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A blockbuster look at the depth of the unfairness in reporting

The defining issue of our time is not the Iraq war. It is not the "global war on terror." It is not our inability (or unwillingness) to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable health care. Nor is it immigration, outsourcing, or growing income inequity. It is not education, it is not global warming, and it is not Social Security.

The defining issue of our time is the media.

The dominant political force of our time is not Karl Rove or the Christian Right or Bill Clinton. It is not the ruthlessness or the tactical and strategic superiority of the Republicans, and it is not your favorite theory about what is wrong with the Democrats.

The dominant political force of our time is the media.

From media Matters' Jamie Foser:

The media's enabling of the Bushies is subtle. It is easily discerned when one compares a Clinton Scandal- say Whitewater which resulted in reams of nothingness- and Abu Ghraib which should have destroyed Bush but didn't get the attention of Monica's Dress.

Reporters who offer the excuse that they and their colleagues covered Clinton "scandals" so much because sex sells, and is easily explained and understood, are cherry-picking. They are ignoring the obsessive coverage they gave to Clinton "scandals" that had nothing to do with sex, and that were not widely understood.

They are ignoring, for example, years of coverage of Whitewater, an obscure land deal in which the Clintons lost money and that was investigated by multiple independent counsels, congressional committees, federal agencies, and every news organization in the country -- none of which found any wrongdoing by the Clintons. Whitewater had nothing to do with sex, and nobody understood it -- probably because there was nothing to understand. And that's not even going into Travelgate, Filegate, Vince Foster's suicide, or the myriad other "scandals" the media covered that did not involve sex.

Eric Boehlert, author of the excellent new book Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, May 2006), has offered one example of the obsessive coverage the media gave Whitewater:

    In the 24 months between Jan. 1994 and Jan. 1996, long before Monica Lewinsky entered the picture and back when Whitewater was about an alleged crooked land deal, Nightline devoted 19 programs to the then-unfolding scandal and investigation, for which no Clinton White House official was ever indicted.

And that's how it was for eight years: obsessive media coverage and hype of made-up Clinton "scandals" that never went anywhere because they never existed anywhere other than the fevered imaginations of a few far-right Clinton-haters and the credulous news media that took them seriously.

How bad did it get? As we're fond of pointing out, the Washington Post editorial board called for the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate Whitewater "even though -- and this should be stressed -- there has been no credible charge in this case that either the president or Mrs. Clinton did anything wrong." That's right: The Post called for an independent counsel to investigate "no credible charge."

Boehlert offered a comparison to the Bush era:

    But during the 24 months between Sept. 2003 and Sept. 2005, Nightline set aside just three programs to the unfolding CIA leak investigation, for which Libby, an assistant to the president, was indicted. On the night of the Libby indictments, Nightline devoted just five percent of its program to that topic.

And that's pretty much how things have been for the past five years: Clear, conclusive evidence exists that Bush and his administration have committed countless transgressions far more serious than whatever it is reporters thought Bill Clinton might have done. And it has received far less coverage than Clinton's non-scandals.

To be clear, this isn't simply about the CIA leak investigation, or the Downing Street memos, or Tyler Drumheller, or any other individual matter. It's about a clear and consistent pattern of under-reporting stories that would be damaging to Bush -- a pattern that began before Bush even took office.

For example, there is the sale of Bush's Harkin stock that occured after he was informed that the company had a liquidity crisis and it was not in compliance with Federal Regulators.

Here's how they treated it:

In the months before the 2000 election, newly disclosed documents revealed that shortly before he dumped his Harken stock, George W. Bush had been told that the company faced a "liquidity crisis" and was "in a state of noncompliance" with lenders and that its plan to raise money was being abandoned. The documents revealed that the SEC -- which, at the time, was run by a close ally of Bush's father, then-President George H. W. Bush -- never bothered to interview Bush about his stock sale during its investigation of the matter.

And The New York Times completely ignored it. Completely. The Washington Post completely ignored it. USA Today completely ignored it. ABC, CBS and NBC? Ignored, ignored, ignored. CNN? CNN is an all-news channel; it has a whole day to fill with news every single day. Surely CNN managed to squeeze in a mention or two of new evidence that a major-party presidential candidate may have made a fortune in an insider-trading scheme that was covered up by cronies of his father the president? No, CNN didn't even mention it. Not a word.

And here come the excuses and the apologists and their appeals that hold no water when looked at fairly

Sure, they went overboard with Clinton, they say, but sex sells. But it wasn't just sex, and it wasn't just Clinton. Sure, they were a bit unfair to Al Gore, someone might concede, but he had it coming -- he was stiff and insincere. But it isn't just Al Gore. Sure, too many reporters may have been complicit in the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's smears of John Kerry, but he invited it by speaking openly and honestly about his service. Sure, Howard Dean's "scream" was overplayed, but he had it coming -- it was crazy! Sure, media elites fawn all over Bush, but he's just so likable! And John McCain, too. And Rudy Giuliani. They're all just so real and authentic.

Jamie Foser makes a rather long analysis of the comparison between something simple like Hillary Clinton's answer to what is on her iPod and W's answer.  When Hillary answers it somehow becomes calculated focus group on what people like. When W answers it becomes just a regular guy's songlist.  

Then of course, there is The New York Times. The paper of record. The protector of Judy Miller, the mentor of jayson Blair, the hider of Bushes spying secrets...the home of John Teirney  

The New York Times -- the same newspaper that couldn't be bothered to report a single word about new evidence suggesting that George W. Bush possessed insider information when he dumped his Harken stock -- this week devoted 2,000 words and a portion of its front page to examining the state of the Clintons' marriage, tallying the days they spend together and rehashing long-forgotten baseless tabloid rumors of a relationship between former President Bill Clinton and Canadian politician Belinda Stronach.

Rather than ignore or denounce the Times' decision to interview 50 people for a story about the Clintons' private lives, the Washington media elite embraced it, turning the pages of the nation's most influential newspapers into glorified supermarket tabloids. And television, predictably, was worse....

.....Take John McCain, for example. He divorced his first wife (after having a series of affairs) to marry (a month after his divorce) a wealthy and politically connected heiress ... just in time to launch his political career. And what of his relationship with the second (and current) wife? Let's apply the New York Times test to them, shall we? How many days a month do they spend together? How many days are they apart -- she in Arizona and he in Washington, or traveling the country raising money? How close can they really be, given that he reportedly had no idea his wife was addicted to painkillers she was stealing from a charity she founded -- had no clue of an addiction that caused her to check herself into a drug treatment center.

Foser is absolutely right. This is why they are so afraid of us. Why they belittle us. Despite their staffs and reputations, and resources, the American news media is responsible for its own declining numbers, declining readers, and declining credibility.  

Originally posted to Maccabee on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  of course (305+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Malacandra, wozzle, Kestrel, Alumbrados, Ed in Montana, MichaelPH, zzyzx, Sylv, tgs1952, coral, Oregon guy, Peanut, oofer, laurak, vetfordean, Hornito, left of center, Ramar, saraswati, ScientistMom in NY, emal, RickWn, Lahdee, Avila, walter mitty, karlpk, tomathawl, Spinster, cotterperson, SanJoseLady, meg, OLinda, VetGrl, rhubarb, Beet, John Campanelli, autoegocrat, x, Bexley Lane, Swampfoot, WI Deadhead, frisco, ilona, grndrush, musicsleuth, bumblebums, mataliandy, bostonjay, Harper, Nonie3234, mrfleas, kissfan, dpc, shermanesq, RubDMC, rasbobbo, Miss Devore, gerbbils, super simian, worriedmom, afox, cardinal, macdust, Karen Wehrstein, elveta, Euroliberal, Doc Allen, nyceve, SecondComing, susakinovember, OCD, Baldwiny, peacemom, wanderindiana, SCFrog, phild1976, mrblifil, vmibran, high5, chimpy, roses, BuckMulligan, Ignacio Magaloni, peraspera, murphsurf, sgilman, marylrgn, oceanspray, standingup, Fe, Miss Blue, MyName, ctsteve, splashy, DoctorScience, arkdem, high uintas, CocoaLove, sidnora, malcolm, Eddie C, Bob Quixote, Mauimom, byebyeblinkie, baad, averybird, nancelot, mrkvica, fightorleave, Miss Jones, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, Chamonix, TXsharon, hoolia, exiledfromTN, smash, BMarshall, kathika, duhnonymous, snakelass, tabbycat in tenn, grrr, Eddie Haskell, lcrp, Liberaljentaps, Blackstar, Dood Abides, Rxtr2, walkshills, MH in PA, Ayanora, Sam Loomis, green917, ybruti, NeoconSemanticist, kd texan, boran2, Marc in KS, thereisnospoon, califdweller, macmcd, slouise217, greeseyparrot, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, gradinski chai, leolabeth, drofx, maybeeso in michigan, tribalecho, historys mysteries, DCleviathan, Bluesee, 3goldens, ManOnTheBench, Alexander G Rubio, Ckntfld, asskicking annie, baccaruda, internik, The Exalted, Tonedevil, jpett, ignorant bystander, irate, blockbuster, wizardkitten, ejmw, Alien Abductee, JohnB47, clammyc, Northstar, Valtin, Cmyst, juliesie, snacksandpop, 1Nic Ven, Brooke In Seattle, reflectionsv37, ocooper, Viceroy, majcmb1, eyama, Pam from Calif, Karmafish, jimreyn, ladybug53, Gordon20024, optimo, annefrank, rpm5250, ivorybill, libbie, illyia, Jaboo, RickE, western star, Mrick, spunhard, Southern Mouth, collapse, Shotput8, cerulean, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, pacotrey, zinger99, Alabama Bill, Cory Bantic, Rogneid, Ghost of Frank Zappa, MaryCh, bebacker, JanL, MaryG, psyched, Canadian in Brazil, viscerality, ckeesling, RainyDay, Asinus Asinum Fricat, fhcec, accumbens, missouri reader, Alkibiadesdog, taracar, makeitstop, pmc1970, occams hatchet, jimraff, dus7, keefer55, Jennifer Clare, Major Danby, trashablanca, nyarlahotep, PoppyRocks, Nightprowlkitty, BobzCat, bee tzu, Keone Michaels, ama, Kingsmeg, DrSpalding, bdmac, BlueInARedState, emeraldmaiden, quotemstr, FishGuyDave, Ky DEM, Ellicatt, mooshter, allmost liberal european, Raddoc, bluebrain, mango, Wary, urbannie, abstractgecko, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, jguzman17, StrayCat, nonnie9999, Miss Otis, OneCrankyDom, imabluemerkin, Data Pimp, FireCrow, happy camper, Virt, Unitary Moonbat, think blue, anniethena, Coffee Geek, spotDawa, fiddlingnero, Stripe, means are the ends, WarrenS, RantNRaven, ohiojack, Kira April, cohenzee, John L, Lew2006, DanC, Eikyu Saha, kidneystones, 73rd virgin, tiltedclock, Thomas Merton, my foot itches, Pandoras Box, AntKat, coznfx, eastmt, darrkespur, Cali Techie, napu, Susan Something, Lummoxia, Balam, dotsright, Invisible Paradigm, beachdog

    you know what to do if you think this is an incredible as I do

  •  Not fair! (27+ / 0-)

    John McCain is a US Senator whose principle place of responsibility is Washington DC, as his wife resides properly in their home state of Arizona, while Hillary Clinton is a US Senator whose principle place of responsibility is Washington DC, as her husband resides improperly in their home state of New York.

    How can you conflate these totally different cases?

    Have you no shame?

  •  Follow the money. (43+ / 0-)

    It's the advertising stranglehold and continually concentrated corporate ownership at the roots of this rot.

    In the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher. Dalai Lama

    by leolabeth on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:28:08 AM PDT

  •  9/11 changed everything (10+ / 0-)

    if i make them very tiny, may i have more letters for my sig?

    by subtropolis on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:28:11 AM PDT

  •  Yes and I'm Very Concerned (33+ / 0-)

    The media, with all its good and bad, is what keeps democracy alive.  

    And the American media is so dead, it's rotting and stinking.

    People are tuning out and turning off.

