Monday, October 24, 2016

Conservative Media Reckoning

This is a great article that I think really points the finger at what caused Trump in the first place. Conservative talk show host John Ziegler is quoted extensively in this morning's Business Insider...

“I find it rather ironic that most Republicans claim to be ardent capitalists, because if politics was like an investment issue, on November 9 there would be a whole lot of people who would lose their jobs and careers forever,” the talk show host said.

“If someone said there was no chance of a crash in the financial industry and it turns out there was a massive crash, the marketplace takes care of that,” Ziegler continued. “Those people are done. And their influence in the future becomes greatly diminished if not eviscerated.”

In this case, however, Ziegler warned that “those who were wrong [in 2016] have an enormous power to control the narrative.”

“Drudge, Breitbart, Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, [Laura] Ingraham — those people are completely invested in another false narrative to cover up the first false narrative,” he said. “[A]nd if there’s one thing I have ever learned in life, it is far easier to dupe people than to convince them that they have been duped.”

That last line is pure brilliance.

I've been saying this for years. When people don't have to read, hear or see actual news, and instead they can read, see or hear the news they wish was true, you are doomed as a democracy. The job of the press is to tell us what is actually happening.

The mainstream press is still bound by journalistic standards. They are reporters--news gatherers. They may be personally liberal (nearly all of them probably lean that way based on my experience), but they don't ignore reality. They still hunt the big story. They live for those scoops. It's in their DNA. They would never cover up a big scoop just because it goes against their politics. To believe that is to willfully ignore the essence of what makes a reporter.

But half of the country now believes that the mainstream press is only interested in pushing a political agenda. They think the system is rigged because their candidate is getting hammered. So, they only listen to their own openly-partisan media, who is telling them not to believe the actual press.

But here's the thing: It's not media bias to focus more on the insane things Trump says (pushing conspiracy theories as facts) than on the details of John Podesta's hacked e-mails. One is potentially going to be the president, and is causing the United States to be a punchline all over the world. The other shows a political organization acting politically. Unseemly, yes. Calculated, yes. Surprising--not in the slightest.

The mainstream press has the ratio just right.