Absolutely fascinating read about our media and the 1st Amendment

After catching the highlights of Univision doing more to expose Fast and Furious in a single hour than NBC did in two years, I put out a couple of Tweets:

It is sad that our own media is so pathetic that Univision has to expose more F&F scandals for us. Just doing the jobs Americans won’t do.

To all of my moderate/undecided friends, one advantage of electing a republican is at least the press will do their job and report scandals.

So somebody sent me this link. It was absolutely fascinating reading, from an insider’s PoV.


Need Latin help. Warning, bad words. 🙂

14 thoughts on “Absolutely fascinating read about our media and the 1st Amendment”

  1. Ok I’ll say what everybody is probably thinking. Obama gets a pass from the mainstream media because…..he’s black. If he were white they’d be all over him like a cheap suit Democrat or Republican.

    1. Black *AND* Democrat. If he were a white Democrat, it would be a minor scandal. As a black Democrat, the press is all “What? What’s that about those Vin Diesel movies?”

      1. Right. Democrat is the key thing. A Herman Cain doesn’t get away with the same thing a Bill Clinton does. One is black but Republican and the other is white but Democrat.

        Wait … I forgot that Bill Clinton was our first black president. Never mind.

  2. If 60% of Americans don’t believe the press and the press says that Obama’s our guy, why don’t the polls (especially the ones that don’t look falsified) show a similar number against Obama? I think a more frightening figure would be how many Americans don’t trust the press but also don’t care that the press is untrustworthy.

    In my area there are newspapers dying left and right. I live in the captial of my state and the newspaper for our town is shutting down its entire print division and having the printing done by a paper in a town 45 minutes away. Their explanation as to why no one buys their rag? Damn free internet. You want to know why people don’t read their rag when you actually ask people? Because it’s a shitty piece of yellow journalism that acts as a shill for the public sector. If a newspaper came along and held to the fire the feet of shitbags on all sides of every issue it would sell like hotcakes. That is assuming that hotcakes sell in numbers adequate to turn a money-bleeding paper into a revenue-generating juggernaut.

    I agree with the guy in this video. Our press is plunging headlong into an era where because of their willful ignorance of truth in favor of political ideology no one will care about their right to be a free press and they will lose that right bit by bit until it is too far degraded to be of use in its own restoration. People will look at them and their behavior over the past few decades and see that we haven’t really had a free press (by the standard of our past rather than the standard of the rest of the world) so we’re not really losing much. Throw on top of this ignorance and apathy in equal measure amongst much of the public in regard to history and you cannot argue that control of the press through increased regulation is a very real possibility.

    1. Same as congressional approval. Overall approval is crap but ask people about their representatives and most approve of them as reelection rates prove.

      Overall people distrust the media but they do trust the one they are personally connected to… Then there is the old, if you tell a lie long enough and loud enough rule.

    2. One reason the polls don’t reflect people’s opinions, aside from the blatantly stacked polls, is that people are really tired of saying their opinion and being told “but that’s racist/[group]phobic/sexist. Only bad people vote against [name].”

      I’d like to see a return to the day when papers (and now other media) stated their leaning in the masthead. “Smalltown Gazette, Democrat Party” or “Smalltown Herald, Bully for the Bullmoose,” made the slant clear and then you could go from there.

  3. Wall-o-text follows, but it is an important point.

    When one looks at the sprawling morass of ever-expanding government agencies and powers the question might arise: how did we go from a nation focused upon liberty to one of ever-expanding government regulation? This is a question which has vexed me for years, but I believe there is a simple answer.

