Sunday, April 3, 2016

How To Tell That It's A Slow News Day

From a website I looked at today:


Magpie said...

It's not a slow news day.
The implications of the leaks from Mossack Fonseca are enormous.
"12 current or former heads of state and at least 60 people linked to current or former world leaders in the data..."

But just a cursory look at US newspapers online has me thinking they've kind of buried it. Hope I'm wrong. Maybe the news cycle is still catching up or maybe they don't really want to talk about it?

isaac said...

I've got extensive print journalism experience, and I can safely say that one of the reasons the state of the mainstream media stinks so loudly is that too many reporters simply don't know or understand the facts or issues. There are a lot of reasons for the abysmal state of the "news" in the mainstream--which I won't go into--but one of the manifestations we see foisted on the public is simplistic "he said/she said" reporting. Way too many "reporters" simply pass along what they've been told, with no fact checking. We end up with crap like climate change deniers getting equal time with climatologists, creationists getting equal time with biologists and other serious scientists, etc. You are in trouble when a news outlet has a tagline with any variant of "You Decide." That's a dead giveaway that they don't know, so they'll leave it up to you to decide which side is the one with the facts.

Believe me, this Mossack Fonseca story is much too complicated and nowhere near "sexy" enough for most of the "journalists" I've reluctantly had to call "colleagues."

Green Eagle said...

Well, I only meant to have a little fun with these click-bait con men who were so stupid as to post links to the same article three times in one place, but you both bring up a very interesting development that certainly deserves a hell of a lot more attention than it is getting. I must say that, at this point, I haven't seen enough to really grasp the enormity of it, but as soon as I do, I will have something to say about something which, as so often happens for people like us, is not news, but just the long past due confirmation of something we all knew to be true.

As for the reporters not understanding the issues, I have heard such explanations many times before, and while it may be true that many reporters may be stupid and gullible, what these explanations never explain is why this phenomenon has a decades-long unbroken record of always favoring Republicans. I think there is a reason why this sort of person is hired; it suits the purpose of their bosses. No one tells reporters or bought politicians what to do any more; that is too messy. So much more economical to see to it that people who get into those positions know perfectly well what their real job is, and are paid handsomely to do a good job of it.

isaac said...

GE, I don't know how many times I've been at a press conference and a reporter from another news outlet would ask some incredibly inane question that starkly revealed that that reporter has no clue what's going on. Maybe I'll say more about that another time.

But there is a trend I've noticed locally and then nationwide. Media is trending toward hiring younger, inexperienced people to report. It's harder and harder for an established news veteran to stay employed. I've seen the local major newspaper buy out their older staff and replace them with people just out of college with no experience, younger people who haven't established themselves yet, are more pliable and less likely to stand up for themselves or ask embarrassing questions. And I saw the paper across the river do the exact same thing. I've been personally affected by this.

One thing I've experienced is the youngster at a press event ask the politician questions of equivalent gravity as "Our viewers would like to know, just why you are so incredibly awesome?" Or almost literally, "If you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be and why?" And I am not exaggerating by very much.

I could go on about problems, but I won't for now. I will just say, more in keeping with your original post, the widespread movement toward requiring that the news must be "entertaining" is a factor--"infotainment." And the news must be profitable.

It's watered down every area of our national discourse, and has greatly enabled Donald Trump, among other things. We are paying for dumbing down the news in all kinds of ways and cheapening the level of discourse.

Could you have imagined even the GOP Klown Kar KavalKade of 2012 presidential candidates getting into a dick measuring contest--in a DEBATE?

Enough for now.

Green Eagle said...

And I must add that this problem is totally prevalent in all of the media, and I expect that it is common all over the dysfunctional world that is American Capitalism today. My wife was formerly a senior executive at a major motion picture studio, and she saw this constantly, until it eventually claimed her too. With hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, the people who did the hiring replaced senior people with long track records, with juniors who would work for half the price, apparently satisfied that the saving of a couple hundred thousand a year in someone's salary was a great deal, even if it resulted in unsalable movies.

