Monday, March 13, 2017

When Did Media Bias Become a Virtue

Liberal dismay about the New York Daily News’ scaling back its front-page campaign against Trump exposes the underside of a partisan press 
by Jonathan S. Tobin March 10, 2017
Nobody expects tabloid covers to be a source of great insight. The two surviving New York City tabs — the New York Daily News and the New York Post — have long used their front pages to make editorial points or just to savage figures their publishers didn’t like, whether the criticism was fair or not. So the fact that the liberal paper — the News — chose to pour scorn and bile on the campaign and the person of Donald Trump throughout the 2016 presidential campaign while the conservative Post was generally supportive of him was not particularly shocking.
What is surprising — and, indeed, ought to shock journalists who care about their profession — is the way the staff of the News, along with other journalists, reacted to the decision on the part of the paper’s publishers to scale back its assault on Trump once he was elected president. They had no problem with their newspaper’s using its front page and news section, as well as their opinion columns and editorials, to bash Trump. But once it decided to tone down the abuse, albeit while still regularly attacking him, the News’ staff didn’t treat this as an example of a newspaper trying to regain at least a smidgen of objectivity. No, they have made it clear — as a feature sympathetic to the paper’s rebels in Politico indicates — that this more measured if still critical attitude toward the president is a sign that the paper has lost its integrity............Read more
My Take - Integrity in the newspaper business?  Really?  How can an industry lose something it never had?  I know, I know, that's a bit harsh, but for those who love the old movies - this is SOP, Standard Operating Procedure. 
Back it the old golden years of Hollywood with Clark Gable any movie about newspapers and reporters showed just how fast and loose they were with the facts, and no one objected - except perhaps the newspaper people - because that's how people viewed the newspaper business.  The old axiom  "never believe anything you read in the newspapers" didn't come into being for no reason. And in my personal experience with reporters I can honestly say they tell "their" story, not "the" story. 
If you go back even further you find there were a lot more newspapers and they often were openly biased.  Some even had the name of the political party they supported in the name of the paper, such as  Press-Republican and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  We don't see much of that any longer because during WWII the press became 'repectable', convinceing the American people they were honest purveyors of the news without pride, prejudice or privilege.  They lied and now we know they lied. 
I don't know how or when Schools of Journalism came into being, but after WWII they flourished as if this was real profession and not on job training.  And then came TV "journalists".  Are they really journalists?  If there was no print journalism how would they find "news"? Of course what we really see in the electronic media is "crisis" story telling.  They create crises over non stories like Trump firing all those Federal Prosecutors - more SOP at the change of administrations and political parties - and without that - would they be have anything to say? 
So this paper lost it's integrity?  Really? The title of this article is a question asking: "When Did Media Bias Become a Virtue?"  Wrong question.  The question he should be asking is, "When Will the Media Become Virtuous?"  - or - "Can Virtue and the Media Co-Exist?"  And the answers are "never" and "no".

The only virtue the media should concern itself with is "truth", and truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality.  It's apparent to me the media is stunningly ignorant about tons of history.  It's also apparent to me they have no concern about any reality that doesn't fit the narrative they're promoting.  So the answers are - "never" and "no".


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