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Don’t like the media? It’s a free market!
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I'd like to highlight a comment left recently by reader "PogueMahone". It's a wonderful market-based response to much of the media criticism that emanates from the Left or the Right. (I've only cleaned up the formatting and punctuation a bit)

Divider


I know of no other free market enterprise that receives the same amount of criticism from the Right — the so-called free market ideology — than that of the media. No other industry comes close.

Look dude, you can criticize the media all day long. You can choose not to purchase their products. And you can actively try to destroy their industry via marketing (which is very popular.) But until you grab a camera and head on out there, you’re stuck with the products they give you. It’s like I told...there’s a market niche for you. If you think journalist are well paid for “hiding in hotels”, then imagine what you could make by going out into the fray. Come on, big money!!

What it boils down to, is that the situation in Iraq is NOT what you want it to be, and for some reason, you can’t seem to grasp that fact. So you look for another reason as to why we are hearing quite a bit of bad news, and why the majority of Americans think it was a bad idea to go in there. Of course, it’s gotta’ be the media. After all, they want America to fail. Right?

And you bitch and you moan about journalists “hiding” in a safe place, or at least the safest they can find, and cowardly unable to give you “the good news” from Iraq all the while receiving a fat check. What a load.

Why is it that we don’t hear accolades from your ilk about the journalists that DO get out there? Does Michael Ware ring a bell? Oh that’s right, he STILL doesn’t report what you want to hear. Michael Ware has got to be one of the bravest journalists of all time. Now that guy has a set of BIG BRASS ONE’S. What are you gunna’ do? Tell me he’s a coward? Tell me that he’s lazy?

Oh no, you’ll probably tell me that he’s biased. And that he is actually in collusion with the insurgency and is out to destroy America himself. What a load.

You guys are a bunch of whiney babies. I can imagine a collective Right-Wing as a four year old, stomping your feet on the ground, “Nobody likes us”. Even your FoxNews, of which the most recent appointment to the Bush team was apart, doesn’t seem to be able to bring you the news you crave. Where is FoxNews Baghdad correspondent? Is he/she out there reporting about a school or hospital being built?

If not. Then opportunity awaits. Go and kick up some sand in Iraq. There’s a lot of money waiting for you out there…

Or a lot of Kalashnikov’s. But you’re brave, right?

Divider



There's a lot of criticism to be lobbed at the media. The Right has been doing it for decades, and now the Left is jumping in with both feet, too. Some of the criticism is legitimate; some criticism is merely complaints that the media isn't transmitting one sides spin; some criticism is just hectoring for partisan gain.

At the end of the day, though, the media is a free market. Anybody can do it; anybody can be a part of it. Don't like how CNN or the Washington Post tells the story from Iraq? Grab a pen, camera, or laptop, go there yourself and tell the story you think needs to be told. There's nothing stopping you. And if you're right — as opposed to merely cranky — there's a great big market niche, too.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Let’s hope so. We could use more Michael Yon’s, Michael Totten’s, and Bill Roggio’s.
 
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
Takes money to make money.

You’re ingoring the deep pockets dollar advantage of having your trip to Iraq subsidized by CBS(ABC, NBC, FOX) corp, or their ability to arrange connections with the local government to see anything worth seeing. Or feeding yourself (or your family) while you’re there, or establishing the distribution network for your stories (even assuming you aren’t snarked out of the sky by ’legitmate’ journalists claiming you have no credentials).

Sounds like you’re also making the presumption that you’re going to draw your readership (and advertising dollars to continue your venture) solely from the net, as it’s unlikely you’re going to gin up enough money for the permits and capacity to actually utilize the ’public’ airwaves.

Could it be done - sure, but you’d better start early, and plan to live a long time and it would help if your creator was Horatio Alger.

There are plenty of people doing as Pogue suggests though...they generally wear uniforms with US flags on them, but not always, and they DO report things, and those things aren’t usually reported in WaPo, or NYT, or CBS/NBC/ABC. I’ve talked to some directly when they’ve come back. And that is one of my complaints though Pogue would have you belive that it really is totally gone to hell, and not coming back, in Iraq.
I can’t think of the last time I saw anything like McQ’s Project Hero information in the MSM.

