Media Incredibility

Trent Telenko has already addressed the free-fall of credibility when it comes to elements of the federal government in the wake of the suspicious death in supposed tightly-supervised custody of Jeffrey Epstein, the Pedo-Prince of Perv Island. The resulting discussion thread provided plenty of food for thought, as well as clarifying the degree of contempt that elements of the so-called ruling classes and the federal justice bureaucracy apparently feel towards those ruled – in that they can’t even be bothered to tell a believable story regarding the last days of the Pimp to the Privileged.
Once upon a time, we had – or at least, thought we had – a national news media which might, with the wind blowing in the right direction, and assuming that the reporters at the top of the national news-food chain weren’t best buddies with the studly, hip, and dynamic president and his glamorous wife – that national news media would cover the important stories.

And not in the Iowahawk sense – with a pillow until they stopped moving. No, we could assure ourselves that what we read in most of our non-fringe-oriented newspapers and magazines was as close to verified facts as possible, not merely a hastily re-written Democrat Party press release. In cities with rival newspapers, those papers checked each other. The national television reporters could at least – most of the time – pretend convincingly a level of gravitas and public responsibility. They were serious people, then; they had credibility, although Ted Baxter, the hamster-brained anchorman and comic foil on the Mary Tyler Moore Show – he was played for laughs, as was Ron Burgundy a generation later.

Alas, now nearly all of them are Ted Baxter and Ron Burgundy, even the female anchors and reporters; venial, partisan, egotistical and apparently as dumb as boxes of hammers, richly deserving every scrap of ridicule aimed in their direction. A self-important jerk like Chris Cuomo will have the nickname of “Fredo” hung onto him from now on; April Ryan is a bully at second hand, Don Lemon is accused of sexually feeling up the help in the Hamptons, and Jim Acosta is a legend in his own mind. And that’s only this week’s toll of media mis-stepping; at the going rate, the major networks are turning into a kind of Riverdance clogging show.

These antics, and naked partisanship have serious repercussions – not least for those news consumers. We are left to patch together a narrative, drawn from pieces gathered here and there; from bloggers, social media posts and a handful of trusted voices, from knowledgeable commenters and from our own observation. That’s it. The major national media outlets have killed their own credibility wholesale. They went all out for Clinton (both of them) and all-out for Obama; now they are drowning, in Trump-hate, and by extension, choking on that hate for every one of those deplorables who supported him, even if we voted for him only because he wasn’t Her Inevitableness, the Dowager Duchess of Chappaqua.

Discuss, as you wish – the immolation of the national establishment media, and speculate on what will be left standing among the ruins.

16 thoughts on “Media Incredibility”

  1. Ironically, the real Fredo, the outstanding actor John Cazale, would have celebrated his birthday the day before yesterday on August 12. He died of lung cancer during the filming of ‘The Deer Hunter’. It was about 1/2 to 2/3 of a good movie thanks to the performances, before it went off the rails with the implausible Russian roulette plot device. Here is the great scene of a showdown between Cazale and DeNiro during their goodbye deer hunt before shoving off to Vietnam.

  2. I suggest we stop referring to the press as the “MSM” since they are no longer mainstream (if they ever really were). Instead, call them what they truly are: “DNC stenographers.”

    Also, I think we’re seeing a new breed of reporters coming in. As exemplified by Jim Acosta, these younger reporters see their job as yet another task worthy of a participation trophy — all they have to do is show up. They don’t have to know anything or provide any value-added; just stand in front of a camera and parrot the most recent comment on their Twitter feed.

  3. Indeed – a whole new breed of reporters. There was a story on the mag “Brills’ Content” back when they were still in print – about how the lack of reporters with a military background or even experience with the military at all adversely affected coverage when it had to do with … yeah, military matters, or even veteran concerns.
    There are so many magazines that I miss: Brill’s Content was one of them. The American version of Spy was another. I have a whole bunch of Spy issues saved out in boxes in the garage, just for grins and giggles. They dared to make fun of The Dowager Duchess of Chappaqua on the cover, for ex.

    I ought to put that one in a fire-proof box and bury it under the chicken coop … just to be safe.

  4. A few months ago I started listening to Tim Poole’s daily podcast. It is actually audio from 6 YouTube videos, each about 10 minutes and each on a separate topic that he does daily.

    In addition to his 2 channels, he is also building a real news organization that will be all news and no opinion with reporters and who will travel to stories and so on.

    It is pretty interesting and may be the new model for news. Or a new model.

    And, in light of yesterday’s revelations about Google and since friends don’t let friends use Google, here is a pretty good list of alternatives to all of Google’s products.

    I’ve been using Firefox since it came out 20 years ago. I used Netscape before that. I have Comodo Dragon on my laptop that I use sometimes though mainly for programming some productivity monitors I work with. Drago is based on the same, open source, code as Chrome and does not tell Google what you are up to. Chrome tracks every single keystroke.

