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« A Dear Caught in the Spotlight | Main | GOP minds - though neither hearts nor money - would go with Clinton »

November 30, 2015


It's easy to see you're refreshed and ready by the quality of this post. That said I think I will blame corporatism. Having worked for 3 huge corporations myself I can personally attest to the fact that beneath institutional isomorphism is another layer of groupthink that constantly rationalizes the organization's main purpose of making money. Anyone that's worked for a similar employer will know what I'm describing if they were exposed to management by sitting in on their meetings. How many others would have liked to be in the room when CNN decided to make the ad for the upcoming Republican debate that resembles one for professional wrestling; the one with the candidates' faces and names shown in succession with thundering drums in the background? Would anyone deny the stupid thing was made to appeal to some demographic mean?

I wouldn't presume to answer how to fix the Newz Biz, but as a news and politics junkie my answer is to look at a number of sources that are not TV and not (American) MSM web outlets, though I look at those too. For news, AlterNet, Columbia Journalism Review, DW's Americas section, The Guardian's US section and The Raw Story are all good. For politics, On The Issues, Media Matters, Factcheck and Ballotpedia are useful.

As regards Trump it's of course correct that he's nothing new. The media didn't call out Joe McCarthy for quite a while either.

I don't know how this sad state of affairs can be addressed in America, but the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation still does journalism. It is a corporation owned by the Crown, and largely funded by the government, yet operates at arm's length. The mandate is to be distinctively Canadian, to inform, enlighten and entertain us.

The broadcaster is not without warts or controversies, but the profit motive does not factor into news coverage. Peter Mansbridge and the National is, by far and away, the best news hour in North America.

I am not the least surprised by your conclusions. I've probably referenced DF Wallace's very insightful piece on the rise of right wing radio more times than necessary. The gist remains the same, the rise of right wing talk radio did not come from corporate ideology. It came from marketing research. It is the nature of the beast so I do not get angry when the beast behaves as a beast must. I do feel my intelligence is being insulted when the various justifications for journalistic behavior are offered.

With regard to Trump what can one say? Ezra Klein has some interesting pieces at Vox on why he and many others think Rubio will be the Republican choice while admitting he cannot justify why. My view is that the punditry is missing the point about Donald and his supporters. I do not believe they support him because he is running for president. They support him because he channels their inner asshole. The bright side is that he does not represent the views of three hundred million people or even a politically significant, as in winning, fraction thereof. He does represent the views of those members of the public who find politics entertaining. To the marketers of "news" no one else really exists.

Maybe it's splitting hairs, but the radio broadcasting corporations paid for the marketing research in an effort to make money. They obviously didn't care that right wing talk radio was full of shit and hurt citizenship.

Guess what? It turns out that Roberts and Co. got something important right in Citizens United: money is speech.

Technology has allowed the control of influence in greater and greater measure over the last several hundred years. Public opinion today is a manufactured good which can be quantified and directed and economics dictate.

So long as market mechanisms are seen as the only legitimate drivers of human activity, you will get what you pay for.

Great point. It's the subject of the book 'Manufacturing Consent' by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky. There's also a video lecture of the same name by Chomsky that can be viewed on the web. The basic point is that propaganda is to democracy what violence is to dictatorship. In that light people like Roberts see it as a legitimate method of social discourse, which is naive. Chomsky's suggestions for the way out of the maze are finding information from alternative media and implementing change by becoming engaged in community action.

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