I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I don't want to comment on the Zimmerman/Martin case specifically. There isn't enough information for a final judgement, and others have covered what we do know far better than I can.

This is a rather good opportunity to talk some about media in general though.

We in the blogosphere tend to take out main stream news with at the least a grain of salt, and at most about half the yearly production of Khewra. We recognize that media outlets frequently have agendas, often* at odds with ours. I know that whenever I read an article in the MSM, my brain is divided between digesting content and determining spin, which ranges from near stationary to industrial end mill.† TV news I generally don't even get to pay attention to content, as there rarely is any under the spin.

Most people, my college peers particularly, don't think this way. They have CNN running in the background of their lives, and take what they see at full face value. During the Occupy protests, people I talked to were largely unaware of the huge rates of disease, crime, and stupidity. The UC Davis case ran the same way. When challenged on the false impressions some of them had formed, several people replied "But I saw it on CNN."

The primary responsibility for being properly informed falls on the individual. Allowing other agencies to manufacture your impression of an event is foolhardy in the extreme. It is a tacit acceptance of being a pawn in someone else's game, which is especially entertaining coming from modern young radicals claiming intellectual independence and complaining about the sheeple.§

That being said, the main stream media is well aware of their influence, and are deliberately misleading people in the pursuit of their agenda. I have no problem with talking heads getting their feathers ruffled by the latest incident du jour, but I have a problem with them twisting facts to suit their outrage. The MSNBC doctoring of the Zimmerman 911 call seems to me just short of libelous. UC Davis was painted as an unprovoked attack out of convenience. The media actively suppressed accounts of the Occupy awfulness.

The media have sold their credibility for outrage and agenda. The days of the muckrackers, investigative reporters who would dig through anything for a story, are passed, replaced by reporters who will fling any quantity of muck to hide stories and paint the picture they want to show the world. Their claim of fair, unbiased and objective reporting is a shameful travesty, their abdication of their journalistic responsibility is a tragedy, and the way people accept it is enough to bring the cynic in me to full force.

At this point, if I want news of any big news event in the US or world, I turn first to BBC. They have agenda too, but it's not so heavily tied to this country. Finding reputable objectivity should not take another continent. Lest Fox think it gets a pass on these matters, they are likewise guilty, simply possessing a different agenda. The fact that said agenda more closely mirrors mine is irrelevant.

If the media is going to behave this way, one of two things should happen. Either their mainstream credibility should drop to that of blogs, or the mainstream credibility of good blogs should rise to meet that of media. While I'm making empty wishes, I'd really like an AR in 6.8 Grendel and a pair of matched Coonan 1911s. Oh, and a viable presidential candidate. And a pony.

*ok, ok, almost always
†I do this with blogs as well. We spin too.
See? I have opinion and agenda too.
§Swap in reactionary and you have a leftist's opinion of me, so there's another grain of salt.

1 comment:

Please comment, but please be respectful. I reserve the right to delete any comment at any time for any reason, but I don't anticipate having to do that. Let's try to have real discussions?