Sunday, May 08, 2005

Blogs and News 

There has been a lot of talk about bloggers versus reporters, and the definition of news in these oh so turbulent times. I don't claim to report any sort of news here, this is really an extended rant, and editorial run amok if you will, but it was this thought of news and reporting that brought me on board with Hepkitty's blog. Jeff Gannon was the catalyst that started this ranting for me, and I'm not alone so far as the left half of the blog-o-sphere is concerned.

I have been following the posts on Why Are We Back In Iraq that deal with plagiarism, with a special focus on Jeff Gannon and Talon News. In a recent post, Ron mentions a letter he sent to Editor and Publisher regarding the lack of coverage of plagiarism. This is a pretty fair question, especially of a publication that is dedicated to covering the news paper industry. The one line of the response from Seth Porges from E&P that sticks out in my mind is: Every blogger screams at the world that their pet story is not receiving adequate media coverage.

Perhaps this is because there are too many things that ARE NOT RECEIVING ADEQUATE MEDIA COVERAGE. There are a few real problems with the media today. Here are what I see as the big three:
1. The absence of a 'Liberal Media' in a main stream sense (excepting Air America Radio of course, I listen all day at work.)
2. The overwhelming presence of corporate, ratings driven media
3. Successful attempts to control the news by the far right

Ron has every right to complain that plagiarism, especially Gannon's kind which dances across the line deep into the territory of propaganda, isn't getting enough coverage. This isn't the only story that is getting ignored. The Gannongate thing really exists more here on the blogs than in the rest of reality. The fact that the MSM haven't devoted hours and hours to covering a story that hints a media manipulation is an indictment of the media itself.

CNN won't touch it for 2 reasons; 1. That they tend to want to focus on stuff that generates ratings (Terri Shiavo, the runaway bride, Michael Jackson and the like), and 2. That their corporate sponsors, including members of the defense, banking, credit card, and pharmaceutical industries, don't want to hear anything bad about themselves and the pro-business bush administration. There was a quick, non-confrontational conversation with Jeff Gannon by Wolf Blitzer, one mention on their website, and nothing. This lets Fox dismiss the issue quickly, and avoid debate on the administration's Nazi like attempts to control the media. There was some of coverage from other TV media and no small amount of editorials in local newspapers, but the MSM by and large dropped the story without much attention. I have said before that if this happened during the Clinton administration that there would have been hell to pay in the white house at the time, newt gingrich would be screaming for Clinton's head, and rush limbaugh would have felt as high as he later would feel while he was addicted to narcotics. That bushie can walk away from a tip-top scandal once more without a scratch on him befuddles me to no end.

Gannon isn't the only thing they don't want to talk about. The news story I'm interested in lately has been the leak of the British memo prior to the the elections. and again there is noise on the blogs and a dead silence from the MSM... how damning, fixing intelligence to fit the policy... that this administration lied to the American people to start a war, and we now have proof of this, and once more george is heading for another walk because of this complicity from the major news outlets is terrifying, but it is happening.

Blogs as news on the other hand have been quite useful to me. i often find things while wandering about online that i would hear no where else, and while i do more moaning than informing with this blog, i try to make an impact with conversation with conservatives in realtime. i am a proud lunch room progressive; i listen for comments about the news by those around me, and attempt to better inform people as to what's really going on that thy are not being told. I especially like going after the conservatives, mostly with a gentle tack, but for some people, the especially brainwashed, i just enjoy a good fiery debate. This has done some good, and generated some good hearted laughter. I think its a good way of defusing this partisan crap that the far right is feeding off of these days. I love the blogs because they pick up on things that are otherwise ignored.

but someone please tell me that one day this political climate will end. Tell me the media will one day inform people of current events without taking cues from political or business interests. Tell me that our elected officials will one day put people above corporate interests. Tell me one day that people in general might wake up and resume forming their own opinions instead of being spoon fed their views. Tell me that one day this administration will be brought to light for what it is: greedy, shortsighted, and foolish.

until these things come to pass, i'm going to keep reading the blogs, bitching at corporations, and try to bring a little reality to the lunch room.


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