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I briefly discussed the study by the Columbia Journalism Review about the responsibility of the media in the (non-)coverage of the early signs of the financial crisis and I wanted to revisit this here a bit.

The CJR article is an indictment of the business media, which it says did not do its job of bringing up the recklessness, irresponsibility and sheer fraud that characterised the housing and banking boom of the past decade. The CJR acknowledges that there were a number of articles in various publications (in particular the Financial Times) pointing to problems, but none that really brought about a change in behavior. They contrast this with some isolated cases where well-researched articles (usually about local scandals) led to actual investigations and punishment of financial firms, and note that enforcement of rules by public authorities is intimately linked to critical coverage of the issues by an investigative media corps.

And yet... the information was there, for who wanted to see it. Most of my blogging since 2004 has been based on information published in the business press. The crash was announced in many different ways in the FT, the WSJ, the Economist or the NYT, and regular readers of these publications cannot have been surprised by what unfolded. The facts were there, and a good deal of the smart analysis of these facts was there as well.

Of course, what was missing is not the information, but appropriate focus on such information - meaning that casual readers (a category that includes pundits and headline writers) did not get it very easily, or at all, or only as an occasional note of warning to what was largely upbeat - cheerleading, one might uncharitably say - coverage of the financial world.

What happened is that these critical bits of news did not trickle down... They were not picked up by headline writers, they were not picked up by the pundits (the Serious People) that create and repeat conventional wisdom ad nauseam, and they certainly did not appear in the less detailed coverage of finance which is provided by TV news, local papers and daily conversations, which filters what is said by the headlines of the business papers and the background context which permeates Serious People's articles.

Sometimes a single article can see its content immediately spread like wildfire and become common knowledge (think of Ron Suskind's article about the "reality-based community"), but that's not quite enough. Piketty and Saez's articles on widening income inequality are amongst the most quoted, but somehow inequality, while acknowledged, has still not become a topic worth discussing in public debate

In other words, the inconvenient facts did not join the mainstream - the basic stuff that most people that don't really pay attention do know (things like "stock market up = good news = the economy is doing well," "Europe = socialism = stagnant losers," "people making millions = successful = role models" and so forth). There's several layers of blame here:

- journalists not writing enough about these facts, or burying them deep in articles; - editors and headline writers consistently focusing on other facts to put forward (either for corporate reasons; - pundits and other Serious People that do not incorporate these facts in the worldview that they use as background for everything they write (and that background, given that it's not the topic of the day, acquires more reality by being taken for granted); - readers who don't know better and swallow uncritically what's been reprocessed by pundits, press agencies and TV airheads.

A typical exemple was the run-up to the attack of Iraq, where critical facts were printed at the bottom of lenghty articles and otherwise ignored; and as the CJR article makes clear, coverage of finance in 2004-2007 was similarly biased and partial on the surface.

Blogs have done a good job of digging up those inconvenient facts and give them a bit more of the prominence they deserve; that the traditional media sees that as a threat is a recognition both of the indictment that they failed to do the job of analysing facts, and of the increasing likelihood that they are losing their privileged role as gatekeepers of the Common Wisdom.

But they while they point ot the failings of the media, they also point out that the solution, as buhdydharma never tires of telling us, can only happen because citizens are involved - informed enough, able to call on bullshit, and willing to stand up to do so.

And they also point the fact that the information was there in the first place thanks to the work of journalists - they are still indispensable, when they do their job. And the only way to make them do their job properly is to support them when they do, by actually reading them (and ignoring the talking heads that translate and distort the reality they report), and by concentrating our fire on the intermediate layers: the editors, headline writers, op-ed writers that choose which facts and which interpretation to focus on.

But we need the facts to be able to fight these. And while blog reporters are doing an increasingly important job, we'll still have to rely on journalists and newspapers to a large extent to get these. Let's not forget it.

Originally posted to Jerome a Paris on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:32 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar - 26 May (174+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wozzle, Renee, Lupin, Alumbrados, Ed in Montana, vicki, northsylvania, Common Sense Mainer, Buckeye BattleCry, Rayne, miasmo, No Preference, abarefootboy, Gooserock, Powered Grace, BigOkie, cotterperson, meg, Jim W, devtob, RFK Lives, silence, RubDMC, Gustogirl, opinionated, srkp23, mkfarkus, javelina, Boxers, Melanchthon, oldjohnbrown, Dallasdoc, Urizen, niteskolar, lcrp, Pohjola, DelicateMonster, Tasini, Redbug, Wife of Bath, bablhous, AlwaysDemocrat, Timroff, Gowrie Gal, Jersey Joe, madaprn, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, ek hornbeck, OpherGopher, PBen, frandor55, stitchmd, Brooke In Seattle, Frank Palmer, thered1, lotlizard, deep, cerulean, LithiumCola, Detroit Mark, Snud, Sister Havana, Asinus Asinum Fricat, Jim P, redstar, BachFan, danmac, MissInformation, Keone Michaels, 417els, ActivistGuy, borkitekt, buhdydharma, NBBooks, tecampbell, gpoutney, Dissentinator, gatorcog, Crashing Vor, JVolvo, bleeding heart, el cid, sceptical observer, JugOPunch, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dianna, MrJersey, shaharazade, jjellin, DanC, kurious, CharlieHipHop, Granny Doc, Hedwig, Aaa T Tudeattack, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, phonegery, mochajava13, dotsright, Loudoun County Dem, california keefer, power2truth, LillithMc, Unbozo, misreal, Moderation, TomP, MKinTN, KLS, DraftChickenHawks, wyvern, zerone, Youffraita, angel65, LI Mike, lineatus, jamess, beltane, alliedoc, Happy Days, el vasco, carver, mofembot, codairem, xysea, Athenocles, dont think, In her own Voice, shortgirl, papicek, billmosby, SciMathGuy, multilee, ARS, Pariah Dog, bsmechanic, be the change you seek, ancblu, zbbrox, EmmaKY, NCrissieB, Alec82, ArtSchmart, LaughingPlanet, amk for obama, fidellio, wvmom, ATFILLINOIS, polar bear, ItsSimpleSimon, axel000, halef, Unenergy, Floande, Oh Mary Oh, renbear, gobears2000, Colorado is the Shiznit, RepTracker, I love OCD, Olon, smallgal, mydailydrunk, sjr1, createpeace, wide eyed lib, anothergrunt, Frankie Teardrop, Book of Hearts, RLMiller
  •  The People Must Understand That Our Societies (13+ / 0-)

    are our constant information enemies, around the clock and around the year.

