact the moderators are not interested in manipulating the discussion but in appealing to what is in America conventionally called a "conservative" audience. Likewise Rush Limbaugh and the rest are in a position to be able to be what Rush calls "a benevolent dictator" of what is said on their shows. And likewise, those shows succeed or fail as they exercise that power in such a way as to appeal to a wide audience, or fail to.

Rush calls his format "the long form," by which he obviously means that the format does not depend on hit and run tactics. "The News" by contrast is a very stylized, stilted view. You are basically given the word, whether you like it or not. Nothing is on the table for discussion. Rush on the other hand takes calls, and debates with callers. His listeners would hear it if he were being manipulative with his callers, and he succeeds because his listeners do not hear that. A talk show host who allows a wide range of views to be expressed, and who focuses that discussion on current affairs, is addressing the "market for conservative-based news."



TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: ap; bias; journalism; rush
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See also,

  Why Broadcast Journalism is
Unnecessary and Illegitimate


1 posted on 11/14/2007 7:44:31 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: Obadiah; Mind-numbed Robot; Zacs Mom; A.Hun; johnny7; The Spirit Of Allegiance; ...
Ping.

2 posted on 11/14/2007 7:45:58 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: fporretto; walford; rwfromkansas; Natural Law; Old Professer; RJCogburn; Jim Noble; hotpotato; ...
Ping.

3 posted on 11/14/2007 7:47:12 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

Broadcast journalism was created out of neccessity for World War II and it became a means to promote opposition to Hitler, sympathy for England and American involvement in the war.

After the war it transplated itself back home and found its niche promoting liberal causes in the United States.


4 posted on 11/14/2007 7:52:41 AM PST by Nextrush (Proudly uncommitted in the 2008 race for president for now,, but McCain and Paul never)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Nice piece.

It bears repeating: Objective journalism is an illusion. A reporter may try to be objective, and in many cases may approach an objective viewpoint, but the mere process of observing and reporting upon those observations is subjective. It's human nature and it cannot be avoided---nor should it be, really, because the subjective opinion of the reporter often provides the slant that makes the story compelling.

C-SPAN probably comes the closest to objective journalism when they plant a camera and let their viewers observe the action.

5 posted on 11/14/2007 8:10:26 AM PST by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

Great article, thanks for posting.


6 posted on 11/14/2007 8:13:05 AM PST by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.com)
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To: Nextrush
Broadcast journalism was created out of necessity for World War II and it became a means to promote opposition to Hitler, sympathy for England and American involvement in the war.

As you probably know, but for anyone interested, George Orwell was bitterly disappointed that his lung condition, caused rejection for the armed conflict. He lent his talents to the BBC. He conceded that it was necessary to deal in lies to defeat fascism. The BBC told us a number of lies. Whether it was fed them and they did not know, maybe gives them a pass in some cases.

One big lie was the U-Boat surfacing, to machine gun survivors of a British merchant ship. It was a British Sunderland flying boat that machine gunned the U-Boat. Likely British survivors unintentionally. The Liverpool mob tried to lynch another U-Boat commander who had been captured. The police rescued him.

True, from there on in the U-Boats mercilessly sank merchant ships. Then crash dived.

Orwell partly based 1984, on a giant propaganda machine that was the BBC. I chuckle at many of my generation who were children in WW2. They still repeat what they had to believe then. Of course, lies notwithstanding, the enemy did enough evil deeds to last for all time.

The almost amusing thing, is that books are written constantly boasting of how lies were told. If one follows as to how deception was the perogative of British counter-intelligence, one has to have two minds. One for the old BBC propaganda on the evil cunning of the enemy and one for the "true" stories of how stupid the Germans were.

'"Bodyguard Of Lies" etc. Not to forget the Nazi plot to take over Mexico and then drive up to the USA>

7 posted on 11/14/2007 8:16:04 AM PST by Peter Libra
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To: Nextrush

I think Fox News does a pretty good job representing the Right. There’s Tucker Carlson(sometimes), Glenn Beck.
Conservatives definitely control most talk radio, I mean radio America is a joke and a HUGE proportion of Americans sit in their cars each day in traffic going to and from work.
Broadcast journalism, the ABC/CBS/NBC’s I think and am assuming here that a lot of retired people must watch them or people put it on in the background, and they do have a liberal tilt as not many conservatives go into journalism, and probably never will, it’s not that profitable, and there’s a lot of “warm fuzzy” crap they would have to deal with. No thanks.


