Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Media No Longer Inquisitive? Or Hanson Tongue-in-Cheek?

I am afraid I no longer believe…That we have an inquisitive American media as we once knew it. Now comes a more insidious, brave new self-imposed censorship of the Orwellian mode. It is not just the perennial embarrassment Chris Matthews describing his Obama ecstasy on camera, or even Newsweek’s Evan Thomas comparing his President to God, or even CNN execs being exposed trashing the US abroad at Davos, or whitewashing Saddam, but rather a more incremental new groupspeak in which basic words and ideas—from terrorism to war itself—have been reformulated according to political dictates...I No Longer Quite Believe..., Victor Davis Hanson, Pajamas Media, 6/10/2009

Of course Victor Davis Hanson's article, which you should read in its entirety at Pajamas Media, presents nothing in the way of news. The pontificating bias of MSM on behalf of their favorite White House resident and their favorite political agendas, which is entirely supported by media's upper management, else the talking heads on these networks would not have jobs, has bloomed like crabgrass in the past few years.

It's a case of perfectly matched, though fundamentally opposed, agendas. Upper management in MSM wants a break from the Feds (FCC) to help them with the new and irritating competition on the Internet and talk radio. The news divisions aren't selling ads. Katie Couric's audience has declined to five million, a quarter of CBS's share twenty years ago. Fox News is bigger than the audience of CNN and MSNBC combined. The revival of a Fairness Doctrine, or some other severe constraint, means “fairly likely to help the networks return a profit.” Subsidy of the newspaper business, or an outright bailout, would of course entail undying editorial appreciation of the White House and its consorts in Congress.

As for the commentators, one supposes the fatuous boobs among them have been sponsored in their strange manners on the air, and in print, to this end by their bosses. Self-professed radicals very rarely proceed without the backing of big money.

Hanson's point, however, is that the conversion of what had tried to be rational and objective observation, whether in the sciences or in the media, into a political vehicle has totally compromised the advantages that such rational and objective observation and discourse offered the United States, Britain, and Europe. We have, as Russian President Vladmir Putin has noted with snaky irony, become much as the USSR used to be, with our news sources, and research discourse, sublimated to what the Soviet Reds used to call "the supremacy of politics." The writer leaves the reader to look at the history of the USSR as to the effects this can have.

If the KGB had done as much damage, it would have been considered an act of war.


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