    The tricky bit is that our systems of government and our cultures aren't set up with that expectation. It's not the worldview of the reasonable ordinary citizen.

    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 Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:38:04 AM PDT

  •  In America the media is (was) the 4th estate... (24+ / 0-)

    It's job was to serve as an eye on government.  Those days are long gone.

    Now, like most everything else, it exists to make a handful of people wealthy.  What we have is modern-day Yellow Journalism, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

    President Obama, are aliens real? Response: I think so. Mitt Romney has several who mow his lawn.

    by David Kroning on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:39:24 AM PDT

    •  I would agree with your comment and add to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Urizen, publicv, Floande, createpeace

      it the power of the people who want flashy sound byte type information.  The media feed the frenzy for fact-free gossip.

      •  an exhausted public wants distraction (22+ / 0-)

        but the public is exhausted because it has to work more and more to "stay in the race" and is further told incessantly that working more is a Good Thing.

        So infotainment is probably desirable in that state of mind. From the perspective of the gilded class, it's a virtuous circle: an ignorant public is easier to exploit. But they've probably been too relentless about it and have killed the goose...

        •  That's a key insight, Jerome. (21+ / 0-)

          Most people are exhausted.  Most American families have two incomes, and often three or four.  There's not a lot of time left for reflecting on the day's news.  Get the kids fed, bathed, and into bed, and find something - anything - to watch on TV and unwind before you get up and start the chase again the next morning.

          This is why I hate the phrase "low-information voters."  Most people aren't news junkies, not because they're stupid, but because they're busy keeping their families housed, clothed, and fed ... and they don't want to wallow in the world's misery with what little time and energy they have left.

          •  As I always point out (10+ / 0-)

            the people who built the labor movement, who challenged the iron grip of the Robber Barons, worked 12 to 14 hours a day (with a half-day off on Sunday) in unbearable conditions at heavy labor in oldtime mills and factories, then returned to homes with none of the modern labor-saving devices, and still managed to both educate themselves to the facts of their time, and to organize themselves and join in the struggle for economic and social justice.  The workers of Lawrence, 1912, and the millions of their time like them, were far more overworked, with far less free time than today's Americans are, but still managed to make their own history.  If it's a matter of being worn out, I'd argue they had that excuse in every possible way over today's Americans.  Meanwhile the average American today watches four hours of TV every day.  I think it's a matter of being too distracted, not too tired.

            "When the government becomes a lawbreaker, it invites every man to become a law unto himself." ~ Justice Brandeis

            by ActivistGuy on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:45:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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

              Fear is exhausting.

              When they go home and turn on the television, they receive wall-to-wall messages about the fearful nature of the world around them. The remaining escapes from fear aren't relaxing, mentally exhausting in their own way because of the amount of material they are being asked to absorb (can we get any more crawls on a cable network, I wonder?).

              The distraction itself is exhausting, especially if they've already left a workplace where information is streamed at them in the same way. Look at health care workers, for example; they are being asked to do far more monitoring of patients, and more patients per worker, and when they get home they are re-tethered to what is little more than more monitoring of the rest of the world around them.

              Workers who do physical labor aren't exactly left alone; many of them work in environs where they are slammed all day with right-wing talk radio. The early labor movements didn't have to contend with that chronic brainwashing and fearmongering.

              We're a very long way from Flint, Michigan in the mid-1930s.

        •  Bingo. I actually have a theme that ESPN was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to blame for a lot of the problem.  What say you?  Well, they have been at it for over 25 years and the format and glitz of the Sports Center shows started the blurring the line between news and entertainment.  Note that ESPN started the scroll at the bottom of the screen.

          Well, it's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

    •  People like us are the antidote (14+ / 0-)

      We have been filling the vacuum created by the consolidation that occurred thanks to Reagan and Clinton.  This is why we need to be extremelt vigilant about net neutrality.  We were very lucky that the "brilliant" minds that run capitalism were asleep at the switch as the tubes opened up enough to enable what we are doing.

    •  was, but we hear what we want to hear (4+ / 0-)

      and with increasing fractionization of the media, it's going to be worse, not better.

      We look for information that supports what we believe, as often or more often than we look for information that contradicts us or gives us, frankly, a neutral view.

      And so when people want to believe the boom will go on forever, they push the information that supports that and suppress what contradicts that.

      The rest are left to feel like Cassandra.

      Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without - W S Coffin

      by stitchmd on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:50:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That actually began in England (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tracker, poorwriter

      as the names for the first three estates of the realm -- nobility, clergy, and commoners -- as well as the idea of journalists as the fourth estate, came from there.

      It's one of those leftovers from English Common Law that made it to American society, but most Americans have no idea what it means or where the terms come from.

      In France, the nobility and the clergy were switched, with clergy considered first estate and nobility second, and the king was completely outside the system until the Revolution.

      This system is yet another important point of history never covered by our outstanding education system in this country. The average American has no idea what is meant by "the fourth estate," because they don't know what the first three were.

