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nice oped on what's wrong with the press

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MBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:09 PM
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nice oped on what's wrong with the press
On the press: covering what matters
George Bachrach, "Gala Gotcha"
Particular focusof this opinion piece is on recent Boston media hype on incoming Mass governor's Deval Patrick's inauguration plans . But the general lessons are closely relevant to the 24/7 silly-season press speculation on 2008 presidential candidates, on coverage of JK in particular, and political journalism in general /

"But the most important problem here is the point Patrick tried to make to the association of publishers . We're fixated on the wrong things. . .This is not an argument to give Patrick a free ride. The media must be tough and demanding and scrutinize his administration. But it must be tough and demanding about the right things and not the trivial ones. We want key appointments and policy pronouncements on Page One, with critical scrutiny. But we want silly gala stories somewhere else.
"There is an adage in politics that there is nothing as disappointing as supporting a winning candidate. We have impossibly high expectations. We expect them to do exactly what we want on public policy, appointments . . . and galas. We want them to be our best friend. Despite their best efforts, they will disappoint us.
"The real trick is to demand that they be good at their jobs. Their job is to govern. It's not to throw parties, cater to the media or please every supporter. The sooner we refocus on what's important, the better off everyone will be."

Welcome good sense. Highly recommended!

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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 11:47 PM
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1. Gossip and nasty reporting sell. This is one reason the media continues
to write basically trash. Another is to put a politician in his place and remind that politician who is in control and who is pulling the strings. It is a shame that real and important news is ignored for the sake of money. power and control. The public suffers for this lack of real reporting.
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mloutre Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-17-06 10:06 AM
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2. 'The media' this, 'the media' that
Reporters report. Writers write. Editors edit. Editors also assign reporters and writers to report and write about what they're told to report and write about. Management tells editors which stories they should tell their reporters and writers to etc. and so forth. And corporate owners tell management what issues they want to push and which ones they want to sweep under the rug and which candidates they want to see win what races.

So where does the so-called 'liberal bias' (or 'right-wing bias', or disgusting corporate greedhead bias', or whatever) creep into the system? In my experience working in the fringes of the great big media machine, it's usually not the reporters and writers and even the lower-level editors that are the source of the problem. It's usually the middle- and upper-level editors, management, and corporate overseers that insist on skewing the facts and spinning the truth to advance their own agendas instead.

And those agendas almost always boil to to one thing: greed. Greed for money, greed for power, greed for influence. Sure, sex and sleaze and gossip sell papers. Always have, always will. Give the people the slimy crap they want to hear and take their money all the way to the bank. Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence, much less the good taste or the common sense, of the American public.

But it's the bigger greed for upstream for money, power, and influence that really tilts the scales here. One of the hugest boondoggles of the last 40 years was the big-money corporate greedheads' finally buying enough votes to dismantle the Fairness Doctrine. Somehow or another we the sheeple seem to have forgotten that "freedom of the press belongs to those who own one" is a specious canard, and that access to the airwaves that for-profit businesses use to broadcast their products is a trust held in the commonweal.

Of *course* the media mega-corps love Hillary to death. Of course they've been cramming her down our necks for the last three years and for the next two as well. Intelligent media observers are all too aware that elimination of the Fairness Doctrine was the beginning of the end of the world as we knew it. Intelligent political observers know that Hillary won't do one damn thing to change that. She wouldn't if she could. She's made it very clear to The Moneybags That Be that her votes are for sale to the highest bidder.

A Certain Senator From Massachusetts, on the other hand, feels very differently about the corporate media monopolies and the stranglehold they've purchased on the free flow of information to the citizenry. He's fought against the systematic dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine in the past, and you can bet big bucks to blog hits that he'll do so again.

So of *course* the media mega-corps hate John Kerry to death. Of course they've been doing everything they can to sabotage his chances of attaining enough power and influence to roll back the neocons' big-bucks giveaways. Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would force them to give back some of their hard-stolen money. And there is no greater sin than that in their world -- whatever you do, don't you *ever* dare mess with the money.

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