We cant find the solution without clearly identifying the root cause of the problem. Having looked at the problem long and hard, my opinion is that the unified tendentiousness of journalism is that root cause. Journalism is protected, and rightly so, under the First Amendment - but nothing in 1A indicates that journalism is objective - or that it should be unified. A constitutional provision isolating the press from government interference is certainly no way to force journalism to be objective.The Constitution doesnt contemplate forcing journalism to be objective, far from it - it only protects the right of anyone to express their own opinion to anyone who wants to listen to it. Leaving the judgement of objectivity or wisdom to the listener/reader who we wish were prudent enough to recognize that anyone who claims to be objective, or does so implicitly by criticizing others for not being objective, is the least objective of all.
But there is a caveat. Journalism may be independent of the government or any political party, but nothing requires a political party - or a government constituted by a political party - to be independent of journalism. What if journalism has interests distinct from, even contrary to, that of the people as a whole?
Adam Smith pointed out in Wealth of Nations thatPeople 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. Book I, Ch 10So in that sense Adam Smith predicted that if the newspaper printers got to be in too close a communication - say, for example, by forming an organization to share reports over the telegraph - that newspapers would become one associated press, and the interests of journalism would be put forth as "the interests of the people." And that is what we observe in reality. They call it liberalism or progressivism, or moderation or centrism or motherhood and apple pie - but socialism is simply the interest not of the people but of journalism unified by the Associated Press (and by any and all other wire services you care to name).
Why is that so? Journalists are about talk, not doing things. They are the critics of the man in the arena - they never run risks to get things done, but they are sure, they want you to be sure, that they are smarter than those who do - and would do better than what is actually done if they were in charge of everything. The junior senator from Massachusetts will tell you that you didnt build that. You and I know that it wouldnt have been built if nobody had had the vision and the commitment to build and operate that, but it flatters everyone else to deny reality. And so we see the associated press vigorously promoting the politics of the money tree fantasy at the expense of anyone who has ever deferred spending in order to save and invest.
You also see white man him bad politics promoted the same way - whoever has the effrontery to even think of succeeding without being in bed with politicians associated with the associated press is given the Joe the Plumber treatment. Or the Nifong treatment just for being a convenient target for a Democrat politicians ambition.
Well, so much for preaching to the choir - what can be done about it? The Associated Press should be sued into oblivion. Now that transmission bandwidth cost is de minimus, its mission - the transmission of significant news across the continent while conserving bandwidth - is obsolete. The sins of the MSM are manifold, and the AP and its membership should be called to account in a class-action, RICO civil suit for triple damages. Sue the whole bunch at once, to prevent them from passing responsibility for coining and propagating libelous falsehoods. And include the FCC while you are at it, for demanding objective journalism as a condition of broadcast licensing, thereby putting the imprimatur of the government on fraudulent claims of objectivity.
But as we saw in the Bush years, no one in the GOP will stand up to MSM slander. Kerry threatened to sue any station airing swift boat ads, and a movie documenting facts about it. What did Bush do when CBS actually aired fake documents suggesting he was AWOL in the National Guard, hoping to effect an election? Nothing. And so the MSM thrives in a niche of appeasement to one side only.