Contrasting Views on Corporate Media
Kevin Drum: LET US NOW PRAISE DAILY NEWSPAPERSNormally, I would deconstruct damn near every sentence of the above excerpt, but (1.) I've already spent too much time at this time computer today; (2.) I have a ferocious headache, and; (3.) A blissfully cogent opinion on this subject can be found via the great and wonderous blog, A Tiny Revolution:
"...liberals should think very hard before joining the media bashing crusade too eagerly. Sure, the New York Times employs Judith Miller, and the pressure of daily deadlines promotes too much lazy he-said/she-said reporting on their pages, but guess what? It's still the best newspaper in the world, bar none. If you really believe the Times is a piece of crap, your problem is not with the Times, it's with the current state of the art in human perfectibility.
None of this means newspapers shouldn't be criticized. But endless broad brush howling does nothing except enable the right wing's agenda, regardless of what the howling is aimed at. If liberal bloggers were wiser, we'd spend a little more time praising our big national newspapers and a little less time shaking our fists over the fact that sometimes they aren't on our side. Our real opposition is the right wing press destruction machine, not the press itself.
Jonathan Schwartz: We've Got To Pray To God They're LyingCareful, there, Jonathan. You're "enabling the right wing agenda" (!!!)
"Probably no first world country has a media as right wing and cowardly as the US. Most of it is garbage—as you'd expect, since it only exists to fill up the space between the ads. While there are many journalists who'd love to do a good job, the pressures on them make this almost impossible."
"So every day the media is filled with 20 million mistakes, from misspelled names to garbled quotes to the uncritical transmission of lies that kill thousands of people. And the Newsweek thing WAS a mistake, even if the general story turns out to be be true; you really shouldn't publish something with such weak sourcing."
"But of the 20 million daily mistakes, there are only consequences when the media steps on powerful toes. Journalists are free to create stories that are 99% crap and 1% truth, as long as its about Official Enemies or people without money. But write something that's 99% true and arguably 1% mistaken about a billionaire or US foreign policy, and you're going to media jail."
Just so's ya know: Now that I'm back in the saddle, when I'm not posting here at The Carnival of Horror, I'm runnin' my big mouth in the comments section of everyone else's blogs. In response to RobinE's American Street post, I crafted the following response to Kevin Drum's misguided criticism of the Left Blogsylvania's propensity for pointing out the deficiencies of America's abandonded and collapsed Fourth Estate:
My aim in posting that response isn't - believe it or not - to rub Drum's face in his errors in judgment. It's to emphasize that we're presently in one of those times of "epic, historical upheaval" and it's time to take the damn gloves off. At some point, The Left has to stop operating under the illusion that America's political and cultural landscape is the same as it was in 1975. It ain't. The rules have changed, and either we take the fight to our adversaries or we might as well resign ourselves to asphyxiation under tyranny's knobby boot.
Addendum: Kevin's taking a well-deserved beating in the commentary of his own blog, and some of the responses are pretty entertaining. My favorite snarkage there - and a great meme for dissemination - is found here:
"The 'Old Gray Lady" has become the 'Old Fat Whore'. The old fat whore may be the finest prostitute in the world, but the best newspaper? Are you kidding?Unfortunately, I don't think he is.