Seems to Me . . . The Media

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By Stan Welch

As a newspaperman with more than thirty years on the job, I am intrigued by the changes in the business of journalism, in the last ten to fifteen years, especially. There have been numerous and fundamental changes in what once was a craft, and now is an industry, with its own superstars and an unhealthy bent towards entertainment, in lieu of information.

I think the change began slowly, when the networks – of which there were only three – began to provide live coverage of the national political conventions. Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley, Schieffer, Rather, Brokaw, Jennings; these names soon became household words.

Twenty or so years later, monopoly laws were relaxed and the lines between radio, television, and newspaper reporting became blurred, and finally erased, as giant corporations built conglomerates capable of shaping opinion rather than reflecting it. Today, the most powerful engines for information and indoctrination are run by moguls; billionaires whose power rivals that of the planet’s nations, and whose restrictions are much more lax.

The latest evidence of this determination to shape and define issues, rather than report them can be seen in the media craze over reports that aides to New Jersey Governor and perhaps no longer Republican Presidential frontrunner Chris Christie spitefully caused major traffic problems in the town of a mayor who did not support Christie in the governor’s race.

Story after story has been aired or written about this petty, stupid, but basically local and inconsequential act of spite. And just as the more conservative factor in the national media began to reveal the disparity in the coverage of this matter compared to, say, the use of the IRS by the Obama administration to harass political opponents, suddenly, a federal review of how New Jersey used federal funds after Hurricane Sandy surfaced.

So now the man generally accepted to be leading the Republicans into the 2016 election cycle is under siege on two fronts. Let me make a prediction, folks. It’s going to get worse . . . much worse. If I were Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, I would buy me some Kevlar boxer shorts, because the liberal media is going to be biting at their behinds, every step they take.

On the other hand, that same media is going to be working overtime trying to repair the damage done to Obama both by his own actions, and by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’s book about Obama’s inclination to make national security decisions based on political impact, rather than strategic acuity.

Bluntly speaking, it will not be a good time to be a messenger, since messengers are much easier to discredit than the message they carry.

Any clock maker worth his salt, or any carpenter worth his pay, will tell you that things are quietest and truest and most accurate when the pendulum, or the plumb bob, hang motionless, giving the cleanest reading of which they are capable. Over the next ten months, and after that the two years following, there will be very few times when the political pendulum is still or true.

The corrupt, agenda driven corporate media on both sides will see to that.