    Media Matters is a very good website.  What I really like is when they juxtapose conflicting statements.  Pisses the hell out of people who get nailed!  

    Time for Democratic Party National TV!  via computer or whatever.  It's past time!

  •  Media Matters is great exposing the media! (22+ / 0-)

    Our media has failed our great nation!

    It's time to be a Democrat!

    by annefrank on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:40:13 AM PDT

  •  I agree 100 percent (15+ / 0-)

    The media IS the big issue of our times. And it's not just the difference in presidential coverage.

    It's the screwy notion that everything can and must be "balanced."

    It's the continued appearance of the phrase "liberal media" in media dominated by conservatives.

    It's the absence of coverage of most things that matter to people (with mine tragedies, would there be any coverage of workplace safety?).

    It's the overreporting of celebrity "news" and all things sensational.

    It's the press-for-profit mentality, which emphasizes emotional reaction instead of thoughtful response.

    Go to Free Press for more information and to learn how to take action.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics." FDR

    by VetGrl on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:41:15 AM PDT

  •  tho this has already been diaried (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickWn, Rogneid, keefer55

    and on the front page, to boot, i gots to give you props for a title that beats out "breaking."

    skippy the bush kangaroo, now with 30% more snark!

    by skippy on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:42:58 AM PDT

  •  It's The Stupid Constitution, Stupid (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickWn, leolabeth, boofdah, Rogneid

    We're most of century late updating it to comprehend and civilize the realtime mass media, which by now have become our public square.

    The media owners aren't doing anything wrong. The framers are, by defining information-age civilization with concepts that belong to parchment and quill pens.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:43:47 AM PDT

    •  The Constitution is a living Document (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RickWn, boofdah, nhwriter, Rogneid

      Always has been, till now, that is, but anyway, there's no restrictions to 'freedom of the press" as being in parchment and quill pen, therefore, it can and has been regulated to acheive a balance, in some era's.

      I think what has changed is those 'media owners' with their unbridled capitalism, the ethical lapse of wanting to have a 'free press' to do the people's work of keeping the citizens informed.

      Now it's much more capitilistic, 'information' has been replaced by 'marketing' , concern for the government has been replaced by helping the party in power stay in power because they deregulate us to allow us to make more money, which in the end people are rejecting because we ain't buying their brand of marketing/politics--any longer.

      •  I had a conversation with someone recently (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        McJulie, RantNRaven

        who had the misfortune of being shanghied at her family reunion by a family member (who she calls one of the "talebangelist goonsquad") about how the US was God's new Chosen People.  Seriously, they believe that.  They even have moved to Virginia to be part that Dominionist group.  

        Amazing how some Christian righties consider the Bible (King James version) to be the literal Word of God, and an eternal document to be always accepted as doctrine (especially the OT), while the Constitution they felt was manmade and, therefore, while well intentioned, was fallible and needs to be updated, therefore Bush's signing statements are OK.  

        We both agreed that this was one of those headbanging moments.

        "Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Dylan Thomas

        by Rogneid on Sun May 28, 2006 at 01:00:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent diary, excellent points (8+ / 0-)

    Even if I have been saying this since at least 1999. Heh. (Not that the subject is funny, it's not at all.)

    It's the "anti-fear-propaganda" solution: positive news: HeroicStories, free

    by AllisonInSeattle on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:46:53 AM PDT

  •  good essay (11+ / 0-)

    That's a very strong argument, with lots of lucid and hard-to-dispute anecdotes.

    I should note, though, that much of my scholarly writing, as well as my approach to teaching the subject, is based on criticizing such anecdotal accounts of bias when they come from the right.  So in some ways I feel like a hypocrite for liking the essay so much.  Ultimately, all anecdotal accounts suffer from the same problem -- they're just anecdotes.  There's so much media content out there than anyone can string together anecdotes to prove ANYTHING (a pro-dog, anti-cat bias for example).  The plural of anecdote isn't "data."

    So here's my challenge to those who really love this article:  Explain why it's any different from anything you'd find on Bozell's site (that is, anecdotes strung together to prove a point that flatters your ideological predisposition).  If you can convince me, then I'll use it as required reading in the fall.  

    •  Try FAIR (7+ / 0-)

      FAIR does a lot of media analysis.

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics." FDR

      by VetGrl on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:04:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like FAIR (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They had a good analysis of the over-reliance on official U.S. sources in the MSM Iraq War coverage from a couple of years ago.  I've assigned that in my classes (coupled with an MRC "wah wah, liberal, liberal, where's the good news?" piece).

        But 99% of what they do is the same thing I criticize the present piece for -- stringing together anecdotes.

        •  And I dislike their snarky stance. (0+ / 0-)

          They have a radio show I listen to on Sundays while trying to get out of bed . . .  If you don't have your irony meter turned up to "high" there's a lot of things they say that don't make much sense.

          Irony sometimes represents the worst aspects of intellectualizing, and how FAIR does it---I'm guessing---probably offends a lot of people that would otherwise be willing to listen to what they say.

          If anybody listens to that show, try to count how many times they use irony to make a larger point about something incorrect in the media. I always lose count.

    •  a good challenge - what evidence do you want? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      my long response on this disappeared when I tried to correct it. I will not waste that time again.

      what are your standards? counts of inches? counts of minutes?

      I'm not familiar with how your field deals with this type of evidence.

      check linguist Geoffrey Nunberg's essay on Fresh Air from a few years back. He counted disparities in attribution in the print media - right wing think tanks - almost never. liberal think tanks, almost always... and so forth.

      •  Nunberg's a good start (0+ / 0-)

        I like Nunberg a lot.  That's a good example of the type of systematic analysis that I find to be more convincing.

        As an unfortunate side note, in criticizing the authors of a HORRIBLE bias study that used think tank citations as evidence of bias, Numberg was wrong, and he got eaten alive in a response by the authors.  Again, I HATE that study, but unforunately Nunberg was over his head methodologically, and its authors destroyed his argument.  

      •  oops, I didn't answer your question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        To state my criteria briefly, I'm looking for systemasticity.  That is, the topic of interest must be defined (elections, presidential scandals, etc.), and then either every single word spoken/written from a given outlet(s) must be coded by independent coders (someone you pay who is innocent of your hypotheses), or at least a subset of the output must be sampled randomly.

        In other words, no self-coding (gee, that looks conservative to me!), and no cherry-picking favorable anecdotes.

      •  I'd love to see an update (0+ / 0-)

        of this survey, and a nice graphic comparison of then and now.

        Things really have changed.

        •  update (0+ / 0-)

          I heard the other day that Nunberg is at Berkeley now in Grad Schl of Journalism. Maybe he can assign it as a class project.

          It would be interesting to see this study conducted regularly - to track results over time on this and other media bias issues.

    •  Solid Stats to Support Media Matters (10+ / 0-)

      Cardinal legitimately asks for information to go beyond the anecdotes in the Media Matters piece.

      Besides its daily commentaries on bias in the news, Media Matters has done some extensive, numbers-based analysis. Earlier this year they issued a report entitled "If It's Sunday, It's Conservative: An analysis of the Sunday talk show guests on ABC, CBS, and NBC, 1997 - 2005." Below is one quote from the report:

      In fact, as this study reveals, conservative voices significantly outnumber progressive voices on the Sunday talk shows. Media Matters for America conducted a content analysis of ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, and NBC's Meet the Press, classifying each one of the nearly 7,000 guest appearances during President Bill Clinton's second term, President George W. Bush's first term, and the year 2005 as either Democrat, Republican, conservative, progressive, or neutral. The conclusion is clear: Republicans and conservatives have been offered more opportunities to appear on the Sunday shows - in some cases, dramatically so.

      This should be the link to the executive summary of the report:

      •  Yes! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slouise217, nhwriter, BB10

        I loved that study.

        My criticism was only of the essay of which the diary speaks, though obviously most of the MM front page at any given time is similar.  But MM has done a lot of systematic analysis, and unlike the right-wing think tanks, they're generally transparent about their methods so that the studies can be replicated.

      •  It's probably a separate issue, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        how would you quantify the fact that people highly respected by the left and vilified by the right (i.e. Noam Chomsky) virtually never appear on TV? It seems the whole spectrum is skewed so far to the right that stations can offer token liberals to create the impression of balance while the real heavyweights are completely excluded from the public conversation.
        •  This is true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

           Smart and tough liberals don't get invited to talkshows. If they do happen to get on, they don't get brought back, especially if they show up the right-wingers on the set.

          It's no coincidence that most "liberals" that populate the TV talkshows (and op-ed pages, for that matter) are weak, milquetoast, self-loathing sycophants like Richard Cohen, Joe Klein, Alan Colmes, and Donna Brazile. Those are what pass for "liberal" voices in our commercial media, even when they spend more time critiquing the "angry left" than anything Bush ever did.

          That's a big reason the media hates Howard Dean so much. He's not a classic liberal by any means, but he is more liberal than most of the punditocracy. Because of Dean's official position in the Democratic Party the media has to feature him fairly regularly, and because he's smart, tough, and doesn't spand half his time apologizing for being a Democrat, he's messing up the stereotype for what constitutes "liberal" discourse. So that explains the avalanche of negativity thrown at him by the punditocracy.




          "Le ciel est bleu, l'enfer est rouge."

          by Buzzer on Mon May 29, 2006 at 07:34:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Bush/Kerry debates (22+ / 0-)

    The fact that all the TV pundits were calling the last two Kerry/Bush debates 'a draw' says it all for me.

    Not to mention how clearly 'pained' they were to call the first debate a Kerry win.

    The Corporate Media has been an essential factor in framing Bush as a capable leader and hiding his clear dismantling of our democracy.

    They are clearly in the hands of people who could care less about "freedom of the press" and whose true aim is to enrich their conglomerate empires.

    •  hiding his clear dismantling of our [language] (7+ / 0-)

      I used to watch what I called the CNN-News-go-round through several half-hour repetitions just to see what would change with each editing. I have seen a clip of Bush stammering, forgetting, and just plain pausing, reduced into a streamlined statement, live before our eyes in just three revolutions. I didn't realize, before that, that The News was "allowed" to mess around like that.

      ...learn something new every day...

      by nhwriter on Sun May 28, 2006 at 11:52:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Debates are always interesting... (7+ / 0-)

      If you watch the "analysis" following them.  In the post-debate coverage, the mainstream pundits hedge their bets, and won't commit to saying who won.  Then, a few days later, the correct, unanimous analysis appears out of the vapors, and that's what everyone in the MSM agrees on.  It's almost like they're getting their official story off a fax that's sent to everyone at the same time.

      Bush did good in the last two debates by comparison to how he did in the first, but his performance in the first debate was shocking.  The story the press completely missed wasn't simply that Bush lost the debates (although they're such contrived, non-interactive performance art that it's hard to call someone a "winner"), but that Bush was displaying physical and emotional signs of mental instabililty or deterioration.  I don't mean he was a raving lunatic, but I was really wondering if he had a stroke, or was being medicated, or something.  The media doesn't have to make a diagnosis, but the American people deserve an explanation as to why their Commander in Chief is incoherent.

      Bush actually used to be quite good in debates, and if you can dig up footage of his older debates against Ann Richards (I think) and compare them with  the Kerry debates, the difference is scary.

      •  Those are excellent points (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Moli, Stripe

        Especially about the fact he USED to be a good debater.

        And that the contrast between the way he USED to carry himself compared to the way he is NOW would be a very good indication that he has LITERALLY mentally incapable of handling his responsibillities.

        More fuel to throw on the fire of media critisim that they would do everything in their power to protect someone who is genuinely INSANE.

      •  There was a short circuit in that debate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The box on his back couldn't receive Karl. Nothing but feedback and the soundtrack of "Priscilla - Queen of the Desert."

        Men like me don't breed well in captivity -8.88 -5.08

        by SecondComing on Sun May 28, 2006 at 02:48:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's not 'almost like they're getting their (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FaithAndReason, Moli

        official story off a fax that's sent to everyone at the same time" it's exactly that they're getting their official story off a fax that's sent to everyone at the same time, that can be traced directly to the offices of KKKarl Rove.

