The American News Media Sucks

Louisiana floods. Tens of thousands flee their destroyed homes. Billions of dollars in damage. Unknown number of deaths. Huge natural disaster.

But several days in and I’m still running into people who are like, huh? A flood in Louisiana? You mean Hurricane Katrina, right?  They haven’t heard a thing about it.

That’s because the American news media looks at every single event and asks itself a few simple questions before they decide how much coverage to give something.

First, is there anything we can milk from this story to bolster our worldview? Y/N

Yes. Cover the shit out of it 24/7 breathless panic attack, and demands that we DO SOMETHING. (said something is almost always give the government more power).

No? Meh.

Second, is there anything in this story which could potentially make democrats look bad? Y/N

Yes? What emails? Fuck you.

No? See #3.

Third, is there anything in this story which will make republicans look stupid or evil? Y/N

Yes? Holy shit! Run it! Run it! New Orleans has been utterly destroyed because George Bush controls the weather and hates black people and his incompetence and evil racism has ruined this once beautiful American icon of– (and put that on a loop for the next three weeks)

No? Do we need any filler?

#2 and #3 are for most major media since they predominantly swing left, but for Fox you can just flip the democrat/republican, and they’re just as bad.

Fourth, does this event in some way affect us personally?  Y/N

Yes? DROP EVERYTHING! RUN THIS OR WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!

No? Eh… we’ll talk about it for a minute if we’re not too busy.

My favorite example of that last one was from several years ago. Different flood, Tennessee this time. And a river was about to break its banks. About fifty thousand homes were in immediate danger. The news was in the middle of saying which counties needed to run for their lives so as to not drown—

WE INTERUPT THIS REPORT FOR A VERY IMPORTANT BREAKING STORY

And then, I shit you not, the news flipped to Times Square in New York City, where GASP, somebody left a cooler unattended. COULD IT BE A BOMB?! This is literally down the street from our offices, and Dear God, it could be terrorists! We go now live to where the NYPD has moved people away from this Murder Death Bomb and have called in their Bomb Squad in their big scary Hurt Locker suits. Go ahead NYPD Lieutenant!

Bored looking NYPD cop: “Uh, the bomb guys are gonna go poke it. Don’t worry. There’s no need to panic. It’s probably just a cooler that some tourist forgot, which happens like ten thousand times a day here and at every other tourist spot in the world. Odds are it isn’t terrorism, but we always check to make sure. I don’t even know why you’re filming us.”

You heard the NYPD WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!

And then they covered it for the next forty minutes straight. With the cameras all pointed at this Styrofoam container LIVE because it is going to BLOW any second! And all of these nervous anchors talking about it in hushed tones while I’m thinking, you know, I’ve got friends in Tennessee, I wonder if they’re running in front of a tidal wave right now? And the news was like FUCK SOUTHERNERS CAN’T YOU SEE THERE IS AN UNATTENDED COOLER HERE WHERE WE LIVE?!  Oh, wait… And the NYPD confirms it contains sandwiches.

But then fifteen minutes of analysis about the sandwiches later, and experts pontificating on the fear inherent in unattended sandwiches… what were we talking about before all the excitement? Oh… Yeah… And everybody in Tennessee has died. Very tragic. So anyways, let’s see what this movie star wore to some party none of you were invited to—

If you keep these four simple questions in mind you can predict with quite a bit of accuracy how many minutes of airtime a story gets, the size and position of newspaper columns about it, and how prominent it will be on websites.

Let’s say there was a mass shooting.

#1. The media loves it some gun control, so initial reports will be how we have to DO SOMETHING!

#2. If it turns out to be a white boy off his meds, then they’ll continue to cover the hell out of it. But if it turns out to be a Muslim yelling Allah Akbar right after the democrat president told everybody terror is contained or that if you’re worried about Muslim refugees it can only be because you are racist, then the coverage drops.

#3. Did the current GOP candidate for president say something stupid about the event? (pretty good odds of that!) Let’s talk about his stupid comments about the event instead of the actual event.

#4. All this is moot if it took place somewhere the reporters actually give a damn about. Garland, Texas? Ha!

Change the shooting around. Random good guy shoots the bad guy one minute in? Zero coverage. Which is why when I’m arguing against gun control folks, and I bring up Random Good Guy With Guns making a difference, and they proclaim that never happens, and I immediately list off a dozen… They stare at me blankly. Those events never get reported because of the media world view.

Change it around again. A psycho who has glommed onto Black Lives Matters murders a bunch of cops. That’s a tough one for our noble reporters, because they really want to push gun control, but they’ll let it slip after a day or two so they can go back to their regular narrative about racist cops gunning down choir boys who were just standing on the corner minding their own business.

Are there bad cops making bad shoots? Sure. But you wouldn’t ever know how many because the media is too fucking stupid crying wolf about everything, justified or not, to ever actually delve into anything as complicated as Use of Force laws.

These simple questions explain why some terrorist attacks get covered, and others don’t. If they can spin the terrorist attack to be about gun control, then they’ll cover it a lot. But then when the same exact kind of attack happens in a country that has incredibly strict gun control, it’ll be a human interest tragedy story, which will quickly fade from the American news in a day or two. And if it is a Muslim terrorist attack in a 3rd world country (like the vast majority of them are in reality) then it will get absolutely zero coverage, and very few people in America will have a clue what you’re talking about.

Mumbai? Westgate? Blank stares.

These biased jackasses never come anywhere near the truth. It is all about narratives bolstering existing world views. I’ve been involved in a bunch of news stories over the years, and the resulting reports seldom have anything to do with the reality.

Think about any topic you are an expert on, and then think about how pissed off you get when you see the news fuck it up. Problem is, they suck that much at everything.

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
― Michael Crichton

So we’re all walking around, thinking we’ve got a clue about stuff, when in reality we’ve been fed bullshit by idiots.

The left side of media requires everybody to be secret angry racists (other than them, obviously), and racial incitement makes great TV. So, cop shoots a white dude. Nobody cares. Cop shoots a black dude, before the crime scene people have even finished taking pictures and nobody has a clue what actually happened, it is getting tons of coverage. People get pissed. And if the news gets lucky somebody burns a Walgreens, which makes for great ratings.

