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We spend a lot of time bitching about the media.  We need to spend less time complaining about the media machine and more time understanding it.  Only then can we start to figure out how to engage it to the benefit of liberal policies, and to change structurally for the better.  

After the fold:
Introduction
Laziness leads to he-said/she-said
De-bunking mistakes
What can we do

Introduction: the media at every level

When I graduated from college I got a job working on a political campaign.  The first piece of advice I received was the best:

The media is lazy.  Do their work for them.

There's a temptation when you're working on a campaign to tell the press about what is happening.  The expectation is that they will do the reporting - it is their job.  The reality is that it is much better to do their job for them.  Write press releases that look and sound like articles.  Provide clearly marked out quotes.  Give interviews and more interviews.

The people who work in the media are human beings.  Human beings tend to follow the easy road.  It became quickly apparent to me that 'biased' media often wasn't biased at all, it was just following the lead of whichever campaign or group was doing a better job of feeding them content.

Laziness is the root of he-said/she-said media

This is pretty basic.  It's far far easier to just throw out a couple other people and have them talk, then to do any real reporting yourself.  It isn't nefarious, it's just easy.

Factual corrections are work

Ever studied for a final exam?  It's a lot of work.  Being very knowledgeable on a particular topic is work.  It's easier to just not know and not question the talking head.  

Solutions

So far I've made some pretty basic and obvious points.  What can we do?

Call the media what it is: lazy

People hate being called lazy, they don't mind as much being called conservative, or even biased.  Biased is just another way to say someone has an opinion.  Having an opinion isn't such a bad thing.

CNN reporters aren't biased.  They're lazy.  A host who doesn't debunk lies on his or her show? lazy.  Someone who comments on a bill without bothering to know the basics?  Not a party hack, a lazy hack.  These people should be called out for making a lot of money and not working.  This will hit them a lot harder than calling them biased, or profit oriented.

Play the game.

There is a lot made of the fact that there are more conservative pundits as guests on news shows than liberals.  Why is that? Do we think that media personalities are going out of their way to gather up conservatives?  Of course not.  They're lazy.  They're calling the first people in their contact list.  Democrats need to make themselves more available more often.  This means actively calling news shows and saying "[Howard Dean] is available to come on your show to talk about health care, when do you want him?"  

This needs to be a constant press.  It should always be easier to get a democrat on your show or get a quote from democrat.  Always.

-Other ideas

What do we think are other ways to counter the harm that the lazy media has on liberal ideas?  Both locally and nationally.  

Originally posted to Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:16 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When did "lazy" stop being a bad thing? (12+ / 0-)

    Can't they be both?

    I do agree with "lazy," though, and I would add "business-driven" as opposed to "profession-driven." It's now all about audience and profits, not a whit about journalistic values and inherent quality. In the past those two forces were at a different equilibrium.

    "If you don't stick to your values when they're tested, they're not values. They're... hobbies." -- Jon Stewart, Jan. 22, 2009

    by pat208 on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:21:43 AM PDT

    •  When it doesn't cost you your job, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theRoaringGirl, Cali Techie, nickrud

      lazy is just fine.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:23:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think there is a key difference (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pat208, ludwig van brickoven, nickrud

      but I probably should have said 'biased' instead of 'bad'.  The point is that they aren't incapable of doing their jobs right.  It's just easier not to.  I think we've all been there at moments in our lives.  

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:31:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Does it really matter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        k9disc

        if they're capable of doing a good job, if they're not doing a good job?

        Personally, I'm sick of knowing more about every single story than is ever revealed by professional journalists. Sick of it!

        In America, 60% of bankruptcies are because of medical bills, and 80% of those people had health insurance

        by sullivanst on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:00:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it matters (0+ / 0-)

          because we have to engage the media to advance our political goals.  That means understanding that there are different sources for perceived biases.  

          Think you have all the answers? prove it

          by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:12:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Progressive goals are incompatible with (0+ / 0-)

            the corporate media.

