Friday, May 30, 2008

Mainstream Media Defensiveness Indicates More of Same Is Likely In Future

Media Matters - "Media Matters"; By Jamison Foser
Does anybody who isn't employed by or related to George Bush still deny that the administration wasn't truthful about Iraq? Or that the news media could have done a better job in the months preceding the war?

This was a rhetorical question in the article, but the answer is "yes", unfortunately. Who are these who think the media did just a fine job of covering the run-up to the war? Well, the media themselves. I watched David Gregory defend himself with disgust on Hardball. Read this article Nieman Watchdog > Commentary > A refresher on how the press failed the people for more examples, but also some examples where the press rightly criticized itself. Given that even many journalists and media outlets have actually admitted some level of failing, it is even more baffling how many still claim that everything was as good as it could have been. This article is also notable in that it has larger excerpts from McClellan's book criticizing the press than have been covered elsewhere.

It is too bad that someone hasn't trotted out the names of the media executives who were quashing critical stories. I'd like to see some of them in the spotlight and hear their response to the charges.

The bottom line of course is that those media correspondents who are being so defensive indicate that they don't think they needed to do anything differently so we'll probably continue to see the same kinds of shoddy journalism and amplification of talking points that overemphasize distortions or lies.
The press amplifies the talking points of one or both parties in its coverage, thereby spreading distortions, half-truths, and occasionally outright lies in an effort to seize the limelight and have something or someone to pick on. And by overemphasizing conflict and controversy and by reducing complex and important issues to convenient, black-and-white story lines and seven-second sound bites the media exacerbate the problem, thereby making it incredibly hard even for well-intentioned leaders to clarify and correct the misunderstandings and oversimplifications that dominate the political conversation.

Exactly. Too bad it had to come so late Scott.

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