My Retreat From The Media

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote another screed about Fred Hiatt and the WaPo, coupled with my refrain that the Media is fast becoming irrelevant. This time I added the idea that the thing to do was ignore them.

Today I realized that I have not read the Washington Post (I do read Ezra Klein and via Greenwald, I read an online chat with WaPo reporter Paul Kane) at all since that day. This was not a deliberate decision. I just did not read it. Not Broder, not Cohen, not any of it. To be honest I do not read the NYTimes that much anymore. A story here or there when someone points it out.

I used to devour news. Now I find it useless. I do not trust the Media. And I do not think their editorial judgments of what is news is particularly helpful or insightful. (Glenn Greenwald's column today demonstrates why.) So like the Sunday Talk shows, the Media is really becoming NOT part of my life. Is the same thing happening to any of you?

Speaking for me only

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    Not really (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:07:03 AM EST
    I don't watch nearly as much cable news as I used to, and I watch sunday talk maybe once every 3-4 months. But I still scan the Times, and RSS brings me most of the Philly Inquirer.

    WaPo gets almost no attention from me, but it never really did.

    It's the "trust" thing (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Lora on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:21:36 AM EST
    I do not trust the Media.

    Good for you!  I haven't trusted them for years.

    Unfortunately, they are responsible for shaping the opinions of a large part of the American public.

    Less and less (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 10:06:38 AM EST
    The younger generation -- 20 somethings -- don't read the papers at all. They watch tv, but mostly they're on the 'net.

    After the misogynist election coverage, I gave up. I go to blogs and news aggregators now. At least I can get the opinions without water, and they ask tougher questions.

    I predicted the demise would accelerate after the shoddy election coverage, and I was right.

    Full disclosure: I'm in the media biz.


    The internet plays its part (none / 0) (#25)
    by Lora on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:27:09 AM EST
    Going to the internet won't save you from the brainwashing.

    Here's a nice piece of right-wing baloney right on msn.com today:

    4 problems that could sink America

    First part: "we don't like to work"
    Translation: the middle class is lazy if they want to retire.

    Second part: "we don't like to sacrifice"
    Translation: Don't think of taxing the rich any more!

    Third part: "we're uninformed"
    Translation: if you don't understand exactly all the ins and outs of the health care debate, it's your fault.

    Fourth part: "the iculture"
    Translation:  The middle class wants a free ride (when it comes to things like health care, education, or retirement).

    Final translation:  If you want government-provided health care or a decent social security benefit, you are lazy, greedy, uninformed, expect a free ride, and you'll bring down our fragile economic recovery.



    Didn't say it wouldn't (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 01:20:01 PM EST
    But I find that the writing is less bland, more openly opinionated, and by sifting through the leftwing and rightwing blogs and aggregators, I can get a better picture of what's happening rather than trying to figure out what Newsweek or the New York Times is refusing to cover today. Plus the openly fawning coverage of the new administration frankly nauseates me.

    Agree (none / 0) (#43)
    by Lora on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 06:25:54 PM EST
    Yes (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by dk on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:23:03 AM EST
    I would suppose our attitudes on this will partly be a function of our ages.  

    I'm pushing 40, so for a good chunk of my young adult life, mainstream print journalism (and appearances of mainstream print journalists on the TV) was a major source of news for me.  That has changed significantly in the last few years.  

    Like BTD, I'll skim the NYT, and I'll check my local paper (the Boston Globe) online daily, but other than that I don't have much interest in the mainstream media.  Of course, the time I used to spend paying attention to media has been replaced to a great degree by reading certain blogs for news and analysis.  

    However, that still leaves me with two questions.  Is my new lack of interest in the mainstream media because the media has degenerated, or just becuase I've moved on (or both)?  And, are my new sources of information/analysis, on the whole, really any better than the old?  

    one vote for degeneration (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by Dadler on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:29:09 AM EST
    the msm reporters are now wealthy celebrity types, part of the ruling class, rather than objective and unsparing commentators on it.

    Yes (5.00 / 7) (#5)
    by BDB on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:35:26 AM EST
    I used to devour newspapers.  Love them.  Now I don't subscribe and I've even stopped going to their websites.  If I want news, I go to McClatchy and that's pretty much it.

    I miss my Sunday paper.  If the Post were even halfway decent, I'd at least buy that.  

    IMO, their business model isn't failing because of the internet, it's because their product is crap.  