            They cost money. They cramp the ability of businesses to externalize costs. They limit the freedom of giant moneyed interests.

            Progressive/Liberal ideas will NEVER get a fair shake in the media because they put People above Profit, and that is not good business.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:32:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If we make the assumption (0+ / 0-)

            that so far, all Democratic media consultants have been entirely devoid of competence, then it makes a difference.

            I think that's a somewhat rash assumption. I believe some Democratic media consultants are actually rather talented. And yet, the media's still doing a near-universally sucky job.

            That gives me very little confidence that action on our part can improve the job they're doing.

            In America, 60% of bankruptcies are because of medical bills, and 80% of those people had health insurance

            by sullivanst on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:46:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  They can be both. And they can also be (3+ / 0-)

      just incredibly self-important. I saw an AP blurb in my local sSnday paper that they are all up at a arms because Obama went to a soccer game for one of the girls without allowing them to come along. They admitted it wasn't a law or anything, but the reporters were all whining about how he broke longstanding tradition by "traveling" somewhere without the media in tow.

      The reporters had assembled at some appointed time to go somewhere with the POTUS, but unbeknownst to them, he'd already left 2 hours before. They were bused over to the field but then bused right back when it was determined Obama had already come and gone.

      Bad organization, sure. Maybe even a little intentional skullduggery to keep the kids out of the limelight.

      But mandatory media chapherones? What's next? He went to the head without their permission?

      _Karl Rove is an outside agitator._

      by susanala on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:37:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I came into this diary to say the same. (0+ / 0-)

      We've got serious work to do. Health care and civil rights for all, please!

      by the dogs sockpuppet on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:50:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lazy media = bad media. (10+ / 0-)

    And I disagree with your opinion that reporters aren't biased. Not all of course, but those that are have stopped bothering to pretend otherwise.

    •  national vs. local (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pris from LA, nickrud

      We focus a lot on national media, which makes sense on a national site.  But, I think there are a lot of local media personalities, especially on tv news, who aren't biased at all.  Their laziness still does a lot of damage.  

      Personally, I don't have a problem with reporter 'bias.'  I think that it's absurd to expect people in the media to not have personal opinions that make them biased.  I think it's laziness that prevents them from doing their job despite their bias.  

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:34:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the local media are even worse than the (0+ / 0-)

        national.

        All of your local newspapers - the community papers - don't cover a story about a business if the business doesn't advertise with them.

        If you look at the websites of the parent companies of your local paper (community papers) all that's talked about is how many people they can deliver to your ad department.

        Local news is total trash too.

        My friends business burnt down in a town of a couple thousand. A long time, family owned business that did not purchase ads because they were so well known.

        Nothing was written about it because they had no need to advertise in the Paper.

        We were pushed out of our storefront by a monstrous development. This development was pushed in the local paper for months as some kind of great thing.

        Upon doing a quick google search, I came to realize that the PR firm that was quoted in the paper was nothing more than a PDF file at a URL that was created by one of the development owner's wives.

        Corporate Media is about selling people to corporate advertisers. News that doesn't fit the corporate agenda is pushed out. News that comes from or impacts non-corporate contributing members of society are entirely ignored.

        That's not lazy, that's business, and that's a problem.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:17:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I like having a section outline at the top! (5+ / 0-)

    But I ask you, where is the competition?  If there was actual competition, then there might be some actual investigation.  

    So, unless there is a structural fix, I don't see the Media being shamed into better reporting.

    Howard Dean scared them, so they took him out.  But unless you put actual fear into the media (fear for their jobs, fear for their profits, etc.) it isn't going to happen.  They are the next buggy whip manufacturers.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:23:25 AM PDT

    •  I agree (3+ / 0-)

      but I'm not sure what that structural change would look like.  I've thought about this a bit and I'm curious what ideas are floating out there for structural change.

      The problem seems simple.  People like to hear what they already think, not genuine information.  Telling people what they like to hear results in the highest profits.

