Based on this last election cycle, I’ve come to the conclusion that people say that don’t trust the media, but their dominant opinions are still formed by the media. Remember the video of people who could tell you that Sarah Palin’s daughter was pregnant but could remember one Obama idea? It’s kinda like all Americans are above-average drivers. Americans believe themselves to be above-average informed while simultaneously distrusting the media. They know they’re being deceived and manipulated, they just believe the deception while believing they’re not believing.
The mainstream media doesn’t deserve the trust. Right now, CNN and Charles Johnson of LGF continue to argue over what is essentially Palestinian propaganda passed off as news. Ed Driscoll goes through the history and names the stories, huge stories the media was wrong about:
But if the jury is still out on that clip, let’s take a video look at news from this decade that we know conclusively was botched, including:
- The New Republic’s Danger Man, Scott Thomas Beauchamp.
- Reuters’ Picture Kill fiasco.
- Former CNN chief Eason Jordan claimed US (and Israeli) troops targeted journalists For assassination–but was surprisingly cool about working with Saddam Hussein.
- Hurricane Katrina and the “Echo Chamber in the Superdome.”
- Document Dan Rather.
- Jayson Blair.
- And the grandfather of ‘em all: Walter “Boom Boom” Duranty.
And this doesn’t even touch the most egregious form of media manipulation: what the media chooses to not report to you. For example, do you know how Barack Obama got his seat in the Illinois Senate? Why did it take the National Enquirer to break the John Edwards story–imagine if he’d have been a Republican Presidential candidate cheating on his campaigning wife who was suffering with cancer? Have you heard, nationally, about Chris Dodd’s involvement in the regulation related to the housing crisis while benefiting personally from the regulations? Have you seen the Palestinians using their children as shields during the war in any news coverage?
It’s not just misreporting, it’s what’s not being said at all that’s the danger. And maybe the bigger danger is that people will just believe everything because trying to keep up and filter is overwhelming. Or, they’ll get cynical and believe nothing. The whole system relies on a certain amount of trust.
The media shouldn’t exclude itself from criticism. Please. They sell their product on the back of hype and fear-mongering. It is to their competitive advantage to keep everyone frothing. And then, they’ll turn around tomorrow and tell the American people how the stimulus bill destroyed, destroyed I tell you!, America.
The hypocrisy would be comical if the side effects of the delusion drug weren’t so costly to a free republic.