8 posted on 11/14/2007 8:16:35 AM PST by Pawtucket Patriot
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To: Pawtucket Patriot
When you say some American is "conservative," you actually mean that they think that a contract written yesterday has the same meaning today, and that it should be enforced as intended, not as might come to seem "nice" to people judging it later. Especially as might seem "nice" to people with no skin in the game.

Americans actually believe in liberty, which is not conservative because liberty means a lot of people making up their own minds about what they will do, and therefore tends to result in change rather than in maintaining the status quo. Consequently "liberal" is a positive label to Americans - and as such is a label which those with propaganda power here have tended to award to their friends. And "conservative" - although in a very limited sense germane - is actually on the surface a negative to Americans, and therefore is a label which those with the propaganda power to do so have tended to award as a booby prize to their adversaries.


9 posted on 11/14/2007 8:47:45 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
A saw a remarkable interview with Clarence Thomas on C-SPAN recently (soon after the release of his book My Grandfather's Son). The most amazing part of the interview was his explanation to the interviewer about why he hasn't read a newspaper in more than 20 years.
10 posted on 11/14/2007 8:50:41 AM PST by Alberta's Child (I'm out on the outskirts of nowhere . . . with ghosts on my trail, chasing me there.)
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To: Peter Libra
Discussing WWII politics puts me in mind of The New Dealers' War: FDR and the War Within World War II. Mandatory reading for discussion of WWII, IMHO. It opens with an imbroglio which occurred the week before Pearl Harbor stirred up by a Chicago newspaper.

11 posted on 11/14/2007 8:58:17 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

BTTT


12 posted on 11/14/2007 9:02:43 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion; FBD; BraveMan
An excellent, simply superb essay/synopsis of WTH's happened and happening in & with the Liberal-Socialist dominated media today, c_I_c. ;^)

I found this intriguing: "IOW, the newspapers of the founding era were pretty much like the local freebie advertising weeklies we see today - which don't do national/international newswire stories because the presumption is that the customer has seen all that on TV, heard it on the radio, or seen it on the Internet just as quickly as the local printer saw it."

I *terminated* the local rag (& you know why) and noticed more than ever before the "paper box" I left up filled with all manner of freebies, 99% advertising.
Interestingly my *2* neighbors continued their subscriptions but they did not receive the blizzard of freebies as was I.
Strange, that.

A close examination revealed something fascinating.
ALL the freebies AND the daily (I terminated) are owned, produced/printed by the *same* entity: Connelly Media.
Imagine that. :o)

Kind of self evident.
Newspapers today --large or small-- are in the SOLE business of selling advertising FIRST and provide "news* secondarily. Whatever "news" a rag's subscriber receives regardless the originating source is without a doubt hand picked information. Isn't that by definition, propaganda?

Nonetheless the rags pay their bills via advertising, not *news* and we know how important circ numbers are to ad rates, eh?

So it begs the question does the daily I had (as well as all others) as a matter of business plan cook their books for the purpose of upping circ numbers using freebie giveaways to that end?

Think of it: The daily I terminated pay for materials & labor to get into my hands what's really the most important product they produce and it's for free.
HA!!
Who'd a thunk it was never about protecting the republic's citizen's right to know as their amendment was meant? {g}

I for one put nothing past the insidious limousine Liberal-Socialists infesting the media when it comes to *profit*, and that's the only reason I've related my experience to you.

BTW I'd not seen the term, "Big Journalism", used before reading your well researched, written piece.
I LOVE IT!!!

Sorry my friend, but *I'm* stealing it.