      The problem seems to be rooted in the profit motive itself as it's applied to news distribution.  I'm really not sure how to fix that.  

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:36:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Still waiting for the first CNN talking head (3+ / 0-)

    to refute the latest GOP spin: that Obama is the most radical liberal socialist ever to serve as President of the United States.  Anybody who considers themselves well-informed would have to conclude that Obama is a centrist who's sought bipartisanship whenever possible.  Has Candy Crowley ever heard of FDR and the New Deal, or LBJ and the Great Society?  Also, does Candy Crowley have three nostrils, or is she a victim of bad lighting?

    Barack Obama in the Oval Office: There's a black man who knows his place.

    by Greasy Grant on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:30:35 AM PDT

  •  they are not just lazy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, Brooke In Seattle, stanjz

    they follow the narratives set by their corporate masters without questioning them

    do not let them off the hook

    they are far worse than lazy - they are enablers, hypocrites, panderers, sanctimonious, self absorbed juveniles

    •  doing what you're told without questioning (0+ / 0-)

      sounds pretty lazy to me.  

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:58:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not lazy: they work very hard at their (0+ / 0-)

        appointed job which is to work up a frenzy over their right wing narratives.  They are not lazy really. They are lazy about doing actual journalism, but they put a ton of energy and hard work into the job they have signed up for

        •  I think we're talking about different people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nickrud

          Glenn Beck and Bill OReilly aren't 'the media'.  

          There are many many local 'journalists' who are just trying to do their job.  9-5.  They're far more lazy than biased.  

          Think you have all the answers? prove it

          by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:03:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Over their corporate narratives or (0+ / 0-)

          their divisive narratives.

          I don't see much Right Wing in the media in general. I see a blatantly corporate bias which always tilts towards the rights and freedom of property.

          There is more overlap in this between the Right Wing and Corporate than with the Left, but let's get real - all we have to choose from in the media are Right Wing and Center Right.

          There is nothing respectable about anything Left of Eisenhower.

          peace

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:44:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds like doing your job to me. (0+ / 0-)

        That's what employees do. They do what they're told - they do their job.

        Don't like it? Go find another job.

        What? There's only a 1/2 dozen big media companies out there that can hire you and support your family? Hmm... you've got a tough choice there.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:02:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Snuffle, this is what the gop figured out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Snuffleupagus, Brooke In Seattle

    40 years ago.  We wonder why the gop always gets their talking points across and never any push back on the lies.
    why their destructive policies are touted.
    the reason is that the rnc and the rightwing in general, all their allies, keep the talking points simple and aimed to a lazy media who is very compliant.  
    We expect the media to do its job.  To fact check and to root out the lies.  They will not.
    And because the gop keeps it going like a well oiled machine, even the media has come to just accept whatever the gop tells them.

  •  They are not lazy, they are corporate. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, bluegrass50

    ROI.

    Less work for more money.

    I'd not call that lazy, I'd call it business.

    Question for the diarist:
    Who are the customers of the media?

    What is the product being sold?

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:54:13 AM PDT

    •  I agree that profit plays a large role (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nickrud

      but you're average beat writer or local news reporter isn't looking at the bottom line of his employer everyday.

      We tend to think of the media as the big names like Chris Mathews or Brian Williams.  

      There are many many people below them and working around them.  These people are just trying to do their job and get their paycheck, like so many people.  It's easier to do this by just booking the easiest people to get, or passing on the chunks of the press release you just got as a 'story'.  

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:01:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Care to answer the questions? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, Dar Nirron

        The beat reporters are meaningless.

        They don't place the stories on A27. They don't bury the lead. They don't commission the stories.

        Management and the editorial staff do that stuff.

        But personal biases are pretty much irrelevant unless your a powerful editorialist like Frank Rich, Brooks, Krugman and Friedman.

        I really think you are missing the entire point on the Media by calling them lazy.