    I’ve been using Dissenter on my desktop for a month and really liking it. I will put it on my laptop real soon now. Dissenter uses the same Chrome kernel but without Google.

    Here’s the list

    (If you use Google products, do not complain about Google products)

    John Henry

  5. I tend to ignore US media except for weather reports ands some of them are suspect.

    If I want US political news, I go to British newspapers.

    The color of the dress seemed to be a pointed reference to Clinton’s former intern Monica Lewinsky, who a blue dress during their infamous sexual encounter in the White House.

    Epstein and Clinton were once friends, with the now 72-year-old flying on the now deceased financier’s private plane, dubbed the Lolita Express, several times and on his own account vising the town house once – making it possible he could have seen the bizarre painting.

    Clinton has however denied being on Epstein’s ‘pedophile island,’ Little St. James – a denial which Donald Trump sought to cast doubt on this week.

    The presence of the picture is a new twist in the relationship between Clinton, his family and Epstein.

    Likely fatal twist. Of the neck.

  6. An interesting datapoint on the reach of what we used to call Main Stream Media is audience reaction in airports. Most airports in the US broadcast CNN continuously on monitors which can be seen from just about anywhere in the airport. But hardly anyone looks at those monitors. Even passengers stuck in the airport due to flight delays often sit with their backs to the monitors. This is especially interesting since approximately half the travelers would be expected to be Democrat faithfuls — CNN’s target audience. It suggests that the percentage of the population taking the MSM seriously is now very low.

    In principle, there should be a huge market opportunity for someone to make money hand over fist simply by reporting news objectively. Fox News tried for a while, but the pressures to conform seem to be very high. Again in principle, in a market economy there should be competitors fighting to control every niche; but in the news business, there is a yawning great empty niche for straightforward reporting of the facts which no-one seems seriously interested in filling.

    As an aside, we have to extend some blame to the credentialing system (can’t call it the educational system anymore). Reporters now come out of J-school with nice hairstyles and an expectation they will spend their time taking dictation at official press conferences. There is no place anymore for the old style gum-shoe reporters who walk the streets, meet the people who were directly involved in incidents, and share drinks in a bar with police officers, prison guards, and low-lifes. But that kind of reporter could have told us the real story about what actually happened in Mr. Epstein’s jail cell.

    The Mandate of Heaven is being withdrawn, and the consequences will be very unpredictable but probably quite severe.

  7. Several years ago, a neighbor was moved to the East Coast by his employer leaving several months of MSM subscriptions running, including the weekend NYT . Periodically, I would wander by and commit the accumulation at the end of the drive to the trash or recycle bin, inorder to avoid attracting scavengers. Even when they were “free”, there was no interest in those publications. The MSM content has not improved since then.

  8. Gavin Longmuir Says:
    August 14th, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    “The Mandate of Heaven is being withdrawn, and the consequences will be very unpredictable but probably quite severe.”

    Well stated.

    Speaking as a student of both Chinese history, and political science I have to note that when a previous dynasty loses the Mandate of Heaven it is usually blamed on unrighteous conduct. And the agents and minions of that dynasty are dealt with . . . unrighteously. And crudely. And kinetically. And not infrequently exothermically. And that those who destroy the Bill of Rights have a very poor case if they appeal to what they have destroyed.

    Subotai Bahadur

  9. “In principle, there should be a huge market opportunity for someone to make money hand over fist simply by reporting news objectively.”
    Objectivity doesn’t exist, truth doesn’t exist, this is the modern world, get with the times.

    The real money is to be made in rent seeking and related grifts. Being “objective” is for suckers.

    Trump should treat the “MSM” (I like the suggestion to dump the name, their influence only exists anymore because we give it to them, they’re not what they used to be) like the rags they are. Treat the WaPo like The Nation, the NYT like The New Republic, the time to pretend they matter is long in the past. Give attention to local news, boost them up, the national media exists wholly to promote the far left at this point.

  10. I don’t think many people under 45 pay much attention to newspapers, “news” magazines, TV news, etc.

    A lot of them get their news and their opinion discussions from social media….

  11. “A lot of them get their news and their opinion discussions from social media….”
    This is apparently true, which is a major cause of the freakout of the past 3 years–the Trump campaign used Facebook incredibly well by all accounts, and the Dems/MSM/left are going to do anything they can to make sure that can’t happen again.

  12. I have seen very few FB ads/memes which are likely to be of much value in actually *persuading* opponents or fence-sitters; most of them are focused at riling up the “base” and insulting the other side.

  13. I’m not an expert in this, I don’t even use Facebook. But my understanding is that the Trump campaign spent a LOT of time and money on facebook. Most of the crap we’ve seen from the idiotic MSM stories about Russian facebook manipulation is absurd and stupid, but I think there were actually real and effective things that the Trump campaign did.

  14. A sizable part of the population thinkks the media is “fair” and objective; it’s the other half that is disdainful.

  15. Look up Benjamin Franklin Bache and Phillip Freneau. There is nothing new under the sun. There never was an objective press, just a docile audience.

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