Sunday, February 22, 2009

Someone Noticed the Media Isn't Doing Their Job

Hello readers, after a too long hiatus, I'm back blogging, with greater regularity.

I stumbled on this AP article, and well, it shocked me.

The author wrote this: "To a certain extent, networks could be accused of unimaginative bookings, going to people they know very well" but I would have to disagree to some extent, I think they go to people that fit into their pre-conceived notions of conventional wisdom, and they go to people that swim in their same circles. And that is really the problem, the TV National News is reporting from the same fishbowl it resides in, objectivity is warped by the glass of their own world.

The numbers cited are pretty damning, and wholly typical of what I have seen for many years on TV News, and the quotes from Cameron and Schieffer perfectly highlight what has happened to television news reporting. Losing Cronkite effectively ended LBJ's presidency, and CBS and NBC hounded Nixon during Watergate, but since then,(or not) the TV news has become a useless bastion of Corporate regurgitation of the Republican line, or incestuous navel gazing from the DC Beltway crowd.

"Ian Cameron, executive producer of ABC's Sunday morning "This Week," said the trend had less to do with unimaginative bookings than 24-hour cable's need to draw contrast and promote verbal battles." I have a hard time equating that statement with journalism, indeed, I have trouble believing that he would even say that out loud, let alone that it is a true statement. In short, we don't do journalism, we promote cat fights and finger pointing, and we're proud of it!

But Bob Schieffer's is really the best of all. In fact, re-reading it truly boggles the mind.

"Maybe we should be talking to more economists," Schieffer said. "I've been a reporter now for 52 years, covered everything from hubcap thieves to arms control negotiations, and I generally have an opinion on whether the government is doing the right or wrong thing. This thing is so complicated that I'm not sure what is the right or wrong thing."

Um, maybe someone can mention to Bob, if it's too complicated, then yes, you should be talking to economists. A lot. And perhaps someone should also tell Bob that we all have an opinion on the government's activities, and that we aren't really interested in your opinion, after all, we all have one of those too, and that, really, you're supposed to be reporting on the stimulus, not giving us your opinion, an opinion, I must point out, you've just admitted is worthless.

That the AP published that article is perhaps an indication that the pendulum has started to swing back from Corporate Whoredom to that thing enshrined in our Constitution, maybe. After all, the gravy train left the station November 4th, perhaps now if they want to make money they're going to have to do some work, just like everyone else. Or maybe not. But I find the article a hopeful one, maybe the result of the unending pushback from bloggers on the left decrying the sorry state of the corporate media, and the fact that President Obama called on a Blogger at his first of many press conferences.

We can only hope.

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