Sunday, February 1, 2009

Why the hell can't you get real news and tough interviews outside of Comedy Central?

This is probably a rhetorical question, but why the hell can't we get good interviews and actual real news reporting (rather than stenography) outside of Comedy Central's The Daily Show and the Onion. Ok, and there are some good commentaries on Blogs now as well.

But the gatekeeper Mainstream Media (MSM) never seems to really change. It just annoys me so much I can't even watch it anymore. I used to watch MSNBC quite a lot. I also would watch CSPAN in the morning, when I was taking care of my daughter in the months after she was born and I was home with her (studying for the bar exam) while my wife went back to work.

I guess CSPAN was and still is pretty good to watch, though even then I was annoyed by the unchallenged GOP talking points that were often spewed by certain guests. At least there I was first exposed to Glenn Greenwald, leading me to read his blog, which I now continue to read at Salon.

Maybe there really is a transformation taking place, where people get their news from blogs and other sources online as opposed to the MSM. If the MSM becomes irrelevant, so much the better. Of course, then we all live in our alternate, splintered realities - those who read Michelle Malkin exist in a different universe, with wildly divergent facts from those who read Digby.

Back in the 3 network days, at least no matter what the disagreements between the parties and factions, there was a set of commonly agreed-upon facts. The downside to that was it gave the gatekeepers in the MSM an awful lot of power to shape the populace. The upside was there was at least some common ground to work with, whatever that was worth. Now we have huge segments of the population that listen to Rush and Hannity and basically there is no talking to them or reasoning with them and so it is pointless to even try to compromise with them. Then again, maybe this segment of the population would always be there - the Right-Wing Authoritarians (RWAs). I suspect that maybe having the Rushes and Hannitys out there probably increases the RWA population or at least allows them to get organized for maximum effect. Probably there's nothing you can do about that except hope that the proportion of RWAs in the population never gets too high.

So ok, this was a rhetorical question that I already know the answer to. The powerful media are controlled by the same people who control everything else - the rich upper class that runs everything. They have a vested interest in keeping the status quo, which means not probing too deeply and it also means putting on lots of GOP talking heads and talking points, as someone recently noted surrounding the stimulus debate. Ugh. Well, at least there's Rachel Maddow.

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