If you watch the news you’d think that America was dissolving into this ultra-violent mega crime wave. When in actuality our murder rate is way down (When I was in Europe recently, everybody I talked to thought that America was like Mad Max, which tells me their news sucks as much as ours does) There are a handful of urban areas with lots of violent crime, but the rest of America is actually pretty damned peaceful (probably because we all died in floods the media never covered).

But, see #4. The media is based out of these big urban areas. Which is why they don’t give a shit about Louisiana or the rest of us, unless of course, they can somehow milk our tragedies for political points.

When it comes to politics this bias is taken to an absurd level. There are plenty of legit reasons to despise either presidential candidate. But what is most political coverage about? Stupid minutia, half of which is made up. So when you get into a discussion with a zealot who has been educated by watching their side’s news, the debate turns into clueless garbled soundbytes, and half the time they don’t even have a clue what you’re talking about, because it never made it past #2 or #3 to get covered.

Or worse, it was so big the media had no choice but to cover it, but they did it so flippantly or dismissively that people think it was no big deal, or they go into partisan excuse making damage control mode to minimize it. When in reality it was a colossal fuck up, where if there was any integrity left in the process, the people involved would have gotten tarred and feathered.

No policies are ever looked at based on what they’ll actually do, it is more, rah rah, go team. Notice that when they were trying to pass Obamacare all of the news coverage was sob stories about poor sick people denied coverage? That’s because all of that pesky accounting saying the thing was destined to choke didn’t fit the worldview. And now that it is falling apart (like everybody who could do math predicted it would) is there much coverage? Don’t be silly. Once it implodes I’m sure it will come as a huge shock, which will cause another big crisis which requires them to DO SOMETHING.

This bias is why the news either portrays vets as poor illiterate dupes sucked into the Imperialistic war machine because you couldn’t get real jobs (like a Barista or HuffPo contributor) so somebody needs to DO SOMETHING or you’re a war mongering ticking time bomb of PTSD addled murder rage waiting to explode in an orgy of violence, and somebody needs to DO SOMETHING.

This absurdist, pundit, echo chamber bullshit just keeps getting more and more obnoxious.

Now you assholes can’t even be bothered to talk about one of the biggest natural disasters in recent history, because it might somehow smear your dude.

And after all this, the American news media is simply baffled that nobody trusts them anymore. No shit, Sherlock. That’s because you suck. The sooner you dinosaur hacks plod off and die from shitty ratings, the better off we’ll all be.

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140 thoughts on “The American News Media Sucks”

  1. Well, THAT explains the 24-7 coverage of 4 swimmers partying a little too hard at the Olympics. . . .because that’s RELEVANT. Flooding in Lousiana ? Meh. . . .

    1. How much you want to bet that jock swimmer being a douchebag in Brazil got more minutes of prime time coverage than Louisiana? I don’t know if that’s the case, but call it a hunch.

      1. Considering that about 4 minutes of air-time of the 06:00 news was devoted to the swimmers (and the they were just having fun, it was harmless, bs) this morning and nothing on Louisiana. And only a few lines about the recovery from recent a flash flood in a small MD town.

      2. I live in Houston, practically next door, and I saw more on the news about the swimmers than I did the floods.

      3. I’m pretty sure the “Gawker Crisis” got more coverage than the flood did.

        The Olympics? I’ve been actively avoiding it. My total knowledge:
        -First Gold went to an American shooter, I know that thanks to Wesley Crusher the astounding tool.
        -Some kid’s hair turned green in the pool.
        -Some kid got hurt bike racing.
        -Some kid got a really gross fracture weight lifting.
        -One of the American swimmers is a lying POS.
        -Canada won a bunch of medals in sports nobody plays. Yay!

        The flood? Cajun Navy, and coffins floating down the river, that’s what I know. Oh, and Trump is going down there, while Barry is still playing golf. What Trump and Barry have to do with the flood is nil, but they are successfully making it all about them and Barry didn’t even go.

        1. Until Trump scheduled a visit down there I had not seen any reports of the flooding. WTF! And even then the reporting wasn’t about the flooding it was just mentioned in passing. and based on what I saw you might think the flooding was fairly minor. WTF.

          1. I’ve seen reports, but I’m in TX so we’re kinda almost Next Door to Louisiana. (TX the state. I’m way up in the northwest corner snowy bit.)

      4. It did get more coverage. It’s gotten more coverage than the riots in Milwaukee and the fires in California. Which is why I stopped watching it this past week. The swimmer guy was stupid, he’s going to lose his sponsorships, end of story move on but nope, lets continue to pound this story into the ground and unless those other stories make Trump look bad we don’t care to cover it.

    2. Want to bet that if he’d drowned while swimming in Louisiana, the flooding would have gotten more coverage?

  2. If it helps any, I – in the UK – knew there was flooding in Louisiana within hours because I follow a lot of SEJ (Society for Environmental Journalists) members on Twitter. It was wall-to-wall flooding on their feeds.

    If it didn’t get covered more widely, I guess their editors spiked their stories to cover an unattended cool box or something.

  3. Sadly, both the Classic Left Wing MSM and the Right Wing Alt Media are both pretty terrible.
    The Classic Left Wing MSM tends toward the Mephistopheles model of truthfulness. A lot of what they say is technically true… but with the twisting, slanting, spin, omissions, out of context facts, and loads and loads of weasel words, they’re able to say something that is accurate, but fake.
    Sadly, a lot of the Right Wing Alt Media is not all that much different- especially the sites that use a lot of Bookface clickbait, or the Bookface Political Meme- the literal spawn of Satan. Where as the Left MSM like to twist truth, the Right Alt Media goes right for the tinfoil hats, sensationalism, and wishful thinking.
    I honestly weep for my side- do you not remember that your source was pretty much dead wrong last week… and you’re posting another link how Obama is Hillary’s Secret Muslim Lovechild?

    The American Media truly sucks.