  •  Thanks for spreading this around. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I put up a note in an Open Thread the other day, but didn't have time to do it justice.  It's a graet piece, and full of ammo for people who find themselves arguing about media coverage.

    -9.25, -7.54

    Catecholamines: Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

    by Marc in KS on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:55:45 AM PDT

  •  I saw Tim Russert on WJ CSPAN (6+ / 0-)

    on Friday and he says you are wrong. He's got a new book out on the Wisdom of our Fathers and he thinks America has just been aching to hear these stories. Why, there's one in there about this guy who punched this other guy in the face. Just some real characters in this book. I think you should read it and stop worrying about the media.

    ... we now know a lot of things, most of which, we already knew... (-dash888)

    by Tirge Caps on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:01:02 AM PDT

  •  The other gate is the media (27+ / 0-)

    and it needs to be crashed first.

    One of the ways that we've tried is through inventive ad campaigns.  Remember the Move On contest that resulted in such a spectacular array of talent?  It was condemned by the MSM because a single entry made a controversial analogy.  (To be honest, I forget exactly what all the hoopla was about.  But Move On had no control over the content and the constructiveness of what everyone contributed overwhelmingly outweighed the hyped-up faux pas.)

    We think that if we do everything right, we'll be treated fairly - by the Republicans, by the media.  Even by the hardened realists on dKos, you can hear the incomprehension of the unfairness along with the indignation and anger.  "How can they do this?"  It's the logic of a battered wife.

    Projects like Move On's ad campaign that target Republicans won't help by themselves.  The media needs to be targeted first.  This was the real political hot potato in Colbert's performance and it was ignored even more than his shots at the President.

    The problem is that it furthers the agenda of the right wing to attack the media, even from the left.  The right wing wants the NYTimes and other outfits to be seen as lacking credibility.  They don't care for what reasons.  It clears the field for their construction of reality.  They've appropriated the post-modernist's position that there is no objective truth and are using it to undermine the fourth and last possible check on their radical agenda.

    Attacking the MSM for its lack of objectivity while affirming its ability to be objective is the mission we should be working on now, ahead of the general elections.

    I wouldn't agree with the title of this diary for any other issue.

    •  Hear, hear!! [n/t] (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, macmcd
    •  Abolutely! (12+ / 0-)

      The interesting, and much more complicated, question is how exactly we crash the media gates.

      1. Do blogs supplant the traditional press as the public's primary source of political info?  Not any time soon.  And I don't think that would be good for democracy either.
      1. Do we shower them with angry letters decrying their biased coverage?  We do that now, with only scattered success stories.  Generally, journalists take our complaints as the other shoe dropping in the "if both sides hate us, we must be doing something right" BS rationalization.
      1. Do we play to the journalistic norms, routines, and constraints that comprise the well-understood news judgment criteria?  (By well-understood, I mean mostly by scholars and Republicans -- Democrats haven't done so hot lately).  For example, the claims of the MM essay notwithstanding, sex does sell.  As does drama, simplicity, timeliness, novelty, discrete episodes (as opposed to ongoing themes).  

      To use one example, the Downing Street Memos were not going to be news as long as key Democrats (Reid, Pelosi, Clinton, etc.) were completely silent on the matter.  As much as we thought it was important, the reality is that the tenor of news is "indexed" (to use Lance Bennett's term) to the range of elite opinion in Washington.  Conyers notwithstanding, there was an elite consensus that the DSM wasn't worth talking about.

      The bottom line is, Democrats need to do a much better job of learning how to take advantage of the press' routines and incentives, instead of just complaining about bias.

      •  Complaining about bias (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slouise217, think blue

        Actually, you hear a lot of screaming from the right about the bias of the SCLM.

        It seems to work for them. The shift of what is considered "center" or "moderate" in the last 20 years or so is quite profound.

        "Control of the initiative is control of the battle. In the alley, at the poker table or in politics. One must raise." David Mamet

        by coral on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:44:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  blogs (6+ / 0-)

        Sure it will be a while before they are as pervasive as network tv but I think we've ridden the top-down media as far as we can.  It doesn't work anymore.  It was broken, deliberately.  From where I stand, it can't be repaired.  The idea of trusting the New York Times or the Washington Post again?  Not gonna happen, at least for me.  I guess it's like a marriage.  Some couples can recover from betrayal; it depends on the circumstances, the motivations, behind the actions.

        The betrayal of the public by the media has been purposeful and systematic, in my view, and driven by greed and other nefarious forces or simple human weaknesses that should have been weeded out (e.g., wanting to be accepted by the Establishment the media is supposed to police) in order to keep the basic mechanism in working order.  

        It is definitely more time-consuming to be informed now than it was 10 years ago, when I read my papers like a good girl and felt like I had a grasp on what was happening.  Not everyone is willing to put in the time, or even interested in the real deal.  The idea of an informed citizenry as central to protecting our democracy has been lost.  Citizens say they "don't want to know" all the bad stuff that happens.  They've abdicated.  

        There's a relatively small group of people running the country right now, and a huge majority of people are ignorant of what's going on.  This will likely remain the case.  What CAN change is that the small group of people running the country can be patriots instead of robber-barons.  Blogs can help with that.

    •  Attacking the corporate newsmedia (8+ / 0-)

      for its excesses and faults can only go so far.  you'll never get them to act honestly unless there is an irresistable force to make them do so.

      For now, the consequences of the Bush administration's hubris doesn't seem to be enough, by itself.

      We need to supplant them.  Ironically some aspects of the Republicans' tearing down of the Fairness Doctrine actually makes that job possible, even easier.  

      What I am suggesting is a new, liberal, 24 hour cable news channel, in direct opposition to Fox.  Though it seems a herculean task, I believe it is the only way.

      The weakness of the corporate newsmedia will be its downfall.  They have forgotten what real news is.  I'm not suggesting a similar flippancy to reality on the left as it exists on the right, I am suggesting to push back, one needs a real platform to work from.

      Help keep America a one party state - vote Republican! (-6.25, -6.92)

      by AndyS In Colorado on Sun May 28, 2006 at 11:44:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's not even (7+ / 0-)

        a question of creating a mirror-image of the right-wing noise machine, although I'll admit there are days when I'd love to have one. It's a question of creating a new, impartial media, one that is deemed trustworthy by both sides.

        I 'll admit, that's an even taller order, but ultimately, it's that or the free press is dead. My suggestion? Bloggers don't replace journalists, they become journalists. Epluribus is the template.

        Just as Kossacks are stepping up to the plate in party and electoral politics, we'll need to do the same with the press.

        -8.25,-8.36 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

        by sidnora on Sun May 28, 2006 at 12:01:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not suggesting creating a (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RickWn, sidnora, cfk, maryru, ailanthus

          "mirror image of the right wing noise machine" either.  A true mirror image would involve slavish adherence to political talking points made by a given party or group, a la Fox, something I'm not at all suggesting.

          I don't think creating a media that is initially "trusted by both sides" is workable.  You think that means free media is dead, I think that is not true at all.  

          I have given a lot of thought to a lot of approaches and my sense of the sense of the liberal left (at least, as exemplified by the blogosphere) is that it has to turn the center of the Daou Triangle purple.  

          For various reasons, I do not think this can work.  Most of all, you have an entity in the center "the corporate media" that is fundamentally hostile to the interests of progressives.  It simply can't be turned purple.  We also cannot return the government (yet) to a stance of fairness toward progressives, without forcing the issue for them.  This isn't defeatist on my part, it's the result of a lot of thought crunching, and I believe in an alternate plan --

          Put very simply (and it isn't quite that simple, but for purposes of getting my point across), the left has to get on TV.  It has to construct an alternate triangle-center.  That doesn't mean it has to be a carbon copy, leftist version of Fox News.  It's not going to be trusted at first by Fox-brainwashed Republicans, and never by some, and that isn't even the goal, at first.  The initial goal is to simply make the American Left impossible to ignore.

          Then you simply let the cards on the other side fall where they may, if you do an excellent job at it.  If they die, they die.  If they evolve a more nuanced approach in response, that's great too.  None of this suggests to my mind that free media is dead.  It simply recognizes the very divided reality that exists now.  It's not as if this country has never been here before.  But you have to shift the political spectrum back toward the left before a non-divided newsmedia "trusted by both sides" is even possible.

          I don't believe the jobs of bloggers and journalists are at all compatible, especially in this regard.  The blogosphere and "news media" operate at different locuses of the triangle.  Their functions are different, and trying to conflate them is detrimental to both, in my opinion.

          Instead, you have to confront the owernship dilemma head on.  If it is true that reporters slant their stories in a certain way because their corporate masters force them to, and I do believe that, then the ownership dilemma is soluble.  You simply create new ownership, and there would be no dearth of professional reporters who would be eager to get back to real news again.

          Help keep America a one party state - vote Republican! (-6.25, -6.92)

          by AndyS In Colorado on Sun May 28, 2006 at 12:49:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We agree more than you think (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AndyS In Colorado, think blue

            Perhaps I should have taken more time on my comment, rather than trying to telegraph my thought.

            First, I took it as implicit that any "left wing noise machine" would be a fairly representative reflection of the left-wing noise that already exists, in that there would be more respect for reality and a wider spectrum of opinion than on Fox.

            Second, I strongly agree that the most pernicious influence on the media right now is corporate ownership (let's face it, excessive corporate power is at the root of almost every major problem this country is facing). I'm not sure that even getting on TV can counter this, because it has become so powerful. After all, there is a liberal presence on TV, it's The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Countdown. The problem is, two out of those three shows are fake.

            Third, I think you may have misinterpreted my comment about bloggers becoming journalists. I was thinking of Epluribus primarily, because of their serious commitment to journalistic ethics, their meticulousness and their determination to "do the press' job when they won't do it themselves".
            Bloggers have a crucial part to play as well, and I wasn't trying to turn all bloggers into reporters, just the ones who already seem inclined that way.

            And I did indicate that creating an impartial, trustworthy media would be difficult; implicit in that was the idea that getting people to trust it (and of course, some never would) would be at least as hard as getting it up and running.

            -8.25,-8.36 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

            by sidnora on Mon May 29, 2006 at 06:12:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, I didn't mean to misinterpret you (0+ / 0-)

              on the blogger issue, I am just trying to understand your points better.  I agree wholeheartedly that there's a job needing doing that is not being done, or is not being done well, and we agree that the jobs are different, we also agree that there are people who are capable of doing both jobs or transitioning from one job to another.

              But when you talk about creating a "trustworthy to both sides" news media and then you talk about taking people from the liberal blogosphere background to do it, there is a fundamental problem of inherent credibility (to the right) no matter how well you do that, or try to.  In this "trustworthy to both sides" area I just throw up my hands and say it can't be done.  I say this because of the conservatives I know, including my own brother, they trust nothing that smells of coming from the left, no matter how accurate, factual and devoid of inherent bias that "something" is.  That is, unless that something includes Ann Coulter's (or whoever's) harpy-ravings for "balance", it's "bullshit".

              To the right, "fair and balanced" means whatever it is, it must include the right's most shrill lunatic perspectives to be "balanced", and something has to be tilted almost to the point of fascism to be "fair".  And I further think this is idiosyncratic of the times in which we all live; the political environment has to be de-toxified first before you can attack this directly and clip the wings of the far-far-right.

              So, to me, your point of using whoever is necessary and could do the job well would be fine, as long as the job function is respected, but if you want something that is "trustworthy to the right", taking a liberal-blogger-cum-reporter (no matter how good he or she is at the reporting job) is a bad way to start "earning their trust", if that is even possible as something you do purposefully; I don't think it is.  And even if it were, why would you want to do it?  Only something like Fox would satisfy the right-wingers I know.  My thought is to just do the best job you can and let the chips fall where they may.

              On the corporate issue, I think, yes, I agree with you that corporate power, particularly corporate consolidation is a big issue vis-a-vis the news and many other problems.

              In a capitalist country, one is stuck with the need to use the corporate structure to get anything done.  Just so I'm totally clear, I don't think you're doing this, but I think too many liberals allow their justifiable anger at corporate misbehavior to detract from the truth that you need to USE the corporate model to actually DO anything, unless you use the government, and I don't like excuses for not doing something needed on the basis of simple ideological bias.