...for my own!! ;^)

13 posted on 11/14/2007 9:15:44 AM PST by Landru (finally made it to the dark side of the moon.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

Big market. All we have now is the Washington Times and the New York Sun. The Times is daily in Washington and weekly in the rest of the country. The news arrives too late, after I’ve already gotten it on the internet. The Sun isn’t available in my state.
Forget print media.
We need an internet-based medium that goes out and finds the news. Not a bunch of links like we already have (FR, Lucianne, World Net Daily, Drudge, etc).
Then we need local news. This is the catch. For local news we are stuck. We have no choice except the local liberal rag.
How about it, some of you rich Republicans? Start financing a good news source?


14 posted on 11/14/2007 9:22:18 AM PST by Leftism is Mentally Deranged
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
Objective journalism is an illusion. A reporter may try to be objective, and in many cases may approach an objective viewpoint, but the mere process of observing and reporting upon those observations is subjective.
A reporter may try to be objective, but that effort must begin with introspection into what the reporter wants to be true. Without that introspection, the reporter merely assumes that he is objective. And no one is more subjective than someone who is taking their own objectivity for granted.

15 posted on 11/14/2007 9:30:36 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: Hemingway's Ghost
the mere process of observing and reporting upon those observations is subjective

The reader (or consumer as the Marxists like to think of us) also contributes to the construction. That is one of the reasons these discussion forums exist.

16 posted on 11/14/2007 9:35:28 AM PST by RightWhale (anti-razors are pro-life)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
And no one is more subjective than someone who is taking their own objectivity for granted.

Precisely. Everyone I knew in j-school thought he or she was objective. With an interior audience of one, how could you think otherwise?

Newspapers that try to promote objectivity are full of sh*t. Anyone who gets his or her news via newspaper is a complete fool if he or she believes otherwise. A New York Times reader in the 1930s, for example, would think that the Soviet Union was a paradise based on Walter Duranty's "reporting" alone.

17 posted on 11/14/2007 9:42:54 AM PST by Hemingway's Ghost (Spirit of '75)
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To: Leftism is Mentally Deranged
What we need is the wisdom, as I see it, to recognize that journalism as we know it is by design anticonservative.

Look, it is patent that I have very strong and, I hope I have demonstrated, firmly grounded logical opinions about the tendencies of journalism. They run essentially perfectly counter to the discussions you are likely to see on places like Wikipedia (which is IMHO merely a new MSM outlet). But even though there exists a "conservapedia" designed to counter Wikipedia, I have not posted to it. Why? I tried - but was defeated by the demanded format.

I actually believe that Jim Robinson has hit on a superb format for the dissemination of conservative perspective. If you are conservative and you want to see discussion of current events in which you are not bombarded by so-called "liberal" sophistry, the best way to get it is from FR. And if you think you want to be told "what is going on," you actually need to check your premises and realize that that is not realistic.

We do not have a "right to know," we only have the right to our own opinions, and to spend money at our own discretion to try to promote our opinions. And we have the implied right to access to the opinions of others (on mutually agreed-upon terms).

IMHO there is no reason why all our information cannot come to us, from the bottom up, on the Internet. We should not trust any claim of authority; we do not need it. We can talk things over and make up our own minds. Simply allowing someone to tell us "what is going on" just doesn't cut it.


18 posted on 11/14/2007 9:53:59 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion; FBD; Landru
I could have been easily led to believe this piece was written specifically for (to) the editors of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; as prolific a supporter of the liberal (excuse me, Progressive) socialist agenda as there ever was.

I do have hope for the future though. I’m finding more and more articles previously posted in Free Republic picked up in the Journal Sentinel, the following day! Dare I hope Big Journalism is taking its queue from the very citizens it deigns to serve? Could it be the tail is wagging the dog?

Nah, just wishful thinking again; seeing what I want to see. I've been warned (rightly so) about this once already today . . .

19 posted on 11/14/2007 10:01:45 AM PST by BraveMan
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To: Landru
I'd not seen the term, "Big Journalism", used before . . . *I'm* stealing it.
You might not have seen it before; I never saw it anywhere but in my own writing either. But you certainly are welcome to be the first to pick it up. Go for it, and welcome!

20 posted on 11/14/2007 12:46:42 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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