The Self-Destruction of the Mainstream MediaBy Steve McCann
For the past forty years the mainstream media has become increasingly liberal and more overt in promoting the policies of the Democratic Party. This evolutionary process reached its zenith in 2008 when the media were instrumental in Barack Obama being elected President. Many journalists dropped any pretense of objectivity and became not only cheerleaders but active de facto members of the campaign. What has their loyalty and prostration achieved for the journalism community? During the past two decades no other sector of the economy has experienced such overwhelming financial and employment devastation.
Yet the vast majority of the media do not understand why theirs is a declining and failing business model. They are still in denial and cannot accept the reality of the marketplace, as their actions have prompted the American public to lose all confidence in their objectivity and integrity.
The 2012 election season has begun and this same media finds itself in the position of having to defend and reinforce the man they chose to sleep with. They have willingly opted to do exactly that. The mainstream media is systematically pulling out all the stops to destroy any and all viable Republican challengers in an undeclared but understood alliance with the Obama re-election machine.
Rather than objectively analyze the folly of the Obama class warfare strategy and its potential to undermine and destroy societal cohesion, the mainstream media has trumpeted and encouraged this divisive and dangerous strategy. The Occupy Wall Street movement, conceived by Friends of Obama and encouraged by the White House, as well as blessed by many in the media, was intended to further reinforce the war against the rich and redirect the anger and blame for all of America's woes away from the statist policies of the Obama regime. Mitt Romney, who since last summer has been the presumptive opponent to oppose Obama, is in the process of being cast as the capitalist villain in this stage production.
Herman Cain was destroyed by unproven and salacious allegations of sexual harassment. Michele Bachmann was portrayed as wild-eyed and unstable religious fanatic, and Rick Perry was painted as an ignorant, incoherent and unreliable cowboy from Texas. Characterizations that would never be applied to any Democratic candidate.
When it comes to Newt Gingrich there is no ethical barrier too high for the media to tear down in an attempt to marginalize him. Now the specter of an acknowledged bitter ex-wife being given access to a national stage two days before a crucial primary vote in order to vent her side of an emotional and vitriolic divorce saga is considered acceptable, as well as any innuendo or accusation created out of whole cloth. A scenario that would never be contemplated were Newt a liberal Democrat.
What has this loyalty to progressive group-think and the Democratic Party wrought for the members of this once-proud profession? The landscape of the once mighty journalism community is one of utter devastation.
Since 2001 American newsrooms have lost more than 25 per cent of their full time journalists resulting in a level of employment not seen since the mid-1970's. Just since 2007 over 14,000 have lost their jobs.
Among other examples of this decline and fall are:
The New York Times Company, often considered the bellwether of the national media, has reduced its labor force by 47% (6,600 jobs) since 2000. The average daily circulation for the Times has dropped by over 21% (234,000 readers) during the same period. The Company has been liquidating as many assets as possible in order to stay afloat; they now have few viable assets left to sell and will soon be facing bankruptcy
The Washington Post, the other most influential newspaper in the country, has seen its average daily circulation drop by 33% (263,000 readers) since 2000. More devastating has been the plummet in print advertising revenue which has dropped by over 60% since 2000. They too have made major reductions in their labor force.
Among the largest chains of newspapers in the country, the McClatchy Company has experienced a similar downturn. Since acquiring the Knight-Ridder chain in 2006, the Company has seen its average daily circulation decline from 2.84 million readers to 2.05 (a drop of 28% in only four years). Many of the individual papers within the group have resorted to massive layoffs and selling assets as not only circulation but ad revenue has dropped precipitously.
The Gannet family of newspapers (the largest in the country) has lost over 2 million in paid circulation since 2000 (28%) while their ad revenue has dropped by 48%.
Since 2000 total U.S. newspaper circulation has fallen by nearly 11 million readers with no end to this freefall in sight.
The traditional news magazines (Time, Newsweek and US News & World Report) have experienced even more devastating results since 2000. Their readership has declined by over 3.6 million (40%). Advertising revenue has dropped by nearly 70%. A clear indicator of the demise of this media sector is the sale of Newsweek by the Washington Post Company for $1.00.
In an attempt to offset the drastic decline in their core businesses all the various media companies have made a late foray into the internet; however the revenue generated by that sector does not begin to make up for the ongoing financial hemorrhaging.
The mainstream media is first and foremost a business. Like any business it must generate revenue, pay its bills and make a profit for its shareholders. To produce income it must attract customers (advertisers and subscribers) to buy its product (the news as well as viewers or readers). Based on the results over the past ten years it is obvious that the product the mainstream media is promoting is not selling.
Rather than understanding the basics of the free market and how capitalism has enabled many of the old guard in the mainstream media to live extremely comfortable lives, the most important and fashionable matter for the vast majority of the journalism community has been to be part of the in-crowd, which requires little independence of thought or even the ability to generate an original thought.
Thus many in the media are still caught up in the old paradigm of good versus evil wherein conservatives are evil and liberals are good. Despite the fact that many have experienced or know of others in their profession with first-hand knowledge of layoffs, salary reductions and virtually no job prospects, they never seem to ask why or what will the future be for their chosen profession much less the country as a whole.
A cursory examination of history reveals the catastrophic failure of nations composed of a massive central government siphoning off the wealth of the people in order to reward those the governing regime deems to be acceptable. The media is never among the chosen; in fact it is often the first profession to be marginalized.
Yet like so many on the Left, a majority of the members of the mainstream media are incapable of recognizing their error in blindly supporting the liberal/socialist agenda over the years. Regardless of the evidence at hand, either historic or contemporary, their egos and narcissism so dominate their psyche that admitting a mistake is tantamount to the apocalypse. Thus they appear willing to sacrifice their own future and standard of living by actively campaigning for Obama's re-election rather than honestly report on the lies and machinations of this regime and their devastating impact on future generations. The only outcome the media has guaranteed is the continued decline and degradation of their once noble profession.
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