Poisoning the well

I’ve pretty much written off the MSM.  I never watch it and I read it with a jaundiced eye, trying to pick out the actual facts from the bile-filled commentary.  For that reason, I tend to miss out on the insanity of those who still occupy positions of prominence in the MSM.  Reading their remarks all in one place has an interesting effect on me — part of me wants to laugh at how ludicrous and extreme it is, but most of me feels the need for a hot, disinfecting shower that will wash off the searing stream of irrational venom.

The other thing that happens when I read the collective moronity, hatred and fatuity of prominent MSM spokes people is that I understand why people like my mother can simultaneously say that they hate and fear Bush and Cheney, even if a more detailed conversation with them reveals that, in fact, they agree almost across the board with those two men’s policy positions.  And when it comes to voting, the irrational hatred inculcated by this ostensibly unbiased media will have a greater effect on my mother and people similarly situated than any rational understand of and approach to those policy issues that affect their day-to-day lives.

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Comments

  1. Deana says

    I get almost all of my news from Drudge, other online sources, and NPR – in spite of their left-leaning slant, I do enjoy many of their programs.

    But yes, I think a lot of people get their news from the MSM and/or sites that definitely lean to the left. It’s very noticeable when I talk to friends (most of whom have no idea how conservative I am) because I can tell that they are not reading / hearing what I do.

    While I’m more likely to be familiar with the news they are discussing, it still makes me feel as if we are living in different worlds. I’m sure many people feel that way and it can’t be good for the nation.

  2. Al says

    Hi BW,
    One way to read the Main Sewer Media’s mind-warpingly ignorant comments and actually enjoy it is to get them through the lens of the Limbaugh Letter. It is most refreshing.
    It might make an interesting holiday gift for your mom, as long as you think they wouldn’t drum you out of the family.
    And I agree with Deana. NPR is a great news source. Especially “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”. That’s where I learned Duct Tape can heal warts. Yes, it’s true.
    Al

  3. Gringo says

    Like many or most of the readers of this blog, I abstain from the MSM. The Spectator piece you linked to said that they were saving the worst for last, and in my estimation they weren’t kidding.

    Interviewing two actors from The Nativity Story about Hollywood movies based on Biblical themes, Couric asked if such movies might actually be harmful: Couric asked if such movies might actually be harmful: “Do you worry at all that non-believers may feel excluded and diminished at a time when we’re so divided about so much?”

    As a lifelong atheist or agnostic with a fundamentalist grandmother who lived until I was 39, a short answer would be , “HELL, NO.” It’s called cultural diversity. As an agnostic, I realize that not all agree with me, nor do I expect them to. Agnostics and atheists get an exposure to the other side. Moreover, the Bible is part of our civilization, our heritage. When I saw the Vietnam War Memorial in DC, the IMMEDIATE reaction of this agnostic was have the 23rd Psalm pass through my head.

    While my fundamentalist grandmother would have dearly loved to convert her grandchildren to the one true faith, and also reconvert her children to it, she put aside theological differences, because a personal relationship with her children and grandchildren was more important to her than to throw nonbelievers out of her life.

    In my estimation, too many on the left demonize Christians, especially fundamentalists and evangelicals. Many on the left compare Christian fundamentalists or evangelicals to jihadists. My reply: my grandmother didn’t behead her children for leaving the one true church, but maintained a loving relationship with them.

  4. Don says

    Well I do not believe the MSM is as liberal as everybody thinks. Of course it isn’t as dumb as FoxNoise but it is closer to the middel than Fox.

    I have been hearing noise about building 7 at the world trade center but I have not heard about it in the MSM. So if they were as left as everyone says, they would relish in the extream left views of the 9/11 conspiracy view.

  5. Al says

    Gringo,
    Ditto on Danny’s comment.
    Don, I believe I read that while the Liberal/Conservative ration on the shrinking Big Three broadcast media is 90/10, the same for Fox is 60/40. And Fox has Juan Williams and Mora Liasson as regular contributors to their news shows. I respectfully submit that you’ve got it backwards. Fox is much closer to the center than the MSM.
    As far as the 9/11 conspiracy nuts go, I am sure there are minions in the bowels of NBC who would love to discuss the possibility that Bush was responsible for the fall of the Towers so he could invade Iraq and get its oil for his capitalist friends, but the owners of the station are still level headed enough to want to remain in business.
    Al

  6. says

    Well I do not believe the MSM is as liberal as everybody thinks

    They (MSM) are the propaganda apparatus for Associated Press and Reuters, along with the domestic insurgency inside the US and the foreign insurgency in the rest of the world. Given such allegiances and superiors that the MSM incurs, why do you think it matters whether you think the MSM is as liberal or not as everybody thinks, Don?