    1. It has to be a shiny toy to get reported. After Katrina I volunteered, and worked in Mississippi for a month and it was hell. All the MSM droids talked about how terrible New Orleans was, and how the people were suffering. NO only got hit with a bad storm surge aggravated by incompetent government . Katrina’s eye went right over Mississippi, and literally destroyed everything in its path for more than 60 miles inland,. How much did you hear about that? But NO was full of good socialist drones who were failed by their mayor and governor, but Bush was the evil monster. I’d volunteer again, but my body has gotten old and cranky, so maybe next time,,,,

      1. Mississippi? Don’t you mean the “landmass” between NOLA and Mobile, AL? /s

        (Actually a shining example of just how shitty the American media is, even on TWC)

  4. last month you couldn’t walk down a street in baton rouge without tripping over a reporter or a BLM protester. This month all the protesters are calling the cops and emergency first responders as fast as they can dial nine one one on their obamaphone.

    yepper…. the media sucks…

  5. … I haven’t heard anything. Why Google cards thought Kim Kardashian walking on a beach or Brady cutting his thumb would be relevant to me but a natural disaster isn’t (especially when I mark “not interested” in every celeb gossip or sports article)…

    Yahoo and MSN have one article each buried about 10 slides in, but they’re both about Trump visiting flooded Louisiana… So the only way a natural disaster makes the top feed is if they can spin it into a political attack piece (#3).

    That’s disappointing. Thanks for the heads up Larry. I’ll be praying for those folks.

  6. There’s also a massive wildfire in Southern California right now that’s not getting any coverage.

    My favorite instance of the media trying to memory hole important news was the Kermit Gosnell case. The media blatantly ignored it (one national newspaper claimed that they weren’t covering it because it was a “local crime story”) until they were shamed into covering it. Meanwhile, they had no trouble running constant stories on some woman named Jodi Arias who was apparently on trial for murder.

    1. In the aftermath of that mess, some guy was screaming about ‘murdered abortion doctors!’ as, apparently, justification for almost anything the left did. I brought up Gosnell, and he had a freaking fit: “I’m SICK of you people bringing that up!”

      They really don’t like it when their bad guys get attention.

      1. Which is quite literally why he was able to get away with murder. Everyone knew that Gosnell’s clinic wouldn’t pass the mandated health inspections. But the news that an abortion clinic might not pass health inspections was seen as potential ammunition for the pro-life crowd, so his clinic didn’t get inspected (which was in defiance of the local laws). He was eventually nailed on his side business of illegally selling prescription drugs. But some of the background on the raid that busted him suggests that law enforcement was fully aware (unofficially, of course) of what was going on in Gosnell’s clinic, and latched onto the drug business as an excuse to “discover” the deaths he was causing.

  7. As a former news junkie, I wrestled with this a good bit. Eventually I asked two questions:
    1: Does the information offered benefit me?

    And then I didn’t bother with the second question. I bailed on most “news”. However, I do like to know what’s going on at a big picture level. In part this is so I can eyeball big trends, but it’s largely for the ego of “knowing”.

    Industry journals, local papers (local stories only) and Stratfor are my primary sources. This leaves a void for US political information.

    For politics, I assume everyone is lying. I never listen to them speak. They’re too good at driving emotions with public speaking. I eye voting records and compare to my political principles.

    For what its worth, this election is pretty easy for me. I live in Texas, and if Mr. Trump doesn’t win Texas, nothing I could do would win him the election. I’m looking down ballot. That will be fascinating.

  8. Mumbai’s terror attack having little coverage – like 99% of Islam related attacks worldwide – has been pissing me off for years. Rabbi getting stabbed by an Allah Akbarian in France? Psssh. Who cares that it just happened lets talk about the liberated Hajibi in the Olympics and why she’s better off than her bikini wearing opponents!

    Stuff like that is why Pauline Hanson’s party got so much power in the last election here. Hell, none of us expected that.

    1. I had to go to the BBC and Straits Times (!) for good coverage of Mumbai. (My parents had stayed in part of that hotel in the 1970s.)

      1. I kept abreast of it by scouring various news sites, and bouncing off the links from Gates of Vienna, Atlas Shrugged, Jihadwatch, and others. Daily Mail reported more on it, I think; I didn’t trust the BBC at that point not to whitewash it, but I guess too many British people died. I remember my mom was surprised that I was getting news ahead of CNN (which she was watching in the living room.)

  9. Stop beating around the bushes, Larry, and tell us what you REALLY think! 😎 Of course you’re correct, it’s just another sign of the “Masters of the Universe” ®© syndrome plaguing media, politics and entertainment. And the Leftist “Progressive’s” have a cboke-hold on all of it.

    1. I take offense to that statement about “Masters of the Universe.”

      He-Man has far too much integrity, and Skeletor would find them a disgrace to the forces of Evil.

  10. When Wikileaks released the DNC emails a couple of weeks ago there was one in which NBC’s political reporter Chuck Todd was essentially called into Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s office because she didn’t like the way one of his stories turned out. The Sunday after these were released, and every Sunday since then, the fucking guy has been the host of Meet The Press where he sits there and continues to act like he’s an unbiased news reporter.

    The fact that news organizations (do I need the “s” at the end, is there more than one?) on the other side of the ideology from MSNBC didn’t make this their lead story is actually more alarming to me. A reluctance to point out when your business competitor is doing something wrong typically means that you’re doing the same thing and it was only coincidence that he was caught and you weren’t.

    While the Second Amendment may be our last line of defense, so to speak, against an over reaching government, the First Amendment is designed to be our first line of defense. The fact that now our press is not just ambivalent to the over reaches of “their guy/gal/whatever” but actually beholden to the very groups they should be keeping in check should scare the living shit out of people on either side of the aisle.

      1. OK, the BBC newsreaders do speak the British dialect of American. If you listen carefully, you can puzzle out what they are saying …

        1. I like the British newspapers but they tend to be half news, half gossip rag. Except the Guardian, of course, which doesn’t even make good bird cage liner….

    1. The German news sites are on par to slightly bad to worse, depending on the topic. But there’s more official government control, so I’m not certain if we can “count” it the same way as the US media.