      "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

      by Brooke In Seattle on Tue May 26, 2009 at 09:06:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  4th Estate now more properly defined as the (0+ / 0-)

      3rd and a Half Estate.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Tue May 26, 2009 at 09:11:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Facts. I think that people get bored of facts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mochajava13, poorwriter, ATFILLINOIS

    and the media responds by giving us what we want.  It all goes back to Reagan and later to Bush 2.  These were two presidents who found facts to be pesky things that they ignored.  Reagan, because it was about the message, and Bush ... well, because he just didn't care.

  •  Focus-- (9+ / 0-)

    instead we got hocus pocus.   This continues on a daily basis.  Recall Dick Durbin's comment that the Congress had been purchased by the finance industry.    Hardly made the news, barely raised a yawn.  That  should have been a story we are still covering.

    Manhattan straight up please

    by el vasco on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:41:01 AM PDT

  •  It's not just the business media (14+ / 0-)

    Dubya would never have gotten his "little" war in Iraq without a very complicit, American, MSM.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:41:39 AM PDT

  •  To comfort the afflicted... (12+ / 0-)

    and afflict the comfortable.

    You expected something else from me?

  •  I can remember you, Jerome, ... (18+ / 0-)

    ... taking more than a little heat here for being too "gloom and doom."  I always thought there was trouble brewing, too.  In my case just from broad outlines and general sense of things.  Like that it wasn't possible for housing prices to keep going up, because who could afford to buy them all? And you can't just keep bulldozing and building new stuff ad nauseum.  Environmentally impossible, too.  And then if construction slows down...   Etc.

    Not a lot of satisfaction in being a Cassandra.  But there you have it.

    The river always wins. -- Mark Twain

    by Land of Enchantment on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:43:39 AM PDT

  •  News For The Elites (5+ / 0-)

    And news for the masses. These seem to be different animals. The publications you regularly read and the articles you site seem to be written with a focus on a particular audience of those "in the know" as opposed to those people who might care but are often distracted by stories about people with eight children or misbehaving celebrities. Honestly, I don't think these stories in FT, WSJ or The Economist are ever meant to "trickle down" to the unwashed billions who are most affected.

    The Road to 2010: More Democrats. Better Democrats.

    by Splicer on Tue May 26, 2009 at 05:58:20 AM PDT

    •  I'm not sure (11+ / 0-)

      I know that other bankers and similar profesionnals I get to bump into don't read the same thing as me in these papers.

      Many of them don't have exposure to other sources of media, and don't try to deconstruct what's written - or they don't have the time to read everything and dig up the nuggets of info that are more relevant than the headlines. I have the blogs, and before that, I was always reading the news in at least two different languages - with French media offering a different perspective (not necessarily better, not necessarily less biased - just biased differently). It takes quite a bit of time and effort to stay on top of things.

      And remember that a lot of my blogging has been precisely to deconstruct the lies carried a lot of the time by these papers - using facts from elsewhere in the same papers, for sure, but the quantity of lies outweighs the facts. The lies are in the "stuffing" of articles (for instance, you write about whatever's the story of the day in French politics - you add in as background an obligatory reference to youth unemployment, or the evil 35-hour week, and so forth, and these notions get further reinforced even though they are not the main topic of that article and even though they are not quite correct...)

      •  I find (5+ / 0-)

        that while some news organizations do deliver potentially useful information that they don't provide any context.

        An example is Marketplace on PRI which runs for 30 minutes every evening on my NPR station.  They often give a lot of data that is technically accurate but provide no explanation as to what the statistic they are citing effects and don't compare similar stats over time to clarify the meaning of "today's numbers".  

        I've paid a great deal of attention to economic issues over the years and listening to Marketplace actually sucks understanding from me.

        I find myself asking,"...and?" after every segment.

        Reading/listening critically is also to be stressed and I know many people who just don't do it.  

        •  NPR was the firt beat down (0+ / 0-)

          handed out by the neocons when "bleeding heart liberal" was enough insult to turn off the mainstream. Now they have to ay socialist, and even that is not working out well for them.
          I have hope yet for NPR.

          Get Billy Mays on the line. We need some demand here.

          by anothergrunt on Tue May 26, 2009 at 07:49:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Deconstructing Requires Reading Twice (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jerome a Paris, lotlizard, EmmaKY

        I'm no doubt slower than you Jerome.
        I find to deconstruct a column I often have to read a particular sentence or paragraph twice or even three times to uncover a hidden (to me) bias or assumption or simply to really get the point the writer is conveying.

        And remember that a lot of my blogging has been precisely to deconstruct the lies carried a lot of the time by these papers - using facts from elsewhere in the same papers, for sure, but the quantity of lies outweighs the facts.

    •  Our media is very "Brave New World"-like, with (0+ / 0-)

      … differently packaged disinformation propaganda news sources for the different castes market segments.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Tue May 26, 2009 at 09:59:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I spoke elsewhere about this, this morning - (5+ / 0-)

    the fact is as long as the media is owned by corporations that have a vested interest in spinning news for their own purposes & in a specific way, there will continue to be 'scandals' of this type.  They can, and will, suppress vital information and because of the power and money they wield will be allowed to get away with it.  The reporters won't do anything, fearing for their jobs.  The politicians won't do anything, fearing for their jobs.  

    It's up the the individual citizen to become detective, to care and you know what?  Sometimes apathy is easier.  Or swallowing propaganda that sort of fits your belief system.  I don't condone it - the notion is anathema to me.  But apathy is a solution to some.   So, how do we get them to care when even in the face of atrocities such as torture too small a percentage are coming forth?  

    I would have thought something to do with their money would incite rage in enough people for them to demand accountability, but so far nothing.  It's like people are too fearful, too beat down - which makes me feel we've already lost in a way.  Most people can't see beyond the end of their own noses in the US (the constant refrain:  How does this help/affect me?).  

    It's up to those of us who don't feel as disaffected to put pressure on media outlets, and politicians and President Obama to address this issue and make sure that the media become not-for-profit.  I think that may be the only solution.   Perhaps that and that no one who owns a media outlet is able to give political donations at the same time, or some similar (more well thought out) rule like that.

