Wednesday, November 2, 2011

That Dream Press


This excellent piece by Marcy Wheeler exposes the problem with our mainstream media even better than, say, a random half-hour with Shepard Smith. Or perhaps it exposes the depth of the problem I keep making efforts to address herein. That is, one can mitigate the pernicious brain-cell killing effects of Fox News, or ABC News, with counter-doses of MSNBC. But MSNBC has its own issues, which are more subtle but still there. (And this is NOT an invocation of the horrible "balance" mistake yet again--a catch-all sewer which has sucked most of the thinking that used to occur in reportage right down the drain and into the Delta.) Jonathan Alter, for example, is frequently an analyst-guest on various MSNBC shows, and he is a thoughtful analyst and has his insights. But, as Marcy shows in the link, he also has blinders on.

Look at it this way: we're all seeing this phenomenon, the Occupy Movement, as an ongoing news story. But understanding it, that's the hard part. One proffered explanation is to be found on the Fox side of things--it amounts to a prolonged sneer, a Major Hoople snap of the evening newspaper, a hope that Oakland's rubber bullets are but a beginning, perhaps even a nostalgia for those glorious moments when fearful boys in the National Guard started shooting students at Kent State.
Hannity's big lead yesterday was, "Alleged Rape at Occupy Wall Street." That's the Right--the same Right that finds alleged racism in the simple reportage of facts.

But as Ms Wheeler rightly points out, the Obama Administration is also far too cozy with the same One-Percenters that are the focus of the Occupy Movement. Indeed, what the Occupy Movement is attempting, more than anything else, is an end run around the blanket media perception of power and wealth in the United States--a perception which in many ways forms the very field upon which the so-called "left/right" dichotomy plays out. Want an example? Ok. One of the biggest current sponsors of the various MSNBC shows running during prime time is the Natural Gas Industry, which is featuring a series of extremely well-crafted advertisements reassuring all of us that our nation's water supply will not be endangered by the fracking process used to release deep natural gas reservoirs. This claimed fact--that fracking is entirely safe--is (as far as I know) never challenged on MSNBC, not even by Rachel Maddow, who runs frequent stories on other energy industry pollutings. (Last night, between kindly ads about the safety of fracking, she showed pictures of a collapsed coal-ash slurry flood which poured into Lake Michigan.)

Or to put it another way, I have never heard Ms Wheeler's pointed conclusion stated on any MSNBC analysis of the upcoming Presidential contest. I'll paste it here for you:

There are people occupying squares all around this country to protest, largely, bankster corruption. The bankster corruption Obama has enabled. The corruption that caused the lousy economy.

And yet, because Alter doesn’t get that Obama’s coddling of the banksters exacerbated the lousy economy, he doesn’t see that that scandal–Obama catering to his donors the banksters while the biological people of this country suffered as a result–might be the only thing that gives the parade of nutcases auditioning to run against Obama an opening against him.

This is not an arcane bit of analysis. This is where we are at in the country, and this is the framework for our next election of a President.

It is remarkable that to find this analysis I had to dig deep into the blogosphere, to a place a relative handful of people even know about. This is the failure of the media system without which we cannot possibly have informed choice, not to mention a particularly pointed example of how both our national political parties are co-oped by monied interests--by the One Percent, so to speak.

One would almost think a kind of Heisenberg Principle is at work, with the Democratic Process being the moving parts of the atom, and money being the light electrons which affect things we're trying to "look" at. It didn't used to be this way.

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