I’m sure you’ve been at least keeping tabs on the drama in Sidney, Australia (now thankfully concluded). When you watch some of what passes for reporting these days, you sometimes get an indication of how poor the journalism of today is:
Despite the Sydney, Australia hostage-taker displaying a flag reading in Arabic, ”There is no God but God and Mohammed is the prophet of God,” despite his being a self-proclaimed sheikh and despite his demand that police give him an ISIS flag, MSNBC “The Rundown” host José Diaz-Balart wondered if Iranian-born Man Haron Monis is motivated by Islam at all. (VIDEO: NBC Journo: Islamic Lone Wolf Terrorism ‘Not A Religious Issue’)
“Could very well be he’s hiding behind the flag of Islam to just deal with his own criminal past,” Diaz-Balart said. “It may have very little to do with it. It’s still too early to tell.”
Yet, when it comes to lynch mobs on little other than here-say evidence, we get the full narrative treatment – take the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case, or better yet, Ferguson. In both cases, the media played judge, jury and lynch mob with hysteria driven reports that had no real basis in fact. In fact, precisely what all the talking heads and other experts claimed came to be absolutely false.
Meanwhile, Islam gets the benefit of the doubt even when it appears that perpetrator in this case had a history of religious fueled violence. Like the shootings at Ft. Hood were a simple matter of “workplace violence”, this is just some guy using Islam as front to hide his “criminal past”.
The simple question I wish someone would put to the reporter is “why?” If he’s simply a criminal, why would he care about his past?
Oh, I know – too early to tell.
Deranged serial killer, Christopher Dorner, may be blossoming into a cause celebre of the moronic and ill-informed, but the official manhunt leading up to his alleged death is spawning plenty of conspiracy. There’s plenty of overlap to be sure. However, one aspect of this case that spurs skepticism is that Dorner’s wallet was found in three different places: San Diego’s Lindbergh Field; the San Ysidro Point of Entry near the US-Mexico border; and in the rubble of the cabin he apparently burned to death in.
So how could this be? Cord Jefferson at the Gawker hazards a guess:
Though he botched a number of things in the course of his warpath—a bungled boat robbery, wrecking his truck and smashing its axle, etc.—Dorner seemed better prepared than most spree killers, which might explain why he had multiple wallets and multiple IDs (perhaps he was trying to throw authorities off his track). Another possibility is that press outlets made mistakes during their reporting, thus leading the public to wrongly believe that Dorner’s wallet was in three places at once.
That sort of seems plausible, except if you’re going to go through the trouble of manufacturing several ID’s and carrying several wallets, why would you have all of them bear the same name, much less your own name? Carrying an ID for “Christopher Dorner” during this manhunt would not be much of an advantage, would it?
No, the more simple explanation (also suggested by Jefferson) is that the media screwed up.
First of all, the only official mention of Dorner’s ID and wallet being found is in the criminal complaint and affidavit filed by the US Marshal Service (see paragraph 7(b)):
“Detective Anschick later found DORNER’s personal belongings, including his wallet and identification cards, near the U.S./Mexico border at the San Ysidro Point of Entry.”
Yet, according to the most recent reports from the scene of the final conflagration, after being cornered in a cabin near Big Bear Lake, California:
He never emerged from the ruins and hours later a charred body was found in the basement of the burned cabin along with a wallet and personal items, including a California driver’s license with the name Christopher Dorner, an official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.
Did you notice that this info was from an anonymous source? Again, the only official report about a wallet and/or ID being found is the one cited in the federal complaint.
How about the claim that his wallet was found at Lindbergh Field? Well, that seems to come from this NBC San Diego report:
An LAPD badge and a wallet with the suspect’s personal identification were discovered Thursday by an airport shuttle driver near San Diego’s Lindbergh Field.
This particular nugget of info is unsourced, and doesn’t really make much sense. Would a cop who was fired in 2008 still have a badge in 2013?
Even if he did, there is still only one official report of Dorner’s ID/wallet being found, and that’s contained in the federal complaint filed on February 7th.