Sure they can hover 2 hours non-stop, some possibly hoping they can cover a plane wreck as a jet with one set of tires blown burns off fuel to reduce their chance of fireballing on landing, now that takes b*lls don’t it?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Pogue’s premise is that the MSM is a "free-market enterprise." I think that premise is false.

There is collusion between the major papers that Pogue wouldn’t applaud if the actors were pharmaceutical companies. Or big oil.

And the "source-protection" loophole that Old Media still thinks it enjoys further muddies its market. It removes any check on the politicization we are witnessing on the evening news. "News" editors gift-wrap their political views in "concerned anonymous sources say," and then peddled them to us as "news."

We don’t have to buy their product - Pogue’s right there. But, as with every mass consumer-movement, publicity is the key. So, until the liberal media-machine cries uncle, the Right is correct to keep the spot-light on it, whether commentors like Mr. Mahone likes it or not.
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Pogue’s premise is accurate as far as the "journalism can be practiced by anyone" nowadays idea (of course, you can practice it but try getting the story heard but whatever, that’s for another discussion)

HOWEVER..........this:
What it boils down to, is that the situation in Iraq is NOT what you want it to be, and for some reason, you can’t seem to grasp that fact. So you look for another reason as to why we are hearing quite a bit of bad news, and why the majority of Americans think it was a bad idea to go in there. Of course, it’s gotta’ be the media. After all, they want America to fail. Right?
is a load of sh*t....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
PS-

I think this is skating dangerously close to the chickenhawk argument we’ve been discussing the past few days....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I think this is skating dangerously close to the chickenhawk argument we’ve been discussing the past few days....
This seems more like the "If you haven’t been the POTUS in wartime shut the hell up." argument.

This from the same folks who claimed the barries to entry in the software space were high enough to break up Microsoft.

But the hundreds of millions needed to standup a news network, staff it, acquire distribution agreements et al. isn’t a big deal now.

Or better yet, you don’t like Wal-Mart, you establish a national retail chain and compete. Stop complaining about their labor practices.

Don’t like what big oil’s charging? Build your own refinery.

Think the auto industy doens’t produce the cars America NEEDS to be driving? Produce your own.

This argument is that since you CAN compete with any business because we have a free market if you don’t like what they’re doing put up or shut up. Seems like it would cut one way more than the other... And I think it’s bogus.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
I think this is skating dangerously close to the chickenhawk argument we’ve been discussing the past few days....
Course it is - he’s just ’double dog dared’ you to go out and fix that bad old mainstream media by competing directly with multibillion dollar conglomerates on your nickle and dime budget.

And if you can’t do that, well, just shut up, you have no right to complain, you’re a weak failure and all you’re doing is whining.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Claification - Jon is not ’he’ in my previous post, Pogue is.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Well, how many "Things are going great in the US" stories do you get to read?

Not many? Almost none?

Well, then things must be going to Hell in the US.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
No Pogue’s right. He provides the perfect example: He doesn’t like the truth in Iraq and United States, so he comes up with his own! [grin]
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
You’re ingoring the deep pockets dollar advantage of having your trip to Iraq subsidized by CBS(ABC, NBC, FOX) corp…
Subsidized!? Don’t you mean invested?
…or their ability to arrange connections with the local government to see anything worth seeing. Or feeding yourself (or your family) while you’re there,…
Yeah, well. I’d like to become a professional skydiver. But ya’ know,... family, bills, mortgage…
…or establishing the distribution network for your stories (even assuming you aren’t snarked out of the sky by ’legitmate’ journalists claiming you have no credentials).
Let ‘em snark away, looker. You understand, though, it’s not the journalists of which one must convince of one’s credentials, it’s one’s customers. You get that, right?
And that is one of my complaints though Pogue would have you belive that it really is totally gone to hell, and not coming back, in Iraq.
Ohhh. Well, you know what they say when one assumes. Something about you being an ass???
I can’t think of the last time I saw anything like McQ’s Project Hero information in the MSM.
Well you’re just not paying attention. CBS News, EVERY DAY, has a segment called “Fallen Heroes”, where they profile American soldiers KIA. I understand that, you not being a customer, wouldn’t know that.