    That describes me also (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by ruffian on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 07:46:00 AM EST
    I used to spend an hour a day with the LA Times- long time ago- and most of my life subscribed to one of the weekly news mags.  The quality of the major papers and mags has declined so much that I just do not find it enjoyable anymore.

    TV 'news' is even worse. I don't bother with it at all unless there is a major event in progress.

    I read the local paper in the morning just out of habit for something to read with breakfast, and use the NYT iPhone app occassionally to see if I'm missing anything big. And blogs like this one do alert me to news I am interested in.

    I'm getting weaned off the Sunday shows- spending more time at the park with my dog and the local philosophers instead.


    All on Demand (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by willia451 on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:40:03 AM EST
    The MSM is bereft of any substantive analysis or true investigative reporting.  They have all made the tactical decision to appeal to the least common denominator in their single minded hounding for more and more corporate sponsorship and advertising.

    Therefore, what you get from them is predictable.  Fluff.

    I'll watch a show or read an article, only so much as it relates to a subject that might add to what I already know.  Which it almost never does.

    But generally, almost all my information now comes from the web; on demand, and screened for content.  Through feeds and custom search engines.

    Yes! (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by snstara on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:41:44 AM EST
    I used to devour newspapers.  At some point in the late 80s/early 90s, I began to notice a disconnect between the stories I'd see in DC's free City Paper (before it swung rightward) and news items in the Post and NY Times.  Still, I did think that both papers reported news; perhaps the City Paper just arrived at the story first.  

    However, my thinking shifted. The false stories and hurried apology at the Post over, who was she, Janet Cooke?  So much coverage of outright lies about the Clintons and so little attention paid to the untruths told by Reagan/Bush I.  And then, the coupe de grace, the distortions and the media micromanagement of the 2000 election and its aftermath.  

    But the very last straw for me was personal.  I was at the very well attended March for Women's Lives.  Millions of people.  And this was presented as an afterthought in the press, if at all.  Whatever coverage we did get saw 'equal space' given to the tiny anti-choice opposition who barely showed up. It was as if this event never happened - or was reconstructed in such a way as to make you think other anti-choice events occurred that never existed - because the corporate media can erase you simply by refusing to report accurately - or at all.

    After that, the internet helped me construct an awareness of and enabled access to alternate news and alternate news sources.   I get the Times for the crossword puzzle and the arts section and, like you, BTD, read recommended stories and  Krugman online - but that's about it.  I don't regard the news the Times reports as 'news' anymore.  

    Fyi, you and the million women (5.00 / 7) (#18)
    by Cream City on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 10:33:18 AM EST
    who marched on Washington had a similar impact on me, although I couldn't get away to go.  But I knew a lot of women who did, not to mention major figures who were there from Senator Clinton to Secretary of State Albright -- and lots of celebrity sorts, too -- so I looked for coverage that day . . . and looked . . . and looked.  The lack of coverage was appalling.

    Finally, I found C-Span's secondary channel covering it, and I taped three extraordinary hours -- and told many other women who could not go and also could not find coverage, so copies of my videotape were handed around and seen by others.

    And I still use PowerPoints of still photos as well as video excerpts since seen by a thousand students in my classes.  So you're still making a difference for at least some in the next generation, despite the media blackout.  Thank you.


    Thanks for this! (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by snstara on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:09:34 AM EST
    I'm glad to know that you're still making a difference by sharing that C-Span coverage with your students!  

    I'd add that, as disappointed as I was in the media's failure to do their job and report accurately, I was truly inspired by the many women, men, and families who arrived in DC for that day. I've never seen anything like it, before or since - and I've been to a number of marches.  


    Has the younger demographic (none / 0) (#26)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:39:32 AM EST
    changed their resources for news? I recall a survey several years ago saying The Daily Show, Colbert Report, and SNL were major sources for the young.

    Spouse who studies such stuff (none / 0) (#28)
    by Cream City on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:52:21 AM EST
    say it's about the same re their sources -- but that studies also show that they have quite an appetite for news.  It has been too sadly true for some time, though, that mainstream media simply do not do well at reporting the news in terms that apply to them.  (Example:  Property tax stories always are written for homeowners, but renters pay property taxes indirectly, too.  In many years of watching this, I have seen exactly one reporter and/or editor include a paragraph in a property tax story explaining impact of an increase on average rent in my town.  Instead, my local paper thinks that the way to appeal to the under-25s is to give them more American Idol stories -- and they don't go to print media for those.)

