. . . Thursday November 18, 2004

Screaming at the Media

Howard Dean on the media: “The media is a failing institution in this country. They are not maintaining their responsibility to maintain democracy. The Monica Lewinsky scandal exploded and suddenly the way to get to the top [in media] was salacious gossip and sex scandals. There is no investigative journalism worthy of the name. The media is trained to get the entertainment value and screw the facts.”

It is interesting that we focus so much attention on the supposed biases that can be found in mainstream media and so little on the corporate ownership of the major news sources. Think Disney, Viacom and G.E. are wild, left leaning outfits?

I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a recent presidential administration that got off easier than the Bushies when it comes to press coverage. Think about it. They launched a war based on a set of pretenses, all of which turned out to be false. And then they ran that war poorly. The economy continues to drag. Liberal causes such as the separation of church and state, equal rights and the environment were all thrown to the wind. And still, they’re back.

Part of it is that the mainstream media was gun-shy after years and years of orchestrated abuse from the right wing (Fox News accusing other media outlets of bias, please?). But that can’t be the whole story.

The bottom line is this. The GOP argues that the media is liberal and bent on their destruction while they manage retain control of all three branches of government. It’s like a Vegas casino owner arguing that the rules favor the players.

Or as John Stewart put it: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a time when the party that controlled the Senate, the House, the White House and the Supreme Court was so out of sorts about how little respect they get. At a certain point you want to say, OK, Goliath. Stop pretending.”

But when something is working, the side it’s working for will never stop pretending be they a Goliath or not. And to turn this tide, it’s going to take a whole lot more than a slingshot.

Concentration is important!