              For the news, the particular corporate abuse is having corporations who have interests other than the news or telling people the truth, owning news companies.  And they've become unapologetic in warping the news to serve their shareholders and not the people.

              On your second point: Yes, there is the liberal presence, and yes, some of them are entertainment programs that superficially resemble a news structure.  But the thing is, I think we need to go beyond having liberals get on TV and merely attack the right.  We need to get on TV and deliver the stories the right wing corporate news doesn't cover, along with stories it does purport to cover.

              Have you ever noticed that in a 24 hour day, the cable news networks will cover the same stories over and over again?  I myself do not need 4 hours out of 24 being spent rehashing the tiniest details of missing white women in Aruba.  There is a huge world out there, and you could never cover it all even if there were no repetition whatsoever.

              A 24 hour network owned by a liberal corporation with the sole goals of 1). remaining on the air, 2). paying for its own operations as much as possible and 3). covering things the people need to know (hence, the "NEWS") could be incredibly rich.  It could cover what is going on in the world at large without the lip-curled flippancy of the major news networks.  It could cover news of particular interest to labor, blacks, hispanics, asians, women, gays and other minorities -- yes, even white heterosexual protestant males!  It could cover major issues with in-depth investigations focusing on accuracy without a particular appeal to titillation or aggrandizing any particular group of people.  

              To do this, you are going to need a vast ARMY of reporters and investigators and researchers that dwarfs anything the right wing infoganda corporations field.  It's not about confrontation, it's about education.

              People are hungry for the truth.  They are hungry for news of the world that is hard to get in any one single place anymore.  People in this country are worked too hard to get educated.  This is the beginning of my idea for the cure.

              Help keep America a one party state - vote Republican! (-6.25, -6.92)

              by AndyS In Colorado on Mon May 29, 2006 at 11:46:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I forgot *my* example (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          What I have in mind is a sort of bionic version of Democracy Now.

          Help keep America a one party state - vote Republican! (-6.25, -6.92)

          by AndyS In Colorado on Sun May 28, 2006 at 01:31:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously (0+ / 0-)

            If say, George Soros & friends got behind Democracy Now! gave it a slick scrolling interface that went away during person-persons and started buying up stations and advertising in major markets, it would take off like a rocket within two years.

            Just like Air America there's a huge market for it, and if the VRWNM can't drown it right away it'll take off.

  •  If sex sells (23+ / 0-)

    It is easy to refute the claim, that the press doesn't cover Bush scandals because they are not about sex. By this measure what could be more newsworthy than a gay male prostitute with no journalism experience being allowed into the White House Press pools. Or how about a prostitution scandal involving congressmen, defense contractors, and the number three official at the CIA.

    Both by a true newsworthiness standard and by the tabloid standard actually in practice, recent Republican scandals are more newsworthy- there is no excuse for the media.

    •  Democrat sex scandals sell (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vivacia, SecondComing, macmcd, boofdah, BB10

      Republicans, on the other hand, have a standing dispensation from God their friendly christofascist base in reference to their sins. Can't you understand that Republicans are naturally good no matter what atrocities they commit while Democrats are inherently evil even when they do good work? Those who cannot see the wisdom in that have not accepted the divine light brainwashing yet.

      Seriously, concentrated media ownership knows what and where its priorities are, and any decent reporter covering political issues probably has to make a choice between their job and reporting the truth. Besides, even if they choose the latter, they still don't have the final say about what is being presented to the public.

      You know you're right because god thinks like you and you want the rest of the people to emulate god too.

      by Ayanora on Sun May 28, 2006 at 11:32:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    super simian

    Great diary and oh, so true.

    To see the hypocricy so clearly cited warms my heart. It's what we've all realized for so long, but it takes an article like this to bring really bring it into focus.

    My question is, what are we going to do about it? Wish I had the answer.

  •  You 'misunderestimate' their power... (9+ / 0-)

    ...while newspapers are not read as much as they were before, television is all powerful.

    TV is mostly lies. We do not own TV. It owns us, as a society. Blogs are TV for the literate. They do not, as yet, have the power that six hundred hours of Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie Hilary's Gaffe American Idol Dean's Scream has.

    They can take a moment (a gutteral utterance) and turn it into what passes for politica discourse.

    The media is the problem. It is getting pretty 1984ish around here.

    "I am my brother's keeper. I am a Democrat." -- That's your slogan, Democrats.

    by Bensdad on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:10:32 AM PDT

    •  Happy to say: I have gone without owning a T.V. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, Wbythebay

      for two years (though I had a T.V. card installed in my computer last year and used it for a while). That said, it seems your argument will remain correct at least for as long as it will take computer engineers to design a computer that is as simple to use and watch as a T.V. (is to turn on and stare at and fall asleep in front of).

      The time has come to start thinking less about Motherland and Fatherland and more about our Brotherlands and Sisterlands.

      by Crowdog on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:37:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem isn't computer engineering... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...The problem is programming.

        I could build you a computer with a remote that works just like a tv (and is cheaper with economy of scale) but I can't give you slick programming that's going to be attractive to those with negative attention spans and that will pour some knowledge into their frantic heads.

        But even that's not the problem (Democracy Now!'s content could be fitted to scrollers and preceded by idiot "Constitution Under Attack!" graphics).

        The problem is advertising and recognition. You've got to convince people that its accepted before they'll trust it.

    •  I guess I'm 'over' people who (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      demnomore, SecondComing

      get their news from TV.  You're right -- it has been and remains Up is Down-ish since Bushco took over.

      I have tried to persuade the people who believe the tv news that their reality is being purposely distorted.  Some have listened, others have turned up the volume on Fox.  

      I'm done persuading.  We have to go with the literates we have, not the literates we would like to have, as we move forward in trying to turn the country back around. I'm not sure we'll have a majority for the work that needs to be done, but in my experience with groups that's usually how things happen.  Most people do nothing, a few are actively antagonistic, and the remainder get it done.

  •  Great Diary (0+ / 0-)

    Weird- I posted a comment on the Frank Rich diary a little while ago that in the end, was pretty much about the same thing.

    "Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play." - Joseph Goebbels

    by gerbbils on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:29:47 AM PDT

  •  From the Department Of Pickiness... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fix the diary title - YOUR should be YOU, I think.

    (Really great diary, BTW. Thank you!)

    •  Another nitpick (0+ / 0-)

      Abu Ghraib which should have destroyed Bush but didn't get the attention of Monica's Dress.

      I'm not sure how Monica's dress paying attention to Abu Ghraib would have made difference...

      But hey, I make grammatical mistakes too, and it doesn't make this diary less great.

      Good job!

  •  This is a good summary... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, beachdog
    of what kossacks generally know, i.e., that the media, for most of the last decade, has played lapdog to the Republicans and aggressive sniping attack dog to the Democrats.

    The Nightline statistics on Whitewater v. the treason-related activities of Rove and Libby is literally stunning!  Ted Koppel has a reputation of being one of the most aggressive journalists (primarily built upon his attacks on Carter during the Iranian hostage crises, which launched his late-night career).  If even Koppel skewed his coverage, what does that say about the rest of journalism which has ignored the lying, smearing, torture, extraordinary rendition, domestic eavesdropping, incompetence, cronyism, rule of law flautning, oversight abdicating for far too long.

    I wish that there was still a Fourth Estate.  Sadly, it appears to havwe relegated to the ashheap of history.

    Let justice reign though the heavens tremble

    by Viceroy on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:32:09 AM PDT

  •  kill your television before it kills you (4+ / 0-)

    if you watch TV you enable these people to sell advertising. Do not watch corporate television. Do not listen to corporate radio. NPR and PBS are the last bastion.  Almost all pay or free TV is programming designed to keep you quiet, narcotized, and working in your corporate cubicle. Do not buy corporate newspapers. Don't click to corporate news outlets on the web. We must starve the beast or it will forge a chain around our necks as well as our minds.

    -6.63, -3.59 If we shall fail to defend the Constitution, I shall fail in the attempt.

    by spoon or no spoon on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:32:12 AM PDT

    •  I don't want to kill my TV. (0+ / 0-)
      I like TV. I enjoy TV. There's a lot of creative imagination and talent that goes into TV programming. I agree that its social influence at this time is not the most salubrious. It's the proto-sensory system of the noosphere and it owes its existence to the organizational power of the corporate structure. A structure upon which we all (like it or not) at the moment depend. While it was laudable and necessary for the puritans to assert their independence from the monolithic church, it would not have been a realistic undertaking to "starve" it to death. Things evolve. Titans and dinosaurs die their lingering death. In the meantime they provide shelter and sustenance to many until more humane and intelligent support systems have developed to the point where they are able to replace them.
  •  Corporate media, corporate sports... (6+ / 0-)

    ...corporate medicine, corporate security... hell, corporate government!

    It's the overextension of capitalism that has gotten us into this pickle. Some fields used to be run partly for the public good, partly with an eye to profit -- but without the overwrought concern that comes with shareholders: "Are we maximizing profit?"

    Capitalism works well enough for some arenas (i.e. badly, but better than the alternatives). There's just some things that should remain out of the reach of market forces and slavish devotion to public shareholders & Wall Street... but that genie's out of the bottle and ain't ever goin' back in.

    •  Profit = popularity. Blame the people. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" had more viewers than "Entertainment Tonight" or the "CBS Evening News" or "Family Guy," all the money-grubbing capitalists running the media corporations would be quite happy to produce more "NewsHour" type shows.  Same in the print media -- I bet "People" outsells "The Nation," "The New Republic," "Mother Jones," "National Review," "Harper's," "Atlantic," "The Weekly Standard," and "The Economist" COMBINED.

      The best thing and the worst thing about democracy is the people get what they deserve.

      -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

      by HeyMikey on Sun May 28, 2006 at 12:55:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, and one other thing. . . (0+ / 0-)

        I wonder how the number of dKos participants compares to the number of people reading "E! Online," or playing online role-playing games, or chatting about upcoming developments on "Lost" or "Desperate Housewives."  I don't know the answer to that question -- I genuinely wonder.

        -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

        by HeyMikey on Sun May 28, 2006 at 12:58:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't buy that (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vivacia, SecondComing, Catte Nappe, pat208, cfk

        Robert McChesney lays out a pretty compelling argument in his book "The Problem of the Media" that, in fact, the press does NOT give the public what it wants.

        It's a pretty nuanced argument, but a crude summary is that the American media landscape is not a free market, but in fact an oligopoly.  Because of factors such as conglomoration, synergy, first-copy costs, and barriers to entry, the media corporations don't provide real choices to us, but instead only offer "choices" within the narrow range of what is most profitable for them.

        It's a chicken/egg question, and not an easy one to answer (do they give us what we want?  Or do they tell us what we want?).  But I lean heavily toward the latter.

        I always ask my students to guess how many people listen to Morning Edition and All Things Considered every day, giving the CNN, FOX, and evening news #s as a baseline.  The typical guess is only around 5-10% of the actual audience -- they just can't believe that sophisticated presentation of news can actually sell.  But it does.

        •  I love NPR! What. . . (0+ / 0-)

          . . . are the NPR numbers compared to CNN & Fox evening news?

          -4.25, -4.87 "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein

          by HeyMikey on Sun May 28, 2006 at 04:31:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  NPR (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I don't have the #s in front of me, and I don't have access to my work computer for a while.  But from memory:

            Morning Edition: 13 million
            All Things Condidered: 12 million
            Fox prime time:  1-2 million for highest rated shows
            CNN:  500,000-1 million or so per show

        •  Right on... (0+ / 0-)

          the media corporations don't provide real choices to us, but instead only offer "choices" within the narrow range of what is most profitable for them.

          American Idol sells toothpaste tubes, sophisticated news programs sell Windfall Profits Taxes and Media-Monopoly Laws...

  •  There are some foreign newspapers (0+ / 0-)

    that MAY not be bought out by right wingers.  The Financial Times has a little US news, and if there's bias it hasn't yet hit me in the face, after a couple of months subscribing.  Any other suggestions??