  11. It is appalling to observe the changes that have transformed in the American Media in the last 30-40 years or so. I graduated high school in 1969. Required reading: Lord of the Flies, 1984, Animal Farm, and Brave New World. All societies presented were viewed strongly negatively, and the teacher and class reaction was “thank God we don’t live in a country like that. Don’t ever let it happen here!” Now, I feel we’re living it out, and lower as well as higher education cranks out students by the MILLIONS who swallow the party line hook, line, and sinker, as dictated by mass media. No logical self examination, moralizing without morals. The internet and talk radio is the only thing that has stopped the “group-think” for at least a (hopefully) significant minority.

  12. The French Muslims showing “solidarity” with the Roman Catholic community got more airtime than the French Muslim who sawed off the Roman Catholic priest’s head during mass.

    Gotta maintain the narrative.

    1. Of course it did. They’ve got to maintain the illusion that the hordes they’ve let in are peaceful…even while they’re rioting in the camps, endangering citizens, and so on.

  13. It’s kind of sad, that the one traditional newspaper website that I regularly check every morning is the UK Daily Mail, who never saw a photo of a Kardashian that they didn’t drool over, and their website headlines and photo captions seem to be written by teenage interns … but they actually notice that other stuff happens in the US besides NY, Washington and Los Angeles… And they will cover political stuff fairly evenhandedly. They don’t fear being thrown out of the White House Press Corps, which practically counts as a revolutionary act, these days.

    1. Yeah, I read the Daily Mail BECAUSE they pretty much report on EVERYTHING. (Apparently, they’re considered ‘right wing’ in the UK? ) And yeah, they strike me as even-handed simply because of how ecumenical they are in the POV of articles. It’s probably also why they’re often dismissed as ‘a rag.’

    2. A rule of thumb: if you want to know what’s happening in the US, read British newspapers. If you want to know what’s happening in the UK, read American newspapers.

  14. There was flooding in WVa a while back, some of it in the town my dad lives in. Trying to find news coverage was almost impossible. Well except for the numerous stories about what was going to be down about the PGA tournament that was supposed to be held at the Greenbriar a week or so after the flooding. Or the video of a burning house floating away.

    Fortunately my dad was safe and his house took very little damage, but it was a nerve wracking few hours.

  15. I’m waiting for the first celebrity to declare that President Obama doesn’t care about black people.

    Might be some time.

    1. That depends on your definition of celebrity. If you mean “Hollywood film actor”, you are correct. If you count people like Milo Yiannopoulos, chances are you are probably wrong.

      1. If the celebrity is White it would be reported as proof that celebrity is racist. If the celebrity is Black it would be ignored. Sorta the way the Media tried to kick sand over Obama’s “Bitter Clinger” remark or the teachings of the Wrong Reverend Wright.

        1. I always found it interesting that Bill Cosby was 100% teflon coated… until he started saying things you’d hear a Conservative say about black criminals and morality.

          Now there’s a new bimbo declaring she raped him every week. We’re up to 70 or so now, aren’t we? Not saying they’re all lying, where there’s smoke there’s most likely a little fire at least.

          But, y’know, it’s funny how nobody said anything all those years.

          1. There was an attempt to bring that up, but they got hushed up and bought off. Then came the NAACP speech, and he lost the +9 Cover of Press Favoritism.

          2. The weirdest part was when EBONY magazine tried to claim his extramarital affairs and alleged rapes were “caused by traditional family values” of the kind seen in his old COSBY SHOW sitcom. And when people pointed out that 1) Traditional family values condemn affairs and rape and 2) THE COSBY SHOW is what we call “fiction”…why on Earth are you bringing it up in a serious discussion, they got all snippy and huffy.

  16. Just got back from a meeting where most of my cohorts are educated by these left-wing news sites….. It was an experience. Lots of straw manning in the after meeting socialization. Ya know, normally I don’t think that I am smarter than most people in the room, but when people turn their brains off and spout talking points they get from the news, I can’t help it. And dear God, when they start spouting the points they don’t stop for a good 10 minutes, so they can list everything.

    1. It isn’t a question of whether you are smarter, just whether you are better informed (data processing versus data base.) As you said, “when people turn their brains off” is the distinction to be drawn, not how well those brains function when not in “airplane” mode.

      1. Fair point. But I suppose the next question is how frequently they are in airplane mode, and what that says about them.

  17. I will come to the defense of the local news media. Please notice I wrote “local.” I’m a producer at a news station and we work hard to make sure to show our audience the events that are happening, not just the items that would affect them directly. That includes the flooding in LA and the fires in Cali. We’ve covered different angles, including Red Cross volunteers heading down, the work they’re doing there and how people can help.
    Our station is in the top 65 market, so it’s not a mom and pop owned endeavor.
    As for Good Guy Shoots Bad Buy stories, we cover the hell out of these every chance we get. We live in a city with about 500,000 people in a red state and there’s fewer of these than you might think. While we do rely on police to inform of when there is one, out of the 15 years I’ve been here, I’ve never heard of a tip from a viewer about one that police didn’t tell us about.

    I read a Pew survey about 10 years ago that showed viewers trust their local news more for accurate information than the national news bureaus.

    I can only speak for my local newsroom but we work to be as fair as possible and bring the news to our audience that impacts them directly and what we believe is of interest to them.
    As for the national media? Larry’s just about spot on, sadly.

    1. Sorry sir. Local media may have a better track record over all, but it still ain’t no great shakes.

      I’ve been involved in a handful of things reported locally, in several different news areas down here. Every. Single. Time. They have gotten something, not just wrong, but THE TOTAL OPPOSITE AND COMPLETE OF RIGHT. Not just little things. Advising people on matters of law, forex.

      I’ve been misquoted a time or two. I’ve seen people I work with have their words twisted so hard every drop of truth is left behind and only the dirt remains. The local television news can be so in the tank for any Progressive cause, I wouldn’t be surprised to see gills the next time Climate Change Is Going To Kill Us All, Seriously This Time You Guys!

      I’ll give props to local *radio* news, though. They’ve covered the floods, the wildfire, and even terrorism done way out in other countries. They don’t have near the audience the tv news does, but the folks that listen and call in to the morning shows are generally guys like me: blue collar or middle class working stiffs, mostly pissed off and getting madder at all the other “news” that ain’t.

      I get most of my news online these days. Often enough, there’s first sources available somewhere (rather than filtered by some producer who wants to decide for you what’s news and what ain’t).

