Reasons to not trust the mainstream media

Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2022 11:37 am
Why I don't trust the mainstream media

I’m often asked how I keep up with the news. Obviously, I avoid the unhinged rightwing outlets pushing misinformation, disinformation, and poisonous lies.

But I’ve also grown a bit wary of the mainstream media –- the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and other dominant outlets — not because they peddle “fake news” (their reporting is usually first-rate) but because of three more subtle biases.

First, they often favor the status quo. Mainstream journalists wanting to appear serious about public policy rip into progressives for the costs of their proposals, but never ask self-styled “moderates” how they plan to cope with the costs of doing nothing or doing too little about the same problems.

A Green New Deal might be expensive but doing nothing about the climate crisis will almost certainly cost far more. Medicare for All will cost a lot, but the price of doing nothing about America’s cruel and dysfunctional healthcare system will soon be in the stratosphere.

Second, the mainstream media often fail to report critical public choices. Any day now, the Senate will approve giving $768 billion to the military for this fiscal year. That’s billions more than the Pentagon sought. It’s about four times the size of Biden’s Build Back Better bill, which would come to around $175 billion a year. But where’s the reporting on the effects of this spending on the national debt, or on inflation, or whether it’s even necessary?

Third, the mainstream media indulge in false equivalences — claiming that certain Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as “troublemakers” within their parties or that extremists “on both sides” are “radicalizing each other”.

These reports equate Republican lawmakers who are actively promoting Donald Trump’s big lie that the 2020 election was stolen with Democratic lawmakers who are fighting to protect voting rights. Well, I’m sorry. These are not equivalent. Trump’s big lie is a direct challenge to American democracy.

In the looming fight over whether to preserve the Senate filibuster, the mainstream media gives equal weight to both sides’ claims that the other side’s position is radical. But ask yourself which is more radical – abolishing the filibuster to save American democracy or destroying American democracy to save the filibuster?

You see, the old labels “left” versus “right” are fast becoming outdated. Today, it’s democracy versus oligarchy. Equating them is misleading and dangerous.

Why doesn’t the mainstream media see this? Not just because of its dependence on corporate money. I think the source of the bias is more subtle.

Top editors and reporters, usually based in New York and Washington, want to be accepted into the circles of the powerful – not only for sources of news but also because such acceptance is psychologically seductive. It confers a degree of success. But once accepted, they can’t help but begin to see the world through the eyes of the powerful.

I follow the mainstream media, but I don’t limit myself to it. And I don’t rely on it to educate the public about bold, progressive ideas that would make America and the world fairer and stronger.

I read the Guardian, the American Prospect (which, full disclosure, I helped found thirty years ago), Mother Jones, and The Atlantic. I follow several blogs (Daily Kos and Talking Points Memo, for example). I listen to the always thoughtful Democracy Now. And I subscribe to a few newsletters (I hope you like this one and spread word of it).

But even with news sources I trust, I still ask myself: how are choices being framed? What’s being left out? What big underlying issues are being assumed away or obscured?

When our democracy is under assault from so many directions, I think we need to educate and re-educate ourselves (and our children) about how to learn what’s really going on — how to absorb the news critically. Isn’t this a minimal responsibility of democratic citizenship?

What do you think?

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Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2022 11:43 am
Well, I'd have to agree the mainstream media has its own agenda. Recently CBC has been reporting on the trucker convoy mess, but they have only been telling one side. They haven't been showing or discussing that the truckers have been delivering food to that Shepherd Food Bank, shovelling the sidewalks, picking up and taking garbage to the dumps, for example.

My son sent me a few links containing videos of the truckers doing all those things. I ask you, why wasn't this being reported?
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Reply Fri 4 Feb, 2022 11:47 am
edgarblythe wrote:

What do you think?

I think saying I don't trust mainstream media although their reporting is first-rate is pretty questionable. All reporting has bias because it is generated by humans. There is nothing magically about the Guardian, the American Prospect, Mother Jones, and The Atlantic. Each has its own bias. That said, I enjoy all four of them, especially the Guardian and read them regularly, I just don't ascribe to them any mantle of virtue.
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Reply Tue 8 Feb, 2022 08:02 am

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Reply Wed 30 Mar, 2022 09:38 am
Jon Stewart: What’s wrong with American media.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= https://youtu.be/gzeoe4m1t9Q

The Mueller Fiasco.
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Reply Thu 31 Mar, 2022 10:54 am
Not trusting the news media industry is a rational science of psychology. The reason being, that the people who define the news media system are just as susceptible to the "any data mystery" science as anyone else.

