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View Diary: Media 'neutrality' lets Republican lies thrive in food stamp vote coverage (50 comments)

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  •  I'm quite sure that my good brothers and sisters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zinger99

    here at Kos aren't going to like this comment, and it truly pains me to acknowledge its reality.

    Americans don't deserve truthful media and politicians.

    There I said it, now please let me explain.  I realize that to lefties, the notion of the market deciding things can, at times, be uncomfortable.  But the truth is that from a meta POV, its true.  In the sense that politics and media consumption are a market where ideas are "bought and sold" via the macro numbers of supporters and voters or viewers and readers.

    For example, the drivel and delusion that WaPo, the NYT, or CNN propagate are only as impactful as the numbers of people who digest them allows.  Sure, World Net Daily is crazy, but nobody cares much because they have such a small readership.  Same thing for us here at Kos.  If the American people were truly appalled by the antics of the corporate media, then we should see a corresponding decline in sales and a shift towards progressive radio or TV programming.  Likewise, if the American people were truly abhorred by the system of legalized bribery that is our campaign finance system, we would see a slow and methodical shift towards actual support of public campaign financing.  There would be referendum on ballots, which would pass by huge margins, leading to opportunistic politicians taking up the fight and receiving ever increasing amounts of support.  Alas, we see none of this.  Just like we see no meaningful attitude shifts on guns and abortion.  The acceptance of gay marriage is a prime example, as we've seen public support shift dramatically, and lo and behold, the laws are gradually evolving in that direction.

    All of this can only lead, IMHO, to any objective person recognizing the truth.  The American people neither want nor deserve the policies or social changes that we advocate for here at the Kos.  CNN and Meet the Press can get away with this garbage for only one reason, they are not punished for it.  Sure, I don't watch that crap propaganda, but millions of people do, and the numbers aren't declining, at least not enough for them to change their approach.  Similarly, Daily Kos, Current, or the Young Turks don't have 10's of millions of members  because of a genuine market desire for progressive or even objective news.  If that market was truly out there, rest assured there would be companies or organizations clamoring to satisfy that demand and make money.

    It's a sad realization to be sure, but not one that can be denied.  We get the media we deserve, we get the govt we deserve, and on and on.

    MMT = Reality

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

    by Auburn Parks on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 02:37:22 PM PDT

    •  This implies that we have some degree of agency (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotdash2u

      in "choosing" what media outlets succeed and which ones fail. Media consolidation means, in essence, that a newspaper of record, or a decent alternative weekly, can enjoy robust sales (solid community support) for years and years, but the second it is bought out by a parent corporation, its editorial policy is watered down and its investigative reporting is neutered, gutted, and replaced with more ostensibly saleable content.

      We didn't have anything to do with that; the pressure came from above, from shareholders who see a newspaper as a potential source of liquid assets, and nothing more. They will cannibalize an economically healthy newspaper just as readily as they will a struggling one. And we will continue to read the watered-down Washington Post, the watered-down Village Voice, the watered-down New York Times, because we don't read the business section of the Wall St. Journal enough to know that our prized papers of record have been restructured to within an inch of their lives. We won't know that until the content begins to suffer, and by then, there will only be a half-dozen other players in the game -- so far as traditional media outlets are concerned.

      We didn't have anything to do with any of that. And if newspapers continued to enjoy status as prestigious loss-leaders, or network news divisions continued to enjoy autonomy from their parent networks, then this cannibalization would remain completely unnecessary. The impulse all comes from the financial sector at the very top.

      The idea that the market votes with its feet when it comes to the media is balderdash, IMHO.

      Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

      by Dale on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 02:51:19 PM PDT

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      •  It is always welcome for you to state your (0+ / 0-)

        opinion.  However, your response totally glosses over the most important concepts that I laid out.
        1) Have Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars, TYT, Thom Hartmann, McClatchey, The Real News Network, Alternet, etc etc experienced exponential growth in readership as the general appetite for corporate media propaganda has declined?
        Because if this was the case, do you not believe there are plenty of rich people and companies that would jump to take advantage of this shift in consumer desires by investing and expanding that content, leading to a virtuous feedback loop that forced the corporate media to the left and not the right?
        Of course the answer to both these notions is no.