    However, keeping in mind that most college students today (and for some time now) are over 25, I will tell you that, just like generations before, their news habits change.  They start to figure out what they need to know and where to find it -- and then where to find it more reliably reported.  I also see that they're in online communities -- their own blogs, facebook, etc. -- in which they talk a lot about the news among themselves from their perspective.  Mainstream media could learn a lot from shutting up and listening/monitoring those sources to see how to bring back that audience and succeed.

    Btw, history classes still fill -- and most really like to see how the past was prologue to the present.  They also really like primary sources.  A smart group just awaiting smarter media.


    Wow, that one nearly went down the (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:14:16 PM EST
    memory hole for me - as it was intended to, evidently. The March for Women's Lives:
    The March for Women's Lives was a demonstration for reproductive rights and women's rights, held April 25, 2004 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.. The National Park Service no longer makes official estimates of attendance after the Million Man March controversy in 1994, so official estimates are often speculation. March organizers estimated that 1.15 million people participated; others estimated no more than 800,000 marchers,[1] with the Associated Press and the BBC putting the figure between 500,000 and 800,000, comparable to the Million Man March of 1995.[2] Major themes included "anger at the anti-woman policies imposed by President Bush" including the passage of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in 2003[3] and the urgency of a presidential election season. Pro-Life protesters were present in some places along the march route. There were no violent incidents,[4] despite the Washington Post's Hank Steuver referring to it as "aggressive and even occasionally, almost delightfully, profane."[5] Wikipedia.

    Thank you snstara, CC, et al, for bringing it back to front of mind.  


    Hello Old Friend! (none / 0) (#48)
    by CDN Ctzn on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:30:04 PM EST
    We haven't chatted for some time.

    You just made my day! (none / 0) (#49)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 02:34:45 AM EST
    This is the first crossing of paths in several months. I value the grounding commonality of our respective connection to Canada and I've missed you hereabouts.

    I went on 'hiatus' in February and came back in May - right about that time you, evidently, went missing from TL until very recently. So, welcome back, solidarity and all that good stuff! I'll keep an eye out for your comments. Cheers.


    Sorry for the Absence (none / 0) (#54)
    by CDN Ctzn on Mon Sep 14, 2009 at 02:41:02 PM EST
    My 90 yr. old Father, who lived just outside Vancouver, took a turn for the worst about that time and just recently passed away. The past several months have been spent dealing with that.
    As a sidennote, the care he recieved during that time was incredible and, of course, without cost. It was good to be able to focus on his well being and not have to worry about carrying a debt for decades to come.
    I too look forward to renewing our friendship.
    God Bless!

    Yes (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by JLA on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:42:14 AM EST
    I'm a long time reader, first time commenter. Thanks for all the good information and conversation.

    I can identify, strongly, with what you write, BTD. I still listen to NPR, but for quite some time now, through a significant layer of skepticism. I do read online editorials / stories / reports (I'm not sure "reports" is an accurate term by now) from local to national / international publications; do lots of research to find as many primary sources as possible; and read a number of blogs daily.

    In general, I do not trust Media, though apparently Media reflects something significant about our society. Familiar terms like "short attention span" and "want to be entertained" naturally come to mind, but it's what lies beneath those observations that interests me. Among other things, how much is Media leading, how much consumers?

    I can listen to NPR (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Fabian on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:02:34 AM EST
    since I think there is a lot of decent journalism there, but the regular commentary by Brooks and Dionne is often pure beltway.  Thanks to the blogs, I now know who the other guests are and listen to them with varying degrees of skepticism.  I still have no idea why Newt Gingrich is interviewed instead of current members of Congress or even Michael Steele.  Probably has something to do with NPR daring to ask questions or challenge the narrative of people they interview.

    NPR isn't perfect, but it's still better than a lot of what is on radio and television.  Plus our state/regional reporting would be worth it alone.


    my retreat from the media (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by teachermom on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:47:29 AM EST
    I just heard on PBS "all things considered", as part of a discussion of the recent publication by AP of the dying soldier picture, the -- I tried to get his title -- the head of public relations for the department of defense or the pentagon state, "I think that the behavior of the press over the last eight years has been exemplary!"  What a hack-flack! The press over the last eight years -- yikes! I can't begin to reel off their failures of reporting and their abhorrent sensationalism.

    As Lora says, they are responsible for shaping a large segment of public opinion. Most people don't even realize there are two wars going on, that horrible things are being done in our name,  
    The rest of the world -- not so much. When the hurricanes go off into the Atlantic we never hear about the floods they cause in Europe.