And Steve,
There is collusion between the major papers that Pogue wouldn’t applaud if the actors were pharmaceutical companies. Or big oil.
Again…, something about you being an ass. ;)

And shark,
HOWEVER..........this:

Is a load of sh*t.
If by load of sh*t, you mean,
Of course, it’s gotta’ be the media. After all, they want America to fail.
Right?
I would agree with you.

I think this is skating dangerously close to the chickenhawk argument we’ve been discussing the past few days....
Actually, shark. It’s somewhat of the opposite. It is you that is accusing the press as being “chickens” by not venturing out into the fray to bring you the “good news” coming out of Iraq. I’m merely suggesting that if others, the others that are not “chickens”, feel that the industry is lacking, then opportunity awaits. Come on, man. Beat them at their own game already.
As Steve suggests, it is correct for the Right to keep the spot light on the media. But not from an ideological stance, but from a market one. And truth be told, the Right is making ground. With FoxNews leading the way, you have the majority of pundit’s on cable news channels coming from the conservative persuasion. And we all know where talk radio is. It’s simple, the market demands… the market will bear. Libertarianism 101.

And don’t try to tell me that one can’t break into the game. There’s plenty of money out there for investment. The Right is awash in cash. All one has to do is tap into that bitch. I’m sure that Big Money wants to see R’s get elected, all one has to do is convince them that that, “hey, hop on board my media operation and I’ll bring you the good news that isn’t being reported. And thereby convince the public that the Republicans have done the right thing.”

Cake walk, dude.
That is of course, that there is all of this good news that you speak of.

But how would we know?
(that’s your cue…)
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Well you’re just not paying attention. CBS News, EVERY DAY, has a segment called “Fallen Heroes”, where they profile American soldiers KIA.
The really interesting thing to me is that you believe that to be similar to McQ’s column.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
!?!
I’d be interested in how you believe that it is not similar.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
CBS News’ feature is done in a manner to discourage and dispirit, rather than focus on the selflessness and heroism like "Project Hero". Naturally.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
OH … MY … GOD
Are you huffing gasoline?

“Discourage and dispirit”!?!?!?!?!?

By what? Calling them heroes?
The CBS News portrayals are brimming with accolades. Quoting the servicemen and their families, they’re nothing but positive. Quotes like this for Gunnery Sgt. Ronald E. Baum,
"He was tough as nails, disciplined, compassionate," said Capt. Michael DuBruel, Baum’s company commander. "Ron lived life to the fullest. He died while leading men in battle."

The 38-year-old from Hollidaysburg, Pa., was killed by mortar fire May 3, 2004, in Iraq’s Anbar province. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

"He gave his life for love of his country, the Marine Corps," said his wife, Cynthia Baum. "If Ron could speak to us today, he would say, ’I am proud to be a husband, father, brother, friend, but above all, proud to be a Marine.’"
Right…, CBS News… What a bunch of jerks.

The tag line leading is, “CBS News honors fallen heroes…”

McQ’s Project Hero tag line leading, “We honor them for their valor…”

“Honor”
“Hero”
Yeah, right… Nothing similar.
Perhaps you should consider that it is you that is discouraged and dispirited.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Wow. I haven’t seen a reply that blustery and unconvincing since 2nd grade.

"No, you’re the one who is discouraged and dispirited!"
[snicker]

Actually, I’ve watched enough of CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC to know how they distort the true situation, yet use ostensibly innocuous wording to provide plausible deniability to the partisan and wilfully ignorant.

I haven’t been in Iraq. But I’ve deployed 3 times to combat zones in support of OIF, and I’ve eaten dinner and ridden in trucks and played guitar with guys who still had Iraq’s dust on their boots. One guy had been fired on hours before I spoke with him.

