Skip to comments.The Real Enemy
Posted on 10/01/2012 6:47:04 PM PDT by 867V309
The list of flacks for leftism is drearily familiar: academia, public school systems, the entertainment industry, professional organizations, nonprofit foundations of vast wealth, the bureaucracies dependent upon social grievance and mind-numbing regulations (which includes not only federal and state bureaucrats, but "experts" in private industry who would have spent their careers mastering the arcane arts of regulatory compliance), and, of course, the media.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
I’ve been campaigning at Free Republic for the last five years on this critical issue.
The MSM is not the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party.
The Democrat Party is the political wing of the MSM.
We cannot defeat the Left unless we vigorously and directly challenge the MSM every day.
“The Media have become the enemy of the American people”. Spoken by Pat Cadell.
The Democrat Party is the political wing of the MSM.
If youve been saying that for 5 years, it seems like we would have crossed paths before now. Very surprising that I dont recognize your handle.My daughter, as a young adult, was amazed to learn that I had listened to an all news radio station for years, because for all of her life she knew me to be treating news broadcasts as if they were advertisements for something I wouldnt buy on a bet. Which is precisely what they are - and, knowing that, I quickly became bored with people breathlessly pointing out one more example illustrating the same twice-told tale.
So I began to analyze why journalism was so anti-conservative. My conclusion is that journalism is anti-conservative because journalists dont do things, they only talk - and yet they want to be influential. So they promote the conceit that they are the only people you can trust, and they attack the reputation of anyone who provides food, clothing shelter, or security. And they give positive labels - any positive label except objective, which they reserve to themselves - to Democrats. And they give negative labels to Republicans, in proportion as Republicans defend the producers against the attacks of journalists and Democrats.
Rather than inveighing against the media, I prefer to focus exclusively on journalism because fiction, in whatever medium, would have to be censored in a most odious way to effect any change at all. Which is entirely unacceptable, so I prefer to let fiction pass without notice. Journalism, OTOH, is nonfiction, in fact presumes to be objective as well as true. It therefore is a far juicer target, and - were it brought to heel - would temper the leftist tendency of so much fictional entertainment.
But focusing on journalism, it seemed necessary to me to figure out why journalism has been so monochromatic over my lifetime, whereas I took it that journalism was far more variegated and idiosyncratic before the Civil War. When I saw the title of a book in the library, I was stunned at how obvious the reason actually was. In fact, its so easy to say it, that people dont take my point seriously if I just blurt it out. The title of the book was, Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails, and the reason I sought was the telegraph. The telegraph, and the wire service - chiefly the Associated Press.
Why should the AP give journalism a single, leftist slant? Adam Smith explains:People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary. - Wealth of nations, Book I, Ch 10And the member newspapers of the AP have been in a continuous virtual meeting - not for merriment or diversion, but specifically about business - ever since the middle of the Nineteenth Century. In consequence of which, journalism has been a conspiracy against the public since the memory of living man runneth not to the contrary. The sordid story of the development of the Associated Press is discussed in the following book:
- News Over the Wires:
- The Telegraph and the Flow of Public Information in America, 1844-1897
by Menahem Blondheim
Within the chalk lines of their respective stadiums (sp), the Yankees and the Red Sox are fierce competitors. But they are also fellow members of Major League Baseball, and they cooperate in hiring umpires and in much else. Just so, all journalism outlets compete, and yet there are boundaries to their competition. Most notable is the taboo against questioning the objectivity of a fellow journalist. Which means that a Dan Rather can go on a jihad against a GW Bush, airing fraudulent Texas Air National Guard Memos, secure in the expectation that the rest of journalism would abstain from questioning his objectivity no matter how damning the evidence might be.
Presumptive objectivity, whether of journalists or anyone else, is oxymoronic in nature. It is possible and admirable for a person to attempt objectivity by scrutinizing his own motives and interests as they may relate, however tangentially, to the subject about which he is writing. But it is inherently impossible for that same person to know that he has achieved objectivity. That being the case, it is the height of arrogance for any person to join an organization which claims objectivity for all its members. While you are claiming objectivity (or suffering others to claim it for you) you are not subjecting your own possible biases to scrutiny, for you have prejudged the result of that scrutiny. And if you arent doing that, you arent actually trying to be objective, whatever window dressing you may employ to obscure that fact. You can give both sides of the story - but without examining how your own incentives relate to your understanding of the topic you cannot actually give a full account of whatever side you disagree with - because in your heart of hearts, you dont actually believe that there actually are two sides to the story.
Ill see your five years, and raise you six:
Thanks for your long reply and dedicated work at Free Republic.
Until recent years, I wrote most of my MSM-related posts at NewsBusters.
My own view on journalism...
(1) Most MSM journalists are Hard Left political activists who do a little news gathering in their spare time, mostly by speaking to Hard Left informed sources in government and business.
(2) Most major newspapers and TV news programs don't care if they make a profit - they only worry about breaking even and meeting expenses.
(3) Elite MSM journalists are formidable opponents - they are gifted writers, gifted and attractive speakers, highly paid, highly creative, they are tireless workers, and they are absolutely passionate about their Hard Left political principles.
(4) Elite MSM journalists have no understanding of one of their most critical advantages - they are completely de-centralized - this means they can experiment with new political themes or emphasize new news stories much faster and much more creatively than Conservative candidates can respond to them - and, as you point out, there is no downside risk - if one elite MSM journalist advances an ineffective theme or story, all the other elite journo's just ignore it - if the new theme or story is effective, all the other elite journo's leap on board and add new details or new perspectives.
(5) How do Conservatives fight this? - great question - sometimes I think our growing presence in “New Media” like Free Republic is the answer - other times, I feel despair and completely powerless against the crushing influence of the Hard Left MSM.
I have a dream, as Dr. King famously put it. The advantage of focusing exclusively on journalism, which claims both truth and objectivity, is that at least in retrospect their claims should be subject to falsification. And as I noted in Why Broadcast Journalism is Unnecessary and Illegitimate, broadcast journalism is regulated by the FCC and is purportedly in the public interest. But if
it would seem that it should be possible to sue the AP and its membership, the broadcast networks and their member stations, and the FCC for malfeasance/nonfeasance in their stated missions. I saw a web site which credibly asserted that SCOTUS found the AP to be in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act back in 1945. Id cite the link, but its broken now. In 1945 the mission of the AP - the conservation of scarce, expensive bandwidth in the long-distance transmission of news - made the AP clearly too big to fail in 1945. In 2011, tho, long-distance telegraphy bandwidth is dirt cheap, and you could imagine a lawsuit demanding the breakup of the AP.
- journalism systematically fails the test of retrospective truth,
- journalism systematically fails the test of objectivity, and
- journalism systematically operates as a cabal conspiring against the public,
Anyway, its a nice dream.
I agree with that.
the media are just rabid democrats/marxists taking jobs as reporters so they can destroy, the U.S., capitalism, and freedom and advance socialism.
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