    I'm sick of GOP SOP!

    by xysea on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:00:07 AM PDT

    •  Forgot to say, it's hard to rely on (3+ / 0-)

      whistleblowers when they are left unprotected and subjected to personal witchhunts because they agree to step forward.  The current whistleblower protections are scant, uninforced and in some cases farcical.


      I'm sick of GOP SOP!

      by xysea on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:09:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  xysea not for profit media an option now (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, xysea

      There is nothing that prevents any media outlet from becoming a not for profit entity or for new not for profit media to be developed. However, under the First Amendment Congress cannot dictate any rules for the print and non-broadcast media. The only part of the media that can be regulated are those using the public airwaves, AM & FM radio and over the air broadcast television.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:38:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but I guess what I was thinking was (0+ / 0-)

        how do we wrest control away from corporations>  I am of the opinion it would have to be mandated or limited by government at this point.

        Your thoughts?

        I'm sick of GOP SOP!

        by xysea on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:44:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I guess I am not confident that enough (0+ / 0-)

          Americans would support this and that a change would have to be made.

          I'm sick of GOP SOP!

          by xysea on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:46:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Concentration rules (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Are about the only way to limit corporate ownership, but those are limited to broadcast media and certain cross-ownership situations. Regarding  print and cable media Congress has no standing as they are protected by the First Amendment. The public will need to pursue alternative sources, or start their own not for profit media outlets. Changing the media (with the exception of broadcast) is not something that can be done by government. Corporations have every right to own media properties and control their editorial content.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue May 26, 2009 at 07:47:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The IRRESPONSIBILITY of the Media is more like it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    misreal, axel000

    "Under the rules of the Senate, all things are possible."
    -Sen. Mitch McConnell

    Can I have a pony now?

    by Orbital Mind Control Lasers on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:04:29 AM PDT

  •  Support for journalists (3+ / 0-)

    Jerome is right about the need for journalists - so many times in The Economist and with a vengeance in the WSJ the editorial page is in la-la-land and completely at odds with the substance of the actual reporting in the back of the publication.

    γνωθι σεαυτόν

    by halef on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:07:06 AM PDT

  •  Well put. What the blogs can do (and are doing) (4+ / 0-)

     . . . is be part of the larger conversation that calls-out the Heathers for their failure/refusal to report the facts, which is primarily what my diary -- up on The List right next to this one -- is about.

     This (calling out the Heathers) does several things:


      >  Obviously, it puts facts into the stream of conversation about this or that issue -- facts and background that would otherwise not be in said stream.

      >  It holds the Trad Media Heathers accountable about things.

      >  It may incentivize (even modestly, incrementally) the TMH's to do a little research and have their shit together before an interview starts or story is presented.

      >  It may embolden Democrats/Progressives to stop being so damn hang-dog and defensive.

    Thanks for this diary.


    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing-glove." -- P.G. Wodehouse (via Bertie Wooster)

    by BenGoshi on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:08:38 AM PDT

  •  in short (4+ / 0-)

    media dances to ownership's and advertiser's tunes, because that's where the money is.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:08:59 AM PDT

  •  This is true. I've got old clippings (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Brooke In Seattle

    to show for it.

    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

    by publicv on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:12:23 AM PDT

  •  Let's first define "the Media" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris

    I'm so tired of "the Media" this and "the Media" that.  Especially today, when everything is so fragmented and narrow-casted.  Shit, O'Reilly is the top name in cable news, and he only pulls three million, tops.  And Steven Colbert is number one with college agers?  Gimmie a break.

    As long as "the Media" takes money from advertisers and as long as the once-strong wall between the news and entertainment departments continues to dissolve, expect sucky cable shouters and a servile press.

  •  Reporting reality v. advertisers (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, borkitekt

    One thing I just don't get is how the financial and business community put up with the lousy reporting.  I learnt early on in my business life that it doesn't matter how much propaganda you spout, your business won't be in trouble until you actually start believing your own propaganda - but then you're sunk.

    If the consumers of the product REQUIRE quality, then advertisers will push for quality.

    γνωθι σεαυτόν

    by halef on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:17:55 AM PDT

  •  What is the Responsibility of the Media? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, borkitekt, phonegery

    Mostly to sell stupid shit and get Corporatists elected.

    Hence, I stopped torturing myself with it

    Brains: It's Whats for Dinner

    by jds1978 on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:24:35 AM PDT

  •  Three things (9+ / 0-)
    1. The mainstream press is part of the big business world and has the same interests as it. That means promoting growth, encouraging spending and keeping public sentiment positive. One cannot expect critical reporting in such an environment.
    1. Many people knew there was a bubble (I prefer the musical chairs analogy). In fact just a couple of weeks ago George Soros said that he likes it when markets become "exuberant", that's when he makes the most money. He figures he can ride the wave up and is smart enough to jump off before everyone else. Recently he has found that this is harder to do than previously. Lots of people believe in timing (knowing when the music will stop). Sometimes they are lucky.
    1. Dealing in fraud. There hasn't been as much discussion about outright fraud, but it has been a factor for much of the past two decades. It is only in the extreme cases like Enron or Worldcom that it gets noticed by the general public, but it has become the norm in the financial sector. Much of it is hidden fraud. For example, a trader was asked about Bernie Madoff and said "we all knew he was doing something illegal, but we thought it was trading on insider information." In other words this sort of behavior was acceptable since it was commonplace and hard to track down. Inflated bond ratings, tossing pension fund business to certain firms and other such arrangements are all types of fraud, but are the norm. This is not being reformed.

    The unifying theme is that capitalism is based upon gaining an advantage over one's rivals, by fair means or foul. Once the premise that the biggest is the best is accepted then everything else follows. Capitalism and morality don't mix.