You are entitled to your opinion, sure. But when I actually meet your challenge, i.e., I do my own personal reporting on things I see with my own eyes, hear with my own ears, useful idiots deliberately ignore it in favor of crappy, dishonest reporting from CNN and the New York Times.

So your b.s. has zero credibility on this issue, sorry.
 
Written By: Nathan
URL: http://brain.mu.nu/
A few points:

The free market is working. Check out the NYT stock price. Pogue, just as you have the right to bitch about the poor quality of Taco Bell, so does anyone who wants to bitch about the media. Note, that when you bitch about the Taco Bell product or New Coke, or what not, it’s not really expected for you to go out and create a nationwide chain of mexican fast food restaurants or open a bottling plant. Customers are allowed to provide feedback to their suppliers.

If you love TGF Burgers and then one day find a finger in one, you may be very angry and complain, but you still loved the origial product. This is the same as say finding the TANG forgeries in your MSM reporting.

Barriers to entry of the media industry seem to be pretty high. How many papers now compete in each market? Why don’t we have 10,000 national networks? If my local area is Sacramento, I only get the Sacramento Bee...and it seems to be almost natural monopoly that repeats itself in many other cities in the USA - normally we have such monopolies regulated, no? But, with the new media and talk radio, barriers to entry are falling and things are changing, so I think that monopoly is less useful.

Media does affect public opinion and set the agenda. That’s very important and therefore concern about bias is also important. Keep in mind this is a political industry and can affect more than most industries. In fact, it reminds me of doctors and the medical field where for many years the consumer took what they said as unquestioned gospel. Now, consumers educate themselves more, because they found a trusted source of information wasn’t so trustworthy.



 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
There’s a lot of criticism to be lobbed at the media. The Right has been doing it for decades, and now the Left is jumping in with both feet, too.
It is the natural tendency of conservatism to want to restrict the free flow of information. Conservatism by definition is the tendency to desire to presrve the status quo. Conservatives oppose the introdcution of new ideas and new information to the masses, which tends to radicalize the masses. That’s why translating the Bible into English was considered anti-Conservative, so too the ideas of Galileo, Darwin, and the like. These new ideas tended to upend the settled hierarchy and power structure.

It is hardly surprising, then, that the political Right has been criticizing the media for decades. It’s not so much that the media is biased, it is that it is delivering information. When wingers claim to be getting upset over media bias, they are not really getting upset about the bias itself. After all, wingers don’t believe what the New York Times or CBS has to say anymore than they believe what the National Enquirer has to say. But you don’t see them getting upset at the National Enquirer when they read something they don’t believe. You do see them getting upset at CBS and the NYT, however.

Why is that? Again, it has to with the nature of being a winger. Wingers are by definition elitists, i.e., they fear information going out to the uneducated masses. The reason they get upset at the the NYT and CBS is not because those outlets are giving them information they don’t believe, it is because those outlets are giving information to others, i.e., the masses, that the others shouldn’t believe. It is ultimately an elitist position. "Now, I’m smart enough to realize the NYT is lying to me, but my brother-in-law isn’t."

Nathan provides a good example of the phenomenon:
Actually, I’ve watched enough of CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC to know how they distort the true situation, yet use ostensibly innocuous wording to provide plausible deniability to the partisan and wilfully ignorant
(I assume the omission of Foz was intentional.)

See Nathan knows what is going on. But others might be misled by the "ostensibly innnocuous" wording. After all, to the masses it appears - or is obstensibly - innocuous.

That’s why the free market argument is a non-starter for wingers. Wingers know that they can always shut off the source or find a new source that tells them what they want to hear. What they fear is the masses might not do the same. Indeed, they might participate in the market and choose to watch something that wingers don’t want them to watch, something that is onstensibly innocuous but something that distorts the true situation.

The goal of wingers, then, is to minimize the number of media sources. The fewer sources, the less likely the masses will be fooled. It’s no accident that the main forces behind media consolidation are politically to the right. Michael Powell was a great example.