    We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

    by david78209 on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:36:41 AM PDT

    •  Other sources... (0+ / 0-)

      Well, for all that it is rather captured by the Blairite consensus some days (and their comment area, commentisfree has a bunch of right-wing astroturfers) The Guardian ( is always worth a look if you class yourself as a progressive.

      I would also heartily recommend the blog European Tribune ( as a place where informed debate occurs, including debate about biased reporting in the media. Since you are (I guess) USian, I am sure you won't agree with everything said there, but since it is a good progressive place, even the disagreements tend to be informative...

  •  Read it already .. loved it..I literally cheered (0+ / 0-)

    Just one small nitpick ..

    I wish JF had cited a source or referenced a link for this:

    Reporters who offer the excuse that they and their colleagues covered Clinton "scandals" so much because sex sells, and is easily explained and understood, are cherry-picking. They are ignoring the obsessive coverage they gave to Clinton "scandals" that had nothing to do with sex, and that were not widely understood.

    Now, maybe there's a citation in the original supporting this, but if so, it wasn't immediately apparent to me, so I'll be gladly corrected if I didn't see it.

    The reason I'd prefer an example is the lack of one makes it appear as if JF is creating an argument of his own device and then demolishing it.  

    While I am sure there are reporters who have said this, or words to this effect, the lack of citations makes the argument appear no different in character from the classic right wing tactic of saying "Some people (i.e. 'liberals', wink wink") say .." - followed by a distortion they create for the sole purpose of destroying it.

    No, I don't think JF is consciously using the tactics of the right.  But this is a careless omission that makes the attack plausible on the surface.  And, yes, anyone can pop up in this diary with a citation; I believe they probably exist -- but that is not my complaint.  It is that the citation is missing in the original.

    Media Matters should cite someone when it wants to make this kind of point.  Any reporter would do, but a prominent one would be better.  

    Help keep America a one party state - vote Republican! (-6.25, -6.92)

    by AndyS In Colorado on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:46:29 AM PDT

  •  Blogs are the Primoridial Soup (10+ / 0-)

    of the next media.

    Just as streetcorner gazettes, printed by shopkeepers in their spare time, fanned the flames of the American Revolution, so are blogs setting the agenda for the new media.

    True, blogs are disorganized, immature, often badly spell- and fact-checked and run by tradesmen/women in their spare time, but we seem to have forgotten that this is the exact same state in which the "traditional media" started.

    Interesting times ahead...

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:47:02 AM PDT

  •  Cardinal and Pat208 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cardinal, sidnora, SherriG

    seem to be closest to the target you're looking for.

    You aren't up against particular people; they're just responding to the things that proceed inevitably from the corporatization of the world, the media included.

    Your best bet, and why I'm here after looking at a LOT of alternatives, and why I'll be at YearlyKos with my little eyeballs and ears open, is the Internet and its ability to bypass the bullshit.

    That would be bullshit as technically defined in the little book of the same name, which I strongly recommend.

    I still agree with Kos. Think clearly, stay on target, don't get obsessed with ideological purity before you have any way to execute it.

    People first.


    Evolutionary/cognitive science seminar at YearlyKos? LIBERTY BALLS!

    by ormondotvos on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:51:24 AM PDT

  •  can't. recommend. enough. (6+ / 0-)
    because it's absolutely dead-on-the-money.

    If the media actually reported the truth, Bush and Co. would have been tarred, feathered, run out of the country, and would now be licking their wounds, in exile, in the deserts of Saudi Arabia.   HIDING from us.

    The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer -- Henry Kissinger

    by theyrereal on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:52:49 AM PDT

  •  SUBTLE? SUBTLE? SUBTLE? (10+ / 0-)
     "The media's enabling of the Bushies is subtle."

    I'm incredulous.  The media is about as subtle as a barker in front of a strip joint.

    Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

    by Einsteinia on Sun May 28, 2006 at 10:57:51 AM PDT

  •  Deregulation (5+ / 0-)

    begets huge corporations which stifles competition. The money people have great reason to fear the demise of the neocons so they prop them up at every opportunity. Tweety actually compared The Shrub to Lincoln the other night! Un-fucking real!

    Mussolini warned us long ago that fascism is just corporatism run wild.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Sun May 28, 2006 at 11:01:40 AM PDT

  •  It's the corporations stupid (9+ / 0-)

    The defining issue of our time is the media.

    Let's be clear about what the media is.  Discussing NBC outside of GE is no more relevant than talking about the iPod outside of Apple.  The news media is another product.

    Talking about the power of the media is a distraction.  The real issue is GE, Westinghouse, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch and Disney.  Look at the interest of these bodies and the results are obvious.  

    The issue is media ownership and concentration of power into fewer and fewer hands.  Writing letters, complaining about bias and so on are distractions.  So long as it is in the interest of a parent corp to sell a media product a certain way, they will.  It's that simple.  

    So first things first, ownership of media needs to changed.  That should be the focus.

    •  Thanks, finally someone got it (0+ / 0-)

      Concentration of power; corporate control of government; increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of an oligarchy with a a coterie of new rich doing their bidding.

      That is our problem.

      Media is the sexy mouthpiece, not THE problem.

      Much group think going on in this diary.

      try habitat restoration - good for you, good for all

      by jps on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:28:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  because sex sells.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snacksandpop, makeitstop

    "Reporters who offer the excuse that they and their colleagues covered Clinton "scandals" so much because sex sells,"

    Teenage Iraqi's were sodomized with broomhandles.  Men and teenage boys were made to perform autoerotic acts that were photographed or taped to be shown to other Iraqis who got out of line.  

    So much for the reporter's "sex alibi."  

    The jail at the edge of the runway at Baghdad Intl Airport was alleged to be a house of horrors.

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Sun May 28, 2006 at 11:10:46 AM PDT

  •  Moyers to return to PBS (20+ / 0-)

    Bill Moyers will have a new series, "Faith and Reason" scheduled to start June 23.

    I've been following Moyers speeches since he's been away from PBS and he offered stunning remarks at the PBS annual meeting on May 18.

    It's worth reading the whole speech:

    but I'll highlight a pertinent paragraph:

    One reason we get such pale and unquestioning journalism in America is that skepticism and irreverence toward the prerogatives of power and privilege are exactly what corporate media moguls don't want from the journalists who work for them. If they did, there wouldn't have been such gullible groupthink from the press when America went to war in Iraq on the basis of false information, faulty intelligence, fallacious propaganda, and flagrant secrecy. It's what happens when the news media becomes a complacent conduit for the government and multimedia corporations, failing to challenge authority, and passing information spun carefully by special interests both in and out of government.

    PBS previews the "Faith and Reason" series at

    Bill Moyers returns to PBS with a seven-part series focused on the hot-button issues of faith and reason. Are fear and violence the inevitable consequence of clashing beliefs, or is a more tolerant world possible? Moyers will explore the ideas of leading thinkers on the relationship between religious fundamentalism and democracy, equality and human rights.

    I love this man; he helps us think.

    Against silence. Which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Sun May 28, 2006 at 11:11:04 AM PDT

  •  Bill Maher (12+ / 0-)

    had a great line about the media: "It's their job to make what's important, interesting.  Not the other way around."

    Unless you knew her or her family personally, does it really matter to anyone else what happened to Natlie Holloway?  Don't get me wrong, on the personal scale it's a tragedy, but there are personal tragedies occurring every day.  What makes this one so special?  And it certainly isn't anywhere near as important as the crimes this administration is perpetrating on the country and the world. Do we watch it because they show it, or do they show it because we watch it?

    "Don't blame me, I voted for the smart guy."

    by frsbdg on Sun May 28, 2006 at 11:22:20 AM PDT

  •  yes, they are very afraid (4+ / 0-)

    Witness Frank Rich's column today, in which he derides a Gore presidency as a "blogger's fantasy."  Chopped us low!  Cuts down Gore and those of us who have wisely sidestepped the MSM, all in one fell swoop!  I like Rich, but the days of a single white guy telling us how things are are going the way of the dodo.  Expect the MSM to cling fiercely to their perches, and to stab us on their way down.

  •  It's Murdoch, stupid! (6+ / 0-)

    For all your knowingness not a single poster has mentioned Murdoch and his role in shaping your body politic. He has been quietly cutting deals with various politicians of questionable morals in the UK, Australia and the US for quite some time and no one as yet has fingered him as the evil manipulator that he is. Do I hear the word boycott? No siree, not a sound, not a whisper. Go to the jugular and you might change the course of your history. Ask Bob Hawke (former Oz premier who got shafted real good), ask John Major in the UK who lost Murdoch's protection when he decided that Blair would do his bidding, ask yourself what kind of deal did Bush (or his puppeteers) cut with good ole Rupert prior to the 2000 elections. Then do something instead of blathering endlessly.

    I wake up every morning and smell the coffins! GWB

    by Asinus Asinum Fricat on Sun May 28, 2006 at 11:27:13 AM PDT

  •  The Global War on Information... (22+ / 0-)

    ... is what I've been calling it. As usual, truth is its first casualty.

    Sorry to repeat myself from few weeks back in response to a diary about protesting effectively, but it is high time we realized that this is first and foremost a war of information.  But the only two entities fighting that war are BushCo and Osama bin Laden. Both do so through competing campaigns of misinformation. Yet when it comes to getting our voices through the clutter, we on the left are fighting the last war with the same old weapons.

    To fight on the terms of an information war, we have to target the tools of misinformation that BushCo has used to decieve and obfuscate. That means we have to go after the media filter itself.

    Marching in the streets to get on TV is the old paradigm.  Marching in the streets to protest the TV cameras themselves -- and the corporate masters editing what they capture -- is the new paradigm.

    Case in point:  I live in Los Angeles.  A major media market, and yet I didn't see one second of footage from the recent NY protests.  Not one.  But if the 500,000 or so protesters had had a different strategy and a different target, I might have.  

    What if, say 50,000 or 10,000 or even just 1,000 protesters blocked all access to the NBC offices in Manhattan for one day.  Don't want to get arrested?  Ok, what if 1,000 protesters lined the streets to the entrance of Rockfeller Center for a day.

    Then the next day another 50,000/10,000/1,000 protesters did it again, and so on.  For ten days those protesters either 1) make it impossible for NBC anchors and producers and accountants to get into their offices or 2) in the non-arrest version, just make them wade through a wall of signs pointing to their complicity in the Bush Administrations campaign of misinformation.  Do you think that would get reported?  I find it hard to believe it would not.

    The idea is to create an approach with a viral component, one that could easily spread.  CNN in Atlanta could soon have the same protest tactics applied, as could CBS. FOX, ABC, and (at the grassroots level) your local station. As implied above, 50,000 or 10,000 or 1,000 or even just a couple hundred protesters could get the job done in a highly targeted way, even in the biggest cities. In fact, a couple of hundred protesters out on the street outside my old place of work, Paramount Pictures, might even be overkill. But unlike the mass protest in NY, it sure would get covered in my hometown.

    The goal would be to hold the corporate media accountable for their role in the lies that got us to where we are. And if the media doesn't change, then we target their advertisers with the same tactics. Again, a relatively small number or protesters could have a much larger impact, because the target is much more susceptible to disruption than BushCo.

    It's time to fight the war we are in folks, using the tactics of those we are fighting.  We've been lied to, manipulated, ignored and dismissed. And the other side has been very effective.  Time to change tactics and attack them where they are weak, by going after the very filter through which they lie, manipulate, ignore and dismiss.

    •  I like the way you think. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, mojo workin, Metatone

      You should diary this, preferably not on a holiday weekend.

      -8.25,-8.36 The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

      by sidnora on Sun May 28, 2006 at 12:12:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with the other guy (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, mojo workin, John L

      You need to diary this.

      This is potentially a powerful way forward. It deserves much greater coverage. (sic)

    •  Don't apologize for the repetition (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thursday Next
      It's going to take more than one comment or diary for this to transform into a viral idea that can then translate into action.

      It's an old truism in direct marketing that it takes an average of 7 contacts before you can get someone to act.  Don't give up if the first few times people respond as if this is the first thime they've heard your idea.  It probably is.