        And, BTW... I've been covered by several lazy, with a capital L, journalists in my time, and happen to agree with you, but again, I think you are missing the point.

        Who are the customers of the media and what are the media selling?

        peace

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:11:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think I answered them in the diary (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          k9disc, on second thought

          in my opinion the customers are individual viewers/readers.  The media is selling what the people want to hear.

          You could say that the actual customers are advertisers and the media is selling advertisement time/space, since that's where the money comes from.  But, I think all of that flows from viewers/readers.

          I think that other people miss the point by saying the media is 'biased.'  It's much easier for the media to dismiss complaints of bias as sour grapes.  It's harder to dismiss complaints that they simply aren't doing their jobs.  

          Think you have all the answers? prove it

          by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:14:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The customers of the media are the Corporate (0+ / 0-)

            Advertisers and the People viewing, reading or listening are the product being sold.

            The reason that viewers/readers flock to the big corporate stuff is because it's the only game in town, it's a common set of facts, and it's safe. Sports is a similar discussion.

            It's ubiquitous. Corporate media IS our culture.

            Watercooler discussions? Tiger Woods, Paris Hilton, etc.

            I watched a friend of mine have a 2 hour conversation about this COOL car model at the bar. You should have heard the depth and level of understanding in this conversation. It'd be like you and I talking about politics.

            Corporate media has been designed and honed for 100 years to be highly manipulative to bolster consumption and to create reality.

            It was born from propaganda, Edward Bernays, comes to mind.

            I think your 'lazy' claim is silly on it's face, snuff. But guess what? It's easy and simple to believe:

            "They're not out to fuck us. There's no structural bias that is designed to separate our money from our wallets and our power from the ballot box. It's just a bunch of lazy asses that get paid for doing nothing."

            That's lazy.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:40:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think you're partially right (0+ / 0-)

              but that you attach a much larger structure and purpose all the way down the line.

              You're right about the top.  But you think that the support staff who selects emails to read on the air on CNN is part of some media conspiracy?  The person who is in charge of calling pundits to get them on the air?  

              It's a lot of work to learn about what the health care bill says.  It's a lot easier to just talk about the horse race.  I think that's a large factor in the performance of the media.  

              There can be a structural bias that is supported by lazy individuals.  They aren't mutually exclusive.  Recognizing that a lot of poor performance out of the media is due to laziness is helpful because we can engage and eliminate that without needed sweeping structural changes.

              Think you have all the answers? prove it

              by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:17:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you want to call business a conspiracy, then (0+ / 0-)

                feel free.

                Personally I call it what it is, business.

                Do you really think that editors don't vet the email that is read on the air?

                It's bad for business to talk about health care in a truthful fashion. It fails to protect the pharma companies and Aetna, who are customers worth Billions.

                It's much better to hammer the personalities and talk about the process than it is to shine a light on the terrible state of our health care system.

                It points directly at the lies that are the ads that generate their revenue - "We're Aetna, and we care about your Health!" or whatever their ad campaign lies say.

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:23:04 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  The Job of Corporate Media: (0+ / 0-)

            The media's job is to manipulate the public mind to create a corporate friendly environment for the advertisers to profit from.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:04:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  At the highest level, the media is scared (0+ / 0-)

    The Bush administration set the tone early: Make us look bad and your job get really hard. They had an unspoken rule that if a White House correspondent exposed the presidency in a bad light, they were black balled. They were left off of the notification lists for Presidential press events. Pretty tough to report on the President if you didn't know where he was.

    I do not know if the Obama Presidency is continuing this policy.

    "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."- Arthur Carlson

    by bobinson on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 09:55:50 AM PDT

    •  At the highest Level, the government is scared (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobinson

      The Corporate Media set the tone early: Harm our Advertisers and your job gets really hard. They had an unspoken rule that if a political official exposed corporate agenda in a bad light, they were hammered. The only news coming out about them will bad news..

      Pretty tough to challenge corporate if they can destroy your public image.

