January 12, 2005


The 'Media Party' is over: CBS' downfall is just the tip of the iceberg (Howard Fineman, Jan. 11, 2005, Newsweek)

A political party is dying before our eyes — and I don't mean the Democrats. I'm talking about the "mainstream media," which is being destroyed by the opposition (or worse, the casual disdain) of George Bush's Republican Party; by competition from other news outlets (led by the internet and Fox's canny Roger Ailes); and by its own fraying journalistic standards. At the height of its power, the AMMP (the American Mainstream Media Party) helped validate the civil rights movement, end a war and oust a power-mad president. But all that is ancient history.

Now the AMMP is reeling, and not just from the humiliation of CBS News. We have a president who feels it's almost a point of honor not to hold more press conferences — he's held far fewer than any modern predecessor — and doesn't seem to agree that the media has any "right" to know what's really going in inside his administration. The AMMP, meanwhile, is regarded with ever growing suspicion by American voters, viewers and readers, who increasingly turn for information and analysis only to non-AMMP outlets that tend to reinforce the sectarian views of discrete slices of the electorate.

Just think of how significant it is that the media itself acknowledges that it is in effective opposition to the Republican Party, never mind to the American people.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 12, 2005 8:51 AM

The media's problems are linked both to story selection and to the angle they give certain stories that all outlets (including the dreaded Fox News) cover, such as going after the Bush Administration for their "cheapness" on tsunami relief within 48 hours after the waves hit the Indian Ocean beaches. Turning a non-political story about hundreds of thousands dead immedately into a partisan endeavor like that is the reason why the media is alienated from much of the public, and until they figure that out, their standing in the eyes of most Americans isn't going to change.

Posted by: John at January 12, 2005 10:11 AM

The MSM became part of the story.

Is it me or is he whining?

-- helped validate the civil rights movement, end a war and oust a power-mad president. But all that is ancient history.--

No, sounds like what they're still trying to do. They're also living in the 60s.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 12, 2005 10:17 AM

The MSM just can't deal with a marketplace of ideas, preferring instead a monopoly. In my best Dr. Evil voice, 'Boo-frickety-hoo!'

Posted by: Bart at January 12, 2005 11:14 AM

I used to say it about libs in general, but it occurs it can also be applied to MSM types:

according to these people , only 3 events occurred in human history: 1) the civil rights movement; 2) the Vietnam war; and 3) Watergate

and all subsequent events are mere repeats of those 3, so FL 2000 voting is 'Selma', Iraq is a 'quagmire' and Bush TARN is a Watergate-style coverup.

geez, these people are DUMBBBB!

Posted by: JonofAtlanta at January 12, 2005 11:33 AM

Well, uneducated and perhaps willfully so, at least.

Re: opposition to the American people, they don't see themselves that way. And neither does a sizable portion of the American populace - whether for good or ill is a different question.

Posted by: rkb at January 12, 2005 12:17 PM

Actually, unless Fineman is just posturing, this is a pretty significant article.

Of course, regular visitors to this site were aware of the situation, oh, probably 18 months ago. And keen observers of network news would have known probably 10 years ago.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 12, 2005 12:24 PM