Skip to comments.The Golden Egg / Column: The Hillary Papers and the Death of the Mainstream Media
Posted on 02/15/2014 1:03:43 PM PST by dirtboy
The school of literary criticism known as reception theory holds that a text should be studied in light of its effect on its contemporaries, that a reader should be aware of the horizon of expectations in which a text is produced. I was reminded of this the other day as I observed, in amusement, fascination, and occasional pity, the reaction of the so-called mainstream media to Alana Goodmans lengthy and rock-solid report on The Hillary Papers. This trove of previously unexamined transcriptions of conversations between Hillary Clinton and her best friend Diane Blair had been collecting dust at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville for years. Not anymore.
As far as Bill and Hillary Clinton are concerned, the medias horizon of expectations is stunningly narrow. It encompasses on the one hand the belief that the secretary of explaining stuff is a national treasure beyond reproach, and on the other hand the expectation that the former secretary of state will be our next president. Stories that fall outside of this horizon are problematized, scrutinized, ascribed to partisanship, and read with the sort of incredulity reporters are supposed to apply to public figures such as the Clintons.
When the Free Beacon published The Hillary Papers last Sunday night, we knew the story would have to cross a high bar. The piece was scrupulously fact-checked. All of the documents we cited were loaded onto the Internet. Every effort was made to present as straightforwardly as possible the contents of the papers, which show Hillary Clinton as hardheaded, calculating, and, yes, ruthless. (Re-read the part where she axes a Supreme Court appointment out of spite.)
What I did not expect was that the media would undergo such a tortured and dramatic breakdown, would struggle so laboriously to acknowledge the scoop while schizophrenically downplaying its importance.
(Excerpt) Read more at freebeacon.com ...
Idiocracy seems less fictional by the day.
The sheep elected the POS twice. Shitlery is next.
Illiterate electorate will remain after the current tumor is excised.
Very well-written piece.
Why would anyone be surprised by THE HIDE THE DECLINE media shrugging their shoulders over this. The radical leftist MSM and socialist democrat party are locked at the hip.
That is because influencing public opinion with which to use government to control markets is cheaper and safer than making investments in superior products and services.
I wish people would stop calling them main stream media. They are the propaganda media. Call them that. Embarrass them. Shame them. Who knows they may wake up.
Agreed. But I protest the term, media, as well. Lets face it, there is no objective rationale for critiquing fiction. What people really criticize the most, and rightly, is pseudo-objective journalism. Journalism is published as nonfiction, and therefore journalism can (at least rhetorically) be held to the standard of truth.
The claim that journalism is objective is a fatuous conceit - even worse, and oxymoron. Because no one can know that they are objective - and no one can know that people who agree with them are objective, either. That means that claiming objectivity is proof of not being objective about yourself.
Everyone should try for objectivity, just as everyone should try for wisdom - but in either case it is arrogant to claim to have attained it. But in order to make a good-faith effort at objectivity, journalists would have to scrutinize their own motives - and this is inconsistent with preemptively claiming to be objective. The reality of the motivation of journalists is that they want to be believed, and they want to be respected. And journalists do not do things, so they criticize and second guess those who do.Journalism is empowered in its fatuous claims of objectivity by the fact that (all appearances of competition notwithstanding) journalism is actually a monopoly. Because all major journalists are connected via the Associated Press.
Elite leftist hate the term 'mainstream media' because it pigeon holes them as common... that's why we use it.
I agree with you. Any idea about a catchy name for them? They are anything but mainstream. And we, conservatives, reinforce the idea that they are mainstream every time we say it.
how about simply “Old Media” (as opposed to the New Media)?
It has the same problem my suggestion has. It is accurate but not catchy. We need something that sums it up in a few easily remembered and accurate words. And it is something people will like to use.
how about simply Old Media (as opposed to the New Media)?
I agree with you. Any idea about a catchy name for them? They are anything but mainstream. And we, conservatives, reinforce the idea that they are mainstream every time we say it.Calling journalists mainstream (as opposed to out of the mainstream?) is hardly a negative label, and scarcely one that they have any reason to defend against. And calling them the media is off-target as well, since not only is a printing press or a TV network an inanimate object which could in principle be used for conservative ends (but rarely is) but media is plural and wire-service journalism is singular. - a monopoly (granted that the AP isnt the only wire service, but it is a ubiquitous one, and if you are in one cabal it is no defense to say that you are also in another).
A highly illustrative example of dishonest labeling is the word liberal, which I do my best to never use without scare quotes. As recently as 95 years ago, if anyone wanted to describe your political attitude or mine,the term liberal would have leapt instantly to mind. I took the trouble to try to look it up in the library, and a librarian pointed me to Safires New Political Dictionary - which dates the inversion of the meaning of liberal to the 1920s. This accords perfectly with two data points:
Obviously no word in serious adult usage - especially no word which had no real synonym - could invert in meaning so completely in a mere decade if a truly liberal perspective had been well represented in journalism. The word conservative is no real substitute, and definitely has negative connotations. To be a true liberal is to venerate the Declaration and the Constitution, neither of which is actually a conservative document because both represented a radical break from monarchy/aristocracy. The term progress is in the Constitution as something to be promoted. Journalists assigned, or certainly cooperated in the assignment of, the term Progressive to socialists who want to prevent drilling for oil and gas, and promote NIMBY opposition to all improvement projects, public or private. And journalists insist on labeling the same bunch as moderate or centrist - basically any positive label they can think of except objective, which label they reserve to themselves (but which they will unreservedly apply to anyone they called liberal yesterday if today that same person got a job as a journalist).
- FA Hayek learned English in America in the late teens of the 20th century but, having returned to Europe, he had no inkling that the meaning of liberal had been inverted here until he came back here for a book tour for The Road to Serfdom in 1945.
- Franklin Roosevelt unselfconsciously referred to himself as a liberal throughout his administration, which started in 1933.
The great problem is that journalists are the ones whose labels stick on others. Possibly - just possibly - there is a glimmer of hope to be seen in the word sophistry, which derives from the ancient Greek word which ironically means wisdom. Just as the modern journalist arrogates to himself the virtue of objectivity, the Sophists of classical Greece arrogated to themselves the virtue of wisdom - with the result that philosophers - who did not claim to be wise but to be lovers of wisdom - arose to reject claims of superior wisdom as illegitimate ad hominem arguments against those who were not so arrogant as to claim moral superiority.
The label we seek would, ideally, ridicule the idea that holding propaganda power teaches wisdom, compassion, and humility. Objectivity, as the journalist uses the term, is code. Self-claimed objectivity is the negation of the real thing - and in reality it is a label which should be understood against the backdrop of the journalists desire - utterly human desire - to be believed and looked up to.IMHO we are going to have to try to turn the term journalist into a pejorative. That is who they are, and their behavior follows directly from their own incentives and the credulousness which the public has accorded them. We need a term like philosopher to mean, recovering credulous naif.
Ever notice how groups that have sullied names fight for a new name? And when the new name becomes identified with them, they want to change that name again?
We don’t have to change what we call any of these groups - they’ll do it for us... Then they’ll do it again. And again. And each time it will become more obvious what’s happening. A rose by any other name... A garbage dump by any other name...
Liberals are giving up the label ‘liberal’ because they’ve degraded it. Now they want to be called progressives.
There are journalists who want to be called ‘content providers’ because the term ‘journalist’ is being degraded.
My point is that this issue will take care of itself.