      I know the corporate media is doing this to Obama.

      Sorry to crib your thoughts, but it fits there too.

      I think what we have to come to grips with as a People is that Corporate and Government are really tied together at the hip these days and they're standing on the backs of the American People.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:10:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So, in summary, it's Al Gore's fault: (0+ / 0-)

        the merging of independent media outlets into a small (10 or 11) collection of multimedia conglomerates.

        Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
        I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
        -Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 12:19:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No (0+ / 0-)

          It is both Party's faults and the fault of us as people to buy into the 'free lunch' corporate sponsorship model of society at all levels - political, social, economic, and cultural and also to believe that we are above behavioral modification by corporate propaganda.

          We've totally missed the boat on understanding that corporations are not our friends. They are not people. They are collections of property that are levied to increase profit, period.

          They are great servants but terrible masters.

          The hubris we've displayed in our ability to separate the propaganda from the news and quality information is a large part of our problem, and this site is rife with it.

          We've been so thoroughly conned by Madison Avenue that we have no idea that we're susceptible to the con. We're a very helpful and easily manipulated mark.

          Corporate media's job is to lie to the public and create a business friendly environment that makes it easier to externalize costs onto a busy and distracted public.

          "It's all Al Gore's fault" is a great example of how we've been conned.

          It's never the system's fault. No responsibility lies with corporate or business interests. It's always a public person or institution's fault. NEVER is it the system.

          peace, polecat...

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 01:35:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  They're manipulative and not lazy n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, bluegrass50
    •  exactly: "manipulative", that is the word (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc

      I was looking for

    •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

      There are lots of manipulative media figures.  But I think the much larger majority is just lazy.  The local news, radio and newspaper reporters follow the meme that's easiest.  Even larger figures that just follow the right wing talking points, have a large incentive to do it because it's easier than anything else.  

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:05:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

        So the Downing Street Memos?

        Lazy?

        It was a simple story. Pretty much laid out there. I got it, no problems.

        It was also explosive and could have sold like hotcakes.

        But it was presented in inoculative fashion. The lesser grievances were pushed in the media and the great transgressions never made it to this side of the pond.

        It takes a lot of work to keep facts out of circulation. To keep people in line to ensure that only 1 story, or 2 sides of the same story come to light.

        I just don't understand how you can say that it's just lazy.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:32:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry, Snuff... I just can't agree at all (0+ / 0-)

        with you.

        Are you seriously saying that the media industry is not manipulative?

        So, the NYT in the rush to war was lazy and not manipulative?

        Where, then was the low hanging fruit from the Peaceniks? Even if it were to be a he said she said, as many tend to believe is the media's MO, She (peaceniks) were not shown.

        It would have been SO easy to put some cameras on me and the hundreds of thousands of my protesting friends in late Winter '03 in DC.

        It wasn't lazy, it was manipulative.

        Lazy media would still provide some Labor news, low hanging fruit - stenography of the Union Power - but it's not there either.

        Lazy media would pursue simple and easy to find stories of this economic hardship - if they wanted 'It Bleeds, it Leads" it'd be easy to find some gut wrenching stories of the poor and disenfranchised.

        But none of that is there. It's absent because it doesn't serve the corporate agenda, and the media's job is to manipulate the public mind to create a corporate friendly environment for the advertisers to profit from.

        peace

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:53:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think these things sell (0+ / 0-)

          as well as you think they do.

          I'm not saying there is zero structural bias.  But there's a lot of problems with the media born out of laziness, and that can be confronted by engaging laziness.  

          I don't think the left does as good a job of engaging the media.  Which makes perfect sense if we all insist that they are unredeemable corporate hacks.

          Think you have all the answers? prove it

          by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:22:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think the left is welcome in the media (0+ / 0-)

            because we are decidedly anti-corporate.

            You know, regulation of business and such. Fair wage. etc.

            The views of the left are incompatible with the corporate agenda, period.