Ergo, the flowering conspiracy theories are almost entirely fed with media fertilizer. Once again, our intrepid press, with its professional journalists and layers upon layers of fact checkers, have proven themselves the modern equivalent of a sewing circle.
Here, we’ve all wondered – for years – why journalists are so willing to toss their credibility in the waste bin and go “all in” for this guy Obama. It doesn’t take a particularly bright individual to note how totally nonresponsive they are to stories that, had the perpertrator been on the right or, God forbid, George Bush, how differently they would have responded. To say they’ve sold their collective “journalistic ethical” souls is, frankly, a huge understatement. They are, or have become, a propaganda arm of this administration (well, all except the hated FOX, which keeps pointing out the emperor has no clothes).
Nick Gillespie at Reason explores all of this in his recent article. A snippet:
It’s sad, though never unexpected, when leaders such as Obama flip flop like a fish on the sand once they ascend power. Cromwell did it, the French revolutionaries did it, Castro did it, the Sandanistas did it, and on and on. It’s one of the oldest plots in history and infinitely adaptable to new conditions. How else to explain, as Jacob Sullumn notes, that candidate Obama rejected the Bush adminstration’s position that it could detain U.S. citizens as enemy combatants without pressing charges while President Obama claims the right to kill U.S. citizens without laying charges? The guy may not be able to pass a budget but christ, give him credit for ingenuity and brass balls.
But Obama is a politician – what do you expect? Politicians are not just the bottom of the barrel – they’re what’s under the bottom of the barrel, right?
So what then explains the contortions that journalists fold themselves into like so many carnival sideshow rubber-men in defending their hero? Mike Riggs points to comments by rising liberal MSNBC pundit Toure that suggest just how far explicitly pro-Obama liberals are willing to go in excusing the president’s declaring himself and his crew judge, jury, and executioner. As Riggs explains, it seems pretty clear that Toure isn’t up to speed on specifics, especially when it comes to the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son:
When his co-hosts continue to press him on the consequences of a small group of individuals determing who deserves to die without a shred of oversight, Touré dismisses them by saying, “Al Qaeda attacked this nation. We are attacking al Qaeda back.” On Twitter Touré simply said, “He’s the Commander in Chief.”
Al Qaeda is the new Communism, dig?
Or something. Yesterday we had Chris Rock claim that we should all obey Obama because, he’s “our boss”. Un, no Chris, he’s not our boss.
He’s our freakin’ employee. He works for us. He was hired by the people (much to my chagrin) and he has to follow the law just like everyone else. He’s not the “boss” or our “Dad”.
But Rock’s BS points to the difference between the left (and their apparent desire for strong authoritarianism) and the right who still, at least in small pockets, see government as a dangerous but necessary evil to be controlled by the people. It also shows why to them, politics isn’t just a system, but it is a cult, a religion, their way of transforming a nation and the world in an image they imagine will be better.
Yet history shows us that no matter how wonderful the fantasy that drives groups like this to collectively use force to social engineer a population toward their utopia, it never, ever ends well.
And now we have journalists engaged in precisely the work that propaganda arms of totalitarian governments have always done. If once, their job was to question government, keep it accountable and investigate anything that smelled at all fishy, they’ve abdicated that in favor of selective blindness, cheerleading, advocacy and pure unadulterated fantasy.
It is the usual path a nation takes towards it’s demise.
And we’re well down that path, folks.
David Cay Johnson seems to think today’s journalism has a huge problem. And he confirms the “if it bleeds it leads” tendency of the media. This anecdote illustrates the point:
To understand how badly we’re doing the most basic work of journalism in covering the law enforcement beat, try sitting in a barbershop. When I was getting my last haircut, the noon news on the television—positioned to be impossible to avoid watching—began with a grisly murder. The well-educated man in the chair next to me started ranting about how crime is out of control.
But it isn’t. I told Frank, a regular, that crime isn’t running wild and chance of being burglarized today is less than one quarter what it was in 1980.
The shop turned so quiet you could have heard a hair fall to the floor had the scissors not stopped. The barbers and clients listened intently as I next told them about how the number of murders in America peaked back in the early 1990’s at a bit south of 25,000 and fell to fewer than 16,000 in 2009. When we take population growth into account, this means your chance of being murdered has almost been cut in half.