        2) Where is the political spectrum shift in the general populace?  You may say, "but redistricting, etc etc"  All one needs to do is look at any number of countless polls where the political attitudes have not shifted.  How is Scott Walker leading in WI, regardless of the opponents name recognition?  How is Ken Cuccinelli even close to Terry McAuliffe?  Where is the outrage of super pacs?  Occupy Wall St. was a joke, they got no one elected, they made almost no difference whatsoever.  Are Dems taking significant leads in Senate races across the country due to mass outrage and Republican antics?  Mitt Romney won over 47% of the vote.  CO just had to Dem state lawmakers recalled in Dem districts due to gun legislation and on and on and on and on and on.  I don't disagree that the financial elite definitely want to get their propaganda out there, however they are not all powerful.  There are plenty of rich liberals.

        MMT = Reality

        "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

        by Auburn Parks on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 03:10:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh and one more thing. You are right about one (0+ / 0-)

        thing.  No one individual has "agency" over which news network or politician succeeds or fails.  Just like you and I personally have no "agency" over whether Walmart or Costco go out of business.  One customer does not make or break anything.  Thats why its called macro or meta or the market.  Its the combined actions of millions of people that lead to the ultimate results of an issue, business, politician, or media outlet.  And exactly as I described, while you and I and the tens or hundreds of thousands of us here at Kos may vehemently hate Walmart, Mitch McConnell, or Republicans in general, the macro of people quite obviously do not.  I say obvious simply, because our reality is a reflection of those meta trends.  We The People make our own reality.  The reason why Walmart is subsidized to the tune of billions of dollars through its workers getting such low pay as to receive welfare, is because the people allow it.  If there was sufficient outrage, and not just here in small niche progressive media, then the minimum wage would easily be lifted.  Sure, polls may show a majority in support of raising the minimum wage or tightening gun regulations, but there are no widespread marches or public displays to drive those policies past the legislative finish line.  I am only describing the world, I sure don't agree with it

        "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

        by Auburn Parks on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 03:18:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, I hear what you're saying, Auburn, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          anastasia p

          but again, I just want to be clear that I don't think people shop at Walmart because they are actively voting with their feet for Walmart's oppressive wage conditions or their negative impact on local economies.

          Folks in my neck of the woods have been forced to embrace the race to the bottom: precarious, underpaid local employment translates into slim paychecks and increased reliance upon Walmart's low, low prices. It's all well and good to tell them to be outraged about Walmart has done, but in the meantime, who is going to keep them in cheap Blu-Ray players and flat-screen TVs?

          It's true, what you're saying above, that folks haven't magically migrated to dKos, Truthout, and Alternet in the wake of the mainstream media's descent into shittiness. But again, is it reasonable to expect Joe Overworked to come home from a hard day at his second job and pore through progressive analyses of climate debates, or Robert Reich's latest push to raise the cap on payroll taxes?

          No, they'll come home, turn on the Voice, and if they have half an ounce of energy left after that, they'll try to get the headlines on CNN. And who can blame them? We may browbeat folks for indulging in what we think are vacuous, ideologically suspect media choices, but when it comes down to it, none of this was ever voted on in any democratic fashion. The MSM push us aggressively in the direction that they want us to go, and we follow... or we buck the trend and amble over to Truthout. But folks who can do that, often have the time and disposable leisure to pore over policy analyses and political tracts.  

          Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

          by Dale on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:33:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dale, you've definitely hit on the crux of the (0+ / 0-)

            problem for why more people aren't informed better.  Because it takes time to do so, and time is something that many people cant afford.  Self actualization, Maslow's hierarchy of needs and all.  Believe me I understand all that very well, as all of us activists need to understand because the logistics of progressive change and informing the public are just as important as the message itself.  Thats why people pay good money for marketing and messaging firms, there's a whole science out there on this stuff.  Some people spend their whole lives trying to understand personal and social psychology.  Like I said, I get all that.

            But that fact remains, regardless of the REASONS for why the electorate is of badly or plainly misinformed, the fact remains that they are.  And the reality that they are misinformed is one of the key components of why public opinion is what it is.  I would never disagree with that.  In this case, YOU are simply describing reality.  Nevertheless, the sad reality is that public opinion, purchasing or viewing decisions reflect the macro POV of the populace at large still stands.  I am simply pointing out a very broad tautology claim, that "the people" get what they "want".  Thats the very fundamental nature of society.  Before the civil war, the country got slavery because thats what it wanted.  As the people's attitude toward slavery evolved over time, We got to the point where We wanted to do something about it.  Turns out that war was necessary to change the social rules that previously allowed the practice.  Soak that in for a second, 100's of thousands of people died to keep the union united and end slavery, thats the very definition of social determination on a particular subject.  Was that generation's free time any more available?  I would posit that it was not.  Today, there is no issue that could drive the masses to civil war, today, we can't even drive the populace to stand up in mass against the institutional bribery of our Congress, even after the largest financial disaster in the last 100 years.  Something must account for this fact, and the cold reality is that the people are just simply not mad enough about the trillions of dollars of fraud perpetrated on us in the run up to the Great Recession.  Again, this much is legion, it can't be denied, now I am simply describing reality.

