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Thursday, October 11, 2012

The disconnect

Erick Erickson over at RedState is a journalist by trade. A token conservative for CNN, as I understand it. He understands the divide between liberal media reporting and what media consumers want: blatant bias versus fair and unbalanced reporting! He has up a lengthy but worthwhile anaylsis of the current situation in the media with The American Political Press's Psycho Moment.

There are many great ideas and comparisons in it, but I think this paragraph in the middle just about sums it up. As background, he compares the current media divide to that of the movie goer versus movie critic in the movie Psycho.
There is a vast disconnect that I don’t think most reporters understand or appreciate. Worse, I think they’d rather blame the news consumers — increasingly the former news consumers — than blame themselves or acknowledge their responsibility. There is little difference between the movie critic who comments derisively on the taste of American movie goers and the reporter who comments derisively on what the news consumer chooses to watch and read.
This really is the heart of the matter. Reporters lean so far left they are incapable of fair coverage. A little deeper, the liberal media also wants to protect liberal politicians at the expense of the consumer. Protecting Barack Obama in his Libya scandal, his Fast and Furious scandal - scandals that could bring impeachment with an antagonistic press as it surely would have been under Bush. These scandals are worse than Watergate according to Rush Limbaugh, because people died in both of Obama's big scandals and then he and the press went around covering it up. And of course Obama's wasted billions in taxpayer dollars in green energy programs that went bankrupt with little public outrage because of little coverage by a friendly media. Meanwhile we hear more about Romney's "gaffes" that are really his words taken ridiculously out of context. Not as important to Americans as the fact that our president lies to us!

Erick Erickson continues:
It is not that Fox News is, during its day time news, more conservative. It is that Fox News actually expends effort to ensure it relates to the values and world view of many more Americans than most major news outlets. But the average reporter for the average newspaper or other press shop would rather lament a conservative bias at Fox News than recognize most of them have a liberal bias much more detached from the average American. Outside of that news organization, very few are even interested in what middle class Americans within fifty miles of an American river valley not named Hudson even care about. The people consuming the news are not viewed as the intended consumers by the press. The intended consumers are those at their cocktail parties in Washington and New York who will herald them and give them Pulitzers and maybe one day a cushy job in a future Democratic Administration.

Festering the problem, many reporters, thought leaders in the press, and news executives rarely encounter people in the heartland any more. The Mississippi River Valley is something to be flown over instead of studied and covered unless there is a natural disaster. Additionally, the new breed of political reporter knows little about politics before Bush v. Gore, couldn’t care less to have a sense of history to give them perspective, embraces the cosmopolitan culture of elite environs in New York and Washington diving only into hipster dive bars to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon to connect in some superficial way with the rest of the country, leans left socially and fiscally, and maintains an increasingly secular world view nearly identical to that of their other young, hipster reporter friends. “Professing themselves wise, they became fools . . . ”

It is a painful truth.
I have a link to the liberal leanings of a full 90% of the press, at least in 2008, in yesterday's post. And as for the recent moves in the media to cover Obama a little more objectively, Erickson explains this too:
These are all conservative critiques of the Obama Administration for the past four years. But each time conservatives raised them, most political reporters dismissed the critiques as partisanship, frivolousness, or racism. Now, the political press is taking on these points as their own as are many Americans suddenly tuned in. The conservative echo chamber talking points about Barack Obama have broken out of the echo chamber and seeped into the American psyche in a way that the Obama camp will have a hard time shutting down. But the damning thing is that many of these points were, for four years, treated dismissively by the American political press only to now be repeated by them.

It is not that suddenly these points underwent a metamorphosis from illegitimate to legitimate. It’s that the political press, like with Benghazi, can no longer tell the American people they did not see what they actually saw. Americans are believing their lying eyes and, in so doing, more and more feel like they’ve been had by a press corp that calls itself objective when it patently is not.
There is much more. I recommend Erickson's analysis in entirety, especially ahead of the VP debate. Being aware of the bias is the first step to picking it out yourself without needing someone point it out for you. Listen to the moderator questions for Biden versus Ryan. Listen to the post-debate  'analysis.' See what the fact-checkers check and what they don't check. Think about your personal responses to what Biden and Ryan say and ask yourself if they are really your own responses or just a product of "political correctness" stemming from liberalism. Then read a few conservative analyses (or watch Fox) for an opposite take on the debate and see which analysis you agree with. You really can't make an educated opinion without considering more than one point of view.

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