So, I totally agree with your observations. However, as I have said, this still does not explain the decades-long record of journalistic malfeasance always working in favor of the Republicans. Yes, there is a lot of stupidity involved, but there is a lot of corruption and dirty dealing too. Maybe I'm just more cynical than you, which might or might not be justified, but when it comes to the right in this country, it's hard to be more cynical than they deserve.

I'm enjoying discussing this with you, by the way- you haven't even called me a butt fucking faggot yet- and would be happy to hear if you have any more to say.

isaac said...

Happy? If I have more to say? Okay...but you really should be careful what you wish for.

As for the right wing dominance of the media, I do not need to tell one as informed as yourself that that was planned, orchestrated, achieved and maintained decades ago. You can go to sources like the Powell Memo, drafted by right winger Lewis Powell, who went on to become a Supreme Court Justice

You are also fully aware of the demise of the Fairness Doctrine under Reagan, which enabled the rise of right wing hate radio.

And I know I don't have to point out that the vast majority of the mainstream media is owned by right wingers with an agenda. It's not news that their number one goal has been to play their part in establishing the "right wing permanent majority" in this country. The right has always well understood the importance of and use of media to propagandize.

There are people in this country who are of voting age and have started families who have never experienced real media in its best form, the way the Founders intended. They intended for the press to have teeth, to be the watchdog on behalf of the public, and to keep the public informed. I think, IIRC, Jefferson advocated a strong and independent press, because democracy works best with an informed citizenry. The press is just about the only profession named by name in the Constitution, and its mention is accompanied by the idea that it is to remain free of government interference.

I have made the mistake of mentioning this in job interviews. I have a very good track record in journalism--I have won several awards, two for investigative journalism. But the folks running mainstream media do NOT want to hear about the Constitution, and they don't want to sponsor investigative work. Look , for example, how far the venerated 60 Minutes has fallen.

There was a time when someone would see Mike Wallace on the doorstep and run and jump out a window in the back. Now, I can't watch it, for celebrity interviews and soft, fluffy crap. They've run complete bullshit by the likes of Lara Logan and Cheryl Atkisson. Look at how cozy Judith Miller was with the Bu$h ll administration, when they were setting us up for endless war in the Mideast, and how that same paper, the New York Times, played such a major role in starting the whole bullshit Whitewater story, and how they were there all along, egging things on until they culminated in Bill Clinton's impeachment.

And the list goes on.

Another of the problems with corporate-controlled media is that criticism of corporations is as good as non-existent in the mainstream media.

On the local level, newspaper owners and editors are highly resistant to running stories that might put their advertisers in a bad light. It plays out on the national level, where major corporate and government malfeasance doesn't stand much of a chance of seeing print or air time, except in the most unusual circumstances. I wonder how long it would have been, if it happened at all, that the public would have learned about the Iran Contra scandal under Reagan had Hasenfus' plane not been downed.

And once again, I have a lot more, but I'm not just starting to ramble, I've been rambling.

Maybe we'll continue this, if you see fir to respond. Maybe we could even do it privately sometime(?)

I promise I won't call you a butt fucking faggot, also.

isaac said...

Oh, one more thing...

I mentioned that I have won several awards for my work, but I forgot to mention that it was not for mainstream media work. It was when I wrote for a small alternative paper. I wouldn't--and don't--have a chance in the mainstream. I don't sanitize my work.

Paul Wartenberg said...

those ads links pretending to be news reports are meaningless. they clutter up websites and don't provide genuine factual information. it's the front headlines with 4/5ths of their links tied into TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP that are more worrisome.

Green Eagle said...

As I said above, of course these sites are nothing but annoying con men. I just thought it was funny that they posted the same story three times in one space.

Dikran Hagopian said...

Has there ever been a Hollywood executive or media bigwig who wasn't deeply defective?

Green Eagle said...

Dikran, since you apparently live in the Middle East, I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you never knew a Hollywood executive in your life, and are just shouting out the crap you learned from reading right wing websites. I've known many, and most are normal people just like the rest of us.

And once again, you have insulted my wife, who spent the best part of her career as a senior executive at a major motion picture studio. This is the second time you've done that, and I am sure she would not appreciate your derision.