      And it is a great idea.  If people hold a march and no one reports it, did it really happen?

      The Porter Goss resignation story has legs. And they're spreading. 05.05.06

      by Bionic on Sun May 28, 2006 at 03:47:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Action Plan #1 (0+ / 0-)

      has legs.

      At least Democracy Now! would report it...

      But we'd have to clever and well-organized.

      For instance, hit FOX first for their complicity:

      A) They deserve it.

      b) They won't cover a blockade of CNN.

      Hit CNN next and watch FOX get in line...

      Then watch the battle play out on the front page of the NYT.

      And its important to get arrested for civil disobedience now, it gives corporate news an angle to play on a story they would otherwise strangle.

  •  Isn't there a station that we could buy? (5+ / 0-)

    If we could finally get Air America, can't we get a progressive TV station?  Surely there are some responsible corporations out there that would rather have the truth than pap?  "Fair and Balanced" is just full of s--t.  There are some good news people like, Keith Olberman but few and far between.  Most of them know where the money is and follow the Gestapo line.

    The shrub needs to be pulled he is terrifying

    by libbie on Sun May 28, 2006 at 11:56:41 AM PDT

  •  They're not supposed to report what sells (3+ / 0-)

    They're supposed to report the news. Therein lies the problem.
    Another thing is, in old school journalism, you didn't need a journalism degree (pretty useless IMO). Most places hired college grads who were  bright and came from varied backgrounds. It made the papers, magazines, not only more diverse in thought, it gave them a ready pool of folks who could understand subjects that someone else might not (the former med student on the healt beat, etc.). But you were trained in journalism on the job, learning from the pros, working your way up.
    Now we have a lot of folks with journalism degress with little knowledge of the world or other subjects. (Heck, when I was at a magazine - big one) we had a guy with a journo degree from Notre Dame. His spelling, punctuation, etc. sucked. What the fuck did he learn? Not much.

    All Truth is non-partisan

    by MA Liberal on Sun May 28, 2006 at 12:04:38 PM PDT

  •  It's the money and power, stupid. (7+ / 0-)

    The Clinton's were understood to be interlopers in the White House and Washington circles. They were jumped-up rubes (Bill, anyway) from Arkansas, and they had no money. The press even ripped into their efforts to get some: see Whitewater and Hillary's commodities investments.

    Gore was better connected, and wealthier, certainly now, but is still not seen as powerful or dangerous. Him they neutered with accusations of nerdiness, and there was no risk in abusing him via lies and mischaracterizations.

    Bush had the Rove machine, his father's connections, powerful backers, and a reputation for vengefulness. The press doesn't know how to take him on without some corporate and personal risk.

    In truth, the MSM has no cojones. It was neutered  by big money and social connections to their natural prey.

    This is a very important diary. We'll be talking about its premises for a while.

    Slap those goddam hogs away from the trough. They've had enough.

    by perro amarillo on Sun May 28, 2006 at 12:05:31 PM PDT

  •  The media became lazy and corporate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    averybird, beachdog

    It's much easier to simply print a story that is packaged and handed over by some special interest, no need to waste days digging and finding the truth. Plus, it is expensive for the corporate owned media to fund investigative journalism, affects the bottom line.

    Hence, the death of the investigative reporter and the birth of the media whore.

    Laziness led to complacency led to the propaganda machines we call the media.

    To those small number of journalists who still care about reporting the truth, I wish you the best. Even though a few of us may hear your truth, it still needs to be screamed and documented.

  •  Neither Democrats nor Republicans care about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The scandals that Bush in involved in.

    It was only the Republicans who were campaigning that Bill and Hillary Clinton don't have the right character to hold office.

    The Democrats were campaigning about policies, not about Bush's character, so neither side was pushing the media to cover those stories.  The republican side was pushing relentlessly to cover the Clinton "stories".

    That is the difference.

    •  True (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But up to a point.

      The GOP was successful pushing "character issues" about the Clintons, Gore, Kerry because they own large chunks of the media. They could push these stories to the media bloodstream through FOX, Rush, WSJ, NY Post, hundreds of radio stations etc. Democrats don't have their own media structure.

  •  No argument....what do we do? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How do we fight back on this?  All this is absolutely true but how do we make it change?  I listed to FSTV and LINK TV but they are never going to get the general public attention....

    •  I emailed my local (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, macmcd, StrayCat, beachdog

      channels and told them I don't watch them anymore because they don't report truth or subtance anymore . Do they care? Not one bit about me, but I would hope that if thousands upon thousands told them they may listen. The trouble is--where do we find those thousands and thousand that give a damn?
      I'm beginning to suspect that a good number of folks don't want to be bothered with the truth anymore. They like their news lite ,thank you very much.

      Spiritual people inspire me; Religious people frighten me.

      by Esjaydee on Sun May 28, 2006 at 01:03:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  when they started calling it 'J' school (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, averybird, Catte Nappe

    like so much in education ,its not about a body of knowledge ,its about getting a ticket to be hired by the corporations.Saw the story today about some guy named "Peanut" who walks Bush's dog and is now getting into Harvard "B" school,never having completed an undergraduate degree.

  •  Totally agree. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, StrayCat

    Another thing I have noticed-It isn't just politics that the different media's  have lightened up on. I notice it on my local television news programs. Now it seems that animal stories ( any animal ) will be at least 5 times more indepth than something much more important. Our local anchors also like to add their opinion to any story-either with words, or rolling their eyes or giving a little smirk as they report. I find myself replying to the screen..."Just tell me the news, damnit. Leave your fu**ing opinion off the camera please!" . It seems that as Rome is burning , all they want to tell me is all about a wittow-bitty puppy that was found abandoned . Nit-wit's! I gave up on all Network new-local or national. There is NO truth or substance there anymore.

    Spiritual people inspire me; Religious people frighten me.

    by Esjaydee on Sun May 28, 2006 at 12:58:45 PM PDT

  •  I have read the entire thing (3+ / 0-)

    comments and all and I see zero mention of

    Why is it that you guys don't care about this or see it as an answer to your problems?

    I have mentioned it here several times in different diaries and even did a diary on it once with little or no response.

    •  Thanx, I've joined! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blackstar, John L

      Let's hope more of us see the trees!

      I wake up every morning and smell the coffins! GWB

      by Asinus Asinum Fricat on Sun May 28, 2006 at 02:20:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Glad to hear it! (0+ / 0-)

        Here's what the chair has to say about The Real on the link and read his description of how they would have handled Bin Laden as far back as 1997, had they existed the way, as you can see they are changing their name from Independent World Television to The Real News, which is a better name, I think.

        Making The Real News
        By Paul Jay, Chair
        The Real News

        In 1958, Edward R. Murrow, the icon of American broadcast journalism, made a forceful speech about the state of television at its infancy. The speech was depicted in the recent film Good Night and Good Luck by George Clooney. Speaking to a conference of network news executives, Murrow said:

        “. . . surely we shall pay for using this most powerful instrument of communication to insulate the citizenry from the hard and demanding realities which must be faced if we are to survive. I mean the word survive literally. . . Here (television) you will find only fleeting and spasmodic reference to the fact that this nation is in mortal danger.”

        Half a century later, the majority of television news programs around the world continue to offer only a “fleeting and spasmodic” depiction of the dangerous realities facing us and the possible solutions that could ensure our survival. We want to change this.

        By creating an independent financial base we believe we can create the conditions for independent thinking and uncompromising journalism. The support and participation of thousands of members will make it possible....more at the link

  •  How do you shame the media into doing its job? (0+ / 0-)

    We are all aware of how inept the media has been at covering the abuses of the Bush administration. The question is how are we going to address the situation. Even the fact that bloggers continually upstage the professional media by getting the scoops that the 24/7 journalists somehow miss does not appear to motivate them. Take a look at last year's Pulitzer Prize nominees and see who was picked for what stories to get an idea of just how vapid the media is at even discerning important stories after the fact. Tell me who the modern day Edward R. Murrow is or if there is anyone even close to that caliber in the field today. I believe that someone must have kidnapped all of the journalists of any consequence and replaced them with Stepford versions.

  •  Great diary! Recommended. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Been saying it for years.... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, Bionic, Miri, boofdah, SherriG

    The basis of totalitarianism is media control.

    In other words, it's been obvious for three going on four generations.

    Have you accepted Chuck Norris as your personal Lord and Savior? :)

    by cskendrick on Sun May 28, 2006 at 01:44:53 PM PDT

  •  To refine the thought a little more (2+ / 0-)

    a great many people don't make up their minds as far as voting until the last 10 days of an election. According to the book, Television and Human Behavior,  by George Comstock et al, Columbia Univ. Press, 1978,  in those last 10 days one-half to two-thirds of voters make up their minds then. Thus, it means that the influence of information then has a disproportionate effect on voter's decisions.
     If you remember the 2000 election, one of the media catchphrases in reporting on polls in the last few days was that slightly more people "would prefer to have a beer with George Bush than with John Kerry." This was a strange theme to sound for religious sects who would oppose drinking, but it was played up nevertheless.
       Since then, the theme has disappeared, especially in the wake of suspicions of substance abuse in the White House, both of W. and vp Dick Cheney, especially after the shotgun shooting of Harry Whitworth. In the 2006 election, the themes of the last 10 days will again be critical.
       In the waning days of the Nixon Presidency, drinking to excess grew to be quite a problem. And it was undercovered by the press. Primaries are being held currently, and any coverage of this or other negative issues could further hurt Republican chances for the mid-term elections. Yet the Cheney drinking problem has dropped off the press radar.

  •  Working the refs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as Eric Alterman points out. Establishing the ground rules is the basis of all other issues. Yet slimeheads like Hugh Hewitt - anyone see him on Reliable Sources today? - still refer to the "liberal media" every time the conservatives get in trouble. Sure, just like we're the elites. Then why did he sneer during the entire interview? Such body language is a dead giveaway.

  •  No mention of my all time favorite..? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Video News Releases.

    Propaganda pumped through the airwaves disguised as "News."
    Cheaper than actually hiring a journalist and a cameraman and great for the profit margin.

    Men like me don't breed well in captivity -8.88 -5.08

    by SecondComing on Sun May 28, 2006 at 02:30:58 PM PDT

  •  It was 10 years ago today (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    averybird, Miri, beachdog

    But WHY is the media a problem? Why did Bill Clinton do this in 1996--which provoked Molly Ivins to say that every Democrat should have run screaming out of the room?

    Because of Big money. It's not that the media is terrible, it's that they are corporate, and corporations control our politics. They have no need to inform us so they don't.

    Katrina proved that 9/11 didn't have to happen.

    by thinkdouble on Sun May 28, 2006 at 02:33:08 PM PDT

  •  Way too Benign! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miri, StrayCat

    a few far-right Clinton-haters and the credulous news media that took them seriously.

    The news media is not credulous.  It is owned by these "few far-right Clinton haters," a tiny handful of unimaginably wealthy wingnuts who want the bu$h-cons in power to preserve their unimaginable wealth and keep them in power (and out of jail).  

    Journalists write what they write and cover what they cover because they want to keep their jobs.  Media consolidation and corporate ownership is the real culprit here, IMHO.  

  •  no conspiracy (0+ / 0-)

    At the time, wasn't there an opposition party in congress? Seems a little overblown to blame some industry-wide conspiracy to destroy its own reputation.

  •  It's sinking in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    averybird, Miri, StrayCat
    Well, I've got to tell you, after November 2nd, 2004 I turned off and tuned out mainstream media.  I was fed up and haven't gone back.  Whenever I'm with my extended family I remind them they're getting biased corporate owned network news (MSM) and take what they hear with a grain of salt.

    I got an email from my sister today.  She's a former Republican that will never again, for as long as she lives, vote Republican.  She told me that between what I've told her and what she's read she now has a good idea of the big picture.  In other words, Republicans=unregulated multinational corporations=corruption=the destruction of our democracy.  It's starting to sink in folks.