            They don't care about the Right pissing on their heads all the time "Liberal Media!!!" but they care about the left calling them corporate shills?

            Yea, you might have a point there. Truth hurts, and in this case, the Truth hurts profits as well.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:25:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I think they are both. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    k9disc, on second thought

    My undergrad degree is in journalism, and I worked in the biz for a few years.

    Today's "media" is nothing like it was when I graduated from college. Even the heroes of J-school, Woodward and Bernstein, have been co-opted by...something. Money? Fame? Access? I don't know, but they aren't like they were in the '70s -- because I aspired to be like them, and they have changed.

    Our media isn't supposed to choose sides and present opposing points of view that are lies in balance of the facts. Journalism isn't having two opposing points of view face off and shout at each other. Journalism isn't wagging your finger in the camera and chiding the viewer and imposing your own opinions on the news story you are supposed to be telling. That's why they are called REPORTERS and not STORYTELLERS. There's a big difference. I don't want to be entertained; I want to hear the news.

    And with the advent of for-profit news, the original mission and pursuit of journalism has been forgotten in the eternal worship of the bottom line and access to the powerful.

    If the media were doing their jobs, instead of sucking up to those in power, I don't think our country would be in such a mess. But those intent on raiding our treasury and absconding with the obscene profits made sure to dumb down the populace, outsource and off-shore media tasks, and destroy local news with media consolidation.

    Bring back laws against media consolidation, and you would go a long way toward reforming journalism to the way it used to be. Then all we'd have to do is counter the rampant ignorance in the population at large and their overwhelming need to be entertained in sound bites by attractive spokesmodels instead of actual journalists.

    "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 Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:06:12 AM PDT

    •  But they are doing their job. (0+ / 0-)

      They are increasing liberty and freedom for their corporate sponsors and promoting a society that increases the bottom line.

      That's their job today and they're far from Lazy.

      It's like the 'failure and incompetence' of Bush.

      It's only failure and incompetence if you are looking at it from the wrong perspective.

      Bush never was going to do anything that benefitted the People. He was not Defending America. His job was to Rob the people, to create an intergenerational 'Other' for us to point our war machine at and to create a perpetual war footing to enhance the autocratic power of the National Security State.

      His job was to rob people and to kill Democracy.

      I'd say he was pretty successful.
      peace

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:27:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If any other professional group were lazy, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    we would call that "bad."

    *Doctors who don't keep up with their medical specialties.
    *Scuba instructor letting certification lapse.
    *Police officer spending excessive time "at lunch" or "on break" instead of patrolling.
    *Food inspector not going into every production room and looking, carefully, at every machine and flat surface.

    You get my point, I think.

    To say that my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

    by Dar Nirron on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:13:02 AM PDT

    •  'bad' is just too broad (0+ / 0-)

      lazy is a subset of bad.  By understanding that lazy is a big part of the problem I think we can better engage with the media for the benefit of our political system.  It just means that the Democratic Party has to do more of their work for them.  The Republicans have this figured out structurally on many levels.  

      Think you have all the answers? prove it

      by Snuffleupagus on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 10:17:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Programmers are lazy... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snuffleupagus

      That's how we find the most efficient way to do things.

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 12:20:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, do you remember (0+ / 0-)

    SNL's skit about the media's love affair with Obama -- how they gave him softball questions and really stuck it to Hillary. Well that made big news, it was friggin' hilarious and guess what? All of a sudden, the media's obsession with Obama turned a bit nastier and less rose-colored glasses. I think that skit marked the turning point in the media narrative.

    Same thing with Jon Stewart's skewering of CNN and their "we'll have to leave it there" way of signing off each "debate" they have on their shows. After he got on their cases, they stopped doing it. Literally, I haven't heard them say it since (and yes, I did still watch CNN up until the Erickson hire).

    So maybe there's something to that? Is there a way we can make that work for us?

  •  About Manipulation in Media: (0+ / 0-)

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 11:34:27 AM PDT

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