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Elections, Politics

“Could the Media Turn on Obama?”

Posted: October 16, 2012 at 11:20 am   /   by

Over on Powerline, Steven Hayward asks this question.  After checking to make sure I had not ruptured something in the ensuing bout of laughter, I managed to limit myself to a few uncontrollable snorts & giggles as I read that line again, and tried to think seriously about Hayward’s proposition.

Hayward cites an article by Howard Fineman published on Monday, and likens it to a canary in a coalmine, portending a possible shift from wholesale advocacy to blaming Obama for failure.  I find it unlikely Fineman serves as any sort of bellwether for the rest of the media.  We may see a couple of other eyebrow-raisers in coverage by leftish pundits and reporters criticizing Obama and his campaign, but I think it will amount to little more than a rare exception.

The media today is much different than in 1980, during the campaign Hayward cites as an example of the media abandoning “their” candidate.  Although still overwhelmingly sympathetic to liberals and Democrats, the media was still very patriotic.  There was little of the “blame America first” attitude which dominates the scene today.  There was also much more pride in the “craft” of journalism 30 years ago.  Good work was measured as solid investigation and reporting, not political correctness and arguing the “right” side of an issue.

The greatest change must be regarded as the rise of activist, advocacy journalism.  It’s not about investigating sources and stories, finding the facts, and reporting them, it’s about the “public good.”  Journalists have gone from being newshounds to nannies, from adversaries to advocates.  Making a point, and influencing opinion now substitute for finding and reporting the news.  Progressives believe in the rule of experts, and journalists have appointed themselves experts on what we need to know, and what we don’t.  So instead of hearing about alarming unemployment and terror attacks in Benghazi, we hear about the threat to government-subsidized birth control and the “war on women.”  They no longer see their job as reporting the news, but to tell us what is news, and what we should think about it.

Nope, I will be very surprised indeed to see more than an occasional Indian leaving the media’s reservation.  They don’t see their job as reporting about his campaign or the election, they see it as helping drag him across the finish line.

Greg Conterio

Gregory Conterio grew-up in the middle of the cornfields of central Illinois, spent 12 years living in the People’s Republic of Los Angeles, and another 15 in Miami, Florida, giving him a first-hand perspective on the rich variability of American culture.  Although formally educated in zoology, he saw opportunity in the then emerging Information technology field 25 years ago, and has remained there ever since, although he denies being an early pioneer in the now fashionable trend of pursuing useless college degrees.  Having an entrepreneurial background, Gregory has long been a staunch advocate of free markets and minimal government intrusion into our lives.  He currently runs a small IT consulting firm based in South Florida, where he resides with his wife of 25 years, his daughter, three Whippets, and an unknown but growing number of chickens, having discovered belatedly the rural lifestyle is not so bad after all.

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"Could the Media Turn on Obama?"