The any data mystery, is the absence of proof mechanism using any data. Any data here means any word, of any construct which words take place in in any part of the universe.

Thus, what is the outcome, of the application of the rational science of psychology?

For one, the science bias of citation using the magic society universes has a balance.

An example, of the science bias of citation is Studio 54's ownership of the Rhyl arcades, in Wales, a magic society universe.

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Reply Thu 14 Apr, 2022 09:44 am
Robert Reich

Friends, I hope you’re as well as can be expected in these difficult times.
A few days ago I focused on Elon Musk and his designs on Twitter. Today I want to continue to probe into the issue of power over how Americans get their news. I’ve spent enough time in and around politics to see how decisions by the media — what issues to focus on, how those issues are framed, and who presents them — are central to our democracy. The media isn’t just the “fourth branch” of government, as it’s been called. It’s not a branch at all. It’s the trunk.
Which is why I find it troubling that CBS News has hired Mick Mulvaney as an on-air contributor. You’ll recall that Mulvaney served as acting chief of staff under Trump and led Trump’s Office of Management and Budget. But as I’ll get to in a moment, Mulvaney wasn’t just a high official in the Trump administration. He was an active enabler of Trump’s deceit and attempted coup.
Mulvaney’s first appearance as a paid contributor for CBS News occurred several days ago on a “MoneyWatch” segment in which he was asked to explain Biden’s plan for taxing the super-rich. The anchor, Anne-Marie Green, introduced Mulvaney as “a former OMB director” and “the guy to ask about this,” but she said nothing about whose OMB he directed.
This introduction suggested that Mulvaney was there in his capacity as a budget expert to offer an expert analysis, rather than as a Trump partisan who opposes Biden. Then she asked him whether a “regular working-class American” should care about Biden’s tax proposal. Mulvaney’s answer: “It’s easy to look at it and say, ‘Don’t worry, you’re not going to pay this,’” but cautioned that regular working Americans would have to “prove that they don’t have to pay it,” and that such a burden “could be troublesome: every single year proving that you’re not worth a hundred million dollars.”
This is about as misleading as it gets (with the possible exception of Fox News). In truth, nothing in Biden’s proposal to tax the super-rich requires that people prove they’re not super-rich. Mulvaney’s claim was pure, unadulterated demagoguery.
But it’s what we might expect from Mulvaney. Recall that Mulvaney was complicit in Trump’s attempted extortion of Ukraine President Zelensky in 2019 — threatening to withhold U.S. aid to fight Russian aggression unless Zelensky came up with dirt on Hunter Biden.
Oh, and there was the time Mulvaney called COVID a “media hoax” designed to bring down Trump. And the time he predicted that if Trump lost in 2020 he would “concede gracefully.” I should add that Mulvaney is now a high-powered lobbyist for corporate interests — another fact that CBS somehow failed to mention in its announcement of his position and when it introduced him on air.
When I was growing up, CBS News was the home of news legends like Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite — pioneers who set the standards for broadcast news. So why is CBS News now reaching into the cesspool of Trump conspirators and enablers to hire Mulvaney?
Neeraj Khemlani, co-head of CBS News, explained to the CBS News staff at a meeting last month that when it comes to contributor hires, “getting access to both sides of the aisle is a priority because we know the Republicans are going to take over, most likely, in the midterms.”
“Getting access?” Access to what? To the big lie about the 2020 election? To lies about COVID? To bonkers economics? To insights about how to pull off a coup that nearly destroyed American democracy and continues to threaten it?
Since when does CBS News’s decisions about whom to hire depend on predictions about which party will prevail in the midterm elections? What if the party that’s predicted to win is so contemptuous of democracy that it continues to claim, without basis in fact or law, that the last presidential election was stolen? Would the CBS News of the 1950s hire as an on-air contributor Senator Joseph McCarthy (who conducted a vicious anti-communist witch hunt that wrecked the lives and careers of countless Americans) because the News Division wanted access to “both sides?” In fact, CBS News’s Edward R. Murrow exposed McCarthy as a liar and demagogue.
If there were ever any doubts that “both sides” of the political aisle are about the same, the events of the past two years should have laid them to rest. One of America’s two national political parties has embraced (and been embraced by) an anti-democratic extremist fringe. CBS News, like every reputable news division of every reputable news network, has a cardinal responsibility to protect American democracy from this growing menace. To fulfill this responsibility, it must report accurately what is occurring. It should not pander to the menace by hiring a person who has had a hand in it and will further obscure the truth.
That’s my view. What do you think?
Reply Thu 14 Apr, 2022 09:53 am
Reason #177 not to watch television news
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