The mainstream media's quandary...and panic
Although it was written back in October, the cry is still echoing throughout the mainstream media.
It comes from Hamilton Nolan, formerly at Gawker Media and now the public editor for the Washington Post. He penned a piece in the Columbia Journalism Review titled "The Powerful have realized they don't need the Post."
What triggered Nolan was that Elon Musk had eliminated Tesla's media relations department. Musk apparently felt he did not need a formal interface with the press to get his company's message out. He had Twitter and other social media platforms. Plus, Musk has been long vocal about his disdain for the media. He once tweeted: "The holier-than-thou hypocrisy of big media companies who lay claim to the truth, but publish only enough to sugarcoat the lie, is why the public no longer respects them."
To Nolan, this was, as he put it, "[o]ne more glaring data point showing that powerful people no longer think they need the mainstream press, especially critical and ethical outlets like the Washington Post." Should you think Nolan referring to the Washington Post as "ethical" shows signs of being totally self-unaware, there is more to come. Nolan went on: "As journalists, we all view this as a horrifying assault on the public's right to know, and our own status as brave defenders of the public good."
Nolan and the media from which he gains employment are highly selective in what the public has a right to know. It never seems to include damaging information about high-level Democrats. Look at numerous Clintons scandals, such as Bill allegedly raping women or his reported numerous flights on Jeffery Epstein's Lolita Express. Where was the exposure? And Hillary's law-breaking while secretary of state was never fully investigated, and the Clinton Foundation was never touched.
After being elected president, the press admitted it was too busy cheerleading for Barack Hussein Obama to vet him. As a result, the public was kept in the dark about Obama's radical nature, which was the media's objective all along. The media went on to quash news about the Hunter Biden corruption in Ukraine and China as it might damage Joe Biden's election chances. The current news blackout is preventing Americans from knowing the true level of the irregularities and illegalities in the 2020 election, which led to a senile old man who didn't campaign supposedly getting nearly 13 million more votes than the charismatic Barack Obama did in 2012. Now the media's focus is on branding anyone who questions the legitimacy of Biden's installment as president a danger to the republic. Another lie.
When mainstream press aren't covering up information that is damaging to the progressives cause, they fabricate stories against conservatives like the Russian collusion hoax or reporting that the riot in the Capital on Jan. 6 was an insurrection led by Donald Trump. Both of these stories were lies from start to finish. But both lead to poisoning the minds of countless Americans against the president and two impeachments against him. Yet during the summer of 2020, the press presented the Antifa and BLM riots as mostly peaceful demonstrations.
With a straight face, Nolan writes: "Because journalism, particularly at the highest level [by which he means the Washington Post, New York Times, etc.], is about raw power. It is about bringing important people to heel, on behalf of the public." He goes on: "A powerful press, for all its flaws, is good for democracy, and trends to promote equality by holding big shots in check."
Nolan's premise is that the "big shots" subject themselves to scrutiny (a grilling) by the press in interviews only because they view it as a necessary evil. That is, if they want to get their story out to the public, they have to kowtow to the journalists. But that dynamic is fast changing. Nolan knows it but is delusional otherwise. He mouths what the press should be in a democracy without realizing that today's mainstream media are the antithesis of that ideal. The sad and frightening thing is that those in the mainstream press actually believe what Nolan wrote about their profession. Fortunately, the public isn't so easily hoodwinked. Gallup reports that trust in the media is at an all-time low.
The mainstream press is in a panic. Its circulation and ad revenue may be falling, as is its trustworthiness among the American people. Plus, those readers the press still holds tend to be in an aging demographic. They are not the future. Younger people prefer internet alternatives for their news source. The growing alternative media are taking big bites out of the legacy media's influence and revenue stream.
Give Elon Musk credit for seeing the obvious and refusing to deal with the press on the press's terms. But Donald Trump is the one who led the way starting with his 2015 campaign and throughout his presidency. It is hard to see the trend that Nolan fears from receding anytime soon. This is good news for the country.
Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License.