    I watch the nightly news once in a while to find out the headlines, but I can't last more than five minutes because the stories are so irrelevant and stupidly done.

    I still have a subscription to NYT, skim through while I eat and save the crossword puzzles for the bathroom.

    Two points: (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by scribe on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:47:43 AM EST
    1.  What took you so long, BTD?

    2.  And the owners of the papers wonder why no one buys them anymore....

    Most of what I go to the papers for is the sports pages. The rest of current events and analysis, I get mostly from blogs.  IF I want to really get into an issue, I start looking for, and usually find, the original documents (online) myself.
    Want ads/stuff for sale?  Craigslist & EBay.
    Recipes, research, etc. (the "living" pages)?  On line.
    Cable TV?  Off since after Thanksgiving.

    Iraq Build-up. (5.00 / 5) (#11)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:54:40 AM EST
    Not much more to add other than the build up to Iraq and the embedded journos did it for me.  The hysteria during the primaries did not help.  

    I'm with you BTD (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by pluege on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 10:08:28 AM EST
    I stopped WaPo a good 6 years ago and the NY Times a year after that (except for Krugman editorials).

    No FOX, CNN, CBS, NBC, or ABC ever.

    No Sunday morning talking crap ever.

    Only an occasional Olberman, Maddow, and/or Stewart (yea Stewart has a lot more truth to say than all the "journalist" posers combined).

    I will read McClatchy.

    And yet I know more about what is going on than anyone I know. Granted some of this is from blogs that do still read or watch the above so I'm not really clean. But it is without doubt possible to stay informed without touching US corporate media, even more so because you don't have to filter their lies and dissembling. And as alternative news outlets arise, it should be possible to completely supplant the corrupt, worse-than-useless republican propagandizing US corporate media; and nothing could be more important to survival and restoration of the USA as a decent moral nation and society.  

    I've retreated from the Media (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 10:09:04 AM EST
    I will occasionally accidentally watch the first minute or two of the nightly national news, which is how long it takes to utter the words, "ohhh, that is so much bullsh*t" to whatever horse-hooey they're pushing that night.  News orgs are a bunch of charletans.

    Just as I've retreated from the news, I've retreated from politicians of every stripe, too. More charletans.

    Our issue world now is a big toxic soup of lies and propaganda.  Was it ever different?  I don't know.  It certainly wasn't as obvious.

    journalism is dead (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by kmblue on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 10:12:07 AM EST
    killed by laziness and the urge to be "first with the worst."  Analysis and presentation of the facts is gone, the search for truth has been suspended.

    I say this after 15 years in the media biz.

    It's not news; it's infotainment (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by Pol C on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 10:18:05 AM EST
    The best we can hope for is that it doesn't get too irresponsible.

    The MSM once again proved on Thursday that it cannot be relied upon for insightful journalistic coverage. Obama's health-care address to Congress demanded informed discussion and analysis. There was a good deal in the speech that needed to be clarified and reconciled. Instead, the news cycle was dominated by coverage of Joe Wilson's heckling.

    This is the same tendency that drove people to the liberal blogs and the foreign media with regard to Bush and Iraq. It's what drove us to economics blogs like Calculated Risk and Naked Capitalism last year. And it will continue to drive us to alternative sources as circumstances demand.

    Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy a fair bit of cable news. I like the rhythm and feel of Morning Joe, even though I take substantial issue with much of what is said on it. I also find Ed Schultz's passion on subjects cathartic. But I enjoy these shows because I've learned not take them too seriously. The only things the TV media (and the Washington Post and New York Times) are go-to for is sports and, to a lesser degree, entertainment news.

    I agree about much of the media (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by kenosharick on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 10:28:35 AM EST
    being useless. For example, yesterday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution carried a front page story about today's "event" in DC.  The piece claimed at least twice that this was a "grassroots" event which is blatantly false.  The piece portrayed these people as patriots fighting "big government" with nary a word of criticism. When the media presents a story on evolution for example, they always give equal time to the flat-earther nutcase point of view. Why not when a story glorifying the right is printed?

    I get my MSM... (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 10:58:35 AM EST
    ...filtered through bloggers that have the stomach to wade through the crap for me and summarize it with tongue firmly in cheek.  Too painful to do 1st hand, much like reading Red State and all the other wingnut sites became years ago.  