      1. Sorry, that should be “the total and complete opposite of right”, but those typos always sneak up and pounce right after I hit post, I tell ya. *chuckle*

      2. I will say it’s easier to cover news on radio because the person never has to leave the station, the equipment is much simpler to use, it’s cheaper operate. All you really need is a phone. I did radio news for years and miss it alot. Big problem is that it doesn’t pay worth a darn.

      1. Well, I actually worked for two networks, one being ABC and the other being Reuters. I wasn’t impressed by the first, but enjoyed the second. Network ABC was a flustercluck.

    2. Our local radio stations here in Northern California are the only place I’ve heard the fires in Southern California being reported.

  18. I need my hand held because I’m dumber than a Giraffe with no tongue. So if Trump and Bannon put together an alt right cable channel after they lose, you won’t have any more regard for their analysis than you would for Gawker’s?

    1. I have been hearing that rumor for a long time now. Where did that start and is there any weight to it? I wouldn’t put it past them, now, I am just curious.

      1. Trump just hired the current guy behind Breitbart News and the guy who created Fox News, plus every populist quasicon talking head is in his camp. Makes sense.

      2. Long term question of what exactly Trump’s game is. Especially as it became clear that he either is unserious about winning, or has severely impaired judgement.

        Three sane Trump models are a) ringer for the Democrats b) marketing for the Trump brand c) in Russian pay. (The last especially after Manafort.)

        Profiling his business history, target audience, media contacts, ‘strategy’, etc makes it an obvious plausibility.

        1. I first saw it, or the information I drew the conclusion from, through conservative media who were not in the tank for Trump. Their primary coverage of media in the tank for Trump and Trump’s novel campaign that had a risk of catastrophic failure in the general raised questions. (Check out the financials of primary candidates in the spring. There are grounds to think that Trump’s continued general presence is to collect donations to repay the loans he made to his campaign, and to steer campaign business to his own companies.)

        2. Trump has a business history involving attempts to monetize the Trump brand name. These apparently involve more screw ups than actual long term viable businesses. He is pitching to people greatly disenchanted by Obama, who will be disenchanted by Clinton. He will have name recognition, and some of them will be inclined to trust him.

          He may use Ailes and Bannon to build a Trump oriented cable media platform to capitalize on his new followers.

          If I am fundamentally mistaken about Trump, he may instead go into obscurity, and no longer attempt to do business.

          1. Yes. Back in spring when I was ranting at ATH about both candidates being Russian proxies, I’d seen something relating to the Panama papers about how the Podesta group had been hired to lobby for a Russian bank that is a known front for a Russian intelligence agency. Not the FSB, the other big one.

    2. All depends. Falsehood doesn’t become a good thing just because you spin it to the right instead of spinning it to the left.

  19. Sad to think about what a mess we’re in but it did give me a chuckle when some UK newspaper was ranting about the Royal Navy ‘wasting’ millions on a three-inch gun. The reporter explained that’s about the length of your toothbrush. Would it have killed them to get someone from the RN to point out a three-inch gun fires a shell three inches in DIAMETER instead of being itself three inches long… DUH…..

    1. The level of ignorance about the characteristics, performance and limitations (such as may be publicly admitted) of weapons and weapon systems among journalists is gobsmacking, and sadly not all of it is ideologically motivated untruth. Some of it is because they chose journalism out of a profound weakness in science and mathematics, which then translates to a phobia (a true fear-phobia, not a hate-phobia) of all things technical and engineering; they’ve talked themselves into believing it’s beyond their understanding, so they don’t try and they’re more afraid to admit they don’t know & to ask than they are to print lies.

      Some of their ignorance, of course, stems from the hatred of the military and soldiers/sailors/airmen that they have had drummed into them by their peer group.

      Anyone here a Harry Potter fan? All journalists, especially those on the left, I regard as Rita Skeeter until proven otherwise. (For those who aren’t, she is every stereotype of the muckraking, lying, sensationalist reporter you have ever heard, and to top it off she sort of rubs in the faces of those she interviews the fact that she’s going to lie about them and there’s nothing they can do to stop her which doesn’t involve violence or illegality. And to top it off, she is firmly up the arse of a “no threat to see here” Establishment, which is ironic, because the author seems to be swinging to exactly the same “no threat to see here, don’t listen to these extremist hatemongers” viewpoint she once condemned in her writings.)

      1. Here’s the important thing to remember about JKR: She really doesn’t like the middle class, and she thinks conservatives are Fudge, at best.

        1. UK conservatives, she may be right. They’re conserving something rathere different from US conservatives.

      2. There was a time when newsrooms would have a “military reporter” or “crime desk”, but sadly those days are largely gone. Even the trade journal Aviation Week & Space Technology has dropped so much engineering coverage that I refer to it as “Aviation Business & Space Finance”.

        Larry was right that the problem is largely urban vs. rural rather than necessarily being liberal vs. conservative. If I have to sit through Brit Hume or Eric Bolling stumble through a defense of 30 round magazines one more time I’ll puke. I realize urban areas have become gun culture deserts, but would it hurt to send a couple correspondents to Gunsite and learn something? Unfortunately expertise is expensive, and opinion is cheap, so we’ve got no shortage of out-of-work opinionated lawyers spouting sensationalist nonsense, generating ratings (presumably tapping into the vast herd of “reality TV” fans) on the cheap.

        I’ve gotten to the point that I get most of my news from the wire services, but even there, bias is cropping up more and more. Josh Lederman is the AP’s White House correspondent, and if he had his nose any further up Obama’s ass he’d be able to describe the crown work the POTUS has had done. I’d like to think that we could appeal to their journalistic integrity and shame them into doing their jobs, but I think that ship has long since sailed on a tide of advertising dollars.

  20. Totally agree! Saw the stupidity in Iraq when CNN reported a bloodbath in a village that I spent that week in. Totally made up and no one called them out on it. I learned then to do my own research if I was interested in something that was going down. Be careful if you choose to go down this path, you will be accused of being a conspiracy theorist.