            P.S. I wasn't necessarily mentioning Walmart in the sense that people stop shopping there.  I would never begrudge a poor person saving as much of their meager income as possible.  The public acceptance comes into play with regard to accepting the minimum and regulatory laws that allow Walmart to pay their workers so little, thereby effectively reaping the billions of dollars in subsidies that We give them

            MMT = Reality

            "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

            by Auburn Parks on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:18:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Bunk. (0+ / 0-)

      People are voting on their opinion of the media — they don't trust it and they don't consume it.

      But finding accurate sources of real information is difficult, time-consuming work. I spend probably 3-4 hours a day or more becoming informed. Most people do not have the time and it is as mean as cutting food assistance to blame them for this.

      Some issues are easy to get because they are personal — like marriage equality. People realize their favorite uncle is gay, or a loved coworkers, and they evolve. Campaign finance reform is never simple. You put an issue on the ballot and it HAS to be complicated and wordy – and easier to lie about and mislead people.

      We had an excellent amendment on redistricting on our ballot here in Ohio last year which would have improved our political climate 500%. Our GOP secretary of state made sure the ballot language was verbose and misleading, and shadowy PACS spent millions lying about it.  So it lost. Everyone in the state (except GOP leadership) would have benefited. The COUNTRY would have benefited (IT would have produced a closer to 50/50 division in our congressional delegation, instead of 3-1 Republican like we've got)

      How do you get word out? Our right-wng dailies dissed it on minor procedural issues and trivial speculative problems. Our daily in Cleveland is just a mouthpiece for the Greater Cleveland Partnership, an entity with a corporate agenda that is basically the local wing of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

      What do you do and how?

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 04:57:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My dear sister, you too are describing logistics (0+ / 0-)

        I am describing the meta.  Please allow me to pose a simple explanatory example.

        You mention the Cleveland daily.  I've stopped reading my local Chicago Tribune within the last year.  Now for me this has to do with MMT economics.  I know that the Govt's budget is nothing at all like a household or business.  The US Dollar comes from the US Govt, so I basically dismiss any source that doesn't acknowledge that our nation can never run out of our fiat currency.  And the Chicago Trib is full of right wing (and left wing for that matter) misinformation about the nature of our national finances.  So I read other sources that suit my personality and understanding.  

        This brings up two concepts:
        1) Time
        2) Source material

        1) I can easily spend the same amount of time that I used to reading other sources instead of the Trib.  So that element is irrelevant.  Now if I used to never had the time or inclination to read, this would be different.  But instead, I spend the same amount of time, I just give my time to a different source.

        2) If the people in your area have had enough of your local Cleveland daily and stopped reading it and instead found alternative sources.  The business model for the paper would fail in the aggregate.  If not fail, then they would have to adjust to the changing dynamics of their readership, just like any business must change over time in order to maintain or expand market share.  However, the mere fact that the daily remains is evidence of the fact that enough people want to read what the Cleveland Daily is selling to keep them in business with their status quo.  YOU may think that your paper is a mouthpiece of the Chamber of Commerce, but obviously yours is not the opinion of enough people to force the paper to either change or go out of business.  Just like my hatred of the lies from the Trib is obviously not the prevailing public POV in my area given its continued existence.  If you had a paper that spoke the truth 100% in the way that you personally wish it would, and that paper resonated with so many of your neighbors that they all cancelled their subscriptions and bought your paper.  This would be a signal that other papers should get involved in copying this imaginary paper in order to try and take advantage of that latent demand.  The fact that this has not happened is the clear as day evidence that the public or market does not share your POV.

        Its like me here at Kos.  Too many of my fellow Kossacks believe we need to raise taxes in order to afford rising SS spending in the future.  Now this belief is completely wrong, its actually absurd if one thinks about it and understands even the most fundamental nature of fiat money.  However, I recognize that mine is not the prevailing POV.  It frustrates me to no end, but I simply can't deny the reality.  I can try and try to post comments  and links about why the prevailing myth is widely believed, but my comments rarely get tipped, and more people than not want to argue that world is flat.  So, if my payroll taxes unnecessarily go up because the majority of kossacks believe in something false, the market would have decided in this example.  And this is no different than anything else I've said here..

        MMT= Reality

        "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. Please join our Kos group "Money and Public Purpose". The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it.

        by Auburn Parks on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:38:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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