  •  Wall Street reform and plastics (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Freakinout daily, lotlizard, fhcec, Eloise

    There was a talk on NPR yesterday evening as I was driving home from Mom's about the variety, diversity, and ubiquity of plastics pollutants. The bottom line was about the way we conduct commerce today--the extravagance of the growth dependent economy. The shifting of production to nations whose economies provide cheap, non-unionized labor create massive amounts of shipping and the competitive requirement of timely arrivals makes for careless loss of loads (mostly plastic) into the ocean.  And then there are the throw away plastics in the land fill.  And the changes to our bodies because we eat and drink out of plastic containers or plastic coated papers and cans.  Ugh.

    Anyway--all this verbiage is supporting how we need to bring the consequences for our careless deregulated market to public awareness and make the necessary changes.  Arianna Huffington has an article this morning on the need for Wall Street reform.

    btw--remember from The Graduate -- the secret moneymaker for the future was "Plastics"???  Well, the dark side of that prophecy has been fulfilled.

    Find your own voice--the personal is political.

    by In her own Voice on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:38:26 AM PDT

  •  Excellent essay Jerome. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, lotlizard, borkitekt

    "The truth shall set you free - but first it'll piss you off." Gloria Steinem

    Iraq Moratorium

    by One Pissed Off Liberal on Tue May 26, 2009 at 06:46:21 AM PDT

  •  In October of 2007... (8+ / 0-)

    I love to listen to NPR's Market Place Morning Report.  Once a week a fellow named Allan Sloan comes on with his annoying commentary.  In October 2007, (when the stock market was at its highest) Allan Sloan expressed his disbelief at the fools who were pushing the market so high in the face of such ridiculously bad data.

    One year later, in October 2008, Mr. Sloan sheepishly admitted that he had wished that he had followed his own advice, and that he personally had lost a lot of money in the crash.

    To me, it was an enlightening example of the power of humans to practice in self-delusion when it seems to tell them what they want to hear...even when they are completely aware of truth.

  •  The media jettisoned its responsibilities (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, lotlizard, phonegery

    Blogging is just the crowd-sourced way of trying to fill in a void. When we have to read between the lies instead of between the lines to get valid information, I'm not sure that the newspaper/journalist model is worth supporting. Yes, fact-gathering is expensive. And journalism's future financial model is hazy if not dark. But there's a big difference between publishing facts and publishing useful information. Traditional news sources abandoned their relevance over the last eight years voluntarily and (from an outsider's perspective) are essentially just misdirection and marketing tools now. Witness Project Censored, which publishes a annual litany of orphaned stories the tradmed won't touch with a ten-foot pole. I'll pay gladly for honest journalism in a new model, even if fellow citizens will settle for junk news. But no tears shed for the old model.

    •  The last Project Censored list contained 1 story (0+ / 0-)

      … that even Daily Kos has a hard-and-fast rule against touching with a ten-foot pole.

      The Project Censored list was published here as a diary. But after a ruckus in the comments, the diarist acceded to pressure to delete (i.e. censor out) all references to one of the 25 stories.

      Ironic, eh?

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Tue May 26, 2009 at 10:13:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hedging Their Bets (0+ / 0-)

    Why would it be a surprise that people who have made their living out of taking the long shot ... would have responded in a way that exhibited the highest amount of risk?

    That was WHO THEY WERE ... and ARE ... as human beings.

  •  Bravo, Jerome! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, borkitekt

    I saw the fiscal crisis coming.  Why?  Not because of my own prescience.

    Because I was reading the NYT every day.

    Paul Krugman's op-ed columns were a real heads-up for me.  But i was also reading Gretchen Morgenson, Floyd Norris, and others in the business section.

    Putting all that info together (reading between the lines) and the current crash was obviously coming: I said as much to my then-boss in late 2006.

    It didn't hurt that I was also reading you and bonddad, but most of my info came directly from the NYT.  I wonder why I could see this trainwreck happening in slo-mo and their editors could not.

    GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

    by Youffraita on Tue May 26, 2009 at 07:24:59 AM PDT

  •  It's all about the frames and world-view. (8+ / 0-)

    The entire financial press wears the most exquisitely constructed blinders, such that many of the issues you mention never even enter their line of sight. If it increases the quarterly profit margin and the share price, it's all good. Even if said profit was earned by putting babies in a blender.

    For example, the incredible income and wealth-inequality that has left half of American citizens with virtually no buying power and living hand-to-mouth has enormous implications for the economy as a whole; yet it has recieved virtually no attention from the financial press even from this perspective, let alone as an issue of justice, fairness or morality.

  •  The media is responsible for putting forth a rosy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, sockpuppet, axel000

    and uncritical view in every situation, which is plain old bullshit, but is all that's needed for the confirmation bias to kick in, sprinkled and seasoned with the usual tested pavlovian buzzwords, to make the whole load of bull easier to swallow by the masses.

    The well-known phenomena of pshychological projection and confirmation bias account for 198% of conservative so-called 'ideas'

    by power2truth on Tue May 26, 2009 at 07:33:41 AM PDT

  •  More facts less opinion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris

    The media should take that to heart, if not, the younger generations will continue to watch and consume less and less news and get more of their information from blogs and other independent less mainstream sources.

    This is already a strong trend, traditional media are literally cutting their own throats by neglecting this.   Where will Fox's audience be when the boomers kick the bucket ?

    Government for the people, by the people

    by axel000 on Tue May 26, 2009 at 07:34:20 AM PDT

  •  Newspapers in a sense killing themselves (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, lotlizard

    Newspapers helped create a nation of apathetic nonthinkers. Now these same newspapers are lamenting the fact that readership is down, and many of these papers are going out of business. I guess they didn't think that one through.

    All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; The point is to discover them. -Galileo

    by phild1976 on Tue May 26, 2009 at 07:35:52 AM PDT

  •  Don't you really think that the media has simply (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    been co-opted by K Street just as it has co-opted the legislative and executive and judicial branches of the Government.