“So why is there so much crime on the news every day?” Diane, who was cutting Frank’s hair, asked.
“Because it’s cheap,” I replied. “And with crime news you only have to get the cops’ side of the story. There is no ethical duty to ask the arrested for their side of the story.”
Cheap news is a major reason that every day we are failing in our core mission of providing people with the knowledge they need for our democracy to function.
That’s reason one. Reason two? Something I’ve been critical of for some time:
I ran upstairs and bought The Philadelphia Inquirer, where I worked for seven years. Buried inside I found a half column about the new budget for Montgomery County, the wealthiest and most important county for the newspaper’s financial success. The story was mostly about the three commissioners yelling at each other. The total budget was mentioned, almost in passing, with no hint of whether it meant property taxes would go up or down, more money would be spent on roads or less, or any of the other basics that readers want to know.
For this I paid money? I could only imagine the reaction of the residents of Montgomery County.
Far too much of journalism consists of quoting what police, prosecutors, politicians and publicists say—and this is especially the case with beat reporters. It’s news on the cheap and most of it isn’t worth the time it takes to read, hear or watch. Don’t take my word for it. Instead look at declining circulation figures. People know value and they know when what they’re getting is worth their time or worth the steadily rising cost of a subscription.
I’m convinced one of the reasons for the rise of blogs is the decline of journalism into what Johnson calls “cheap journalism”. During elections we get the horserace coverage – the sensational, the quotes, etc. – but we rarely get even basic coverage of the issues.
My guess is editors would claim that no one is interested in the “in depth” coverage of issues, but I’d counter by saying that the popularity of blogs who do exactly that would seem to contradict the claim.
Johnson’s revelation about what is going on in the media comes from his own specific experience:
During the past 15 years as I focused my reporting on how the American economy works and the role of government in shaping how the benefits and burdens of the economy are distributed, I’ve grown increasingly dismayed at the superficial and often dead wrong assumptions permeating the news. Every day in highly respected newspapers I read well-crafted stories with information that in years past I would have embraced but now know is nonsense, displaying a lack of understanding of economic theory and the regulation of business. The stories even lack readily available official data on the economy and knowledge of the language and principles in the law, including the Constitution.
What these stories have in common is a reliance on what sources say rather than what the official record shows. If covering a beat means finding sources and sniffing out news, then a firm foundation of knowledge about the topic is essential, though not sufficient. Combine this with a curiosity to dig deeply into the myriad of documents that are in the public record—and then ask sources about what the documents show.
Note his point – lack of research, lack of knowledge, reliance on “what sources say” and the acceptance of what they say as gospel.
That’s not journalism, that’s the journalistic equivalent of re-printing press releases. And, given all the grousing about bloggers by many in the media, I have to ask, “where are the editors”? How did what Johnson reports become the norm that editors okay for publication? Who’s establishing and enforcing the standards of journalism if not the editors?
These are the folks that used to control what was fed to the news hungry population in the past – a control they exercised because of the cost of entry into the market. Now, with the internet and the democratization of publishing, they have competition from an unanticipated direction and it is indeed showing their weaknesses (and biases). In any market, if a need goes unfulfilled, someone will fill it. It just took the internet to remove that high bar to entry to prove the point. If they wonder why circulation and viewership numbers are down, Johnson’s criticism is one of the major reasons for their decline.
[ad] Empty ad slot (#1)!
Conspiracy may be a loaded word in this case, but it certainly has a hint of it.
If you’re not familiar with Journolist, it’s a email listserv that serves a collection of lefty journalists. Up until recently, what goes on on Journolist has stayed on Journolist.
But among allegations that journalists on "journolist" actively conspired and collaborated in an attempt to dampen criticism of Obama and to change the subject or attack those criticizing him obviously would create interest in seeing proof.
Enter the Daily Caller. The DC has apparently gotten its hands on some of the list’s archives from that time and, unsurprisingly, was able to make rumor into fact.