  21. Right before reading this I read another piece about Lousiana. In there the writer suggests that the lack of media is mainly due to people helping each other. Which results in communities not breaking all the way down, so boring story. Sucks if true that people helping each other results in less media and due to that less money coming to help.

  22. Or as David Burge (a.k.a. Iowahawk) pointed out in 2013:

    “Journalism is about covering the important stories.
    With a pillow, until they stop moving.”

  23. A personal media moment:
    During all the bloodshed in Bosnia, there’d been a mortar attack on the people in line in a town square for the first chance to buy food in a week. Fucking Dan Rather leads with it this way:
    “Horror in the Balkans, a massacre at the town market. But FIRST, in the O.J. Simpson trial-”
    at which point I was screaming something unintelligible at the tv in the hopes that Rather and the other idiots involved in this would have a stroke right then and there.

  24. I’m a native West Virginian, and I’m pretty sure the main reason why the flooding that hit our home state earlier this summer got coverage was so certain groups could trumpet their “OMG GLOBAL WARMING WILL KILL US ALL” alarmist horsepoo. I’d expect to see the same following from this.

    1. When the reporters stop broadcasting from a coastal island, I’ll probably get concerned about the global warming thing.

  25. I think you’re giving them too much credit. They don’t care about politics or narratives or anything else, they just care about ratings. If they can improve ratings by creating a fake controversy, they will do that. If they can improve ratings by faking a bomb threat to a kitten, they will do that too. Money talks, Tennessee flood victims can walk.

    1. No. If ratings were the issue, the press would follow stories the public wants to hear. These people are ideologues. They regard control of the public narrative to be a sacred duty. I’m in the field. I’ve seen it.

      1. The public generally wants to see cute puppies. If it’s not puppies, then they want to see the people who agree with them completely “DESTROY” the evil outgroup (usually in all caps). So, a liberal news station like CNN will air footage about transgender lesbians totally pwning Trump or whatever. A conservative station like Fox will air footage about flannel-bearded good ol’ boys pwning transgender lesbians and their evil mistress Hillary. It’s the same thing.

        They don’t have a long-term master plan for world domination. They just air whatever footage their target audience will watch. If the other 50% of the population gets triggered and starts raging en masse, all the better. No such thing as bad publicity.

        If you really want to stick it to the media, stop watching TV.

        1. That’s only true of one segment of the viewing public, though. There’s a large segment that watches the news because they want to be informed about what’s going on. (My late grandmother was one of those). And they’re the ones who are most harmed by the media’s malpractice — because they still believe that the news they see on TV is actually telling them what’s going on. Result: when the media decides NOT to report on a story (because the story would harm their anointed presidential candidate), they don’t even know it exists.

          1. My late father was of the old journalism school that believed that the news was the facts, and their job was to inform the people of what was happening. Opinions belonged in the editorial columns, lifestyle section, and gossip rags.

            I’m kinda glad at times he’s not alive to see what it’s like now. Then again, I was showing him the shenanigans being done on the news with badly photoshopped smoke columns turning up on… was it Reuters or AP? I can’t remember which one… trying to make Israel more ‘cruel’ during the Israel-Hezbollah war. He wasn’t happy. He also got a serious blinders-off after actually living in Israel and seeing firsthand that no, Palestine isn’t being
            starved by Israel’, it’s Palestine ruining it for themselves by giving the food prioritized to those who held the approved party line of Destroy Israel. That showed him that the media had been lying about ‘unnecessary and unfair Israeli aggression’ for decades. It was impressive to watch him come to accept that.

    2. It is obviously not all about ratings, and that is extremely easy to prove.
      One cable network goes right. All the others go left. Those end up competing for market share, while Fox does not. Fox gets higher ratings. But CNN and MSNBC still compete for left. If it were all for ratings it is easier to compete for uncontested markets.

  26. Meanwhile, China built and militarized bases threatening US allies and protectorates near Japan and potentially threatening Japan and South Korea as well as the Philippines, Indonesia and perhaps even New Guinea and Australia itself. North Korea announced that it has resumed production of weapons-grade plutonium (just to put icing on last month’s announcement that they’ve succeeded in miniaturizing nukes to put on their ICBMs) Russia moved a bunch of troops and armor to the border of Crimea, China and Russia are holding joint naval exercises next month.

    Oh, and China just built another base, this one in Djibouti. Yes, yes, da booty jokes aside, they now have a base at the base of the Red Sea, near the Gulf of Aden and in ONE OF THE MOST CRUCIAL LANES FOR OIL SUPPLIES IN THE WORLD. The Wall Street Journal has a nice article on that with one of those great slider pictures showing before and after. However, they completely fail to mention any geopolitical or strategic importance like that they are looking across the straight at the Arabian Peninsula and that it’s next to a US drone base and that China has suggested it could be developed into Africa’s Singapore. China is sending several thousand troops there for unspecified reasons. There were also reports at the end of last year that they were building a base in Namibia on the West coast of Africa, this one a naval base which would give them truly global sea range. No followup this year in an election season, of course.

    There’s more, so much more, that shows the current administration hasn’t been paying attention to fundamentals. We’re in a bad strategic position and getting worse as the press focuses on Rio and pretty flowers and oooh, look, a pony!

    1. I say, let’s play theory here for a moment. China VS Jihadists. Who’d win?

      I’ve pretty much given up on any hope that the rest of the world would ever intervene on the contested regions of the Philippine Seas. My country of birth is too ‘unimportant’ from a global perspective (even though there’s a lot of military strategic importance due to location) and frankly, I’m of the opinion that China has everyone by the economic short and curlies. I’ve been glancing every now and again at China moving in on Africa, have been hearing news from my mom about how Chinese ships would land in the Northern Luzon shores to dig up certain black sands and make off with it (there’s no mining agreements and there’s significant erosion threatening local coastal towns and villages) but forget there being news about that available online… (too ‘local news’ I guess) and hey, those ‘fishing rigs’ have machine gun turrets and anti-aircraft defenses… but totally, ‘not military’, pinky swear.

      I reckon that it’ll be a waiting game to see what war will spark off first (Europe exploding, or Islamic global jihad/internal Jihad), and China will swoop in to take advantage. It’s all a matter of when…

      Just an off the cuff theory on my part, anyway.

