Monday, January 19, 2009
The Passing of the Mainstream Media
The Passing of the Mainstream Media
J. D. Longstreet
People who write commentary do a good deal of research. Well, unfortunately, that is not always true. Would that it were. To write with authority, however, they/we have to, it is important, even vital, that their/our facts are , indeed, facts and that they are as accurate as is possible and that attribution is given to those deserving of it.
A number of years ago, when I switched over from the broadcast media to the Internet, as a base for my commentaries, the first thing I noticed was that in order to find out what was REALLY happening in America I had to go to off shore news outlets. Our homegrown news media is SO biased in favor of the left that anything that has any attachment to the right, and may bode well for America, is, somehow, ignored. They just don't tell you about it. It's called omission... among other things.
Bear with me. I AM leading up to a point.
I have access to two regional newspapers. But the Internet, along with the escalating cost of newsprint, (the paper the newspaper is printed upon) and the faltering economy has about shut down the hard copy editions of newspapers in my neck of the Carolina woods west of the Cape Fear. I now have one regional newspaper to rely upon for a daily hard copy dose of what they refer to as "news". Of course, most of what arrives at my door, as news, has already been seen and read by me on the internet hours and even days before it arrives at my breakfast table.
The first, and so far the only one, of the two regional papers to stop delivery to my area was a New York Times owned paper. That was no great loss to readers on this side of the river, as it was so liberal as to be a joke and was often the source of much humor at the restaurant table where meets the daily gathering of the retired morning coffee drinkers/"Liers Club". Many of my neighbors were fond of announcing, when that paper issued it's list of recommended candidates to vote for, they would vote for the opposition. That paper carried a box score, every edition, of the US service personnel killed in Iraq. I never saw a listing of the enemy killed in Iraq, although rumor has it that number is in the hundreds of thousands.
As long as the war was going badly for the US, the paper kept up it's drumbeat of defeat, defeat, and run and retreat. But now that the war in Iraq has turned the corner and the US has the upper hand, it is as though the war in Iraq suddenly, somehow, creased to exist. There is little, if any, reporting on it, at all. And you can bet that as soon as it becomes Obama's war, the reporting on the war will be glorious. There will be stories of great strides made on the battlefield and at the negotiating table, and there will be reports of victory after victory. That newspaper, and it's parent company in New York, will not allow Obama's War to become a millstone around the neck of the Obama Administration. Funny how that works, what?
The other regional paper is based in a military town here in North Carolina and therefore cannot avoid reporting on the war, on non-strategic and non-tactical troop movements, and all things military because, frankly, it is a part of everyday life to many of the residents here in my neck of the Carolina woods. Still, in depth reporting of the war has slipped and fallen from the pages of that broadsheet as well.
So, what must one do to find out what the dickens is going on in Iraq and how it affects Americans? One must go to off shore newspapers and news organizations. That is what I do practically every day.
How else will I know if America wins the war... if the press doesn't tell me? That is a darned good question and one Investors Business Daily puts this way: "What would happen if the U.S. won a war but the media didn't tell the American public?" Then IBD goes on to say: "Apparently, we have to rely on a British newspaper for the news that we've defeated the last remnants of al-Qaida in Iraq." See what I mean?
OK. So maybe I'm being too hard on the MsM, huh? Well the London Sunday Times says it is an important story. They say America's victory over al-Qaida in Iraq is: "the culmination of one of the most spectacular victories of the war on terror." And they are absolutely right. It is a fantastic victory. The article says: "A terrorist force that once numbered more than 12,000, with strongholds in the west and central regions of Iraq, has over two years been reduced to a mere 1,200 fighters, backed against the wall in the northern city of Mosul." You can read this excellent article HERE.
But, where are the headlines and the stories in the American press about these fantastic victories? Where are the stories on the major TV networks news shows about this, as some call it, "most unlikely of American victories"? Where are they? Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, there is no hope.
For the leftist press in America to print anything that would show America, America's military, or a republican presidential administration, in a good light is just not going to happen. And THAT, dear reader, is why so many of us, including "yours truly", goes off shore for news about America. And... and this is important... it is an important reason why the news media in America is in deep trouble today.
With the Internet opening up the windows to the world, for the average person in America, we now have access to sources of information we never had before. It was startling, to say the least, for the uninitiated "news hound" to learn that what he was seeing in his local/regional newspaper and on the TV news was so badly slanted as to be, for all intents and purposes, useless. It was an awakening.
Suddenly, they remembered the voices of commentators, not unlike this scribe, who, for decades, had been warning them that what they were getting and accepting as news was nothing short of out and out propaganda for the political left. When that settled in they stopped buying those newspapers. They stopped spending their advertising dollars with that newspaper, and with that TV/radio station, or network, leading to the near financial collapse of some of the giant media companies in America. It is, as they say: "Payback Time!"
We in America are on the cusp of one of the media's biggest digging and filling operations ever seen by man. They have built Mr. Obama up into a mythological figure with superhuman powers and that image is about to crumble and fall all around them. They will be struggling to cover up as much of the foibles of Mr. Obama as they possibly can and it will not be easy. It will be an around the clock, 24/7, operation and one that will take a toll on the remaining resources of the once powerful propaganda machine that was the Mainstream Media in America.
Things change. Profound. And so true. Nothing remains the same. The much heralded Information Age exploded upon us so quickly the old repositories of information were totally unprepared... and... in their arrogance they could not envisage anything ever replacing them as the source for all information and the filter through which all that information was processed before it reached you and I, the Great Unwashed. Nevertheless, it happened and the world has been changed forever.
The day of the Mainstream Media is over. So, what's next? I have no idea. I intentionally did not choose the Internet because the Internet itself is in a state of flux and ten years from today it will barely resemble what we call the World Wide Web today. The information carried along it's cortex will change, too. But this I DO know. Those who wish to remain in the organized profession we have come to know as the Press, the Media, and Journalists must be ready to change. There will be no room for covert bias in reporting the day's events. The very nature of the Internet, where everyone with a keyboard and a modem is a reporter of those events, will force accuracy in the reports or a hasty withdrawal of the biased reporter simply because there are so many others reporting the same event with truth and accuracy. "Opinion writing" will remain as popular as ever, possible even more popular.
This is a good thing and is much to be praised and lauded. Finally, the consumer of "news" will be able to access reports on an event he/she is interested in with a high degree of certainty that the information he/she is accessing is as accurate and as free of the writer's biases as possible. This has never been possible before. Sometimes change IS good!
J. D. Longstreet
©J. D. Longstreet, 2009