For instance, the list apparently had a discussion of questions asked of Obama during a debate hosted by Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. Specifically questions about Rev. Wright. Reaction on the list was swift and, well, you can decide for yourself:
Thomas Schaller, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun as well as a political science professor, upped the ante from there. In a post with the subject header, “why don’t we use the power of this list to do something about the debate?” Schaller proposed coordinating a “smart statement expressing disgust” at the questions Gibson and Stephanopoulos had posed to Obama.
“It would create quite a stir, I bet, and be a warning against future behavior of the sort,” Schaller wrote.
Coordination, collaboration, conspiracy – certainly not illegal, but definitely ethically questionable. But then the left has always seen politics as a war where the right has mostly seen it as a process. And, as the old saying goes, “all’s fair in love and war”, and that apparently includes ethically questionable ethics by leftist journalists.
And then there’s this – something the right has always assumed but was never able to point to factually. Well now you can:
In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama’s relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama’s conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, “Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists.”
As most have assumed, calling someone a racist is the way some on the left choose to a) change the subject, b) deflect attention or c) end the debate/criticism. It used to be a powerful charge. Now, as you can see, it has merely become a political tool. What is going on between the NAACP and the Tea Party is a perfect example.
Katha Pollitt – Hayes’s colleague at the Nation – didn’t disagree on principle, though she did sound weary of the propaganda. “I hear you. but I am really tired of defending the indefensible. The people who attacked Clinton on Monica were prissy and ridiculous, but let me tell you it was no fun, as a feminist and a woman, waving aside as politically irrelevant and part of the vast rightwing conspiracy Paula, Monica, Kathleen, Juanita,” Pollitt said.
Principle? Hey she said it – just wave it aside politically when it is your side doing the violation of it, huh Ms. Pollitt. Of course that particular incident was the death of leftist feminism because as Pollitt and her ilk were “waving aside” all of that, real people were noting the hypocrisy and waving the feminists aside as well – permanently.
As more and more comes out from the list archives, I’m sure we’ll find even more of our assumptions about leftist “journalists” confirmed. And that, of course, makes it easier and easier to dismiss what they have to say as having any real heft or importance.
Hey, they did it to themselves. Let them live with it while we wave them away as irrelevant.
[ad] Empty ad slot (#1)!
ver since the internet has thrown the private journalistic business model into disarray, the idea that perhaps public funding should be used to "save" private journalism has found purchase among some.
I, as you might guess, wouldn’t be one of the "some".
This time it is Lee Bollinger, Columbia University’s president, pushing the "public/private partnership" necessary to "save" journalism. He cites the BBC and NPR as examples of the sort of partnership he’s talking about. However, he wants to expand that, obviously, across the board. His rational for such an expansion is to claim we’re essentially doing that now anyway. His examples?
Meanwhile, the broadcast news industry was deliberately designed to have private owners operating within an elaborate system of public regulation, including requirements that stations cover public issues and expand the range of voices that could be heard. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld this system in the 1969 Red Lion decision as constitutional, even though it would have been entirely possible to limit government involvement simply to auctioning off the airwaves and letting the market dictate the news. In the 1960s, our network of public broadcasting was launched with direct public grants and a mission to produce high quality journalism free of government propaganda or censorship.
The institutions of the press we have inherited are the result of a mixed system of public and private cooperation. Trusting the market alone to provide all the news coverage we need would mean venturing into the unknown—a risky proposition with a vital public institution hanging in the balance.
You have to love this convoluted thinking evident here – letting the market alone provide all the news coverage is “unknown” and “risky”. Getting government more deeply involved in regulating and subsidizing “journalism”, however, apparently isn’t.
What Bollinger really doesn’t want, much like the priests and monks of Gutenberg’s era, is to loose their monopoly on providing the news, just as the priests didn’t want to lose their monopoly on the possession of and therefore the interpretation of the bible. Unfortunately the printing press changed that dynamic forever.
In this era the internet has forever destroyed the journalistic business model that provided monopoly power to “journalistic” institutions by removing the barriers to entry. For minimal cost, anyone can publish on the internet. And the proliferation on the internet of sources and opinions on the news – some far better than the traditional outlets provided – have decimated their advertising revenue base as readers turn from high cost alternatives to low cost ones.
