Politicizing the news

Politicizing the news
Cue the whining. The Christian Science Monitor takes a potshot today at the idea that the NRA or Al Gore could get involved in the news business. This naïve and shallow commentary/report distorts history and fans institutional journalistic fears to make a case that this is a bad thing. Citing media “experts” eight times in the article, writer Randy Dotinga provides his own spin on the idea. This is a classic case of the institution (or certain members therein) justifying their stateroom on the Titanic.

To some (Who?), the prospect of networks run by the NRA — or Al Gore for that matter — raises worries about a growing injection of bias into the reports that Americans rely on to make judgments about government and public affairs. (Huh? In your dreams!)

Media experts (As if this justifies not arguing the point…) say that in this harshly partisan era, any new political network is about as likely to air polite and reasoned discourse as it is to rerun old speeches by Adlai Stevenson.

A move toward politicized news networks would be a blast from the past, harking back to the days when American newspapers didn’t even pretend to be neutral. (This is actually correct) “It wasn’t feasible in the early clunky days of commercial presses to make money selling newspapers, so political parties subsidized them,” says Calvin Exoo, a media expert at St. Lawrence University. (This is completely false. Parties didn’t “subsidize” them. They owned them, or at least the publishers were a a part OF them.)

Walter Lippmann’s “professional” class of people, the press included, has produced the uninvolved political process in America that we have today, and that people like this writer try to protect. Lippmann was wrong. Objectivity is a ruse. Bring back the partisan press, for we’ll all be better served by many voices, whose perspectives are presented with argument. We can then judge for ourselves what’s good and what’s not, instead of being spoonfed by people claiming to provide “polite and reasoned discourse.” Sheesh. Give me a break.

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