Of course The Post thinks the fact that the public no longer trusts it is a bad thing. That a small group of media outlets can no longer completely dominate the news “narrative” is terrible in the eyes of one of the #oldmedia outlets. We wouldn’t expect them to like it. But that people no longer trust the “media” particularly the “legacy,” “old,” or “crony media” is actually a very good thing for the country.
It used to be that most Americans got their news from the local paper and Walter Cronkite and never even considered that they were being lied to and manipulated for political reasons. (Not that this was always the case.) Consider that Cronkite used to sign off of his broadcast with this little tag.
“And that’s the way it is.”
For Mr. Cronkite and his production staff maybe. Perhaps for the folks just down the road at The New York Times. But “That’s the way it is” is unbelievably arrogant. Yet at the time I’ll bet not that many people saw it that way.
Now we know better.
Thing is, the #oldmedia did it to themselves. Most folks who were generally not inclined to vote Democrat have long known that the #oldmedia had a pretty clear political agenda. One did not get to be anchor of a news desk in years past without a certain center-left (for the most part) political disposition. Lefties had the luxury of believing the ideas coming out of the television and off of the printed page were what good “right thinking” people thought. (It has been my experience that this is still the case with those who still follow the #oldmedia blindly.) Conservatives and libertarians just put up with the news as it was because there were no other options. They had to lump the generally liberal, generally Northeastern, newstream.
That is no longer the case. Now we have the Internet. And thank God for that.
(From The Washington Post)
You can think the media thinks too highly of itself. (We do.) You can ask who appointed us the refs. (Fair.) And, you can be skeptical — in fact, you should be skeptical — of something being reported that smells fishy to you. (We, as humans, can and do get stuff wrong.) But what you should not wish for is that the mainstream media disappear or be rendered irrelevant.
Whether you like or agree with an independent media all the time — breaking news: you won’t! — you should value an entity that does its best to hold those in power accountable. Without such a force, you would like society a whole lot less. And our society would be a whole lot less.
In one sense the author of the attached article has a very important point. Of course we need a robust and independent press to keep the powers that be – be they Republican, Democrat, or something else – in check. Absolutely! But the problem is many people feel that the so called “mainstream” press (the author uses the term) hasn’t done a good job of that. It bent over backward to get Obama into the White House for instance and has been very very easy on him in the years since, even while the public’s tolerance of the president has declined. There is the sense that the #oldmedia, the #cronymedia, the “mainstream” media have colluded (at least passively – in some cases actively) with this president.
I mean, who could forget Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s right hand woman kissing everyone on Morning Joe this spring. I’m sure they do this with everyone right?
Really, it’s mostly that people in the media are just inclined to agree with the president, even if most of the American people don’t. (I interned for a “conservative” news outlet – not the one you’re thinking of – and even there almost all of the producers and a good number of the on-air people were generally liberal.) It’s a fashion. Statism is the pervasive disposition in the “mainstream” newsroom. The average American isn’t like them. The average American works in a cubicle in some office park somewhere. The average person NEEDS to be told what to think.
And yes, sure, the media is owned by corporate giants. But these corporate giants are disposed toward big government. We live in a crony economy. So yes the #oldmedia can be “corporate” and have a “corporate agenda” and also have a very statist, some would call “progressive” agenda.
Heck, the folks at NBC couldn’t even bring themselves to fire Brian Williams. (As we predicted.) In fact they gave him a new show.
Now why are we supposed to trust the “mainstream” media again?