    The US is now run like new York was run under Boss Tweed - only Boss Tweed has been replaced by K Street and K Street is basically simply Wall Street plus the military companies.

    I think Eisenhower pointed out this problem over a half century ago - back when the Republican Party was still the party of Abraham Lincoln.

  •  To make huge profits of course ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at least that is what happens when virtually all media outlets are owned by huge international corporations.

    Truth doesn't matter too much unless it will make or lose money - if it's going to lose money - cover it up or lie about it.

    Investigations are not worth the trouble unless they will make profits. If an investigation might lose money ... kill it of course.

  •  The first duty of... (0+ / 0-)

    ..the American media is for the people who do the hiring to hire intelligent, driven reporters.

    But that never happens.

    The dumbest & laziest of a dumb & lazy lot is always hired by ABC, FIXED, CBS, CNN (with MSNBC being a slight exception).

    The reason the American traditional media is so pitiful is because the "reporters" are so pitiful.

    It's just a bunch of pretty meatpuppets drinking coffee all day by the fax machine waiting for the fax to spew out the latest RNC/Dick Cheney talking points.

    By 9am,  those RNC/Dick Cheney talking points  are transformed into  "some people say" news segments.

    Then after they rip president Obama for not helping an old lady across the road, they then jump into a bunch of Hollywood gossip about Britney Spear's exposed twat or something as equally meaningless & vile.

    This is why there is no public outcry  even as post 9/11 America circles the drain.

    The Philadelphia Inquirer: Providing sanctuary for war criminals since May 10, 2009.

    by wyvern on Tue May 26, 2009 at 07:58:42 AM PDT

  •  To answer your question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, borkitekt

    To keep the rabble in line with manufactured "facts" that keep them in too much of a lather to educate themselves or do anything that shapes their political destiny.  For starters.

    Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

    by gatorcog on Tue May 26, 2009 at 08:03:01 AM PDT

  •  Good, but could be better: (6+ / 0-)

    Blogs have done a good job of digging up those inconvenient facts and give them a bit more of the prominence they deserve; that the traditional media sees that as a threat is a recognition both of the indictment that they failed to do the job of analysing facts, and of the increasing likelihood that they are losing their privileged role as gatekeepers of the Common Wisdom.

    Too often blogs do nothing but adopt the conventional frame, the one cobbled in the beltway press, and then fight with the right-wing pundits about who has the better ideas within that frame.  That is, the left-blogs act like a giant Lawrence O'Donnell with more cuss words.

    What we should be doing more of, if I can put it this way, is acting more like a giant David Broder from another planet: creating new frames and a new conventional wisdom that does not take its cue from the ordinary spin at all.

    This is a perennial problem: is it more effective to speak the same language as the people in control of power, engaging in the same debates, or is it more effective to create a new debate that is more in tune with the hidden political reality but harder for a newcomer to follow, at first?

    One thing that is interesting to me -- and I am getting really off track now -- is the way that different writers in the blogosphere will react to each other, based on these rhetorical choices.  For example, whoisioz regards digby as hopelessly naive because digby adopts conventional framing when the facts argue for a different frame.  But digby, of course, knows all the same things whoisioz knows, he isn't telling her anything she doesn't know, she simply thinks her stance is more likely to be effective than his uber-cynicism.

    I forget what my point was :)  Probably there is some deep point here but I can't find it at the moment.

    Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you. -- Fry, Futurama

    by LithiumCola on Tue May 26, 2009 at 08:14:18 AM PDT

    •  Good points, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'd argue that a different frame is better, let's call it the Meteor Blades approach for lack of a better name, and then what I think most of us do at present, using the existing frame, is to recite and rebut right wing talking points and let them echo out here on DK.

      I'd love to see less of the latter and more of the former.  

      Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

      by borkitekt on Tue May 26, 2009 at 09:03:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ratings, same as its been for the last (0+ / 0-)

    couple of decades.

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

    Professional and ethical standards

    Since the development of professional journalism at the beginning of the 20th Century, journalists have been expected to follow a stringent code of journalistic conduct that requires them to, among other things:

       * Use original sources of information, including interviews with people directly involved in a story, original documents and other direct sources of information, whenever possible, and cite the sources of this information in reports;
             o For more information on using sources, see journalism sourcing.
       * Fully attribute information gathered from other published sources, should original sources not be available (not to do so is considered plagiarism; some newspapers also note when an article uses information from previous reports);
       * Use multiple original sources of information, especially if the subject of the report is controversial;
       * Check every fact reported;
       * Find and report every side of a story possible;
       * Report without bias, illustrating many aspects of a conflict rather than siding with one<; <br>    * Approach researching and reporting a story with a balance between objectivity and skepticism.
       * Use careful judgment when organizing and reporting information.
       * Be careful about granting confidentiality to sources (news organizations usually have specific rules that journalists must follow concerning grants of confidentiality);
       * Decline gifts or favors from any subject of a report, to avoid the appearance of being influenced;
       * Abstain from reporting or otherwise participating in the research and writing about a subject in which the journalist has a personal stake or bias that cannot be set aside.

    Journalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Some ethical standards of journalism that could bear keeping in mind whilst separating heads from shoulders down at the old chopping block.  Especially the long-forgotten SKEPTICISM.  

    "If the thorn of the rose is the thorn in your side Then you're better off dead if you haven't yet died."

    by whitewash on Tue May 26, 2009 at 08:37:24 AM PDT

  •  So it is that breaking up the Corporate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, borkitekt

    Media cartel remains--as it has been for decades--the number one priority in any real progressive strategy. Odd, how silent we are on this, as if control of information was the natural right and condition of our economic and political elites.

