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Bye, Bye Mainstream Media ...

How it must gall the print media to see their corporate empires crumble as readers and advertisers desert the traditional newspaper for the electronic media. And the rest of the mainstream media to see their viewers and listeners desert the traditional news broadcast for AM talk radio and the Internet.

Even those members of the mainstream media who maintain an Internet presence don’t get it. Perhaps because they are trying so hard to shore up their crumbling corporate enterprises that they have become merely a repeater of government and corporate handouts – and sources for pro-Obama/democrat commentary which defies all common sense when you are citing journalistic ethics and impartial neutrality as your stock in trade.

From Malibu to Manhattan, I do not know of a single person who believes that either the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times is not in the tank for Barack Obama and the liberal democrats. Occasionally publishing the other side in order to give some semblance of covering the news. I don’t know, perhaps they are being held hostage by their trade unions and forced to support the union’s far left liberal democrat position. In any event, fair and balanced has gone out the window.

How can I trust the journalists to fairly cover our government, our newly-elected President and his Administration’s policies when they were so far in the tank for Obama and his fellow left-leaning liberal democrats. I ask myself, are they withholding or shading the bad news? Or even worse, bagging on George Bush and the past administration in order to amplify the new administration’s accomplishments.

These are the people who no longer “speak truth to power” or adequately vet candidates. If they did, why are so many democrat candidates, including the President, now being exposed for past actions? No matter how much the mainstream media seeks to repeat the “Woodward and Bernstein era,” they have lost my trust – and my contribution to their bottom line.

I miss the “Evening Outrage …”

It has been a long time since I paid for a newspaper subscription. The Los Angeles Times was just too damn big to read thoroughly – and, in my opinion, too damn biased to the left to be taken seriously. And my favorite local paper, the Santa Monica-based Evening Outlook evaporated into the morass that was Copley Press and was finally closed on March 13, 1998 after 123 years of local reporting.  I miss the local coverage by reporters like Ed Moosbrugger  and Pat Alston who could be counted on for a “straight up” account of the events. No editorial shading there. And this was in a town known as the “People’s Republic of Santa Monica” which continues, to this very day, to define left-wing liberal democrat politics. While the paper did express its editorial opinion, which sometimes went against everything I believed in, the paper and the reporters were well-respected – no advortorialising or  slanting the coverage.

Times change and so do communication’s protocols …

My junior high journalism class reinforced my appreciation for the print media. Their place in the universe was secured by the very reason that newspapers could devote more time and attention to a story which was little more than an sensational soundbite teaser and a few basis facts on the radio. Where magazines were counted on to provide in-depth pieces which even transcended newspaper type accounts in that they were composed with a degree of fairness, sometimes with a fully-disclosed editorial slant.

But today, I listen to drive-time radio (AM) to hear the arguments and wailing on all sides of the political spectrum. I check the Matt Drudge’s site (www.drudgereport.com) as that serves to highlight what is important and a precursor to what will appear in the general news media. Occasionally, I will use Matt’s links to visit a columnist or traditional newspaper. If anything, I will scan either the Wall Street Journal or Investor's Business Daily. Occasionally, the Washington Post or the New York Post. I have TiVo set to record news and commentary from Fox and some financial programs on a channel which shall remain nameless – as they shamelessly promoted Obama as the second coming of the messiah. Much of the time, the programs are simply deleted without watching to make space for newer programs.

Thus I have the immediacy I want, something to fill my drive-time hours and coverage of other events should it be of interest.

Professionally, I subscribe to industry related RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and receive e-mail bulletins from favored sources. My magazines tend to be business or hobby-oriented and not of a news or political nature.

And if I am angered, I very rarely write a letter to an editor or comment online to an article,. I express myself on my own blog – which, from entry one, is something I describe as a experiment in personal communications that beats yelling at the television or pounding the dash of my car.

And, in and off itself, this dooms the great majority of the print media and traditional mainstream broadcasters. Not only do I not trust them to deliver the straight news, I abhor the intrusion of entertainment production values into the mix.

And when one considers the public’s acceptance of cheap and cheesy reality shows interspersed with faux-crime dramas, television has indeed become the vast wasteland predicted almost 50 years ago by former Federal Communications Commission Chairman, FCC Chairman Newton Minnow.

“When television is good, nothing — not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers — nothing is better.”
“But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.”
“You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it."

Ditto for today’s mainstream media where “if it bleeds, it leads” and celebrity reigns supreme. Where politicians are treated as celebrities and promoted like toothpaste.

And the sad thing for the mainstream media is that I am not alone in my views.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


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