  •  Bush's record (3+ / 0-)

    Of course the media is complicit. It is totally under the control of the neocon conspiracy...take a look at the CBS expose of Bush's military record. What happened? The story was never proven false, but Dan Rather was discredited and Mary mapes lost her job. As she pointed out in her book, all that was proven was that the evidence was a bad copy, not that it was false. The media won't touch anything that is in anyway detrimental to Bush. They roll over and go after "Liberals" and "Democrats". This is a new age. Bush reclassifies documents as "Secret" even though they have been known for years, contructs "proof" out of innuendo and fabrication to get us mired in a War we can't win and says everyone is doin' a heckuva job" when no one is doing any job and everyone rolls over and wonders why his polls are so low! With all the dissembling going on, it is amazing that the pols are so high!  Things must really be bad for him if he can't get even a 50% with all the padding they must be doing!

  •  The MSM news slant is as easy to follow as the (3+ / 0-)

    plot of a John Le Carre book.

    As Smiley (I think) said in "The Honorable School Boy" - "follow the gold seam".
    The propaganda of the corporate shills is very easy to "unpack"  if you follow the gold seam.
    The way things work seems to be that a dozen or two corporate chieftains dictate policy to the White House that protects their bidness model. - e.g. control the flow and price of oil from energy rich regions of the world and control the demand and consumption of energy here at home.
    Anything that they perceive as a threat to that control and their short term profit goals has to be ridiculed and stamped out by propaganda in the corporate press. And I worry that it's not just Republicans who succumb to this. I can't help but wonder whether H. Clinton, Edwards, Kerry and Bayh voted for the Iraq War Resolution not because they thought Iraq was a threat - after 12 years of sanctions Iraq was very weak, and the CIA said so and these guys should have known it - I worry that the real reason was because they knew the Iraq War was about controlling the oil and they feared for their political lives if they crossed big oil. Why did Bill Clinton send $3billion military aid to Columbia? Did it have anything to do with protecting oil pipelines? As long as energy policy (foreign and domestic) is written for and by the corporatocracy, we'll keep f...king up the planet and making war on energy rich countries. We need candidates who understand that and have the backbone, courage and critical thinking to say policy must be written on behalf of the people it's supposed to serve including the taxpayers who pay for it. But that said, in order to wrest policy out of the hands of the corporate chieftains, they (and workers) must be given a fair, predictable, even playing field of regulation. Right now, in this Darwinian envirnment, it's hard for a corporation to "do the right thing" even if they wanted to. Regulations need to be realistic, fair and predictable. Government business policy has to take into consideration the direction we want to take the country - hopefully for example, sustainable, renewable energy independence. We need candidates strong enough to take policymaking out of the back room, have an informed and enlightened public debate and then legislate and enforce regulations.

  •  what to do? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blackstar, boofdah, mojo workin, beachdog

    If we can get non-corporatist Democrats into power, it's time to reinstitute media ownership limitations on a larger scale than we've ever seen before.

    Perhaps it's time to look at antitrust laws as they affect the media.

    The purpose here isn't to muzzle the media, this would make us no better than the GOP. The purpose is to break up media monopolies.

    The most dangerous thing about the mass media is that it generally speaks with a single voice.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Sun May 28, 2006 at 03:54:14 PM PDT

  •  MSM controlled by RWNM (0+ / 0-)

    nuff said

  •  Nightline... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Blue

       Let us also remember that "Nightline" started out as an effort to hound Jimmy Carter from office.  Their nightly airing of the Iran hostage crisis was designed to make the public despise Carter.

  •  All I can say is: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ignacio Magaloni, boofdah

    This is the reason DKos is my newsource homepage.

    "He lives most life whoever breathes most air." Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    "We don't do fours." General Tommy Franks (on Dkos)

    by SeattleChris on Sun May 28, 2006 at 05:06:09 PM PDT

  •  I say, follow the money. Who owns the media? (5+ / 0-)

    Those money interests are all that matter and there is evidence that KKKarl Rove is in the middle of all the mayhem, promising special favors and the passage of positive legislation to basically curry the favor of the media, putting the message under his control as necessary.  The people who pay the people who own the media are pulling the strings, IMHO.  Telling the media what to cover and what to ignore.  The best example:  Hurricane Katrina coverage.  Had KKKarl Rove, IMHO, been up to par and not passing kidney stones under anesthesia in a hospital, Bu$hCo's ignorance and criminal negligence as a leader would have been shoved under the carpet before it was exposed on national TV.  IMHO, Rove would have turned the cameras away before they recorded all those victims floating in the waters and begging for rescue.  And that, IMHO, is the seminal moment of Bu$hCo's scam of the general public coming completely undone.  His numbers have never recovered in his own base since Katrina because Rove wasn't there to stop the press from the coverage.  Another example of Rove's amazing control of the media is the lack of coverage of the bodies that ended up in the Gulf morgues.  Ever ask yourself how many people actually died in that disaster and the aftermath?  I'll bet no news source has ever given out that answer, which would be a nice round figure to throw in Bu$hCo's leering, horrific face.  I pray daily for them all to dance in the fires of hell, with the press holding their hands.

  •  This is a direct result of media concentration (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    averybird, Miri

    and it's relationship to wealth.

    What voice do the poor and working middle class have in the media today? Where is it?

    What gets media play? Rich blond {default .. white} girls in Aruba. Meanwhile, for every Natalie Holloway or 'Runaway Bride', there are dozens of brutal sad incidents in every inner city, and every poor rural county in this country.

    I know, I sound like a broken record; but this unfairness in reporting is just another front on the class war.

    "Rovus Vulgaris Americanus"
    Nasty, freshly-demoted
    -7.63, -9.

    by shpilk on Sun May 28, 2006 at 05:14:44 PM PDT

    •  Well, of course it is (0+ / 0-)

      Do you think that the death of the Fairness Doctrine just happened?

      Do you think that the loosening of the prohibitions on one media source owning lots of outlets just happened?

      It's part of the 30 year plan of action that the Neo-Cons have been part of.

      ...but not your own facts.

      by slouise217 on Mon May 29, 2006 at 02:33:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  and they can't stop digging the hole! (0+ / 0-)
  •  Media (0+ / 0-)

    The pro GOP media dynamic will not change until liberals get their act together and do something about it. It is no use whining and complaining. The corporate owners don't give a damn. They are in bed with the GOP and they are getting compensated nicely for it with regulatory favors and tax breaks.

    Liberals should copy the GOP. Build their own media institutions. Their own WSJ, FOX, 800 radio stations. It is the only way they can correct the imbalance.

  •  The diarist. . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . .and other Kossacks will find this piece from Project Censored  (.pdf) a worthwhile read.

    The time is now. Damn it, the time is ALWAYS now!

    by PrairieCorrespondent on Sun May 28, 2006 at 06:33:18 PM PDT

  •  Read it yesterday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thanks to a link from Lords.

    I was astounded at Nightline with 19 episodes on the little Monica affair (in 2 years) but only 3 THREE episodes on the CIA leak case (in 2 years)! I stopped watching Nighline a while back in favour of South Park. I found South Park to be less phoney.

    Agathena. . . (0 / 0)

    I thought of you as I read this. A must read. If only because misery loves company. :-)

    by Lords on Sat May 27, 2006 at 11:08:53 AM PDT

    [ Parent | Reply to This ]

    Right now today, the Republicans have majority control of the media so it must wrested from their cold dark hands.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Sun May 28, 2006 at 06:50:21 PM PDT

    •  It's actually worse than what you're stating... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Nightline had 19 episodes in 2 years about Whitewater, not Monica. Yep, Whitewater, the pseudo-scandal where it was transparently obvious as early as 1994 that there was no there there.

      Whitewater, Filegate, Travelgate, Campaign Financegate, etc., etc., -- all phony scandals concocted by the Right-Wing Smear/Propaganda/Brainwashing Machine and dutifully and relentlessly regurgitated by the GOP's prison bitches in the so-called "liberal media."

  •  The LAT reported on the Harkin story but (0+ / 0-)

    it didn't seem to get picked up.
    According to the article a summer intern was given the case and she decided that since the price of the stock didn't fluctuate that much in the  time frame there was nothing wrong. She never said that it wasn't insider trading, but the head of the SEC at the time just happened to be appointed by George H.W. Bush.
    When W. was asked about it , he said check with SEC which of course was not about to release the info.
    One other thing under the radar is all of W.'s Texas papers have been stored at his father's library where nobody can get at them.
    Also left out of the discourse is after Saddam killed his own people which Bush screams about his hero Reagan armed him a policy continued by Bush 41/Cheney  who also armed Osama and that Cheney did business with the enemy Iran and that thetime if ever to help Iraq was when the peopleof Iraq rose up against Saddam and had a good potionof the country under their control and asked for help, Bush41/Cheney refused. Of course neither Kerry or Edwards brought this up

  •  And a solution is? n/t (0+ / 0-)


    Mitch Gore

    Bush's pre-1776 mentality is hurting America - Russ Feingold

    by Lestatdelc on Sun May 28, 2006 at 07:46:52 PM PDT

  •  Journalism Schools must.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    do a better job.  I was a Mass Media/Journalism major in the mid-seventies.  I wish I still had my old textbooks because what I'm seeing now breaks every rule that we were taught.

    Who is teaching this shit now?  is it all about having "good hair" and screaming "me, me, me, look at me"

    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. Will Rogers

    by Zwoof on Sun May 28, 2006 at 08:38:08 PM PDT

    •  I had the same major around the same time... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zwoof, BB10

      Yes, what you're seeing now breaks all the journalism rules we were taught back then, which is probably why I started to notice the odd behavior of the press early in the Reagan years.

      However, there was one course I took where it was mostly about presentation (i.e., the "good hair," etc.) and very little about actual journalism: my Broadcast Journalism course, which I loathed. And my sense was that many (though not all) of the people in my class who were attracted to broadcast journalism were people who primarily wanted to be on TV but couldn't sing, dance or act. That crowd certainly wasn't interested in actual journalism.

      And I do apologize in advance to an old friend who is in broadcast journalism today at one of the networks and who I do believe has journalistic integrity. I'm not referring to you, friend.

  •  Yes, media helped Republicans and there is no... (0+ / 0-)

    doubt.  We would like to have thought that it was only Fox News but it was all around us building ever more.  Other network and print medias were just little mor subtle.  In the end, they sold their soul for possible gain in better jobs, better ratings and more money(don't know how, but I'm sure money is involved).

    I don't see us having any character of worth.  It is a sad state we are in.  Will we be able to discover our identity once more?  If so, soon enough to repair the damage?  I hope that we can and will.

  •  But they still set the agenda (0+ / 0-)

    Most Americans get their news from television.
    They learn this when they're young.   Growing up corporate in the public school, they become passive consumers of infotainment.   They learn no context, no critical thinking; no consciousness raising.

    That's why we have to press the press.   The rallies?  Fucking stop having them against only the government.   Start having them against the media.
    As Lydia Sargent says at Z Magazine and Danny Schechter started doing this year:  Press the Press.
    We ain't gonna get anywhere til we do.

    "In a system of immense power, small differences can translate into large outcomes." Chomsky

    by formernadervoter on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:01:03 PM PDT

  •  Just a few minutes of Sun morning TV (0+ / 0-)

    will convince anyone of the media's stupidity and corruption.

    flipping between channels this morning:

    The NYT says the Clinton marriage is going to be an issue, so therefore it's going to be an issue. Let's devote half our program to it.

    Democrats just want to investigate if they take power (shame on you Schumer, for wimping out on that question).

    ad nauseum.

    The Democratic Message: Security, Privacy, Justice

    by Upper West on Sun May 28, 2006 at 09:11:19 PM PDT

  •  It's not the media. (0+ / 0-)

    At least, it's not JUST the media. It's the republican domination of all official avenues of power. It's not like "Bush lied" hasn't been reported. Should have been before the fact, and it wasn't, which is a pity, but it's out and pretty much accepted. The problem is without any official means of redressing the President's illegal actions, there is no conflict, no story, no way for the press to latch on to things. With Clinton, there was "Did he or didn't he" when it became apparent that he DID, the story was buoyed aloft by the fact that the Republicans wanted to impeach him-- there was drama there, there was a contest, there was motion. There was a story. That's what got reported.

