Admin daily informs us about the lying MSM whores. Rightfully so … although calling the media ‘whores’ is an insult to whores everywhere.
A lot of anti-MSM articles are just too full of vitriol to be of much use (but, fun to read!). This one does a terrific job calmly looking at the underlying causes.
I am old enough to recall the jokes about the Russian press, Pravda (meaning, “Truth”). Hahahaha! My generation of utes wondered, “How in the fuck could they even exist considering all they do is lie? And, why in the fuck do the Russian people put up with that shit??”. Little did we know that America would become, no – surpass, Pravda.
Bottom Line: Shit is fucked up and bullshit …. and it will NOT get better.
Do svidaniya, Amerika
THE NEWS MEDIA IS EVEN WORSE THAN YOU THINK
5 corrupting influences are keeping the public from the facts
By Brett Arends
Anyone who feels cynical about the U.S. media has been having a good few weeks.
There have been the high profile goofs — by CNN, in its coverage of the Boston bombings, and by Howard Kurtz, the famous media “critic,” in a blog post about gay athlete Jason Collins. The Tribune Company faces a potential takeover by the, er, colorful Koch brothers.
And it all comes, with perfect timing, on the tenth anniversary of the exposure of Jayson Blair, the serial fabulist, at the New York Times. It’s become a cliché these days to say you don’t trust the media. But you know what? You’re right not to do so.
The problems aren’t as bad as they appear. They are much, much worse.
And, as usual, almost everyone is focused on exactly the wrong things.
The problem isn’t that the occasional journalist makes a mistake on deadline. We’re human, folks. The problem isn’t big business, or corporate control. It isn’t even the Koch brothers. If you’re a liberal, you should probably want them to blow $600 million on a loss-making newspaper company. Here are the real problems. And I don’t see any solutions.
Once upon a time, newspaper companies put out one newspaper per day. Even reporters on deadline had until 6 p.m. or even later to investigate, report, write and check their stories before filing.
Those working on features could spend weeks or even months on them. Mistakes still happened, of course, because people are human. But at least there was time for thought. Today? Nah. We want it now. We want the news as fast as Twitter, or faster — oh, but with lots of checking too. That’s why CNN misreported an arrest in the Boston bombings when none had actually occurred. That was one reason why Kurtz blundered in a blog post about gay basketball player Jason Collins: As Kurtz later admitted, he simply hadn’t read the original Collins interview closely enough.
Personally, I think the kerfuffle over these errors was massively overdone. People make mistakes. (My sympathies are usually with the journalist in these circumstances, although Kurtz is to some extent hoist with his own petard.) But there’s a more important point here – one that affects the public, and not just the media crowd.
With reporters increasingly running around like headless chickens, perpetually tweeting, blogging, doing videos and writing stories, this is going to happen more and more. It’s inevitable. You, the public, are going to end up being served a diet of rubbish.
Too much media is going to turn out like too many calories. I suspect we are going to find out that a healthy news diet consists of one professionally produced newspaper a day, read during breakfast. But the high-speed electronic media is putting those papers out of business.
I’m talking about the lack thereof.
A media outlet recently advertised a job for “an experienced writer” with a “solid” record of publishing articles in outlets such as the New York Times, National Geographic and so on. Salary? The job was unpaid. The posting was reported by Jim Romenesko, the media writer. It was not an isolated incident. A major non-profit media outlet known to me is looking for columns from top-quality writers. The pay? Fifty bucks an item. Good luck with that. A liberal media doyenne praised President Obama for demanding an increase of the minimum wage, but doesn’t pay her bloggers anything at all. The Atlantic magazine recently came under fire for asking a freelancer to write something for free. The writer, instead, published the email exchange. The Atlantic’s readers were up in arms against the magazine, but they missed the point. If those readers won’t pay the magazine for the news, how do they expect the magazine to pay the writers? As we used to say in third grade: Like, duh.
Readers don’t work for free, but for some reason they think reporters should.
This collapse of the economics of reporting is deeply corrupting, in ways that people are only just beginning to realize. For example, it leads inevitably to superficial reporting. If it takes three times as long to write a critical, investigative article as it does to write a piece of pap, and if reporters end up being paid per article, then writers of serious journalism will only earn a third as much as the writers of pap. Pure math.