      1. The Chinese. Because opposition to ‘pulling up trouble by the roots’ is founded on anti-Han racism and cultural intolerance.

      2. Half of China is looking like going Full Jihadi these days, they’re just as useless at dealing with it as Europe is. For the opposite reasons, cracking down is just as dumb as pretending there’s no problem.

        We never hear anything about it though, because News Media.

        I’m thinking that due to Communism and the accompanying corruption, China is rapidly hollowing out. They’ll be the the Soviet Union, papier mache painted to look like armor plate.

      3. The Phillipines might end up making the issue of whether to protect them moot, in any event. The current president of the Phillipines is apparently a bit pissed off that the UN has been criticizing the apparent rash of “mysterious” killings of drug dealers, and threatened to leave the UN for an alternative organization he claimed would be led up by China.

        Not sure how that would work, but it suggests that he might be seriously considering moving into China’s sphere of influence.

  27. Long ago, Mark Twain said “If you don’t read the newspapers, you are uninformed. If you do read them, you’re misinformed. ” Not much has changed, has it?

  28. Couple of years I saw a news episode where they covered the US troops stationed in an remote outpost the Korangal Valley, aka, Death Valley in Afghanistan. They spent maybe 3, maybe 5 minutes tops on them. Then they switched and reported on Tina’s Fey’s impersonation of Sarah Palin on SNL for well over 10 minutes. I’ve since stopped watching the news on TV .

  29. OT but kinda personally urgent. Larry, I think I pulled a fumducker firearms wise. NOT an AD, law-related or anything like that, but frankly kind of embarrassing in the “you should know better” way.
    Could I impose on you and send a DM on twitter for advice? Thanks either way,

    Back on topic, look at how fast the Missouri BLM fuss dried up and blew away when the shooter’s sister started screaming for the mobs to go burn down the suburbs.

  30. The left side of media requires everybody to be secret angry racists (other than them, obviously)

    Even the White people in the Leftish Media are racist, but they are excused that because they confess their racism and gain absolution by adhering to the racial narrative du jour. It is a classic Soviet-style kafka-trap.

    But notice how Trump going to visit Louisiana forced the media to cover it and is forcing Obama to skip a round of golf to go there and play the beneficent king.

  31. I have notices this more this year than normally. It just seems to have gotten worse.

    It seems the worst of all with Trump. The media seems to have invented Straw Trump and be spending all their time mocking him. Real Trump is not spring rose, but he looks so much better than Straw Trump, when people actually look into him, that I think the media may actually be shooting themselves in the foot with this one.

    1. You misunderstand the need the news media is fulfilling. An accurate view of the world that makes you less comfortable with your own place in it, is useful to a surprisingly small number of people. For most people, it is more valuable to be affirmed in a view and to have the impression that you know better than the rest and that something outside yourself is at fault for the problems you experience.

      The news media uses information as its wrapping, but the product is a viewing experience that satisfies emotional needs.

      1. Nicely said…I’m stealing your quote for use in my English Composition course, when we discuss whether or not one should use popular media as research sources.

    2. The Real Trump is a man who apparently decided on a strategy of doing everything possible to remain in the media spotlight. Hillary’s strategy is at least partly avoiding media attention.

      Trump’s messaging is either a calculated set of lies out of both sides of his mouth, or the word salad of a mad man. Media keying onto a specific subset and ranting seems very foreseeable. If strategic, it is pitched to those so desperate to avoid Hillary that they will filter his words for the ones they want to hear.

  32. The local news here in OKC did report on the damage and covered a few stories of people helping others out. But on the web, I haven’t seen hardly any thing. I think I’ve seen more coverage from our local weather man on it than from any other source.

  33. I’m a newspaperman, and been an editor of a small paper. You underestimate the problem. It is actually worse than that. Most papers are 100 percent, 14 karet, 3000 horsepower horsehockey agitprop. Pure lies calculated to deceive.

  34. The thing is, back when “The Media” was newspapers, it wasn’t much better, but pretty much everybody knew it. What has changed is the myth of “Unbiased Media”. The notion that reporting could be unbiased is absurd; no newspaper (or any other news source) could cover all the news or even all the facts about one story. Choices have to be made, and those choices will be affected by the worldview of SOMEBODY, be he reporter, editor, or owner.

    Everybody who could breathe without being reminded knew this, once.

    The Myth goes that at once time every city of any size supported two or more papers, once (at least) for each political party. Mencken’s memoirs put the lie to this; most cities had one paper that made money because it supported the party in power and thus got the government printing contracts, and one paper that was supported by an opposition politician with money and ambitions. As reporting became a “Profession” one went to college to learn (Mencken never went to college) the Progressives took over, and lo, the idea that reporting should be “unbiased” was born, probably to undermine the reputation of the Hearst papers (which were right wing, and frankly got more than a little weird toward the end).

    I have been listening to the Conservative Right whine about “Media Bias”since the mid-1970’s, and I have long concluded that they need to stop sniveling and BUY MORE MEDIA OUTLETS. Fox earned my contempt with “We report, you decide”. It should have been “You know what THEY think, here’s our side” and tell those whining about Right Wing bias to go climb a tree.

    I used to live in Washington DC, and there is one aspect of Wonderland On The Potomac I really miss. It was relatively easy to cover mot of the usual biases in my news. There was the Washington Post (Conventional Left), the Washington Times (Conservative Right, with a hint of Libertarian), and the City Paper (receiving Radio Venus on their bridgework Left). If you read all three, you could usually figure the truth was somewhere in the middle.

    And don’t get me started on how the quality of writing has fallen off since Mencken’s day. The real problem with the New York Times isn’t that it is absurdly Left wing (although it is) . The problem is, it’s badly written and dull as ditchwater (and smug).

    1. All one has to do is look at all the newspapers (surviving and historical) that had POLITICAL PARTY NAMES to understand how big a delusional myth “unbiased media” is.

  35. I’d just moved to BR to work in an ER here, and honestly… it’s freaking amazing what everyone here is pulling together to do. Volunteers taking over rescue and evac efforts on their boats, nurses working for five days straight, shelters popping up at every other church you see. Screw the media, the people here have got it.