    Now we just have facts. Damining facts, but once you've revealed them the administration just says, in more or less many words, "yeah, we're doing it, screw you, screw the constitution, and there's nothing you can do about it." And as long as they control all the levers of official power in this country, there really isn't. Without the possibility of imeachment, or censure, or the courts shutting something down... there's no STORY for the media to obsess on.

  •  The media (0+ / 0-)

    You are so right. It makes me wonder what world they live in. How can they be so dumb? From where I'm standing Bush looks like a barely literate idiot who could have been a contender but is such a moral zero he never even considered it. What's to like about a guy like that?

    And have the media always been this removed from reality or has corporate consolidation of media exacerbated the problem?

  •  Bravo..... (0+ / 0-)

    This has been in my mind itching at me for years......the press is so important and is so obviously  anti-Democrat. It has only gotten worse as media conglomeration taken place. It is my sincere belief that not only are they biased but that the Republicans have their own paid operatives working amognst the media in the HIGHEST positions available. Additionally I believe that many editiors who actually shape the way news is reported in tone, innuendo etc are also potentially on the payroll of someone else than just the news organizations that they work for. ....It is why i no longer even bother with MSM at all to receive my info......The situationis  a mess......
    What really discourages me is that those membersof the press who seem to clearly be striving for "objectivity" ,I.E. Keith Olberman seem unable to come close to achieving the ratings that a douch like O'Reillys get on a regular basis ....
    The topper to all of this is that our so called "leaders" of the Dems are very nearly retarded(no insult intended) in the way that they communicate through the media.

    All it takes for evil to win is for enough good men to do nothing-paraphrase from someone.

    by Akapl on Mon May 29, 2006 at 12:12:08 AM PDT

  •  Janet Jacksons Nipple (0+ / 0-)

    This was the medias 9/11
    They are indeed in bed with the politicians.

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

    by Boru on Mon May 29, 2006 at 03:03:01 AM PDT

  •  yes, recommended (0+ / 0-)

    except that applying the "New York Times" test to other politicians is just as odious as the examination of the Clinton marriage (or should I say mirage).  There's been a lot of that going around... Giuliani, Bill Keller, etc.

    The guidelines of good journalism are set out quite succinctly by the Borzoi authors Leonard Downie, Jr. and Robert G. Kaiser:

    Components of Good Journalism

    Q: You believe that journalism has a "mission of public service " (p62) which includes exposing corruption, holding politicians accountable for their behavior and more. How far does one go in terms of reporting on say the sex lives of politicians? How does one both protect the privacy of individuals and honor the public trust?

    A: Our book contains a detailed account of a big debate inside The Washington Post in 1996 over whether to expose a long-ago love affair of Sen. Bob Dole, the Republican candidate for president that year. Len Downie decided we wouldn't do it, after a heated argument within the staff. Most of Len's colleagues, including Bob Kaiser, disagreed with him, for reasons you'll have to read the book to find out.

    In that episode we all had to wrestle with your question when is a sex story relevant to a politician's career? Bill Clinton and Monica
    Lewinsky made it easy, for instance. A president having sex with an intern inside the White House is clearly a news story. But most cases are much more subtle.

    Our general rule of thumb is, a politician's private life must have some connection to the performance of his public duties before we're ready to write about it.

  •  This suggests a solution... (0+ / 0-)

    Did anyone catch Jon Stewart's ribbing of some stupid radio weather station, advertizing how much better it was than the other station?  

    Can anyone imagine a newspaper that can say "unlike the stupid Herald-Sun over in the next town, WE ACTUALLY CRITICIZED the war (or Abu Ghraib, or tax-breaks for the wealthy, or the Plame leak, or the trashing of the economy, or the trashing of the constitution, or the trashing of the global environment, or the trashing of the education system, or the trashing of the health-care system, or the trashing of the young, the old, the middle-class, the workers, the non-workers, the immigrants, the foreign countries, the UN, the utter idea of safe democracy -- you know, the Bush years)"--???

    Prediction: that newspaper would up its readership by 20% in a heartbeat; the ownership would be torn for about two seconds; but then they would decide that they have no ethics except for profit, so why not?  

  •  WHERE IS BILL CLINTON NOW!? (0+ / 0-)

    Why is it that 'we the people' have to remind 'the rest of the people' of the absurdity of the Clinton media circus and lack of coverage of the immense crimes and coverups of the current Administration?

    Clinton's silence is deafening. He has an opportunity to set the record straight. He has an opportunity to get air time, to speak to the American people. If Clinton were a loyal soldier for America and it's Constitution he could step up to the plate and denounce this Administration.
    If its a matter of getting on a major network I will gladly donate to the Get Bill on Prime Time fund.

    But, sadly it's not about speaking out. It's about politics as usual, at the expense of the Republic on the backs of the people. We have no heroes today, only talking heads who follow the polls and set agenda accordingly. If the American people truly understood the eradication of the Constitution and their freedoms, maybe then we would have a revolution.  

    It is so aggravating to have supported Clinton with letters, emails, phone calls to my representatives to be totally ignored today when we need him.

    Clinton refused to fight for his country way back when. He has an opportunity to show his patriotism today, but he remains silent. Once a coward, always a coward.  

    Chump Clinton ain't no better than Chimpy himself.

    •  The way I see it (0+ / 0-)

      there are two resons why Bill won't speak up. First is Hillary. She wants to run in '08, so she needs to emerge from his shadow. Being open and speaking up now would diminish Hillary's rise.

      The second reason, the Gop'ers have found Bill's other achillies heel. If you read his book, the very first thing you read discusses the loss of his father. You can almost feel his pain over this. Presto, throw the two former prez's together, have G.H talk about how like a son he is, share a few laughs, and you now have a muted Bill C. He will now not say a damn thing about w.

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."-George Orwell

      by Babsnc on Mon May 29, 2006 at 06:42:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  'The Hunting of the President' (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wytcld, Zwoof

      Said a lot. Clinton gives a speech afterward where he lays out just how corrupt the media was and how corrupt the Republicans were in their witch-hunt of him.

      I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Why blame Clinton? What can he do? And he is most certainly NOT A COWARD.

      Did he resign? He didn't. He took all that Shit for all those years, had all that shit on the media about him every single night and he didn't resign. He even gave a damn good State of the Union address after he was impeached!!!

      I have to tell you -- even the Republicans I know (the reasonable ones) thought he had a lot of guts, and they knew he had been pretty much railroaded.

      You're way off base here.

      The diary is right -- the media IS the problem. I blame them 100% for the mess we're in.

      You're no better than the Repbublicans. I'm so SICK and TIRED of people blaming Clinton for things. Its time to blame the people that are REALLY doing the damage here.

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

      by Dunbar on Mon May 29, 2006 at 06:47:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who's blaming Clinton? (0+ / 0-)

        Then again who's blaming who for the mess we are in today? Who would you suggest in Democratic/Independent ticket who can speak to the American pepole of the atrocites committed in our own backyard?

        Who in the United States is stepping up the plate to denounce the King? If anybody why not Clinton? After all it was the repugs who tried to bury him. I supported Clinton. But I have ot tell you I feel shortchanged that the most prominent name in the Democratic party does not step up to the plate.

        It goes to show in this country it is not about freedom anymore. It is about big business. The business of America is business. Everything else takes a back seat.

        I will carry on my rant until there is leadership on the fundamentals of freedom. It is been far too ignored by the politicians.

        •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

          I really do agree with you. We have been shortchanged. But Clinton was not a coward. I took offense to that, I admit.

          What pisses me off is that Democrats voted for Hayden, Roberts, Alito. What pisses me off is that they are letting this President run over us. They say they can't do anything about it. Sure they can. Vote AGAINST every single nominee by this criminally negligent president. Speak out... speak so loud the press cannot ignore it. And didn't Pelosi say she was against impeachment? HOW CAN THAT BE????

          Yea, I'm as frustrated as you are. But I don't think Clinton is the answer. The answer is the Dems that in there now.

          "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

          by Dunbar on Mon May 29, 2006 at 08:26:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey Dunbar, missed your reply. (0+ / 0-)

            I can't understand why the Dems are not out there, enmasse discussing the tyranny before us. It is ridiculous that one must read foreign news articles that discuss this, yet in the US it plays third fiddle behind American Idol, if it plays at all.

            Where the fuck is the leadership!

  •  'We' are the new media, and we'd better (0+ / 0-)

    get off our asses and start acting like it.

    -6.88/-5.64 * You know what's happening. Fight it.

    by John West on Mon May 29, 2006 at 05:51:59 AM PDT

  •  NYT has way better (0+ / 0-)

    liberal coverage than this blog.

    Did you even touch on student outrage at New School when their president invited McCain to speak at their graduation?

    NYT isn't perfect, but this place has become an incestuous, narcissitic clique.

    •  Where have you been? (0+ / 0-)

      Yes, there were several long discussions on McCain at the New School, each of which "touched on" the student outrage. Where are you visiting from? How long will you be here?

      Sure, you must be right, the million people reading this every day, and the thousands posting, constitute a "clique." The majority feeling here, by the way, agreed with what appears to be yours: That McCain shouldn't have gone before an audience he knew might be hostile. Some called him "arrogant." My own 2 cents was that it instead showed humility. If this were really a clique, I should expect I would never be forgiven that "betrayal." But guess what? It's not disagreeing that gets people troll rated here; it's being a troll. Which you are. (Why am I feeding you?)

      •  where are the environmental diaries? (0+ / 0-)

        I have to read NYT for that.

        The pro environmetal people have to form their own little group outside
        of dKos.

        Why is dKos afraid to touch environmental issues?

        This "you're a troll" crap is just a little 9 year-old, don't you think?

  •  weird to see dKos selling out to the right (0+ / 0-)

    war mongering on liberal politicians, liberal media.

    Somebody is either on the dole or you've completely lost it and need
    to get your heads out of computerworld and take a reality check.

    •  Here's the psychology (0+ / 0-)

      There's no sell out. But it's natural in human groups to worry more about the morality of your own leaders - on small matters - than the morality of the leaders of other groups. Let's say there are two churches, the Tree Worshippers and the Mountain Worshippers, each with several congregations. Well, as Tree Worshippers we know the Mountain Worshippers are immoral in all sorts of little ways. So it's not really news to us to learn of an instance. As Tree Worshippers of the Oak Congregation who find out our leader is having an illicit affair, we wish to hide that to save face with the Elm and Maple congregations. However if we learn the leader of the Elm congregation is having an affair, and that this has become knowledge even among the Mountain Worshippers we'd like to convert, we're likely to try to show the world that we're "really better people than that" by urging the Elm folks to fire their leader.

      Reporters are largely self-identified Democrats, but not of the White House congregation, even during a Democratic presidency. So they took an attitude against Clinton for his "sins." On the other hand, they don't worry so much about Bush's sins because they simply accept that all members of the Republican congregation are currupt.

      Okay, now look at dKos. We are a congregation in the sub-church of Democratic Press. So the sins of the press particularly outrage us because they are another congregation under the same overall umbrella of worship (that is, of factual reporting, careful critical assessment ... we have most all the same virtues listed in our Book of Ideals).

      So why aren't the 20% of self-identified Republicans in the press as hard on Republicans in office as the Democrats are on "our own"? Perhaps because Republican reporters see themselves as being in the same congregation as Bush and Cheney, and so only want to cover up the transgressions of their leaders. Also, consider that most of the national press is owned by corporations of largely Republican management - again, which sees itself not as another branch of that corrupt faith, but is in the very same congregation as the White House.

  •  nice job n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?"

    by seesdifferent on Mon May 29, 2006 at 09:13:13 AM PDT

  •  Just saw this tonight! Great diary--thank you. (0+ / 0-)

    You are really putting things into perspective here. It could almost be true, that the media is the most important factor in determining what's been going on in the country.

    To me it is the key to any big change. But I also think people are beginning to put 2 and 2 together==starting to.

    To me the huge problem we have is corporate ownership of government. It's government of, for and by corporations. We need to have publicly funded campaigns at the national level at least to start to change that, if possible.

    But, you're right that nothing will start to change unless some of the media at least will be responsible. Thanks again.

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