Lately, the left has gotten in on the media criticism game. It has done so, however, largely in reaction to the effort by wingers to control - and more importantly consolidate - the dissemination of information. In a strange sense, the effort is reactionary in nature.

Wingers know that the media operate in a relatively free market. To wingers, that is the problem.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
mkultura, that was brilliant.

I would add that a true libertarian (rather than a free-marketer) position is consistently against the consolidation of media, regardless of mechanism.

The common opinion is often factually incorrect, but never as deluded as the opinions of those in power, long run. Kind of like the market (in theory). They’re both disaggregated networks (in theory).
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
One does not need to go to Iraq to know the truth, just read the blogs. You can start to stay informed by going to these blogs from Iraq.I have posted this before in other places:

I went looking for the good news in Iraq on March 30, 2006. My strategy was simple. First, review what the MSB’s ( main stream blogs) were saying like Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Powerline, Hugh Hewitt, Bill O’Reilly, and Ann Coulter. There was no good news there to read. Then I decided to search for Iraqi blogs and read the good news first hand. I found that Powerline had a recommended list of Iraqi blogs from last year. I decided to look at their current postings. Here is the list:

FROM POWER LINE:
“JANUARY 30, 2005
IRAQI BLOG ROUNDUP
For first-hand reaction to today’s election, check out the Iraqi bloggers: Iraq the Model, of course; The Mesopotamian; Hammorabi; Diary From Baghdad; Iraqi Humanity; Baghdad Dweller; Democracy In Iraq; Free Iraqi.”


I wanted to read their recent postings because they were recommended by Powerline a strong defender of the President and the Iraq war.
Wasn’t I surprised to learn from Iraq the model:
Following yesterday’s raid...
The Iraqi government, or more precisely the UIA part of it is obviously so outraged by the joint US-Iraqi army raid on al-Mustafa husseiniya that took place in eastern Baghdad yesterday.


From The Mesopotamian I read:

The situation in Baghdad is deteriorating from day to day. I have warned about this long ago. The "insurrection" is lead by the Baathists, without any doubt, and they are converging on Baghdad and seriously bent on taking over. They are creating havoc in in the capital. Very soon, if this situation continues like this the city is going to be brought to a complete standstill and paralysis. The confusion and conflict between the Americans, the army and the Ministry of interior is producing a situation where the citizens don’t know anymore whether the security personel in the street are friends, enemies, terrorists or simply criminals and thieves.

From Hammorabi I read :
The American forces in Baghdad committed a criminal act by a raid on a mosque (Al-Mostafa Hussiayniyah) in Ur district in Baghdad. These forces invaded the mosque during the Sunset prayer. The worshipers were armless doing their prayers. The American forces were heavily armed and supported by helicopters. They collected the worshipers in one room and open fire on them!

From Diary of Baghdad , I read :
I can’t bear more anxiety, fear, and sadness. Counting our losses every day. Yesterday we lost our dear family senior; he is my father’s uncle. He was shot to death by the American soldiers in his parent’s in-law neighborhood. He is 78 years old. He was such a great man, educated, warm, and faithful to his wife who died with cancer, he raised his three children by himself to up bring a doctor, an engineer and an accountant.

From Baghdad Dweller I read :
We have to messages from Amnesty International, show us how human blood and rights became the most cheapest item in Iraq.The first is about people disappearing and later their bodies found in the garbage.One of the 15 men arrested with Nazim Mohammad Isma’il al-‘Ani has reportedly been found dead, apparently as a result of torture. The others in custody are clearly in grave danger of torture or summary execution. All are said to be Sunni Muslims, and there are reports that they were arrested because they had
been accused of being members of anti-government armed groups.
“Disappearance”/ Fear of torture or ill-treatment
And the second about a Kurdish journalist who “dare to criticize” one Kurdish leader
Kamal Sayid Qadir, an Austrian national of Kurdish origin, has been imprisoned since October 2005 for allegedly defaming Kurdish political leaders, while high school teacher and journalist Hawez Hawezi is facing prosecution, also on defamation charges.
Iraq: Prosecutions threaten freedom of expression in northern Iraq
From Free Iraqi I read:
Sectarian violence spread to schools.
Local Iraqi TVs have been reporting an increasing sectarian tension among students in primary and high schools lately. The tension and quarrels often resulted in physical fighting among Sunni and She’at kids. Iraqi local media blamed some of the teachers in those schools for inflaming sectarian feelings, and of course the "occupation" is still considered a major reason.