Welcome to creative destruction – a lynch pin of capitalism and the engine for advancements in technology and the delivery of goods and services. Lower cost and better delivery will usually always win out over higher cost and poorer delivery.
If you want the news as quickly as you can get it (assuming the internet didn’t exist) and your choices were newspaper, network news and cable news, which would you most likely choose?
Obviously – and the ratings and subscription info seems to support this – you’d choose cable news. Who wants stale stories delivered the next morning via newspaper, or appointment TV, where you have to take time to sit down and watch when they decide to broadcast to catch a half hour capsule of the news?
So this revolutionary change didn’t start with the internet. The internet has simply expanded the choices and put the “traditional” outlets in even more disarray.
It isn’t the job of government or the taxpayer to subsidize the old and discredited business models to which the Lee Bollingers of this world cling. What Bollinger should do, instead, is join the legions of owners, publishers and other experts working hard day and night to find a viable new business model that will preserve at least part of the “traditional media”.
But all government subsidy will do is intrude in a dynamic changing market and distort it. And journalists of the traditional media will simply become one more rent seeker among many. We don’t need to be moving toward more crony capitalism, we need to be moving away from it as quickly as possible.
Bollinger is sure that the system he envisions could easily be kept free of government interference and journalistic integrity would be maintained. He sites various examples that he’s sure proves his point. But that’s not the point – at least not the one that is important (even if I don’t believe his point to be true in the long run). What is important is the government should have no role whatsoever in subsidizing a “free press”. When it does, no matter how benign the subsidy, the word “free” disappears from “free press”.
And intellectually that’s a non-negotiable point.
[ad] Empty ad slot (#1)!
The idea that the states were to be the “laboratories of freedom” has been an idea expressed for years by advocates of liberty. New concepts, supposedly rooted in liberty, were to be tried in the states to see if they worked and could be applied more broadly within the nation.
But, as we’ve learned over the years, the states can also be laboratories of tyranny as well. Or at least attempts at tyranny. Michigan offers the latest example:
A Michigan lawmaker wants to license reporters to ensure they’re credible and vet them for “good moral character.”
Nothing nebulous or arbitrary there. More importantly, since when – given the 1st Amendment to the Constitution – does any legislative body have the power to regulate speech? The 1st Amendment was incorporated to apply to the states in 1925 (See Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925)(dicta)).
Here’s the interesting part – the legislator in question is a Republican and, according to the article, “practices Constitutional law.” He may practice it, but he doesn’t appear to understand it very well.
He claims his desire to regulate the licensing of journalists is in the public interest.
“Legitimate media sources are critically important to our government,” he said.
He told FoxNews.com that some reporters covering state politics don’t know what they’re talking about and they’re working for publications he’s never heard of, so he wants to install a process that’ll help him and the general public figure out which reporters to trust.
“We have to be able to get good information,” he said. “We have to be able to rely on the source and to understand the credentials of the source.”
If you missed the nuance, he’s essentially saying that government, through it’s licensing process, will determine what media is “legitimate” and what isn’t. No state seal of approval (i.e. license) equals illegitimate media.
The obvious problem, even to those a little slow on the uptake, is not just the licensing, but the power that gives government to show it’s displeasure with a journalist or the story (or investigation, etc.) the journalist has produced by pulling his or her license.
These are the provisions of the bill:
According to the bill, reporters must provide the licensing board proof of:
–“Good moral character” and demonstrate they have industry “ethics standards acceptable to the board.”
–Possession of a degree in journalism or other degree substantially equivalent.
–Not less than 3 years experience as a reporter or any other relevant background information.
–Awards or recognition related to being a reporter.
–Three or more writing samples.
Reporters will also have to pay an application and registration fee.
The bill doesn’t prevent others who are not licensed by the state from covering Michigan (certainly not initially), but the intent is clear.
