8 April 2008


Listening to the quality of content on the public radio media studies shows (On the Media, etc.) reminds me that it isn't the hateful patriotism of conservative talk radio that returns some power to citizens (no matter how much they crow that they are), nor is it PBS as a whole who almost without exception fell down on the job with the Iraq war, nor that idiotic Air America Radio with its reverse vitriol, and of course no more hatred needs to be heaped on the MSM. It's the media shows and media sites (FactCheck, etc.) that begin to allow the people to decide that a quality truth will get reported. Optimistically, we're on the first steps to fewer repeated lies becoming true.

Bill Moyer's special, Buying the War, showed only two reporters who researched, read, and exposed the lies as they were happening. Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel did what everyone should have been doing but were too few to be heard. However, on corporate control of the media, Landay says:

I'm not sure that the failure of major news media to delve into the Bush administration's case for invading Iraq can be totally blamed on corporate consolidation and control of big media. Knight Ridder was (and The McClatchy Co.) is the second largest publisher of newspapers in the United States and one of the largest in the world. KR was and McClatchy is mainstream media, with more than 30 newspapers and multiple websites and many other publications. But there was never a point where Knight Ridder's corporate leadership tried to rein us in or interfere with our reporting. On the contrary, we received only the strongest encouragement and unwavering support from KR's top executives. This was all about journalism. We simply did our jobs. Our editors had faith that our work was accurate and so did their bosses. [emphasis mine]

Behind this observation is repeated what many of us believed: the public was more to blame for the war--whether from misguided vengeance, investigative laziness, racism, or simple 2+2=5, bootlicking ignorance. And when I listen to Brian Lehrer or Leonard Lopate on WNYC, I hear reasoned discussions without straw men or kowtowing to a liberal audience. They treat their listeners, to borrow Jon Stewart's quote, as though they're adults. Imagine, reasonable discussions of passionate beliefs taking over the media and kicking out the, to paraphrase an Obama quote I can't find, shallowness of the past decade.

OK, enough of this optimism...

[ posted by sstrader on 8 April 2008 at 7:44:47 PM in Culture & Society ]