My Photo

SWLiP's Blogroll

The Little SWLiPsters

  • 100_0603
    Pics of the SWLiP family and other stuff.

« I've been remiss in my blogging, this week... | Main | A Reactionary Tale From the Gutt »

February 27, 2005

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341ca0f253ef00d83422f31553ef

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Demands for MSM accountability on Iraq:

» "Hotel Journalists" Rooting For Failure in Iraq? from Ace of Spades HQ
Great article from Prospect Magazine excerpted by Normblog: January 30th turned out to be a better day for Iraqis than it was for reporters. The failure of "hotel journalism" might be forgivable if it were truly about prudence or even... [Read More]

» Birthday Blog Break from ShenzhenRen
Too lazy to write today. It's my birthday, so I'm busy fantasizing about chocolate-covered raspberries, Cuban cigars, a set of bicycle tools, and books by Victor Hugo (hint, hint). Instead of me writing, here are some bits of genius from others: Pit... [Read More]

Comments

dougf

"But the MSM's distortions, and even their attempt to throw a Presidential election as an expression of opposition to the war, will be forgotten."

Not by me,and I would be willing to bet,not by many,many,many,others either.Once you see the true face of something,it is impossible to put the mask back in place and simply go back to what was.
An accurate,if perhaps obscure,example would be the "V" television series.Once you saw the live rodent being devoured,reality and reference points were never the same again.

MG

As a lad, I saw that "V" episode. I think it was the first time I had seen such special effects, and I was sufficiently "grossed out" never to have forgotten it.

*shiver*

MG

PS: I give no credence to any MSM outlets anymore. It leaves me at risk, I know, but what can I do?

veryretired

Too often, the story of what might be wrong with the MSM is approached as a matter of bias. The right claims leftist bias, the left claims rightist bias, and the media claims they must be somewhere in the middle, if both sides are critical.

But this continuing argument presupposes that the claim of objectivity had some validity to begin with, and that such a state could possibly be achieved sometime in the future, if only the MSM corrected this flaw or that assumption. There is no evidence that such a neutral media ever existed, and it is pointless to try to invent it out of thin air.

The real question, and the truly valid criticism, is why the media are so utterly trivial and superficial in their reporting. While it might be acceptable that "Headline News" just hits the high points, it is certainly unacceptable that several 24 hour a day news channels, not to mention major newspapers and magazines, can't find anything more significant to spend untold hours of time reporting about than the most recent celebrity murder, or the trial of a pathetic, deformed ex-superstar who may or may not have molested some little boy.

"Network" was made about 30 years ago. The description of the news content by Faye Dunnaway's character as tabloid gossip, fires, shootings, and lost puppies, is just as accurate today as it was then. For that matter, the travesty she turned the news show into was prescient. Fortune tellers, public opinion polls, and mad prophets are about par for the course these days.

David Robbins

The degree to which the MSM participates in this overt selective memorary only shows what a sham this whole idea of jouranlists providing context really is. By following the smoking car bombers, they are enabling the terror factions and hindering our leaders.

There has been no conserted effort to leave the hotel lobbies, which disqualifies them from presenting any type of view save for the fantasies of a Jason Blair. We've really wasted a lot our time, haven't we.

Гриша

I think it is not so bleak. The swift prosecution of Rathergate and Easongate points to some changes ahead.

Howard

The linked articles remind of my experiences as part of the Maritime Component staff in Bahrain during OIF Phase III (main offensive) operations. I worked nights during our 24-hour operations...so I would wake up at about 1600 and turn on CNNI or BBCI as I rode the life cycle. I recall once becoming dejected at how we were "overextended" and caught in a "seemingly intractable quagmire" by the stiffer than expected Iraqi resistance. One of my first tasks at work was to attend a VTC of some of the primary warfighting staffs involved in the conflict. As we "went around the horn" I heard about entire Iraqi divisions being annihilated and plans being right on track. That was the last time I ever took the MSM seriously.

I am sure that there are some individual reporters that are moral and principled, but as an institution the MSM makes me want to vomit.

Mr. Snitch

"But when will journalists be held to account for getting every major development in the war on terror wrong?"

The question is not 'when' but 'who'. If the 'who' is MSM journalists, the 'when' is - never. Because you don't sh•t wher you eat. You don't criticize someone who you don't want going after you in revenge or spite. Those who do will find no support (remember Stephen Brill's content?) or worse, will be shunned as whistleblowers. Don't wait for MSM to self-correct (when you hear a MSM apologist telling you they will, you're hearing a today looking to move up the food chain). It won't, it can't, for the same institutional reasons why we needed media as a "fourth estate" in the first place.