Bruce Patterson, the legislator in question, says there’s little chance his bill will pass. As others point out, it is a single sponsor bill. And Patterson is now claiming that he’s only trying to provoke a discussion with his bill to point out the difficulty of knowing if an information source is legitimate:
“What’s the definition of a reporter? I haven’t been able to find out? What’s a reporter? What’s a journalist?” Patterson said. “I thought you had to have a degree in journalism but apparently not. I could retire and be a journalist.”
Patterson said he wants a central place where members of the public can go to find out about reporters’ credentials, background and experience. “I’m talking about a central depository for information so someone can go find all that out,”
Patterson said, comparing his idea to the vetting process for expert witnesses who testify in court. The senator said that he feels that there’s no way to tell who’s a legitimate journalist and who’s just rewriting other reporters’ reporting and twisting facts.
Hmmm … how about assuming the responsibility on your own? I would guess that most of us who read the offerings on the net, for instance, and various blogs know which ones we can trust and which ones aren’t at all trustworthy. We also know enough check something controversial with numerous sources. Most of us have hear of snopes.com and factcheck.org where we can vet rumors. What we certainly don’t need is some state deciding the only “legitimate” reporters out there are some “J school” grad – not with what we’ve seen over the past few years from their ilk.
Anyway, I found this to be quite interesting. I don’t necessarily buy into his contention that he introduced this just to stir discussion (I’m guessing that’s his fall-back position after receiving a lot of resistance to this) but it certainly has.
The most important thing it suggests is there are people on both sides who would regulate your life to a point where most choice – the essence of freedom – would be removed from it. And, they are in both parties – an important point. What is important to do, and one of the function of blogs, in my opinion, is to expose such ideas to the light of day. Of course, had I done this under the auspices of the proposed Michigan law, I’d have been an illegitimate source and you would be advised to ignore me.
[ad] Empty ad slot (#1)!
Print and broadcast journalists aren’t at all happy with the direction of or future of journalism according to a Pew poll. The decline stated with the internet boom and hasn’t let up. Most print and broadcast editors think that without a new revenue stream (traditional advertising isn’t what it used to be by any stretch of the imagination) their employer will go out of business 5 to 10 years.
Almost all of them blame the internet for their problems. For instance:
In an era of shrinking newsrooms, 58 percent of the editors said journalism was headed in the wrong direction. Sixty-two percent said the Internet had changed the profession’s fundamental values, with most citing a loosening of standards.
Someone – anyone – how did the internet make them “loosen” their “standards”? Note the word used is “make”, not “cause”. “Make” has a completely different connotation than does “cause”. And yes, I’m in the weeds on semantics, but it is important. If, in fact, those 62% actually said (or believe) “the internet made me do it”, then you have found the reason “journalism”, as we know it today, is in decline and it has nothing to do with the internet whatsoever.
Remember the “three layers of editors” comment years ago that was thrown out there as a reason journalists were better than the pajama-clad blogging hoards? Remember how that’s been thrown back in the face of the MSM countless times since?
The editors complain about being unable to find a way to charge their on-line readers as one of their problems. Of course, the unknown there is whether present on-line readers deem their free stuff worth paying for. My sneaking suspicion is they know they don’t. There’s nothing particularly unique to be had on their site (exceptions being newspapers focused on local communities) that can’t be found for free elsewhere. That’s the real dilemma – what can they offer that is unique and sought after in terms of information, that the public is willing to pay to access?
To this day, most have said “not much”.
So what are we seeing here? We’re seeing the buggy whip industry go out of business. We’re seeing the creative destruction for which capitalism is so famous. News is beginning to be delivered in a way that has fundamentally changed that industry. What used to be the exclusive realm of the news providers (with source subscriptions which were prohibitively high for most independent subscribers) has now found its way into the realm of news consumers. I can read AP just as well on the net as I can in a newspaper. There is no reason for me to subscribe to the paper to read what I can on-line. So the local paper is no longer my first choice to read the news AP provides.
This is no different than what cable news has done to network news. For decades, TV news was delivered by appointment. That is, you had to make time at 6pm or so to sit down and watch was presented or you’d miss out on what was happening in the news. Along comes CNN and appointment news is dead. Now, when you’re ready, you can sit down and catch up on what’s happening in the world. The appointment TV business model was essentially dead (although it still doesn’t seem to know that, even as its rating numbers seem to confirm it).
