Early on when I first started blogging here at Ohio.com, I listed America's mainstream media as one of our nation's three most threatening problems. Since that time, our national media problem has only gotten worse. Corporate media, specifically but not exclusively, teevee media, has developed a permanent allergy, I guess, to sharing the truth with viewers.
Some may be thinking I'm referring to Fox News. Not in this case. Fox News is not a media outlet. Fox is a Republican Party advocacy/entertainment network.....a communications arm of the GOP. No one who watches or listens to Fox News expects to hear the truth about this or that event or story. Instead, loyal Fox viewers EXPECT to hear or see a Republican, conservative slant given to each and every story. Rarely are conservatives disappointed.
Setting Fox aside.....what I'm talking about today has more to do with traditional mainstream teevee media,......NBC, ABC, and CBS.....corporate teevee media. Big Teevee Media "earns" it's money by offering their audiences up to corporate clients willing to pay huge sums of money to "brand" their name, product or service into the brains of those audiences. "Content" is secondary. While content is important to attract an audience, if viewers would stay tuned in to satellite color bars interspersed with corporate commercials....that would be the new model.
When it comes to mainstream corporate "news" media, the question for modern media executives has been how to capture and maintain viewers, thus fulfilling their duty to their "bosses" to offer up a sizeable audience to absorb their branding commercials, while still reporting the truth of each and every story and event. With the GOP communication network, Fox....this problem does not exist. Fox tells it's GOP and conservative audiences what they want to hear, regardless of the facts.
If conservative and Republican teevee news viewers don't appreciate the objective truth about a story or event as it's told by mainstream corporate media outside of Fox, then mainstream corporate media is faced with the very real possibility that their potential audiences will be limited, diminished.
All of this has led to today's "he said, he said"....news reporting. Highly rated shows like NBC's Meet the Press, or ABC's This Week welcome representatives from both Republican and Democratic persuasions onto their programs. The host asks both sides what their take is on any given story or event. Each side responds. What the show host rarely, if ever, does, however.....is tell his viewers who is telling the truth and who is not.
NBC's David Gregory, has made this modern reporting phenomenon crystal clear....
I think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up and say this is bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this, that we didn't do our job. I respectfully disagree. It's not our role.
That was a rare moment of candor for David Gregory. NBC is often criticized by conservatives as being the most "liberal" of all networks,...and yet, it's highest star flat-out said that it's not his "role" to tell viewers who is lying and who is telling the truth.
That brings us to the latest from Mr. Gregory.....
First came an announcement by ABC's This Week interim moderator Jake Tapper that the program would team each week with the St. Petersburg Times' PolitiFact to fact-check guest interviews.
Now, NBC's Meet the Press moderator David Gregory tells The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz that fact-checking is an "interesting idea" but that his program will not follow ABC's lead. "People can fact-check Meet the Press every week on their own terms."
Fact check, smack check. Who needs to know the facts when the aura exuding from Gregory and his Very Important & Serious Guests is so captivatingly brilliant?
One of the most serious threats to solving our national problems, one which led me to begin blogging in the first place...is not only still with us today, but has calcified into a permanent fixture of the status quo. We witness it every day. We are getting used to it.
Mainstream teevee media does not consider telling it's audiences what the truth is, what the facts are, or who is telling the truth and who isn't ....as their job, their responsibility.
With teevee media still being the widest desseminator of information to the nation today....what can be done about this problem?
I'm being serious when I say that I don't see a way out of this potentially nation-destroying situation.
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