From Iraqi Humanity I read:
I saw a lot of patient die those days & believe me it has a different feelings & I couldn’t sleep in the 1st night when I saw it.

One of these stories that:
An IP (Iraqi police man) was standing with her 2 friends in AL-Saidiya city in Baghdad, last Sunday, his friend have a shop & they sell generators, so 3 men presented to them to ask for the price of those generators but suddenly they pull there guns a shot the IP & his 2 friends, Unfortunately the IP get shot in his legs & abdomen & one of his friends got shot in his heart & died immediately.

I told that story to know that death & killing is walking in the Iraqi streets. I survive a car bombing two days ago & my survive/my death was a matter of seconds (I will I survive : !!!!!!)


And from another source, Baghdad Burning, I read:

All of this directly contradicts claims by Bush and other American politicians that Iraqi troops and security forces are in control of the situation. Or maybe they are in control- just not in a good way.

They’ve been finding corpses all over Baghdad for week’s now- and it’s always the same: holes drilled in the head, multiple shots or strangulation, like the victims were hung. Execution, militia style. Many of the people were taken from their homes by security forces- police or special army brigades… Some of them were rounded up from mosques.
 
Written By: Dale
URL: http://
Actually Pogue, the "load of sh*t" to which I refer is your almost hysterical insistance that the situation in Iraq is a (dare I say it) quagmire and that the heroic noble press is only reporting the strict truth
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It is you that is accusing the press as being “chickens” by not venturing out into the fray to bring you the “good news” coming out of Iraq. I’m merely suggesting that if others, the others that are not “chickens”, feel that the industry is lacking, then opportunity awaits. Come on, man. Beat them at their own game already
If you don’t like oil prices, go discover your own new source of energy and beat them at their own game!!

If you don’t like American automobiles. go develop your own car and beat them at their own game!!

If your city’s pro football team sux, start your own franchise, and beat them at their own game!!

Afterall, opportunity awaits, it’s a free market. Right?

RIGHT???!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It may be worthwhile to point out that the original sense of "media" has changed over time. (Anyone remember "The medium is the message"?) Strictly speaking, a medium is only the method or means by which content (data, information) is disseminated.

Newspapers flourished as the principle sources (medium) of information before other media existed. But newspapers depend on circulation not as their principle source of revenue but to justify advertising rates. Newspapers (like television programming) are in the business of selling audiences to advertisers, not information or entertainment to readers or viewers. As alternative sources of information have supplanted newspapers, circulation has gone down causing advertising revenues to go down to the point where cities that once boasted three or more newspapers now typically have only one, and that one is usually owned by a chain that can use economies of scale to keep production costs (including the cost of content) down.

Historically, broadcast media (radio and television) were regulated to an extent the courts would consider unconstitutional if such regulation of print media were attempted because of the notion of public ownership of the airwaves and the need to ration bandwidth. But license holders were nonetheless in the business of selling audiences to advertisers and the notion of broadcast journalism being a serious source of information is more an accident of history than anything else. Even then, to the extent government has regulated broadcast media, it has been concerned more about “balance” than objectivity. (Example: the old Equal Time doctrine.) For that matter, the notion of objective journalism as currently understood is a relatively recent phenomenon. In the heyday of multiple city newspapers, the biases of individual papers was commonly understood among the readership.

The point of the above is as follows: Mr. Henke writes “At the end of the day, though, the media is a free market. Anybody can do it; anybody can be a part of it.” That has only recently become true, or perhaps I should say become true once again, thanks to the internet.