    Freedom of the press is written in to the Bill of Rights but in reality the press is restricted from reporting on government actions and abuses as it should. For decades, government has manipulated the press through a system of rewards and punishments centered around access. Print a story favorable to the administration’s current agenda? You can ride on Air Force One to the President’s next speech. You have access and can provide an inside scoop that your competitors can’t. On the other hand, if you print an article which criticizes an administration figure or policy, you’re going to be denied access. Sorry, there are only a limited number of seats at the next event. Your request to attend is denied. Your negative viewpoint will not be heard. You will have no footage for the evening news and you will have no questions answered. Your career and that of your newspaper or TV station will be damaged or destroyed if you are negative because you will no longer be able to get access.
    The truth is: the news industry needs access to get the stories to maintain their readership and advertising revenue. Without access, important information about what the government is doing cannot be obtained in the first place, so editors are forced to pick and choose very carefully between the “official” government position and any critique, no matter how mild.

    Since the press has been shackled to the point where it is unable to effectively challenge public officials, an atmosphere of almost total unaccountability has grown amongst America’s leadership. Many “public servants” believe they can spend what they want on things they want and say whatever they please about it without any consequences whatsoever. Worse still, the core notion that you can’t ever provide a negative report is permeating our society from the top down as people become afraid to criticize anything. Bad ideas go unchallenged, stupid or wasteful projects abound, and nobody appears willing to call out a liar. This permits cheats and crooks to prosper while honest people founder in what appears to be a strange and foreign swamp. They are confused and angry, lost in the morass of overwhelming government and positive spin. The good and honest people of America stumble in the dark, aware that there is a problem yet unable to discern the solution.

    Yet all is not lost. If the threat of denial of access was used to expand governmental power then guaranteed access is the obvious antidote. If media was freed from concerns regarding access, it would once again be able to investigate and report on real issues and facts, not simply what the administration wants people to see this week. Lies, pork projects, and abuses could be exposed to the light of day without fear of losing access.

    Access can, and should, be guaranteed in a reasonable fashion. Every significant political figure should be required to hold at least a one (1) hour press conference out of their forty-hour work week (they do still work 40-hour weeks, right?) with no more than ten (10) minutes devoted to the official’s position and the balance to be spent on answering questions. Every media outlet meeting reasonable distribution criteria should have a guaranteed right to attend every such conference and ask decorous questions in an order determined through fair and equitable means, whether established rotation, random drawing or other means which are not discretionary to the official. The conferences cannot be scheduled at overlapping times or in any manner which acts to limit or deny media access. Additional terms should be placed on those conferences: a) all questions regarding the official’s public duties will be taken; b) every question regarding their official duties and responsibilities must be answered directly or, if the answer is not available or unknown at that time, the answer must be furnished as soon thereafter as practical and in no event later than the next week’s conference; c) if national security is invoked as a reason for the failure to answer, the issue shall be submitted to a security-cleared committee composed of such members as Congress shall deem fit to determine whether the invocation was proper or whether the question must be answered, d) evasive answers may be peremptorily challenged as such, e) questions which were not answered must be continued and given priority at the next conference; and f) any challenge as to an evasive or unanswered question which is not clarified or provided before or at the next week’s conference shall be actionable by mandamus or other means in the courts of the United States who may, in their discretion, impose a personal liability upon the official if they are found to be deliberately evading or dodging a question which relates to their public duties. Use of evasive answers or failure to answer a question for two or more conferences in a row shall be deemed prima facia evidence of willful noncompliance.
    Whatever the means, it is imperative that the free press be restored immediately so the blindfold is removed from the American people and they can perceive how their government is acting and where they are being led. We have the means to obtain hard answers and ask hard questions. The question remains whether there are enough concerned citizens left to demand this solution.

    1. Nice theory, but you’re overlooking two obvious data points. Bush 2 and President Obama not doing press conferences for last 6 months or so. If they were being nice/non-critical to gain access it’s not working with this administration. If they were worried about access, explain the almost toxic level of criticism during Bush 2 administration? That’s just the obvious, I’m sure we could find more specific data that doesn’t support the “nice for access” theory. Good try, and maybe it could be part of a larger theory. However, on it’s own, the theory is without merit

  4. As a high school reporter, I’m absolutely disgusted that our American press are a bunch of biased hacks. It almost makes me want to quit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.