Media Elite Fall Down Again, and Again and …

For all of their gasbaggery about the virtue and necessity of the Fourth Estate, the glittering mainstream media elite (big names, big money, very little gumshoe) is simply allergic to breaking news, and intelligently reporting about anything that implicates the power structure beyond the isolated criminal doings of one man or woman, i.e, senators and congressmen who terrorize airport bathrooms and congressional pages, or cheesy Midwest governors with small mind/big hair complexes. Those stories are safe, and therefore deserve the exhaustion of every pitiful analysis and resource.

But when it comes to serious stuff — preemptive war, torture, spying on Americans without warrant, the upending of the U.S constitution — these mainstream mavens (who are ever-so-fond of waxing nostalgic about their weaning during the Woodward & Bernstein glory years of the 70’s)  quickly “close ranks” and reframe the context of these stories to ensure the teeniest impact possible on the status quo. This typically means protecting their establishment friends in government, not rattling the corporate sponsors, and skittering off  to perceivably more ratings-grabbing news, like what really happened to Anna Nicole Smith, and what are the ladies on The View dishing about today? This is all done of course, in that gratingly condescending way (think and picture Chris Matthews)  that has all the subtle effect of nails filing down on a chalkboard.

The worst is when they completely ignore stories that put their “profession” in the most garish of lights, those little slivers of truth that peek out from time to time thanks to real reporters in the business. David Barstow won a Pulitzer Prize this week for his expose on the media using generals planted by the Pentagon to sell the war , but I bet most Americans haven’t heard of “message force multipliers” and wouldn’t know why they should care, since the story never made it to the nightly news.

As for the current torture scandal, of which we have hardly heard the full extent, Glenn Greenwald has an excellent analysis on his site today regarding the corporate media’s complicity in playing down the story throughout the Bush years and its ongoing attempts to frame it in the most self-serving way possible. A taste:

For years, media stars ignored the fact that our Government was chronically breaking the law and systematically torturing detainees (look at this extremely detailed exposé by The Washington Post‘s Dana Priest and Barton Gellman from December, 2002 to get a sense for how much we’ve known about all of this and for how long we’ve known it).  Now that the sheer criminality of this conduct, really for the first time, has exploded into mainstream political debates as a result of the OLC memos, media stars are forced to address it.  Exactly as one would expect, they are closing ranks, demanding (as always) that their big powerful political-official-friends and their elite institutions not be subject to the dirty instruments that are meant only for the masses — things like the rule of law, investigations, prosecutions, and accountability when they abuse their power.

Read more here.

16 thoughts on “Media Elite Fall Down Again, and Again and …”

  1. The corporatization of American media has made it just one more branch of the establishment. It sits there alongside the Republicrats, the military-industrial complex, AIPAC and various other lobbies. Gone are the days of tough, investigative, honest journalism.

    1. “Honest journalism” is an oxymoron. The mainstream media has no credibility. None. They actually have negative credibility. Listen to what they have to say, then believe the opposite.

  2. I have always maintained that the majority of the politicos and the media knew that the the war on Iraq as well as the torture was a WAR CRIME and was against the US contitution as well.. but they did not care cause they thought nobody had the power to stop them.

    Only Ron Paul stood up.. but even he did not introduce impeachment legislation again Bush..

    Now Obama is caught trying to cover this whole thing up but it will not go away until Bush and his gang as well as the Palosi and Reid crowd are tried in a court and sentenced for their crimes. As well the media enablers need to get their FCC licences revoked and Obama needs to get investigated by the ICC for his coverups

  3. The media was a very willing participant ,and it was the one who sold all of the lies to the American public which accepted without question.

    1. True, although it doesn’t take very much to fool the average American. Most Americans, unilingual, not well-travelled and with no historic sense, have no idea what is really going on in the world or what has been done supposedly in their name. Look how the Bushling was able to so easily sell Americans on the ludicrous idea they were attacked on September 11th “because they were free”.

  4. Caught Morning Joe today. They were all there. To listen to them is surreal. They actually discussed Cheney’s claim that water boarding worked. Well, that is like saying my house was being foreclosed so I robbed a bank. But, hey, I was able to save my house. What is the difference in logic? Both acts are, and were, illegal!

    And call me crazy, but if 9-11 changed everything, how about an investigation? Really, I don’t know what happened that day, but the conspiracy theory offered by the government can’t be true. If so, what ever happened to NORAD that day? They never got off the ground. That’s just for openers. Even though there was no investigation, the bushies started a war and gutted the BoR and the Constitution. And the congress did what it does best — run to the corner and hide, and hope they can get reelected. That, in itself, is a joke. Of 435 house seats in the last “election”, less than 9% were considered competitive.

    But the MSM wants to “move forward”. Folks, with conventional wisdom like this, it’s all downhill from here.

    1. Right on! Mussolini said it best and he should have known.

      “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

      Peace!

  5. The media always followed the party line in this country. There hasn’t been much of competitive media for at least 70 years.

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