  36. In breaking news, following the actions of the “Cajun Navy” militia group in Louisiana, President Obama called for new restrictions on pontoon ownership and closing the ‘boat show loophole.’

  37. Shepherd Smith frustrated in Louisiana: authorities refuse to let him videotape nonexistent cannibalism…

  38. The opinion guys on Fox are clearly Right Wing.
    The main newsies at Fox might like to think they’re ‘right wing’, but they repeatedly, unerringly, fail at or before step one. They accept the premises of the Left.

    Recognize (Just as you have) the steps that the Leftish news is going through. And then actually pick the -events- based on flipping this. Generally, only the -interpretation- of the event gets flipped. Don’t rehash “but the liberals reported Event X wrong” 100% of the time – go find Event Y to cover instead. Instead track down 100 defensive gun uses and give them 15 minutes of fame.

    Park someone in Chicago and report on every single shooting with the phrase “toughest gun laws in the country” in every single segment. Along with “Typical Democratically controlled city, this one for XX years.” Interview the police chief, ask why he’s so incompetent. Pester everyone involved ad nauseum. Report on how many reporters you end up with in jail, but keep pressing.

    Report on “Number of deaths by starvation in America” and a zillion other factoids that are always swamped by pseudo-science surveys where “One in five children say they once felt hunger” is turned into “one in five -starving-“.

    1. I would read/watch the *hell* out of a network like that! Heck yes! Don’t even *bother* “responding” to the leftist twits and their bullshit narrative. I’m grinning like a loon right now. I wonder if things like “wesearchr” and the increasing popularity of sites like instapundit, drudge, and their ilk are a sign that such a thing might actually be in the offing. Instead of a centralized “network” like CNN or FOX, a decentralized community (AKA “network” yeah, I know) of expert bullshit detectors, debunkers, and folks who don’t even bother responding to the narrative but instead report on actual news and important events that don’t fall into the right slots on the list Larry just enumerated. Huh…

  39. Twain said ‘If you don’t read the papers, you are uninformed. If you read the papers, you are misinformed.”

  40. I remember getting into politics because I started to detect media bias at a fairly young and underinformed age. In the roughly thirty years since, it’s degenerated to the point of absurdity.

    Thank God for the internet and the ability to cross reference and do your own research.

  41. Credit where credit is due. Do you think the Democrats would win a single election without the 15 points of media bias?

    1. Yes. a) Some portions of America really are that far left. b) Democrats would use different pitches in absence of current media presence.

  42. I didn’t see that particular incident (the NYC one) but I did see the cooler ‘thing’ happen in Elat. Someone left a cooler on the beach. It was reported. Israeli police and reservists (yes, in Elat you see girls in bikinis walking around with Uzis and M16s slung back) cleared a perimeter then EOD came, put a chunk of C4 on it and blew it. Sandwiches. They didn’t care. People picked up the remaining bits and put them in trash cans as EOD was leaving.

    That’s how you handle a bomb scare. Not a comment on the media but on our reactions to potential bombs.

    And on ‘how the media handles news’ see also: Last Centurion and Bandit Six’s rant about Shepherd Smith and the hero up to his hips in water.

    Suggestion: When you get to the point of truly steaming, just write something like A State of Disobedience or Last Centurion. It gets it off your chest for YEARS.

    1. “…girls in bikinis walking around with Uzis…” well that’s *one* way to discourage all but the bravest (or dumbest) walking adolescent hormones, I suppose! Lol.

      All jokes (or most, at least) aside, that’s a pretty cool story. (Internal monologue: “…should I not say that? Umm…no one died, so I guess it’s okay!”…) Also, Last Centurion is on my “reread yearly/every other year (depending on frustration level) list. I was *fascinated* by the farming plotline/information/stuff (my vocabulary is currently “out of order” I guess) and the whole “we’ll record our *own* video for the news. Take it or leave it!” bit *rocked* with a dangerously powerful level of schadenfreude. I’m sure you’ve heard all this a thousand and one times though, so I’ll shut up now. Happy Poké-hunting! 😀

  43. Dood, you shouldn’t sugar-coat things. Bad for the blood pressure. Tell us how you REALLY feel. 😉

    1. Believe it or not I spend more time reading left wing sources than anything else. Because I like to know what stupid arguments my opponents are going to make before they do. 🙂

  44. American Journalism has been in a death spiral since Walter Cronkite couldn’t keep his personal opinion about the Vietnam War to himself. Ever since reporters have flushed their objectivity down the toilet.

  45. the fact that your entire post is disturbingly horrifyingly accurate – is depressing.

    I knew about the flooding and seen some horrifying images (the one that stuck with me was an aerial view from the helicopter airlifting people out of their flooded homes.. homes where only roofs were visible above the water) as well as some of the articles about volunteers being awesome. none of that was from major sources, mostly local Louisiana papers.

    I’ve given up on mass media years ago. started to give up actualy when for a very brief period of time, I majored in journalism in college. THAT was a bucket of ice water over my formerly idealistic head :/

  46. Ah, yes. The American news media takes very seriously its responsibilities. They cover very important news stories.

    With a pillow.

    Until they stop struggling.

  47. Larry, you are right the media sucks. You are also right to point out that it sucks no matter what your political persuasion is, and its tragically true about the whole zoom in on the boring object live while a bored (insert public servant/police officer/military personal/firearm/dog-owner) tries to contain their own bewilderment. BUT…..I can feel your anger…..and having been in that same place with anger at the media, I highly, highly recommend you read the following article:

    https://markmanson.net/not-giving-a-fuck

    You will probably feel a lot better after that. Honestly, I recommend it big time to anyone who gets worked up about the media and doesn’t mind a lot of swears.

  48. Slightly off topic, but can you point me at any sources for the Good Guy stops mass shooting incidents you allude to. Currently arguing with Gun Control fetishist and this would be helpful.

    1. It happens all the time, everywhere, and gets almost no coverage. Last debate when somebody said that I thought of four events off the top of my head in my peaceful, low population, low crime state, alone, where a random good guy with a gun was at the scene before police could respond, and ended up stopping or delaying the killer.

      Just plug those keywords that into Google and get started. There have been a lot of articles on the topic.

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