    I'll still read the local idiots in the Denver Post like Mike Rosen, Vince Carrol and David Harsanyi because there's noboby to do it for me.    

    Check on getting most of (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by brodie on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:40:19 AM EST
    the print MSM second-hand from the progosphere.

    Stopped buying my dead-tree local paper a few years back.  And have never quite picked up the habit of daily visits online.  

    As long as the NYT continues to publish Krugman, I'll be clicking over there and occasionally staying to read some other content, since my old newspaper habits tended to be to gravitate quickly to the op-ed pages, then work back to the news and so forth.  

    But the Times just doesn't carry enough interesting opinion writers on a daily basis to make me a regular reader.  Middleweight Bob Herbert, conventional mod-lib writer, just doesn't do it for me.  MoDo and GCollins -- the one is too silly or mean spirited to bother with, the other too Beltway and centrist.

    I kinda miss the worthy Anthony Lewis, the knowledgable and principled civil libertarian -- Glenn Greenwald less roughly 4,500 words per column.      


    No, no mainstream news here (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Faust on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:14:12 AM EST
    To the degree that I consume it I get it like this:

    My wife watches Rachael Madow.
    I hear about it indirectly through blogs.
    I occasionaly glance at CNN headlines on the web.
    I more often glance at Huffpo headlines: basically the liberal talking point summation of whatever is going on in the mainstream news.

    Paying deeper attention than that seems unecessary. Most of the analysis isn't "too conservative" it's just too shallow (myopic is a good word too). Once you tune in to the the way the discourse is shaped you don't even need to read it anymore. You know what it is going to say in advance 90% of the time.

    Ditto (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Cream City on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:20:24 AM EST
    but when my spouse watches him some Olberman and Maddow, he knows to put in his earplugs -- or he also will have to hear my snorting in the background, from the next room, at what I have to hear from their ilk, who wore their biases like badges.

    In the next room, I sometimes have a news channel on as background -- but nowhere near as much as before.  They all made themselves suspect last year.  Same for most of the print media.  So I look at my local paper online off and on during the day -- and then, when it arrives in print in the morning, for my son to read the sports pages, I do the section with sudoku and word games with my first cup of coffee.  The games challenge my mind more than mainstream media nooz does.


    NPR's Marketplace (none / 0) (#35)
    by Fabian on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 02:35:36 PM EST
    has probably changed the least.

    Economy is all about numbers, numbers, numbers.  With that POV, sports coverage has probably changed little too.

    Marketplace is still reporting the numbers, but the numbers they are reporting have changed.  Instead of hearing mostly about DOW, they are tracking manufacturing, unemployment, foreclosures.  I know I noticed the change.  I noticed that I also pay a lot more attention to the numbers than I used to.


    At the same time, most blogs left and right (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by jerry on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 12:42:59 PM EST
    "I used to devour news. Now I find it useless. I do not trust the Media. And I do not think their editorial judgments of what is news is particularly helpful or insightful. (Glenn Greenwald's column today demonstrates why.) So like the Sunday Talk shows, the Media is really becoming NOT part of my life. Is the same thing happening to any of you?"

    I doubt if I ever consumed tv media as you seem to, but print media and internet news and articles yes.  And I've read less and less for the reasons Greenwald, et. al., have pointed out for years.  And also because as most of the organizations came on line and added reader comments, they actually showed more and more in how they treated those comments how worthless they are as web 2.0 information sources.

    But I've also given up most blogs for similar reasons.  More and more the blogs, liberal blogs too, act as one, disseminating the days talking points regardless of merit or importance.  

    It's not just journos on journolist.

    Kevin Drum noticed this last week, that blogs were often spitting out the outrage of the day, but he couldn't figure out what he could do to stop that.  And then he spit out the outrage of the day.

    For the most part the sheer redundancy of this stuff makes it uninteresting and of not very much value.

    As an example, I used to love TBogg, but now I don't see his particular value add, his stuff is predictable, I've seen four times already today, and I am sorry to say he hasn't used the opportunity he has to grow in his schtick.

    And all around, I see many other issues ignored, and many real issues shouted down instead of being discussed.

    Outrage du Jour (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by Fabian on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 02:48:47 PM EST
    Ironically, it used to the be almost sole domain of right wing radio and television.  One diarist at dkos did a one month diet of O'Reilly and his experience was eye opening.  Repetitious?  You bet!

    Now the blogs seem to be following that pattern - outrage du jour, frequently without follow up, and the same things over and over again.  In Palin, I've seen the Left's version of the right wing noise machine cranking out story after story meant to infuriate rather than inform.  It's hard to take the blogs seriously when they themselves don't!


