A lot has changed in the 12 years since I graduated college.
I’m no longer roofing for $8 an hour. I’ve gone from listening to talk radio all day to hosting a daily radio show and the national debt has climbed from less than $6 trillion to more than $16 trillion.
One thing that hasn’t changed is my love of news. Absorbing and discussing news was a hobby since I was a kid; now it’s a career. What used to annoy my parents and their friends now annoys anyone within the 50,000-watt range of WBAL from noon till 3 p.m. But the news business, particularly cable news, has changed so much in that time that I’m thinking I may need to start seeing other sources.
Newspapers are, for the most part, horrible. The Washington Post didn’t sell for the loose change in Jeff Bezos’s couch because it was raking in the dough. As far as news magazines go, it seems you can buy Newsweek these days simply by being willing to be associated with owning Newsweek.
Print going the way of the Dodo hasn’t destroyed journalism. It still happens. Mostly by accident, but it does happen. But to find it you have to read through the opinion and spin in a story. Mainstream news organizations are shifting their focus toward bloggers, most liberal, who are so wet behind the ears you’d think they just stepped out of the pool. They tend to embarrass themselves more often than your drunken uncle at an open-bar family wedding. But outlets once flush with credibility are willing to accept that because the bloggers work cheap, independently and produce a lot. Quantity over quality…with charts!
But some inexperienced kid plugging numbers into PowerPoint doesn’t really mean much if they don’t know what the numbers mean. A thesaurus to make small words big may change their sound, but it doesn’t change their meaning.
If you didn’t know better, you’d be inclined to believe the postulations of these puppies. That seems to be the point. The media today, in all its forms, seems designed more to not only preach to the choir, but to provide the gleefully ignorant just enough of a sense of being informed that they don’t stray from the plantation and learn what you don’t want them to know.
Media Matters, the progressive activist group masquerading as a non-profit charity, is the most brazen example of this. It panders to the lowest common denominator, the uninformed, under the guise of informing them of things said in the media. Its job is to “correct” the record one snippet, out-of-context quote or heavily edited video at a time, all so uninformed readers never have to venture out of the schoolyard of ignorance. It’s not that they watch so you don’t have to; it’s that they watch so you won’t.