But even with cable TV, we were only apprised of what they deemed newsworthy. If they chose not to run it, it wasn’t news. Along comes the internet, and that breaks up their journalistic monopoly of steering the news agenda. Now, as we’ve seen a number of times, stories the media buries are surfaced and given visibility that eventually forces those known as the MSM to pay attention and cover them. That screws with both their agenda and their credibility.
As for opinion journalism, the net has also broken that monopoly up as well. There are literally millions of opinions available now with the democratization of publishing the net offers through blogs. And as many have found, you don’t have to be a journo grad to write well or have a worthwhile opinion. So now, instead of having a limited number of opinions available, we have more than we could ever read.
So while the old media laments its decline and most likely it’s eventual demise, let’s remember there’s a new media out there in the midst of founding and forming itself. Some smart person will eventually put the business model together that works and makes a good profit. This isn’t about the news media going silent, that will never happen. It is about the break up of virtual monopolies of news delivery because of technology. When the old media enjoyed those semi-monopolies (they were really very high bars to entry into the market) what they delivered was worth the money they charged. Now, because the same thing can be found for free thanks to technology, their product doesn’t have the same worth and is losing its subscriber base.
I’m reminded of the Gutenberg bible. Ironically it’s a legend in the printing industry because through the invention of the printing press, which enabled the printing of hundreds of copies of the bible, the monopoly of the clergy as the sole possessors of “the word” was broken – as was their power as the sole interpreters.
This is exactly the same process in action now. The MSM needs to realize that the “old days” are dead and are never coming back – ever. And they had better realize that instead of thinking of themselves as a news broadcast or a newspaper, they need to understand that they have to be in the business of providing news that is unique and valuable (valuable enough consumers will pay for it) or they’ll go the way of those buggy whip companies I mentioned earlier.
[ad] Empty ad slot (#1)!
In this podcast, Bruce, Michael and Dale discuss the Libaugh NFL story, Obama;s war on FOXNews, and the state of the press in general.
The direct link to the podcast can be found at BlogtalkRadio, since my old computer is becoming an increasingly unreliable recording resource.
The intro and outro music is Vena Cava by 50 Foot Wave, and is available for free download here.
As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2007, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.
Sy Hersh, not yet ready to leave the evil cabal of Bush/Cheney alone, has concocted a real beaut this time and is peddling it on Arab TV (what other media outlet would be open to this stuff?), just in time to inflame the unwashed masses in the Middle East:
Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on the orders of the special death squad formed by former US vice-president Dick Cheney, which had already killed the Lebanese Prime Minister Rafique Al Hariri and the army chief of that country.
The squad was headed by General Stanley McChrystal, the newly-appointed commander of US army in Afghanistan. It was disclosed by reputed US journalist Seymour Hersh while talking to an Arab TV in an interview.
Hersh said former US vice-president Cheney was the chief of the Joint Special Operation Command and he clear the way for the US by exterminating opponents through the unit and the CIA. General Stanley was the in-charge of the unit.
Seymour also said that Rafiq Al Hariri and the Lebanese army chief were murdered for not safeguarding the US interests and refusing US setting up military bases in Lebanon. Ariel Sharon, the then prime minister of Israel, was also a key man in the plot.
A number of websites around the world are suspecting the same unit for killing of Benazir Bhutto because in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV on November 2, 2007, she had mentioned the assassination of Usama Bin Laden, Seymour said. According to BB, Umar Saeed Sheikh murdered Usama, but her words were washed out from the David Frosts report, he said.
Got that? Bhutto was killed at Cheney’s behest (he apparently was the secret chief of the JSOC) by Gen. McChrystal and the boys (McChrystal soon to be the commander in Afghanistan headed the “squad”) because Bhutto blurted out that bin Laden was dead and that, unfortunately for her, undermined the given reason for the US being in A’stan.
Wow. How this guy gets even the coverage he does (The Nation and Arab TV) amazes me. At least The Nation jabbed Hersh with the “reputed journalist” tag. Arab TV, though, will eat it up with a spoon.