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To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Friday, March 04, 2005

All the News That's Printed to Fit

In another bit from the March 1 Progressive Review, Sam Smith comments on the lessons of Rathergate:

INDICATIVE OF ITS BIZARRE PRIORITIES, the media has given far more attention to Dan Rather's problems in getting the details of one story straight than to the story itself - Bush's clearly favored treatment in the Air National Guard - or to the failure of the media on a regular basis to get far more important stories right such as those involving WMDs in Iraq or Social Security. Thus the stories critical of Dan Rather themselves have become lies of omission, giving the totally false picture of where Rather resides in the pantheon of media inadequacy.

Rather's mistake was that he made his errors alone, upon which reporters (as with other good bureaucrats) frown, rather than collectively, which the media simply takes for granted and seldom mentions. As long as everyone else is touting the invasion of Iraq or the dismantling of Social Security there's nothing to worry about. But go out and make an original error and you're in deep trouble. Which is one reason there is so little original reporting.

For lots and lots of damning material on Bush's Guard record, stuff on which the whipped "liberal media" is almost completely silent, check out this. In a society where the press was actually adversarial, this sort of thing would be water-cooler talk every day. Instead, the "professional" journalists docilely recycle press releases and McConnell's official happy-talk soundbites as straight news, while a handful of alternative weeklies and blogs do all of the actual journalism.

Of course, the MSM stenographers have good reason not to waste their time digging through stuff like this: it detracts from more important things, like buying hair-care products, or standing in front of a courthouse backdrop to "report" the latest non-news on the Kobe Bryant or Scott Peterson case.

I know that Jefferson, if allowed to choose only one, preferred having newspapers to a government; but do we really have to take either one?

3 Comments:

Blogger Jesse said...

Did you really just say "MSM"?

March 04, 2005 3:33 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Yikes--I guess I did. MSM has become something of a catchphrase for certain political circles, hasn't it? It's certainly ironic, given the subject matter of this post, that the right blogosphere uses it as a term of derision for the "librull media."

Still, although the "MSM" abbreviation may be new, the left-wing alternative press was criticizing the corporate mainstream media back before anyone ever heard of Instapundit.

March 04, 2005 6:17 PM  
Blogger Deleted said...

The Reagan/Bush movement people practice an odd form of detournement. They gobble up fringe and counterculture, mix in leftish critiques, run it through a blender and pour the result out in PR enhanced lumps. The end result is the Age of Aquarius meets the Will to Power. Clear proof the whole can be less than the sum of its parts.

March 04, 2005 6:38 PM  

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