The Limits Of The Tanning Bed Media
By Ed Driscoll · November 2, 2008 05:24 PM · Bobos In Paradise · Oh, That Liberal Media! · The Assault On Reason · The Making of the President · The New Puritans
He may be columnist to the world (as Hugh Hewitt describes him each week), but Mark Steyn writes, "I'm not a 'journalist' and have never described myself as one":
And, when I give speeches or appear on TV or radio and the organizers or producers send us the biographical intro in advance, my trusty assistants always insist on the removal of the word "journalist". This used to be purely for truth-in-advertising reasons - I wouldn't want audiences to get the false impression that I'd passed rigorous tests and acquired a diploma signed by Professor Miller. But lately it's been for a more basic reason. I had lunch with Ken Whyte, my publisher at Maclean's, the other day, and mentioned en passant that one consequence of a year's worth of thought-police investigations was that it was no longer possible to avoid the painful truth that, for a profession that congratulates itself incessantly on its courage, bravery, fearlessness, etc (far more than, say, firefighters do) and hands out awards all year long for "speaking truth to power", most journalists are total pussies happy to suck up to state power as long as it's in PC clothing. Professor Miller, a J-school ethics bore boldly campaigning for the right of government bureaucrats to censor writers, would seem to be an almost parodic example of the phenomenon.As Michael Malone wrote last week--and I'm sympathetic on a host of levels--"A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was 'a writer', because I couldn't bring myself to admit to a stranger that I'm a journalist":
I'm not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Gov. Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to Alaska to rifle through her garbage. This is the Big Leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play. The few instances where I think the press has gone too far - such as the Times reporter talking to Cindy McCain's daughter's MySpace friends - can easily be solved with a few newsroom smackdowns and temporary repostings to the Omaha Bureau.Not to mention the environment. If the news industry wasn't a collective Victorian Gentleman, then Obama's quotes on coal would be screamed in 48-point Times Roman Type on every newspaper's front page--if only because it's an incredible story, no matter what your thoughts on the environment.
CBS's Scott Conroy writes:
Seizing on a newly released audio tape picked up by the Drudge Report, Sarah Palin took the opportunity here in coal country to accuse Barack Obama of "talking about bankrupting the coal industry."But it wasn't "newly released." It's been buried in the middle of an hour-long video uploaded by the San Francisco Chronicle that's been hidden in plain sight on the Brightcove video distribution Website since January, until some enterprising blogger stumbled over it.
In the above quote, Michael Malone writes, "Who are the real villains in this story of mainstream media betrayal? The editors." And he's right. Check out what the editors at the San Francisco Chronicle signed off on: the Chronicle uploaded the video of their interview with Obama to their Website under the narcoleptic headline of "Obama's straight-ahead style"--meaning they couldn't stumble over anything the senator said that they want to highlight in their headline. Which means either the writers at the Chronicle don't know a killer story when they see one--or they're willing to bury such a story if it helps their man get into office. (See also: media and Edwards, John; note dramatic contrast with Plumber, J.T., and Palin, Sarah.)
When the MSM moans about the gallons of red ink it's spilled since 2001, it needs to ask itself if it's prepared to actually report the news, in a fashion that interests readers, or if it exists as a non-profit ideological support system.
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