Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pravda vs. Joe: It's Time to Say Good Bye to "Old Media"

Not long ago I had a conversation with an undecided voter about the pros and cons of the candidates in this election. She has a busy life, working on her version of the American dream. She works hard. She goes to school. And in the minutes between, she's trying to gather facts, because she wants to vote responsibly. She belongs to a minority that has its own interests, but, she tells me, she's an American first and foremost. Based on the national media, she's thinking Obama may be the right choice, but she's uneasy. Why? The reports seem like a sales job - there isn't enough hard information. There are pieces missing, contradictions. She knows a smear when she sees one, and can't trust what she's hearing. I tell her I agree. She asks, "How we are supposed to get the facts?" She's no expert on politics, but she sees it, too. The news isn't news anymore.

John Hinderaker at Powerline, in his article (The End of Journalism as We Knew It) quotes an open letter to journalists by Orson Scott Card, in which he addresses the media silence on the roots of the housing crisis:

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans. ...

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)
Like a cat in a litterbox, the old media has fastidiously buried any hint of the Democrats' role in the credit crisis.

As the rest of America is beginning to see, what the major news outlets call "news" is in reality one very long campaign commercial, that unabashedly buries facts inconvenient to Democrats. Another of far too many examples was the attempt to ignore the 50 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq - because if that leaks, God forbid, someone may think that Bush was right. (If you think the "fairness doctrine" is meant to correct this - pardon me for saying so - but you are either agenda-driven or naive.)

Amid the ironic assertions of the talking heads that mud-slinging won't win the election, they themselves engage in a concerted effort to destroy Sarah Palin, and her family, issue blatantly sexist calls for her to remove herself from politics and go back to housekeeping. This is followed by inexplicable denials that the "media elite" would engage in any such thing. (Evidently, they don't know that YouTube has a long memory.) All this, while ignoring - or excusing - the long list of Obama's Chicago associations, and Chicago corruption in general.

But "the end of journalism as we knew it", for me, was the furious and despicable attack on Joe the Plumber - the ordinary man who spoke honestly with Obama. It was an obvious, vicious attempt to destroy him, topped off with the fetid excuse that he needed to be "vetted". Got that? An American citizen must be vetted when he acts as though he has a right to ask a political question.

Should Obama be vetted? Nope. Joe the Plumber? From divorce to taxes to family associations and income, licensing and work history, YES. Vet him. Publish it. The world should know - he got above his station. The snarling elitism of liberal media, little-guy be damned, on full display, and claiming to be "news". Until now, I was too infuriated to write sensibly, and Powerline's John Hindraker gave voice to my thoughts when he said this:
"But the mainstream media--which is to say, most reporters and editors who work for "mainstream" news organizations--have no honor and are not interested in truth. They are, as Card says, "the public relations machine of the Democratic Party." It's time to accept that fact and move on. Our existing news organizations--the New York Times, the Associated Press, NBC, CNN, CBS, and so on--can't be reformed, they can only be ignored. It is time for conservatives, libertarians, moderates, and normal citizens who are interested in straightforward reporting of the news to build their own news organizations in competition with the corrupt ones that now exist."
With that (and Joe the Plumber) in mind, we've decided to remove certain links and feeds that now appear on the Chicago Bungalow, and do our best to replace them with better sources. The "Old Media" list is history. We'll be reworking our other link lists to make them easier to navigate with better categories to access things like international content and science, and we'll add informative feeds as we find them. If you want to hear how wonderful Obama is, or desperately important stuff like "what's really in your shampoo?", I'm guessing you already know where to look. And yes, we know they won't care whether one little blog links them. It's a matter of principle.

So please pardon our dust as we rework things here on the stoop. The reality of Pravda is what it is, and as Hindraker says, it's time to "accept that fact and move on".

(H/T Blithe Spirit: "Throw the bums out of your living room")

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