Reading the comments to many of these stories one theme is loud and consistent – Democrats believe what is printed in liberal publications or TV broadcasts (which is most of them) and Republicans read and watch the few conservative media sources. The one exception to the virtual liberal media stranglehold is radio which is predominately conservative. Don’t know why this schism has been created, but it is very real. Many media outlets on both sides don’t even pretend to be reporting the news, simply espousing their view and calling it reporting – MSNBC being the classic example.
Trust in media has fallen to an all time low with many (most?) people simply not believing reporting from sources not reporting from their desired perspective. This bias gets reinforced by the fact that the media from the “opposite” side often doesn’t even report on issues inconsistent with the narrative of that particular media outlet. I am often challenged “show me a source other than Fox.” In almost all instances there is no source contradicting the Fox report, there is simply no reporting at all on the subject. To me it seems much of the media is simply making arguments supporting the political position of their network rather than actually investigating facts and actually trying to discover the truth. It was not until the Univision interview during the 2012 campaign that ANYONE had the guts to press President Obama after giving his typically non-responsive answers. (Univision Interview)
What happened to the media that exposed Watergate, that uncovered Iran/Contra, that wrung the truth out of Clinton and that relentlessly dogged President Bush about weapons of mass destructive? A confluence of factors have joined together to defang this once powerful force of truth and justice. First, since the pendulum swung to the extreme of conservative spectrum with the Committee for Un-American Activities in the 1950s the pendulum has been immutably swinging toward the left and I think that through the censorship and ostracization of the Politically Correct the we have finally reached the turning point. In this liberal dominated industry in which more than 90+ percent of the media self-identifies as liberal you add an incredibly articulate and charismatic man creating history as the first black President. The media simply fell in love, lost their minds and forgot to do their jobs. Well, I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more!
I actually remember the first moment that I became politically involved, it was in 1972 watching pollsters go door to door asking potential voters if the Watergate incident would have any impact on their vote. More than 90% of likely voters had not even heard of the scandal and less than 1% said that it would impact their vote. I was only 11, but I knew there was something fundamentally wrong with the Nixon Administration and I simply couldn’t understand how most of the media was giving Nixon a complete pass on the scandal before the election. It was only the relentless pursuit of two relatively unknown newspaper writers Woodward and Bernstein that kept after the story, got to the truth and held a President accountable for lying and a coverup.
As Watergate unfolded I decided that I wanted to be a journalist. Now I admit I was not a normal kid. I read the autobiography of Malcolm X when I was seven and the Rise And Fall of the Third Reich when I was nine. I took my journalistic urges and started “stringing” for the LA Times and Santa Ana (now Orange County) Register when I was 14 selling high school football and basketball stories for a whopping $1 per published inch. During college I was the sports editor of two different newspapers and created a sports broadcasting department reporting football and basketball games. All of this inspired by the work down by Woodard and Bernstein. That duo elevated the entire journalistic profession leading to shows like 60 Minutes and gave people the feeling that they had someone looking out for them. Today, that faith and trust is almost entirely gone.
I do believe that there is still some really good reporting out there. I think the Anderson Cooper actually makes a real effort to report the news and makes a true effort – I know that many of my conservative supporters will skewer me for that but I think it is true. I think that Bill O’Reilly does a fantastic job of bringing together a wide range of perspectives. There are other examples, unfortunately just a handful. I think that this lack of vibrant journalism has done more to divide the country than any other phenomenon.
American media as disintegrated to the level of reporting in Russia during the height of communism. You can’t trust the words that are written, you have to read between the lines to figure out the truth. That is simply tragic.