Sunday, June 22, 2008

Media delenda est

The news Media must be destroyed.

A recognition has been growing over a number of years that the news Media -- broadcast television networks, cable news nets, mass-market radio and leading newspapers -- have evolved into a monolithic platform for corporate and right-wing propaganda, the most visible feature of which is an elite corps of pundits and celebrity-journalists, who are incompetent and untrustworthy.

The underlying problem is not just, say, "Maureen Dowd’s wholehearted failure as a person." Maureen Dowd has attracted the attention of a wide variety of critics. The Times' own Public Editor allowed that she "went over the top this election season." That sort of makes it official. But, the official version is that the problem is "sexism" or other impolite language. The deep problem with Maureen Dowd, and the corporate Media, in general, is that it fails to inform and that it misinforms.

The choice of "personalities" is, itself, part of the misinformation involved. Riffing off of the London Telegraph's list of the 50 most influential American pundits, Digby at Hullabaloo had this to say:
"I have long held that the reason so many people hate liberals in this country is because the right convinced them that all of those pictured above [the Telegraph's choices for the top ten most influential U.S. pundits] who are not right wing icons --- are liberal. No wonder they hate us. With the exception of Jon Stewart, they are all immense jackasses.

The list includes a few Democratic political operatives and a handful of intelligent liberals like Paul Krugman and Rachel Maddow who are listed at 48 and 50, but for the most part they are rich, mainstream gasbags and conservative dickheads. . . .

When three of the top liberal pundits in the country are actually comedians (no matter how funny), you know there's a problem.

But hey, the fact that a sociopath like Michael Savage even makes the list should tell you just how screwed up our national discourse really is."

But, the essence is the misinformation.

Truly stupid arguments are given prominent play. (See "Supply-side economics")

And, the Right-Wing gets to have its own truthiness and facts.

This isn't just about low-information voters. This is about a Justice of the Supreme Court basing his opinion on an "urban legend". Think Progress » Report: Scalia’s Claim That Released Gitmo Prisoners Have Killed Americans Is An ‘Urban Legend’

Update and Self-comment: Trying to write a cogent, coherent blogpost of finite length is hard work. Never have I admired the work of Digby more than when I got to the end of writing this abject failure of a post.

If anyone should read this, I apologize. I use this blog as a kind of diary, where I take notes. Oh, well.

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