POLL: Vast majority of Americans don’t trust the news media…Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy, bias, etc…Carole Feldman and Emily Swanson; (April 17, 2016 – AP.org).
While the plural form of “medium” is “media”, the term has regrettably become more than a regular noun. Instead, it has morphed into a dreaded anathema for serious news consumers, academicians; they’re use to absorbing information in earnest – both right and left.
Ostensibly, “media” stood for the main means of accurate mass communication (especially television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet); collectively, it was regarded as positive. Historically, readers anticipated reliability, truth, and its fundamental role as the Fourth Estate. Now, many see it as vastly untrustworthy, agenda oriented, deceiving – finally, a sad hoot.
Growing up in the 1940’s, radio became a trustworthy source for media news. It was clearly reported in the The Murrow Boys, a group of CBS broadcast journalists, writers….closely associated with Edward R. Murrow, during and after World War II – into the fifties.
Highly respected were William L. Shirer (The Rise & Fall of the Third Reich); Charles (Bonnie Prince) Collingwood; the beautiful laconic- like voice of Winston Burdett, in Rome; and the challenging Howard K. Smith. State-side if you wanted a leftist broadcaster: Elmer Davis, Edward P. Morgan, Robert Trout, and Eric Sevareid were reliable. For the conservatives: Fulton Lewis, Jr.; Morgan Beatty, Westbrook Pegler, George Sokolsky, and Gabriel Heater. Lewis’ influence was huge – right into the sixties. WLEE’s Harvey Hudson brought Fulton Lewis, Jr. to the Westwood Club on numerous occasions. Finally, for news amusement: Drew Pearson and Walter Winchell.
Now “media” thrives with writers, columnists, recovering lawyers, political specialists…. those degreed from left wing journalism schools – immersing themselves as singularly redemptive for a troubled America. Their reporting reflects what images they determine should be promoted – nailing the imperfect, broken America they view – naturally inherited from racists, less talented generations.
Oh, did I mention, they write from a perspective that carries condescension, well-put contempt, directed to those who view issues differently – always uniformly dismissed. For those who live in Realville, this contemporary journalistic group can be unrelenting in their elitism – reveling disdainfully our current political system. My reaction: it reminds one of trying to teach fishes of the sea….about fire.
Do media reflect a high support for current leftist causes: big government; abortion on demand; politically correct victimology; massive debt; a foreign policy (leading from behind); reverse racism; energized sympathy for the Democrat over Republican? As Sen. Marco Rubio said, “The Democrats have the ultimate super PAC – it’s called mainstream media.”
Further inquiry escalates: are these ideological views promoted by a designed media conspiracy – planned by a diabolic group of extreme leftist? I’m taking a “hall pass” on that one – here’s why.
Peeved, as this writer remains, we are provided with a latch key into some reasons provided in Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, by Tim Groseclose…which does entice.
Kelly Riddell of the Washington Times cited this a half year ago. “There’s something in the DNA of liberals that makes them want to go into jobs like the arts, journalism, and academia more so than conservatives.” Groseclose concludes: “Even if you’re just trying to maximize profits by offering an alternative point of view, it’s hard to find conservative reporters”, particularly those debuting from journalism schools.
So it’s natural the media is more liberal. For profits sake, Dr. David D’Alessio, communications science professor at the University of Connecticut at Stamford, admits to press bias. He goes on to explain it is best for business to even it out – to the middle – because that’s where the greatest market is for making money.
D’Alessio continues: …their job is about making money. “If you look at where people’s opinions are, they are in the middle, so that’s where reporting should go because that’s where the eyeballs go.” The cultural choice of presentation is another subject entirely. Front pages which use to aspire to Herald Tribune quality…now seem to choose the allure of Police Gazette –purposefully.
Sadly, trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of bias. Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media – putting the news industry about equal to Congress – and well below the public’s view of other institutions. The American public wants news that is up to date, accurate, concise, and clearly honest. They know that they are not getting it.