Sunday, December 02, 2007

Whither 'liberal media'?


My pal SteveAudio (who makes the bad sound good and the good sound better) has a thought-provoking post up about the oft-repeated 'liberal media' meme that gets trotted out whenever the heat gets hot for conservative thought.

Now, I'm an obsessive news troller...Partly for fueling my little pastiche hobby, and partly out of deeply ingrained habit, being a newsie's kid wanting to keep up my end of the table talk.

And ever since this meme began circulating about 'liberal media', I have looked for data that would support or enhance such a conclusion, to expand upon my own subjective experience.

I wasn't interested in demographic studies that purported to show reporters being 'liberal' in their personal lives, because those same charts showed that editorial and media ownership groups trended just as sharply to the conservative end of the spectrum in executive and business affairs, creating a rather obvious offset.

And anyone with even a minor understanding of news reportage knows that reporters don't just plop out a completed screed on their hapless editor's desk and scamper off to their socialist glee club meetings astride a rainbow colored unicorn with no expectation of revision or spiking.

But let us accept for an argument the sub rosa conservative premise that liberal thought does indeed infest the news divisions and reporter's pools, and is stealthily manipulating an easily gulled public into substantial revision of their personally held beliefs.

What does this say about conservative attitudes toward that same public?
Does it imply, 'Fortunately, an enlightened populace seeking a balanced viewpoint rejects this sort of claptrap out of hand'?

Or, 'Luckily, sweet impartial reason, filled to bursting with informed oversight nips this communistic drivel in the bud'?

No, it does not.

It says...'You, the public, are too stupid and consumerly to analyze and filter anything past horoscopes and The Family Circus.
Thus, we must drive our talking point home before our opponents do, over and over, again and again, until you accept our filter on your subjective perception and adopt our viewpoint as your own - Because you are sheep in need of a shepherd, and we are shepherds in need of fleece and lambchops.'

'Let us think for you, since you are incapable of using your beautiful minds without being swayed by the siren song of the Left.
This is unacceptable to us, and we shall make it unacceptable to you.'

Over 50% of the registered voters in the United States, 62 million people, voted for George Bush in 2004 not because a 'liberal media's web of lies' were so easily seen through and reacted against.

All the facts as we know them today were on the table then...The corruption, the cronyism, the incompetence, the lies that led to war...It was all there, and it wasn't being reported on.

Who benefited from that lack of reportage... exactly?


Tengrain said...

This is a frequent thought for me; I keep wondering why no one else, even for a moment, thinks to call Rupert Murdoch liberal. He's the biggest, baddest media mogul, well, ever, and he's as hardcore right wing as it gets.



darkblack said...

That's a good question, T. - Quite possibly for the same reason that Ted Turner, William Paley, and others weren't tarred with that epithet...Perhaps because it was evident to the casually informed observer that they weren't liberal any more if indeed they ever were, by dint of their ascent up the corporate food chain and the commensurate narrowing of their outward social concerns.

Of course, there are always efforts made at community service, whether because of 'good optics', mutual advantage, or a genuine desire to give back and support a cause.

But one doesn't get to sit in the big chair at the head of the shiny table by being a bleeding heart.

The Darwinian struggle of successful capitalism leeches all that inner do-gooder right out of you.


Fran said...

Great post DB. And a topic that I too, give much consideration to. I am friendly with someone at a news source and we too discuss this, but as part of it, this person (although quite liberal) is part of the system as it exists.

The media is as liberal as say- Hillary is! Another lie oft repeated that becomes a so-called truth.

(Fran shudders at the misuse of the word!)

I must deign to disagree with Tengrain and perhaps you on one point.

Is Murdoch really a super conservo-hole?

I am not sure. I am not sure he is anything. He is quite skilled - skilled among many on this earth at the art of finding what sells.

Whether that is/was "Page 3 girls" in tabloid papers or forwarding an agenda that was good for his own finances and empire- that is the rub for him.

Actually - he is willing to burn many ducats in order to flex his power muscle. That is really what he is about.

We may never know what his politics - other than pure evil - are.

There is a story that I would love to tell but that I am not at liberty to. I am currently employed, although that ends on 12/31/07. I am paid severance for 6 months. (Being a successful Senior VP and getting canned does not do for one's finances that being a fucked up CEO's does. If that had been the case it would be millions for years to come!)

Anyway, my long winded point is that if it is worthwhile, perhaps I can retell this tale of evil that has to do with my employer, many politicians and a Fox funded and promoted huge lie that was bought by all media.

It ties back to the Clinton era, albeit in a rather circuitous manner, and then to Hillary in a more recent way.

Let it suffice it to say that it is money that talks, bullshit walks and party politics can vary.

The odd thing is that anything that I can say about it was/is available via decent googling. However, no one cared to look.

darkblack said...

Perhaps so, Fran...Quid pro quo agreements between media consortiums and political entities to advance agendas in exchange for deregulatory action occur with a regularity that might shock the casual observer, vis. the ascent of Clear Channel bookended with Michael Powell's tenure at the FCC.

Whether the corporate culture is explicitly political, and what public form that philosophy takes is often subsumed by the estimated profitability of that ideology - If the Bush administration (or any other) was incapable of or unwilling to create opportunity for media conglomeration, and thus market control and increased ad revenue for the corporations seeking same, they would have been dropped like a murder weapon.

Fran said...

True true true indeed.

And my own career has been and will be until that date, media related.

Tangled webs, so to speak.