Media: You’re not doing your job

Here are some of the results from this week’s Wall Street Journal/NBC poll [PDF] (@ Ezra Klein):

WTF America?

So, basically 40+% of people believe three completely untrue things. The current proposed bills do not cover illegal aliens, result in a government takeover of healthcare, nor do they pull the plug on grandma. These false convictions are the result of a rightwing campaign of lies designed to destroy health care reform, and a national media unwilling or unable to properly inform the citizenry.

Isn’t it interesting that rightwing protests get so much media attention, while leftwing protests (like those against the Iraq War) barely register on the media’s radar? It’s almost as if *gasp* Noam Chomsky was right in Manufacturing Consent. The media is willing, actually eager, to cover rigthwing protests because they align perfectly with the interests of their corporate owners and advertisers.

7 Comments

  1. Clint

    “The media is willing, actually eager, to cover rigthwing protests because they align perfectly with the interests of their corporate owners and advertisers.”

    In fact, as Rachel Maddow and Mr. Olbermann have pointed out, they are coordinated by corporate owners and former GOP operatives.

  2. Clint

    Good article by Taibbi on the same topic:

    http://www.alternet.org/blogs/healthwellness/142095/health_care_rats_come_out_of_the_woodwork/

  3. Jordan

    In an unrelated article in the New Yorker on Mayor Bloomberg, the author made a passing comment about how the “moguls like Rupert Murdoch and Sam Zell,…view the news strictly as a commodity, not a public service. “. I think that is something we always have to take in consideration to what is seen on these ‘news’ channels.

    The Edge of the American West has a great post, The New Stupid passes it on, more in line with this topic:

    “But absent the men in powerful places required to authorize their specious interpretations of suspect facts, their conversations increasingly resemble idle gossip in a endless game of telephone amplified over the airwaves and through a series of tubes: before leaving for work, a conservative communicates his displeasure about some milksop Obama initiative to his neighbor; when he returns home, his wife informs him that the gay Kenyan in the White House wants to kill grandma. Exactly how his complaint was corrupted—from Rush to some blog, some blog to Fox, Fox to Rush, Rush to Hannity, Hannity to some blog—is less important than the inevitability that it would be.”

  4. Chris

    Good articles thanks for the links.

    You should checkout this article from Firedoglake which lays out a convincing case that the White House has been planning to sacrifice the “public option” from the start. This is because they’ve made secret deals with health care companies (in contravention of Obama’s own campaign promises to air negotiations on C-SPAN) promising to water down the legislation.

  5. Jordan

    I would read the whole Bloomberg article if you have the time. There’s a section in there basically saying that since he could pay for his campaigns himself, he actually could think of ‘the greater good’ rather than be hamstrung by favors owed to special interests. It also makes a case about term limits and ‘professional politicians’ in discussing Bloomberg’s run for a third term. As an article/comment in The Atlantic said, the two parties really should just rename themselves “Status” and “Quo”. Maybe this works fine for a country that only gets around 50% turnout at pres. elections (and in the high 30s for others).

    This bill, if it passes, will be a baby step forward. If it doesn’t, we’ll stick with whatever we’ve got until the Boomers are dead. By then, the country will be too fat and indebted to care as long as we get to have our guns and American Idol.

  6. Chris

    Jordan,
    That was supposed to be part of Obama’s argument for being elected, that he wasn’t beholden to special interests because so many people donated to him. Guess he was lying.

  7. Ian

    “The media is willing, actually eager, to cover rigthwing protests because they align perfectly with the interests of their corporate owners and advertisers.”

    I’m not quite sure I agree with this. I think the media has been working hard to manufacture news. Everything, everything is reduced to a two-sided issue. Then they can bring on their standard pundits to take a specific side on an issue and argue it out. Viewers at home side with their particular pundit of choice, rather than actually consider that a problem like public health care can be more nuanced than “for” or “against”.

    People like the right-wing protesters get huge press, rather than simply being marginalized or ignored, and a few protesters gain a larger voice than they should. It validates their efforts to disrupt and encourages others to do the same. Its a chain reaction. By giving a vocal few more of a voice than you should, you basically recruit for them and create more misinformation. This leads to more protests and screwed up opinion polls like above, which gives the news companies more to report on and argue about. You “angry up the blood” of the populace and they are going to be more likely to tune in to find out whats going on. That equals more advertising dollars.

    Remember, partisan hackery “news” (like you guys have advocated on this blog) is just entertainment. Don’t be mad when these guys sell their journalistic intergrity. Its what you wanted.