The lack of money also leads to dangerous stampedes and obsessions. Everyone jumps on the big “trending” (yuck) story. Something that’s not hot or sexy just won’t get written. Sure, maybe it’s important. But we need the page views, you see. Sorry.
In early 2007, when the subprime crisis first blew up, some executives at big mortgage lending companies were going around telling everyone that their companies were okay. But I reported at the time that several of these executives were also quietly dumping stock in their own companies as fast as they could. Six months later one of the companies had plunged into crisis and was sold off cheaply. The CEO was interviewed on TV about the industry. Not once — not once — did the big-name interviewer ask him about the way he had dumped his own stock.
There’s a reason the interviewer didn’t ask that question. It wasn’t her job. She wasn’t paid to break news. She was paid to get what the TV crowd calls “the big ‘get.’” In other words, she was paid to get access. Her job depends on getting the honchos to come on her show. And to get them to come on her show, she had to promise them — implicitly — an easy ride.
A few years ago a Wall Street tycoon was so incensed by a plan to eliminate one of his tax loopholes that he invoked the memory of the Holocaust by comparison. He is still welcome on TV channels. He is still invited to give speeches at lucrative media conferences. That’s because he still has money and power, and the media cannot give up their access to him.
No one who asks tough questions will ever get “access.” And an increasingly powerless media needs access. Work out what will happen.
Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world. Once upon a time you saw people like this in every newsroom in the country. They often had chaotic personal lives and they died early of cirrhosis or a heart attack. But they were tough, angry SOBs and they produced great stories.
Do you want to know what kind of people get promoted and succeed in the modern news organization? Social climbers. Networkers. People who are gregarious, who “buy in” to the dominant consensus, who go along to get along and don’t ask too many really awkward questions. They are flexible, well-organized, and happy with life.
And it shows.
This is why, just in the patch of financial and economic journalism, so many reporters are happy to report that U.S. corporations are in great financial shape, even though they also have surging debts, or that a “diversified portfolio” of stocks and bonds will protect you in all circumstances, even though this is not the case, or that defense budgets are being slashed, when they aren’t, or that the U.S. economy has massively outperformed rivals such as Japan, when on key metrics it hasn’t, or that companies must pay CEOs gazillions of dollars to secure the top “talent,” when they don’t need to do any such thing, and such pay is just plunder.
All of these things are “consensus” opinions, and conventional wisdom, which are repeated over and over again by various commentators and vested interests. Yet none of them are true.
If you want to be a glad-handing politician, be a glad-handing politician. If you want to be a reporter, then be angry, ask awkward questions, and absolutely hate it when everyone agrees with you.
After long analysis and debate, the jury is pretty much in on the housing bubble and financial crisis.
Wall Street did it.
A broken system with lots and lots of bad incentives meant speculators got paid to take big, stupid gambles on real estate, mortgage brokers got paid to write crazy loans, bankers got paid to pass the paper on to clients, and ratings agencies got paid to say it was all going to be OK. There was more to it than that, but that’s a good capsule summary.
But not for one section of the media. The “right-wing” media, including some otherwise perfectly sensible people, will still pound the table in fury, turn purple in the face, and insist that the whole thing was caused by the government, Fannie Mae and Barney Frank.
There’s a reason for this. It has very little to do with the facts. It has to do with the human brain.
We think in terms of stories. “Tell me a story,” says the child to her parents. She doesn’t say, “Give me some analysis.” In his book “Black Swan,” Nassim Taleb talks about the way human beings tend to create narratives around facts, whether the facts justify the narratives or not. Psychologist and political consultant Drew Westen’s superb book “The Political Brain” — a must read — argues that if you want to succeed at spin, you must basically spin a tale.
People on the right believe their alternative narrative about the crisis simply because it fits their broader narrative, the story of the Big Bad Government and the Perfect Market.
People on the left are just as bad. They are just as apt to believe all stories about the wonderful, beneficent effects of government spending, about the evils of any private-sector enterprise, and about universal racism, sexism and so forth.
People have a tremendous bias to think in terms of narratives. And in the new world of Infinite Media, where there are no rules, walls or restraints, all parts of the media are subject to an overwhelming incentive to pander to that bias. That is true of Fox News (owned by News Corp., the publisher of MarketWatch) and the liberal MSNBC, of The Wall Street Journal (ditto) and the New York Times.
Americans are programmed to call that “freedom.” I call it chaos. And I don’t trust it one little bit