I recently heard another establishment-media journalist bemoan the loss of influence of his club of establishment-media journalists. He condescendingly scorned the rise and increasing influence of non-members of his club – primarily bloggers and conservative talk radio. I decided that self-centered, narcissistic whining needed to be answered.
I, of course, scorn the remaining continued influence of his club of “professional” journalists due to the great damage they inflict on the country. But even putting that aside, those “professional” journalists are a disgrace to the ideals of their profession. Their organizations range from bad to terrible. Even the most “esteemed” among them are bad, or worse. I and others have documented that. Indeed, whole groups exist to address their shortcomings.
While naturally there is a range in quality among us non-establishmenters, we actually do a better job at the professionals’ job than they do. To wit:
We don’t load up our copy with meaningless words like “aging”, “sprawling”, and “popular” to fill out supposedly scarce newsprint or airtime. Additional common media establishment examples are “quietly…” [name action by a disfavored entity], and the universal use of “militant,” in worship at the altar of political correctness, as a substitute for “terrorist”.
We non-establishmenters have some judgment, and thus, as a group can and do actually report news on a broad spectrum of issues and developments, rather than just aping each others’ reporting on the inanities of the week. (Perhaps that correlates with not finishing in the bottom quartile of our graduating classes.) It never ceases to amaze me how flipping the dial virtually always results in getting different networks reporting the same take on the same stories, no matter how trivial or inane they are, and no matter how many other vital stories are begging to be reported. (It is remarkable even knowing that Editor and Publisher reported that “Every Night the ‘NY Times’ and ‘Wash Post’ Exchange Front Pages for the Following Day”.)
Here are a few examples of the stories of no consequence that the establishment media lavishly devotes their “precious” airtime to, to the exclusion of what an informed citizenry needs to know about:
- Category 1 hurricane may make landfall 3000 miles away (or is swirling in the ocean)
- Someone who you never heard of is missing
- Someone who you never heard of was shot
- Someone who you have heard of, but was of no consequence, has been dead for a week
You might think that some part of the establishment media would seriously report on the constitutional issues involved in the continuing expansion of the reach of the federal government, or the long-term economic implications of current government policy – but you would be wrong. Issues such as those, and others of true import are regularly addressed by the non-club members that the establishment media so disdains.
Is it an ideology or ignorance throughout the establishment media that is responsible for its neglect of the real issues? Probably both, but obviously there is also a herd mentality at work. Their perception that their lowest-common-denominator product maximizes profit is also a factor (or maximizes audience, in the case of government-sponsored, taxpayer-funded “public broadcasting”).
And we non-establishmenters don’t share the rank hypocrisy of our “esteemed” establishment media colleagues — a hypocrisy so blind that it routinely claimed with a straight face that Governor Sarah Palin did not have the executive experience to be qualified to be Vice-President, while never questioning that the Democrat candidate, who had no executive experience, was qualified to be President.
The establishment media’s rank hypocrisy and partisanship even extends to what books they will review (not to mention how they review them). They won’t even review a bestseller Liberty and Tyranny by conservative Mark Levin (on this date #77 on Amazon, more than seven months after its publication), but they lavish reviews on a book entitled The Death of Conservatism (now #18,000 on Amazon, 2 months after its publication).
It might be nice if members of the establishment media would occasionally level with their customers about their ideologies and partisanship – and perhaps even to seriously study how that affects their reporting and their product. But don’t hold your breath.
Even if you don’t agree with the alternative community of bloggers and talk radio, you need us to tell you what the establishment media isn’t telling you. If others had paid attention to what we were saying last year, they might have helped avert the political disaster that befell us one year ago, and will continue to haunt us for years to come.