Do you feel sorry for the media?

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by Jon Friedman
May 25, 2013 12:27 PM
3 Comments
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These are hard times to call yourself a journalist.

The digital revolution continues to make newspapers resemble endangered factories from the last economic generation. The media industry still can't wrap its arms around the confounding reality that a bunch of brilliant engineers in Silicon Valley have created. As the movie title goes, Reality Bites.

Meanwhile, our smiling, dashing POTUS, boasting enviable approval ratings in his lame-duck term, can have it both ways. One day, he's yukking it up at the White House Correspondent's Dinner and the next, he seems determined to drive the media into a crouch. He has taken on news companies as different as the Associated Press and the Fox News Channel, in an unmistakable effort to show the media who's the boss.

CNN and others messed up the Boston Marathon bombing story to an embarrassing degree. Wolf Blitzer's ridiculous question about God during the Oklahoma tornado tragedy will go down in the YouTube Hall of Blunders. Like I said, it has been a rough period.

So what? Do you feel sorry for us in the beleaguered fourth estate? Probably not. Who's kidding who.

Journalists have always bitched that they're underpaid and under loved. It's true, but again, the key question -- so what? Anyone who ever watched Lou Grant on TV -- the ultimate newsroom show -- must've figured that a reporter's strongest job quality was an ability to drink a lot of coffee with going to the bathroom and cracking one-liners.

The American public doesn't care abut our problems. And it shouldn't. All they want is for us to show common sense and deliver the breaking news everyday in an accurate, fair-minded way -- and we have trouble performing those fundamental tasks. We keep getting stories wrong and displaying an elitist slant, to boot.

Journalists have begun to compare President Obama's media treatment with that of Richard Nixon, who arguably hated the media more than any human being who has ever lived. That's serious stuff for Obama. But so far, as long as he can create some jobs and keep the stock market fat, the people will show support for his policies.

If he has to drag down the media industry, that's OK with them.

But the President also has to answer for the Benghazi hearings and the mortifying Internal Revenue Service scandal. He should remember that journalists always get the last word. Always.





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3 Comments

  • JG | May 25, 2013 2:50 PMReply

    Obama is worse than Nixon, and he smiles while stabbing us in the backs and burning the Constitution.

    http://politicalfilm.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/yes-its-that-bad/

    The problem is that the media works for the same assholes that Obama works for. This fundamental corruption at the heart of a corporatist/fascist society never makes it to print int he corporate mainstream. The US media is censored and filled with deliberate distractions from the real events. Their idea of investigative journalism is a sad, sick joke. By design. They usually have the nimrods asking the wrong questions. By design.

  • No | May 25, 2013 1:08 PMReply

    "But the President also has to answer for the Benghazi hearings and the mortifying Internal Revenue Service scandal. He should remember that journalists always get the last word. Always."

    Where was the media fabled "last words" in regard to the two most spectacular media failures of the last 10 years: the lead up to the Iraq War and the financial meltdown of 2008? The press rolled over and didn't question the Bush administration's rationale for invading Iraq. The press did scant reporting on the brewing mess that undergirded the financial crises.

    Paul Farhi wrote an incredibly self-serving piece in the March 24 edition of the Washington Post, "Did the media blow it on Iraq?" According to Farhi, the media did a better job than given credit. However, in this piece, that boasted glowing examples of articles that questioned the Bush administration, he basically glossed over the infamous article that written by NY Times' Judith Miller, who was spoon fed lies by the Bush administration and then Bush officials would go on Television and quote the New York Times article they had ghostwritten. This article, alomng with other written by Miller, was considered instrumental in pushing country closer to war. Bill Moyers' Journaal looked at the issue in his "Buying the War" and so Frank Rich in "The Greatest Story Ever Sold."

    Even more interesting for a supposedly media critic, Farhi made no mentioning of Fox News and how it was beating the war drums. He mentions reporters at the Post, the Times, Knight Ridder, WSJ, and Newsweek, but nothing about that one medium that most Americans get their news from: TV.

    Let's be clear: most fact-based journalism died between 2003 and 2008. The press is only interested in the so-called scandals because it is easier to push something as a "scandal" than investigate the nuts and bolts of government operations, something the press is getting increasingly bad and incompetent.

    I voted for Obama twice, but never for once believed his statement about his administration will be the "most transparent." He changed his position on three issue on the eve of getting his party's nomination, and that convinced me that he was a just another politician but with a unique background, along with a gift for telling people what they wanted to hear.

  • Asylum | May 25, 2013 12:50 PMReply

    That is perhaps the dumbest conclusion you could have possibly reached from this piece... Because the media keeps sticking its foot in its mouth, Obama is Richard Nixon? Perhaps you should take an objective look at history and the record of Nixon.
    I guess this makes you part of the problem, too. Please don't say anything like this on camera. I'm sure you would go viral like Wolf Blitzer as well.
    Why doesn't the media just get its act together? How about that? There's a concept. Stop drawing false equivalences. Meanwhile, Obama's playing rope-a-dope and watching you guys punch yourselves out - or punch yourselves in the face, whichever.
    Get it together.

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