Don't hold your breath waiting for cross-media journalistic criticism, either. At one point there was a belief that different media would self-correct out of competitive spirit. Radio would criticize TV coverage, newspapers would criticize TV, and so on. And it did happen to some degree- when radio and TV were in infancy. But such criticisms were simply sneering at something new and 'lowbrow'. Stage actors looked down on TV, newspapers held TV (and to a lesser degree, radio in the early days) in contempt as something for 'people who can't read'. Radio distained TV as radio for people without imagination. (The nature of these criticisms, by the way, sounded like a lot of commentary offered by MSM re bloggers today.) But the crits rarely extended to pointing out journalistic inaccuracies in other media. Even cross-media, there is a 'brotherhood'.

What WILL correct the media, and is in fact doing so now, are the loosely-knit community of self-starting writers and, yes, journalists called bloggers. Their agenda is (generally) the same as journalists- advancement within the ranks. This translates as attention. The way to get it, however, is not to go along but to make waves. This is what rankles so many within MSM - they cannot do that, it's suicide.

MSM is probably correct in accusing bloggers of erring on the side of criticism towards them. Praise doesn't move the hit counter the same way a nice fat expose does. (I'm not saying bloggers never praise, just pointing out a fact of life re what moves eyeballs.)

It doesn't matter, though, whether bloggers are 'too' critical of MSM. The fact is, they are the ONLY source of correction MSM will get. Thank God it's happening.

Mr. Snitch

"But when will journalists be held to account for getting every major development in the war on terror wrong?"

The question is not 'when' but 'who'. If the 'who' is MSM journalists, the 'when' is - never. Because you don't sh•t wher you eat. You don't criticize someone who you don't want going after you in revenge or spite. Those who do will find no support (remember Stephen Brill's content?) or worse, will be shunned as whistleblowers. Don't wait for MSM to self-correct (when you hear a MSM apologist telling you they will, you're hearing a today looking to move up the food chain). It won't, it can't, for the same institutional reasons why we needed media as a "fourth estate" in the first place.

Don't hold your breath waiting for cross-media journalistic criticism, either. At one point there was a belief that different media would self-correct out of competitive spirit. Radio would criticize TV coverage, newspapers would criticize TV, and so on. And it did happen to some degree- when radio and TV were in infancy. But such criticisms were simply sneering at something new and 'lowbrow'. Stage actors looked down on TV, newspapers held TV (and to a lesser degree, radio in the early days) in contempt as something for 'people who can't read'. Radio distained TV as radio for people without imagination. (The nature of these criticisms, by the way, sounded like a lot of commentary offered by MSM re bloggers today.) But the crits rarely extended to pointing out journalistic inaccuracies in other media. Even cross-media, there is a 'brotherhood'.

What WILL correct the media, and is in fact doing so now, are the loosely-knit community of self-starting writers and, yes, journalists called bloggers. Their agenda is (generally) the same as journalists- advancement within the ranks. This translates as attention. The way to get it, however, is not to go along but to make waves. This is what rankles so many within MSM - they cannot do that, it's suicide.

MSM is probably correct in accusing bloggers of erring on the side of criticism towards them. Praise doesn't move the hit counter the same way a nice fat expose does. (I'm not saying bloggers never praise, just pointing out a fact of life re what moves eyeballs.)

It doesn't matter, though, whether bloggers are 'too' critical of MSM. The fact is, they are the ONLY source of correction MSM will get. Thank God it's happening.

Mr. Snitch

I apologize for the double-comment... TypePad quirk or some such glitch. Maybe a MSM conspiracy.

Dan

It would be nice to see some accountability from center/left and left politicians, academics, etc., like Jimmy Carter and Ted Kennedy. These guys have been wrong on the two most important issues of the post WWII era: the Cold War and the War on Terror.

Abu Qa'Qa

We need an objective MSM just as we need a viable party of opposition. At the moment we have neither. In fact, the one (MSM) has become the bullhorn for the other. The MSM response to prodding from the blogosphere is to circle the wagons. They blame bloggers for getting Rather and Eason fired! How incredible is that? The embarrassing actions of these men finally forced their own managements to fire them. The blogosphere has no such power, nor should it have it nor want it.

