March 18, 2011
The Media and the RepublicansBy Steve McCann
The American mainstream media, once the most dominant news gathering entity in the world, has lost its credibility and is in the process of losing its influence. Yet the Republicans and some conservative intelligentsia in Washington D.C. still foolishly curry the media's favor, cower in fear of their by-gone power and do not understand their motives and mindless acquiescence to group-think mentality.
Since 1990 total newspaper circulation has dropped by 17.3 million readers (28%). The three network news broadcasts have suffered a similar fate. Since 1991 they have lost 12.6 million viewers (34%). The various mainstream news magazines such a Time and Newsweek are a mere skeleton of their former selves.
While many within the media chose to blame the rise of the internet, talk radio and Fox News, this trend began long before the ascendancy of these new media outlets. The case could be made that these new sources of information benefited and grew rapidly as a reaction to the lack of integrity from the mainstream media.
This lack of integrity was never more manifest than the media's slavish fawning over Barack Obama in the 2008 election and their continued loyalty despite his myriad failings, obvious disinterest in the job of President, and his infatuation with the perquisites of his office. Like a battered spouse, many in the mainstream media will not leave his side.
This march to the media's present role of being in league with the Obama administration is based not only on assuaging their guilt and cheerleading for his success as the first African-American President, but the culmination of the good-versus-evil orientation of modern journalism. The process of determining who were the righteous and who were the villains was begun by the American Left over 80 years ago.
The manufactured villain turned out to be those who stand for: 1) the traditions and tenets as espoused by the founding fathers (who are responsible for creating a nation inherently unfair and racist), 2) the free enterprise system (which is riddled with perceived inequities).
The major acceleration of this process took place in the 1960's. A social revolution took hold against American historical and societal norms. An era of peace and prosperity unprecedented in the history of mankind was underway in the United States, allowing a new generation, who had never experienced hardship on a massive scale, to focus on hedonistic pursuits, self-aggrandizement and a search for "meaning in their lives."
This movement was promptly seized by the true-believers on the Left as a recruiting pool. The Leftists proclaimed to the gullible that the United States was an unjust, repressive tool of capitalism. The siren song of a classless society wherein all are treated fairly and there are no absolutes found eager ears. The protests against the Vietnam War and the very necessary civil rights movement, which achieved so much, were hijacked by many of the post-depression generation into a call to overthrow all of society's norms.
The protests surrounding the Vietnam War and then Watergate not only gave rise to the resignation of a President but accelerated the virulent polarization of politics and the beginning of the end of any pretext of an impartial mainstream media.
As a consequence of the media's perception of their role in ending the Vietnam War and through exposing Watergate forcing Richard Nixon to resign, the press began to look upon themselves not as an neutral reporters of the news but rather as a crusaders out to right the wrongs, as they perceived them. Journalism, as taught in the university and promoted by those who had been active in the 1960's, became to be viewed as a vehicle for social and economic change.
As further incentive, the journalists who successfully assumed the role of societal avenger were feted by their fellow scribes, became celebrities, and, coincidently, achieved great wealth. This, in addition to any so-called noble calling to transform the United States, became a vital part of the metamorphosis of journalism from news gathering to news manipulation and the naïve promotion of a leftist ideology.
Over the intervening years and into the present, the far-Left effectively promoted: 1) the false and unfounded libel of a desire by conservatives to turn the United States into a theocracy; 2) guilt for the nation's past and one's success; and 3) fears of the imminent demise of the earth due to man's environmental sins. This tactic became the basis for many of the gullible in the media to sign on and promote the policies of the progressives without understanding what they in fact stood for and what the long-term consequences would be.
It became more important and fashionable for a majority in the media to protect their lifestyles against the "right-wing horde" descending upon them, maintain their membership in the ruling Class, seek notoriety, and to assuage their guilt rather than comprehend what was happening around them, or the controlling agenda they unwittingly supported.
Thus the coverage of news stories concerning conservative issues or politicians became notable for vitriol and deliberate slanting or omission of facts. Polls, commissioned by the media and easily manipulated, were substituted for news and real reporting. Every personal failure of a Republican politician was amplified into a national outcry. All civility and traditional objectivity was rejected when discussing the (predeterminedly) evil conservatives.
The most recent and vitriolic example has been Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, it became necessary to figuratively destroy them as a viable when they became an open and real threat to the establishment and its foot-soldiers, the mainstream media.
By comparison, those politicians who said the right things relative to morals and lifestyles, mouthed the magic phrase of social justice, and promised to continue the march to a massive central government were treated in an opposite fashion, except when a story, thanks to the alternate media, became too big to ignore.
This evolution of the mainstream media culminated in the election of Barack Obama, who on the surface fulfilled all the requirements of an ideal presidential candidate for the chattering class. He was one of them. Ivy League educated, well spoken, attractive, and said all the right things designed to appeal to the myopic worldview of the New York-Washington-Los Angeles media axis. But above all he was African-American, an opportunity to wash away the collective guilt so imbedded in the psyche of the press.
Barack Obama also knew that he had those tangible and intangible factors that would allow him to manipulate the media, and he did so. The mainstream media became, in the phrase often attributed to Lenin, useful idiots. Obama's background, lack of executive experience, and radicalism were ignored and all effort was exerted to tamp down negative stories and make certain he was elected. They, together with a manufactured financial crisis and an inept Republican presidential candidate, succeeded.
The media has begun its efforts to re-elect Obama and protect their interests. Already stories are circulating making him out to be invincible and the potential Republican field full of inept, right-wing loons. Every effort to rein in spending in Congress is met with the obligatory story of child and senior citizen deprivation and joblessness. The reporting of a possible shutdown has been slanted as a warning to the Republicans that they will suffer as they supposedly did in 1995.
It matters little whether the country is marching off a financial cliff. That is more propaganda by the evil conservatives (the über-elites in the media and the administration have declared that to be so), thus the rest of the mainstream media dutifully toes the line.
It is beyond time for the Republicans and conservatives in Washington, whether in elected or other positions, to stop paying attention to and being intimidated by the media and understand who they are, their motives and their lack of ingenuity or cogent arguments. The mainstream media has lost its clout and the respect of the American people. These people cannot be reasoned with, and they will never show any respect for conservative views or individual reputations, as their only and real interest is their personal well-being and self-aggrandizement.
The United States is about to cross the threshold that will determine its future for better or worse. The election on November 6, 2012 will be the most important in the nation's history. The election must be won by those who truly have the long-term interest of the country at heart. That begins by not falling prey to well-worn and threadbare tactics of the Left and their sycophants in the mainstream media.