    Remembering that mass-reach media can plant a meme in every single person in the nation within 24-hours, and that this is why the internet can never and will never replace mass-reach media, might light a fire under progressives to focus on our number one problem--the corporate interests' stranglehold on public discussion.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Tue May 26, 2009 at 08:43:53 AM PDT

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

    If your GE and you own a media outlet and wield a huge lump of ADVERTISING cash , what you want printed/aired is printed/aired.
    Same as  AIG, Citi Bank, Capital One, CHEVRON, Exxon, IBM, Windows, Apple or whatever other logo should be on our flag.
    Millions will argue the evils of Wal Mart, then argue the evils of China including their supposed forced abortions. What none of those same people will talk about or the same pundits will not discuss is our sovereign territory Saipan where a democratic congress gave the country and Wal Mart a pass on labor laws and turned a blind eye to the forced sex trade and abortions there. ADVERTISING.

    If someone pays you to not talk about something and you need the money, integrity goes out the window. Just look at the coverage of Afghanistan . Few have questioned the why of being there. Basically we are there for Chevron-any other reason is bullshit. We had an agreement with the taliban for security.
    When Unocal sold their operations in the region to Chevron the taliban wanted a raise-suddenly they were evil. Amazing. Afghanistan is as evil an invasion as Iraq, it has just been ignored enough to be popular. Thanks to the people who profit the most-haliburton and Chevron.

    I could go on for days. In a nut shell-money rules the world and the media is the gluttonous promoter of all of it.

    •  "Some say" Emmanuel Goldstein was in Afghanistan. (0+ / 0-)

      That's why we (Oceania) "had to" invade.

      Oops! He got away. Now he's in Pakistan! Or better (?) yet, in Iran. Yeah, that's it, he's in Iran!

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Tue May 26, 2009 at 10:34:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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

        It has never stopped amazing me the countless reasons why we are doing shit.

        Usama Bin Laden, I mean Jesus they changed his fucking name to Osama for PR's sake. How utterly ridiculous.
        Anyhow, 16 of 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, the leader was a member of the Saudi government , 15 of the 16 were in the Saudi Royal Air force, and we.... INVADED AFGHANISTAN !
        Looking for a guy with kidney disease -in a country with hardly any electricity .
        Not to mention the guys family mostly lives in Saudi Arabia and has a hefty construction business with them.

        We could go on for weeks. War seems to not be the answer. If one looks to Indonesia , where pre-tsunami we were hated then post-tsunami we were semi liked we truly only have to consider peace.

        If we just invaded Afghanistan with stuff to build an electrical grid, water system and a shit load of cement to build some houses we may be complaining about why we have had a draft into the Peace Corps.

        •  With the trillions we have pissed away we could (0+ / 0-)

          … have empowered so many people and won them over, rather than destroying their world and earning their hate.

          But genuinely empowering others is literally the last thing in the world we want to do. Actual power in anyone else's hands but ours is a threat to our goal of permanent planetary dominance, you see.

          The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

          by lotlizard on Wed May 27, 2009 at 04:45:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  there is no such thing as media responsibility (0+ / 0-)

    sadly, that's become an oxymoron.

    Why isn't that lying, thieving, overbaked fraud Anthony Mozilo in jail?

    by marabout40 on Tue May 26, 2009 at 09:03:06 AM PDT

  •  Someone tell me please (0+ / 0-)

    How is it that a racist nazi who advocates for the use of the N word towards black people is still allowed to post diaries in this blog?

    When is this racist KKK scum going to be banned??

    Just search in his comments, I had an argument with this racist and he was bold enough to advocates the freedom to use the N word.

    The consistency of V=L is provable by inner models but not forcing. Is every abelian group A with Ext1(A, Z) = 0 a free abelian group?

    by hurburble on Tue May 26, 2009 at 09:11:24 AM PDT

  •  Facts are hard to (0+ / 0-)

    come by these days. The Old Grey Lady just said that they screwed up Watergate. Watergate and everything else in my lifetime. Every Crisis we have is in part cooked up and sold by the same people that 'own the place'. As for the individual journalist's who do have a semblance of integrity they are lost in the counterpoints, drowned out, denied accesss or literally killed. The wars cultural, economic and geopolitical are only covered from the historic view that promotes the carnage. Impossible to support the established press, media who control the facts. Where are the journalists and how will they ever be allowed to do their job?  

    Lt. Col. Ralph Peters on Journalists: 'Kill Them All'

    "Pretending to be impartial, the self-segregating personalities drawn to media careers overwhelmingly take a side, and that side is rarely ours. Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media. Perceiving themselves as superior beings, journalists have positioned themselves as protected-species combatants. But freedom of the press stops when its abuse kills our soldiers and strengthens our enemies. Such a view arouses disdain today, but a media establishment that has forgotten any sense of sober patriotism may find that it has become tomorrow’s conventional wisdom.

    The point of all this is simple: Win. In warfare, nothing else matters. If you cannot win clean, win dirty. But win. Our victories are ultimately in humanity’s interests, while our failures nourish monsters."

    I canceled my local paper when they endorsed Bush and catipulted the propaganda. They called and asked me why? I told them that they had endorsed Bush and published distorted facts and lies. Their reply was

    We had to endorse someone.    

    "And if my thought-dreams could be seen They'd probably put my head in a guillotine" Bob Dylan

    by shaharazade on Tue May 26, 2009 at 09:13:26 AM PDT

  •  media bias (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RickD, Brooke In Seattle, stanjz

    One thing that is alarming is how ordinary people who lose a job, or get sick, or have things go haywire in any number of way,s are always portrayed just this side of being pathetic whiny losers in most newspaper articles. Most folks aren't sparkling with wit and wisdom when they're in dire straits, but a lot of print media in particular makes misfortune look like something that happens to someone else. The financial crisis seems to have brought out the worst of this tendency.    

