Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Media Derelictions

I realize that complaints about the dismal lack of professional fairness and objectivity in our major media are low-hanging fruit so easy to pluck that one sometimes wonders whether it's really worth bothering about. It's clear that much of the traditional media is in thrall to a liberal ideology and believe it their mission to promote that ideology and its champions in the White House and congress.

Perhaps we should just accept that fact, adjust to it, and not worry about the many egregious examples of bias and dishonesty that assault those of us who read newspapers and watch television news shows to learn the truth about what's going on in the country and in the world. Perhaps we should just accept that the media have lost all sense of a duty to objectively and even-handedly "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable," and have instead placed themselves in the service of the Democrat party and the Obama administration.

Perhaps we should just accept it, but, even so, I can't.

The almost complete lack of media interest over the Fast and Furious scandal and Attorney General Holder's stonewalling of congressional hearings seeking to get to the bottom of it, and their insouciance over the Benghazi affair and their delight over Secretary Clinton's shameful performance in the recent congressional hearings are just two examples of their derelictions. They certainly wouldn't have been as disinterested had these scandals and disasters been the result of Republican incompetence and mismanagement.

Here's another example brought to our attention by Newsbusters:
The annual pro-life march, this year marking the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision, drew tens of thousands to Washington, DC on Friday, but didn’t garner a syllable of coverage on Friday’s World News on ABC nor the CBS Evening News. Yet on Saturday night, both newscasts highlighted a pro-gun control protest in DC which CBS anchor Jim Axelrod pegged at drawing “close to a thousand people.”
A protest drawing a few hundred people merited coverage, but a protest drawing tens of thousands did not. What was the justification for this disparity? One can't help but think that the media honchos see gun control as a desideratum and wish to give the impression that its popularity as a cause is sweeping the nation. Pro-lifers, on the other hand, represent a cause that's anathema to liberal sensibilities and thus any suggestion that their cause is popular among the people must be squelched.

So, ABC, for example, couldn't find time to inform us about the pro-life rally in D.C. but they did have time to discuss the national crisis spawned by the discovery that Subway's foot-long subs are actually only eleven inches long.

They also spent six minutes recently interviewing Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey on the subject of immigration reform, but asked him nary a single question about the current FBI investigation of his dalliances with underage prostitutes. Had that been an interview with any Republican politician does anyone think that that topic would have been ignored? It would doubtless have been the lead story on the broadcast, but since Menendez is a liberal Democrat it never got mentioned.

These anecdotes illustrate why contemporary political journalists, members of a once noble profession, often rank in public esteem about where used-car salesmen ranked a generation or two ago. They simply cannot be trusted to be impartial and fair in what they report and how they report it.

They've exchanged the role of a people's watchdog over corruption and power-grabbing among politicians for the role of cheerleaders for those same politicians. Instead of maintaining an attitude of professional detachment from the people upon whom they report, they act, as they did at the presidential inauguration, like swooning, squealing thirteen year-old girls at a Justin Beiber concert. One got the impression listening to reporters enthuse about being so close to the President that they could almost touch the hem of his garment that had he taken off his shirt and thrown it to the crowd they would've joined in the melee to win possession of it.

All of which is why we can be thankful for the internet. Were it not for this amazing development in the dissemination of information we'd know next to nothing, at least nothing we could place our confidence in, about what was really going on in the world. To the extent that the net is driving traditional media out of business it's too bad, but in large measure they've brought it upon themselves by trading the public's trust and respect for a mess of political pottage.