There is nothing about newsprint or broadcast frequencies, per se, that make them reliable or objective sources of information. There are, on the other hand, significant differences among the blogosphere, professional journalism, academic scholarship and scientific research. All are, roughly speaking, in the business of discovering and disseminating information, but both their reasons for doing so and the standards applicable to each differ significantly. (One example (and pet peeve of mine): the standards for quoting in professional journalism are far more lax than in scholarly writing.)

So, yes, there is a more or less free market, but it is a market filled with substitute and secondary goods. And there is no warranty of truth or even accuracy offered with any of them. Some are more likely to be accurate than others and all involve at least the possibility of bias. No matter how expert the cartographer, the map is never the terrain.
 
Written By: D.A. Ridgely
URL: http://
As an experiment, we could have all the newspapers report on the Naxalite rebels in India, front page, 24/7, 365 days a week. I’d wager within two weeks of coverage, replete with ambushes, massacres, etc., that the US populace would agree that India is one the brink of civil war and their coalition governments about to fall.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Also, another predicition - the Naxalite rebels would step up operations they thought would lead to more press.

I wonder if papers had a policy to never report on suicide bombers, hijacking, etc....would there still be as many?

If we could somehow get data for the USSR when they never reported plane crashes, and see what the polls of their population regarding " air travel safety" we could get a good grasp on the media’s true power. "Do you fear air travel?"

Hmmm, maybe North Korea should be preserved just so social scientists could run experiments that require complete autocratic control over society.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
That would be why I support the Michael Yon’s, Michael Totten’s, and Bill Roggio’s of the blogsphere with both money, eyes, and references...

And why Pajamas Media is the first newsite I hit in the morning each day. And why the tv turns on to FoxNews by default.

We only support our local paper to get coupons and read the Sunday paper.

You don’t have to do it yourself to support alternative media.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
In response to the criticisms above:

1) Yes, competition is hard. Nobody said you have to build a cable network on your own. But if you’re right, then that means there’s a market for it. And there’s a market for the kind of thing Michael Yon is doing, too. (btw, he says Iraq is in a civil war, so...)

2) Of course, as I pointed out in the post, media criticism can still be a legitimate pursuit. I’m not suggesting that it’s invalid — only that, if you’re right about the failure, then it should follow that there’s a market niche. Nobody is suggesting that you must be a journalist to criticize journalism. Just that an empirical test of the hypothesis is readily available.

3) That said, I still think that a lot of the media criticism is even more blindingly partisan than the media at which it is directed.

4) MKUltra’s criticisms are perfect examples of the ridiculously partisan prism through which many people see "the other side", the media, etc. Of course, his ridiculousness is mirrored by many on the right who see a giant left wing conspiracy within the media. Both sides have legit gripes, and both sides often take it too far. I’m not trying to draw a false equivalence here. It’s just human nature to do this sort of thing. There’s no ideological basis for this, except that humans are willing to advance their ideology (whatever it is) by these means.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I don’t see a giant left wing conspiracy...

I just see a lot of reporters who are liberally biased, and are, shall we say liberal with the facts and aren’t fair about being objective with their content.

For me, it’s about wanting to see the pro’s and con’s of an issue brought to the table. Gun control is a perfect example. The amount of disinformation in a typical story on the latest gun control measure is a typical example. Only show the negative of what you oppose, and only show the positive "best case" outcome of what you propose.

I hate it. It’s why I’ve grown to distrust the MSM.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Instead of going yourself, you can always donate to Bill Roggio through the Counterterrorism Foundation to go to the battle zone, embed, and provide expert analysis.

He already did it in Iraq, and got lambasted by the WaPo (after which he gave them a serious shellacking for a litany of glaring factual errors).

Now he’s planning on going to Afghanistan.
One of the great things about the free market is that you can pay someone else who specializes in something to do something you can’t drop everything to do. Proxy activism.

... By the way, the Counterterrorism Blog has a lot of great people. The old Counterterrorism blog (a Typepad site) merged with Bill Roggio’s excellent The Fourth Rail milblog to make the new site. Check it out.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://

 
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