    If nothing is very different from you, what is a little different from you is very different from you. Ursula K. Le Guin

    by northsylvania on Tue May 26, 2009 at 09:14:29 AM PDT

  •  WE are the difference (4+ / 0-)

    The game has been played the same for a long time.

    And look where it has gotten us.

    But now that we have a voice....if enough of us choose to make that voice heard, we can change that game.

    Thanks for the shoutout J!

  •  Why Didn't the Media Do Its Job? (0+ / 0-)

    So that we can get a heapin' helping of Act II.
    Coming soon to communities near you!

  •  The media isn't simply chasing after ratings (0+ / 0-)

    Apologists and manipulators are likening the media to a pootie tat chasing a ball of yarn called ratings. Of course, the ratings are a means to an end. The end is revenue. But it doesn't sound good to say the media is after money or dirty paper.

    There should be no attempt whatsoever for advertisers to influence the news. They get there shot when they advertise and that's it. There should be criminal penalties applied for trying to influence the news. There needs to be utter transparency with people who give us news and the people they come into contact with. There needs to be something in place that makes sure a high percentage of the news is dedicated to giving us facts and not polarizing the debate. Climate change isn't a sport. Health care is a necessity.

  •  So, so tired (0+ / 0-)

    I read every entry on this thread and I'm frankly sick of it all.

    The media is to blame! The media is to blame for EVERYTHING!

    Well, don't worry. The media, battered by years of charges of bias from both the right and the left, is stagggering to a sorry finish. Sit back and enjoy.

    All you folks who think it's someone else's job to make sure that everything goes well and that no one (especially you) should ever suffer any reversals, get ready -- soon there'll be no one left to blame.
    Whadda we gonna do then? Blame the bloggers? The government? Each other?

    Yeah, the media should have told us that the economy was bad. Well, some in the media did. The media should have told us that the war in Iraq was based on faulty (if not outright deceptive) info. Well, some in the media did. The media should have told us that we were torturing prisoners. Well, some of the media did that, too.

    You all paint the MSM as some monolithic beast that all reports the same info, in the same way, at the same time. Just not true.

    When things are going well -- as when the economy was humming along on a greased slide of hubris and fraud -- or when things are scary, in the aftermath of 9/11, and it was easy to ignore the voices calling for reason and a calm approach -- it's easy to forget that information tends to stick with us based on our own life experiences. Do the facts strike a cord because we've lived through something similar? Do we think something's bullshit because we've heard similar lies before? We react as individuals.

    And as for one commenter's contention that journalists print facts, not truth -- get a clue, OK? Facts ARE true. That's why they're facts.

    Getting to the truth is tough, it's hard and it takes time. Facts are like breadcrumbs left on the forest floor. If you can follow them, they'll lead you to the truth. Once you get there, how you react to it is your own affair.

    •  But we don't get facts, we get what one "side" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, shaharazade

      says, and then what the other "side" says.  Facts?  Like those pertaining to safe water, air, and the climate crisis?

      We get the facts about abductions and American Idol, but we do not get the facts when huge changes in our lives are at stake and we can make a difference.  

      Of course we need to take responsibility for much of what happens; we'd like a partner, not a foe, in the media.

      •  Crap, I say (0+ / 0-)

        The media is your foe? Prove it. And cite some facts, please.

        •  To use documented facts, I'd have to show you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          clips of all the coverage, every day.

          I'm not saying all the media is my foe, but yes, when they allow a meme, like Gore invented the internet, and Gore is a liar, to permeate the audience's impression of Gore, when that is not what he said, and when he is one of the more truthful politicians around, i consider them to be a foe.

          When they go crazy over bonuses to banks, but barely mention the other 10-12 trillion gone to them, i consider them to be a foe.  When they present, as I said, what one side says against what another side says, and leave out the scientific facts that may save human beings, i consider that being a foe.

          i have to go to science-type websites to get my climate facts, but the media continues to present it as if there is some debate, although that, thankfully, is ending.  If they presented facts all day, this country would be much better off.  

          Maybe you work in the media, and your work is truthful.  Kudos to you, but there are many in that profession who are slanting the facts to fit a point of view that is pressed on its viewers.

          •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

            All the media ignored the untrue Al Gore internet-creating charge. So how come you know different?

            All the media "barely mention" the billions going to banks. So how come you know that? Etc., etc.

            I'm tired beyond belief of hearing all about the bad, bad media that never reports the truth, pushes the corporate lie, is beholden to the power elite.

            It's crap, whether you say it or Jerome a Paris.

            •  I know about it from reading blogs and online (0+ / 0-)

              newspapers, which are often very helpful.

            •  p.s. case in point. you noted that i said (0+ / 0-)

              the media barely mention the "billions" going to banks.  It is actually trillions, which is what i stated.  But most people believe it is billions.  Why is that?

              •  Simple mistake on my part (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                polar bear

                And on yours. I don't ascribe any evil-doing to either one of us.

                You're not going to win this argument. You're coming from the angle that you "know" the MSM is evil. I want facts to prove your point. So far, I haven't read any.

                It's easy to get into a mindset and come to conclusions that reinforce your way of thinking. It doesn't matter which side of the political divide you find yourself. We all do it. I had a friend who was an avid UFO believer and was quick to accept any evidence, no matter how flimsy, that pointed to alien visitations.

                I take umbrage at your statement that the MSM is your foe. I want you to prove that all members of the MSM somehow have it in for all Americans, if that is true. Don't forget -- most members of the media in this country are Americans, too. Why would they willingly mislead you and their own families?

                •  I agree that ALL members of the MSM are not my (0+ / 0-)

                  foe.  I have pointed to a couple of areas where they are my foe, but i don't have time to go document every instance.

                  And I love certain investigative reporters and journalists, op-ed people, etc.  Additionally, I don't like to call anyone "evil."  Bill Moyers is a hero, Jane Meyer, and many more.  

                  We can agree to disagree, certainly.  Thanks for the discussion.

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