  7. says

    So if they were as left as everyone says, they would relish in the extream left views of the 9/11 conspiracy view.

    Propaganda apparatuses always cloak their real beliefs behind the illusion and the advertisement. Except advertisement agencies are ethical enough to disclose. Effective propaganda is not nearly as effective when people know you have an axe to grind. Public credibility is necessitated, even though it is not necessary to maintain the economic profits, as the New York Times and other news networks showed concerning which ads they would accept and at what price.

    There is this belief that you can scientifically collect data/observations on the MSM and then arrive at a specific conclusion, validated through checking your hypothesis, and suddenly it will become clear what the MSM is or is not.

    That is not how you derive true and accurate analyses of situations or people, though.

    Science was never designed to piece through organized and well funded human deception operations. Lawyers, however, are designed to do such things, or at least something very similar. That is because lawyers, unlike supposedly judges, don’t come into the situation with a neutral stance. They go to bat for their client and thereby must discredit the opposition, through some fairly effective means. The same for police interrogators.

    The real question is, can you do the job of piercing illusion effectively, Don, if you try to be all things to all factions? Or do you prefer the role of judge as opposed to advocate concerning the MSM?

    The case is still undecided and incomplete, as far as the factions against and for the enemies of America are concerned. There can be no definite judgement of “if the MSM were this, then they would have done that”. The story hasn’t been published and all the evidence have not been presented.

    but the owners of the station are still level headed enough to want to remain in business.
    Al

    I plan to write a post concerning one of the fundamental motivations of the human species concerning why individuals do or don’t do things. In this case, I prefer the explanation that the MSM won’t publish extreme Leftist views until they think they can get away with it and profit ideologically from it. Because, as you know, most of the MSM have absolutely no interest in profit, except for what they use to live luxurious lives here in the US. To think that reporters are working as a team to better their company, their network, or their nation is mutually exclusive with the parasitic ideologies that most reporters hold in their heart of hearts.

    There were some topics written on by Wolf Pangloss and some commenters at Neo-Neocon’s site that is critically important to what truly motivates a person into acting or not acting.

  8. Ellie says

    I would also be very, very skeptical of the polling results we are being bombarded with constantly in the media. Thei polling accuracy vis-a-vis the actual vote has been dropping steadily since the rise of cell phones etc.

    The non-stop reporting of polling results is partly an attempt to sway voters and partly a way of inventing the news. When they are way off it’s a “startling turn of events” — i.e news. So vote your conscience and do not jump on any perceived bandwagon.

  9. jj says

    Having been involved with a network for twenty years, and knowing entirely too much about why and how people who occupy high positions got there (talent, news judgment, and reporting ability, believe me, had very, very little to do with it) I tend to give the whole thing a pass.

    I like Fox’s news. (“News,” as opposed to the commentary they do throughout prime time.) Shep Smith sits there and fires the day’s round-up at you for an hour, with zero-to-very-little comment as he goes. That is news. And it’s well done, and it’s pretty good.

    I don’t know what the rest of them think they’re doing – except watching their viewers run away like grains of sand in an hourglass.

  10. Trimegistus says

    I’ve never worked in broadcast, but I have worked in print media, and this is what I learned: journalists don’t know ANYTHING. I’ve never met a reporter who knew anything about science, technology, law, history, or economics. Their knowledge of literature and general culture is the same half-remembered stuff from high school that most people have. Even their knowledge of local politics and events is riddled with errors and personal blind spots. Nor are they any good at spotting deception, despite their abiding cynicism. The very skepticism they take such pride in means they fall for the first “alternative theory” anybody pitches because it confirms their prejudice that everyone is lying.

    Whenever I read a news story I keep in mind that it was probably written by someone who either went into journalism intending to use it as a soapbox, or took the job because they couldn’t find anything else.

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