The democrats only offer obstruction and no new ideas. Their response to election 2004 is to elect a DNC Chairman who "hates Republicans and all they stand for"! How do we have a dialog with folks like that, how do we get to discuss the really critical isssues of the day? They trash Bush's Social Security initiative yet offer no alternative. They paint Bush as some destroyer of the system. I don't get it. What's in it for him? He isn't going to need SS in his lifetime, why would he take it on if he didn't feel it needs changes to survive?

I'm one of only 62,000,000 who voted for Bush. For the dems to get back in office they need some of our Red State votes, Right now the MSM and the dems are marginalizing and insulting me. What are they thinking?

SWLiP

Mr. Snitch:

I think that the "circular firing squad" analogy applies to your comments.

Thanks for reading.

Bob McNutt

There are none so blind as those that will not see.

Levitas

Let's step back a bit. Rather than ponder the issues of MSM spite and bias, why not consider a more fundamental problem.. these guys are not very bright. That's a pretty snarky thing to say, but it helps explain a lot of the ignorant, dumb things these people say and do.

Brevitas

The MSM is still in the "circling the wagons" mode. By the time they discover that the new media has left them in the dust it will be all over but the memoirs. And no one will read those.

Berend de Boer

Who cares about the MSM? They're targeting a different segment of the market. Not us. Long live the blogs.

jb

I'm wondering if some in the media are starting to worry about their place in history. If things continue the way they are, and quite cataclysmic changes in the Middle East for the better do occur, its quite possible that the media's attempt to influence the war on terror (in particular Iraq) will be almost as big a historical story as the change itself.
It’s not hard to imagine an assignment given to students 20 years from now along the lines of "Describe the negative ramifications of bias media". If Iraq continues on its course and become a sort of Middle East Japan, how many of those students do you think will focus on Iraq?
If you were a journalist, would you like to remembered like that?

furious_a

"But the MSM's distortions, and even their attempt to throw a Presidential election as an expression of opposition to the war, will be forgotten."

True, especially by those of us who will have long before since cancelled our LA Times' subscriptions, or turned away permanently from CNN, or reach for the remote whenever we hear the ticking of 60 Minutes Wednesday's stopwatch.

That is...until the next "fake but accurate" hit piece sends the latest MSM dinosaur lumbering toward the Tar Pits.

What the MSM don't realize or refuse to acknowledge is that the public they supposedly serve no longer defers to them as the News Gathering Caste, and has superimposed a laughtrack over their output.

--furious

TmjUtah

The failure of media to report objectively on Iraq, the WoT, or even our domestic political squabbles is not an aberration - it's their stock in trade. There are still enough editors/producers/publishers that truly believe they have some control over events simply because they are in the position of chronicling them.

I'm not very tech savvy. I have read a lot of history, was able to travel quite a bit of the world back in the eighties, and have been online since the mid- nineties. I embrace the web as an information tool without equal... but have to constantly, endlessly cross check important stories or merely remember to make sure I know something about the ideological track record of whoever posts what I am reading - be they media or just private citizens.

We don't get good news. "Good" can mean either "accurate" or "factual" or even just "good" since the filter of the market and the club that strains the product often leaves just the stuff that bleeds or simply serves to advance a pet agenda.

I loathe the EU. I believe that the parasites of Brussels are beneath contempt; worse than mobsters. I am aghast at the electorate that would saddle themselves with such a ... such a socialist whackjob utopic dictatorship just like we would be if the United States hadn't elected Reagan. Talk about a dodged bullet.

I know that the deck is stacked to prevent the people of Europe from controlling the EU governing entity. I know that less than forty percent of the continent bother to vote in most EU referendums. But I don't know anything beyond the french and Germans loathe us because our media never varies from that line.

Seems to me that the Euro anti war demonstrations have gotten smaller. My personal contacts with Euroes on the web are constantly encouraging; there are people over there who get it, people who are as disgusted with socialism and appeasement as any card carrying Red Stater.

I don't know what kind of media we will have in a decade, but I bet it will much heavier on news and lots, lots lighter on personalities. I hope.

Al Reasin

I didn't believe the media during the Vietnam War, but I had limited alternatives. But today I have FOX and the milblogs. I ignore the MSM except to see what they have missed. It is sad to see supposed professionals tainting the news while maintaining that they are objective.

Fluffy Bunny

I just trust President Bush these days. He said, "Mission Accomplished" and that's all I need to know.

Patrick Campbell

I wondered too when MSM would be held accountable for their failings, then realized that it is already happening. The self-importance and self-assuredness in the face of their failures is breathtaking...and their downfall no less fun to watch.

Fluffy Bunny

I don't trust the MSM because I can't read critically, so I don't read it at all.

The comments to this entry are closed.