Well, DUH!

Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic has an article titled Why Does the American Media Get Big Stories Wrong? where he tries to use the typical liberal mumbo jumbo bullshit to supposedly respond to an article by a conservative pointing out that the LSM gets the story wrong because they are a bunch of biased idiots too eager to serve their leftists masters and keep the narrative going.

His whole article is nevertheless worth reading (with the caution that Tyler Cowen wisely counsels). At its best, “Our American Pravda” is a vital reminder that many things we’re told are wrong; that we aren’t told many things of vital importance; and that the U.S. media is rife with flaws, many of them easily identifiable. Unz does a service by highlighting these shortcomings powerfully and compellingly. What explains them? Below I offer several theories and observations, noting concurrences and several disagreements with Unz’s analysis as needed.

He could/should have just written a one liner saying “Yes, we fuck it up because we are nothing but mouthpieces for the DNC. Reporting what serves their agenda and sitting on stories that don’t.”, and he would have gotten it right. The analysis he offers is a whitewash of that obvious fact. Our media has their lips firmly planted against DNC ass. It prevents them from seeing what’s really going on. Can you imagine the LSM being as blasé and defensive as they are now of the numerous Obama Administration scandals if this was happening back some 6 or so years ago? Yeah, I thought so.

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  1. Hal_10000

    This was a much deeper article than just “MSM! They love Obama!” He talks abotu how they missed the Madoff scandal, how they missed Enron, how they never really questioned the pre-war intelligence, how they missed the real estate bubble. The failure is a lot more systematic than just Obama.

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  2. Dave D

    Hal:

    You seem to faithfully find an anti-republican or “not anti”-democrat spin in nearly everything you post. Not sure if that is a personal effort on your part to appear “balanced”, but I have my doubts. I see nothing wrong with Alex providing the opposite approach. We can read the article and decide for ourselves.

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  3. TxAg94

    Thanks, Hal. I get where you’re coming from. I wasn’t going to bother reading the article based on Alex’s post but I will after yours. That’s no poke at Alex just an observation that he usually posts things I feel are slanted the other way. I don’t like biased media in either direction.

    Dave, I think Hal was just trying to temper the discussion to the reality that this is an ongoing thing with the media. He didn’t say that it isn’t perhaps more acute now. He wasn’t invalidating Alex’s points, just trying to inject some measure of balance. I find the reaction to it a bit ironic myself.

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  4. Hal_10000

    You seem to faithfully find an anti-republican or “not anti”-democrat spin in nearly everything you post.

    I didn’t say the media aren’t in the tank for Obama. i said they are in the tank for a lot more than Obama. I was going to post this link myself (I tweeted it a couple of days ago). it really is insightful into media failures on almost every front you can imagine.

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  5. AlexInCT *

    Thanks, Hal. I get where you’re coming from. I wasn’t going to bother reading the article based on Alex’s post but I will after yours. That’s no poke at Alex just an observation that he usually posts things I feel are slanted the other way. I don’t like biased media in either direction.

    Media bias, from my observation seems to be drastically in one direction. Sure your average marxist will tell you Fox News is to the right of Hitler – a feat easy to accomplish since Hitler ran the NSADP, which was basically the S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-T German worker’s party, while Fox News sometimes is conservative in its reporting – but that’s as reliable an observation as the left’s AGW claims of the last decade or two. I distinctly remember claims that we should be living in waterworld by now, but I don’t think the oceans have seen any rise in level that would amount to something that should scare ants. At least with Fox News I do not have to wonder if they are a bunch of pretentious (liberal) pricks that want you to believe they can keep their politics out of what they want to report as news.

    My commentary was that the article linked tried to pretend, by being clever, that the media’s problem was that they were so clever that it caused them to get things wrong. I, unlike Hal, do not buy that nonsense. It was a puerile attempt to mask the real problem. The media’s big problem – on both sides – is that these people no longer see their job as that of reporting the news, but because they see themselves as crusaders in the war to reshape the world into the socialist utopia they all believe in, their objective is to editorialize in favor of the left’s narrative. That’s the fundamental bias which filters what they report, or not, and how they report, when they do report. They don’t report facts: they report only what will help everyone reach the conclusion they have reached. That’s the reason they get the story wrong.

    I didn’t say the media aren’t in the tank for Obama. i said they are in the tank for a lot more than Obama.

    Same distinction. They are in the tank for the left. And Obama is right now the left’s unclothed emperor. Not to mention that way too many members of the media think Obama is their guy, because if it was not for them he wouldn’t be there. They are right about that. Do you seriously believe anyone but a sycophant like Obama would have gotten not just a pass, but protection, form the LSM?

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  6. Hal_10000

    See, Alex, i see the opposite problem, that the media are lazy and often just repeat talking points. This is especially problematic in criminal justice where they will, without any hesitation, repeat the allegations of the prosecution, even if those allegations turn out to be bullshit. If someone is accused of a crime, their name will be dragged through the mud but acquittal? Meh.

    Where this plays into politics is that they spinelessly repeat whatever they are told by whomever is in power. That tendency is stronger when those power are liberal, but it’s not completely monotonic.

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  7. Argive

    See, Alex, i see the opposite problem, that the media are lazy and often just repeat talking points. This is especially problematic in criminal justice where they will, without any hesitation, repeat the allegations of the prosecution, even if those allegations turn out to be bullshit. If someone is accused of a crime, their name will be dragged through the mud but acquittal? Meh.

    Where this plays into politics is that they spinelessly repeat whatever they are told by whomever is in power. That tendency is stronger when those power are liberal, but it’s not completely monotonic.

    Agreed. The American media has a tendency to give whoever is in power the benefit of the doubt. You have to screw up pretty badly for major American media outlets to go after you with any real vigor. Contrast that with most British reporters, who probably go too far in the other direction and tend to assume that anyone in a position of power is not to be trusted under any circumstances.

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  8. AlexInCT *

    See, Alex, i see the opposite problem, that the media are lazy and often just repeat talking points.

    Ia gree they are lazy, Hal, but they only repeat DNC talking points. And their problem isn’t that they are lazy, but that they are more interested in pushing the agenda and narrative than in actually just reporting news as it happens. Case in point the way even the most miniscule and stupid thing they think will hurt a republican will be reported as factual and a scandal, without proof and without appology if it turns out to be based on falsehoods, while always telling us we need to wait until the fact are in before they bother. Even worse is when they make excuses for the left. The problems that come about as they then get it wrong are not because they are lazy. People that can not see that the bias is the problem are the ones that are lazy.

    BTW, it is not an accident or that they “lazy” that has the media ignoring these scandals and finally onlu doing half assed reporting AFTER the election….

    Agreed. The American media has a tendency to give whoever is in power the benefit of the doubt.

    GWB called and asked you if you were asleep during the last 12 years.

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