    My state's House Dem caucus (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by oldpro on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 01:54:01 PM EST
    screens all the state newspapers and blogs for relevant political articles and sends out daily a list with links.  Very handy.  I quick click on the stories of interest and send them on to my legislators and local activists.  Watch a fair amount of TVW (state C-SPAN) hearings, meetings, legislature, governor media availability, etc. That takes care of the statewide politics.

    Local...read two online and buy hard copies and am writing a new blog at the weekly local paper, taking on entrenched interests which no one else (least of all the editorialists) will touch...although a couple of local reporters do a fine job.

    National...some CNN for headline news but cannot stand most of their 'reporters;' a lot of C-SPAN, PBS' Lehrer Report regularly/daily, blog-links to columns or stories online in the majors, occasionally still watch Sunday morning when I'm in the mood or there is an issue I want to hear their guests' take on but it is increasingly tedious or aggravating or both.

    Makes me want to tear up my diploma from the Ed Murrow School of Communications.  I am unable to attend reunions for fear my high blood pressure medication wouldn't cover my reactions to conversations with my peers and former colleagues, although nearly all are now retired and don't attend either.  Keith Jackson is the only one who escaped successfully into sports commentary and play-by-play, avoiding most of the ugliness of watching what has become of a formerly respected profession.

    Very painful to watch something you have loved die an ignominious death.

    A good example (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 02:12:53 PM EST
    Go to hotair.com, where they have a link on the undercoverage or non-coverage of the Washington protests that are occurring at this moment. The photos of crowds are impressive.

    Agree with them or don't agree with them, but for pity sake cover them!

    ABC is estimating crowds of 2 million, police are estimating 1.2 million.  Still, NYT and AP and others are saying "thousands." I've done crowd counts -- it's easy to be off, but not that far out. WaPo is hiding its story behind a registration link.

    Do all these folks want to go out of business?

    I am experiencing the same thing (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by esmense on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 02:56:42 PM EST
    I was brought up in a household where "staying informed" was considered a major responsibility of every citizen in a democracy. My Dad, a labor liberal, could tell you the political leanings of every major newspaper in the country -- and subscribed to, and watched, a variety of newspapers and broadcast news sources catering to a broad ideological spectrum. I was taught that it was as important to understand the viewpoint and concerns of those whose political interests conflicted with your own as it was to be aware of and understand the events and developments that impacted, positively and negatively, your own interests. (My Dad was of a generation that thought it self-evident that politics is an arena in which individuals, groups (and classes) with varied and, more often than not, conflicting interests both compete and compromise. And, unlike many today, found nothing shameful either in fighting for your self interest (hopefully in the context of the greater good) or making necessary compromises with those whose interests differed from your own (once again, hopefully in the context of the greater good).  

    Given that background, it has been hard for me to give up on the media without feeling like I am shirking an important duty. But, frankly, there is no way that citizens can fulfill their duty to stay informed when the news media throws away almost entirely its responsibility to inform.

    I only selectively watch things (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 02:12:54 PM EST
    on television.  I used to keep CNN on during large chunks of my day prior to the Bush years.  That changed with the run up to the Iraq War.  I love how 250,000 protesters couldn't get coverage but 50 teabaggers sure can.  Anyhow, my perception of the media in general changed drastically then.  And it's just my opinion, but since then the media has only gotten worse.  It's sensationalism now, it isn't news and even pretending that it is is inviting fantasy into my decision making.  For some reason I always believe that written words are more truthful.  That fallacy has taken me longer to deal with.

    Have you read Roger Cohen's (none / 0) (#24)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:23:38 AM EST
    column entitled "New tweets, old nerds"?  In Thurs. IHT and probably in NYT this week also. Apparently Arianna disagreed w/an earlier Cohen column in which he sd. you've got to be present be a good reporter. But now he says his job is to present "thematic coherence"

    Anyway, I scan LAT on line @ least once a day and I subscribe to NYT although I mostly scan news and opinion and really read arts coverage.

    Seems like poor practice to totally ignore newspapers as that is the source material for bloggers, sho do not "do" investigative journalism but critique it. Otherwise we are stuck w/regurgitated Ezra.

    However, its NOT "retreat" (none / 0) (#29)
    by pluege on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 12:22:35 PM EST
    progressives have a distinct problem with their buying into the BS that the Conventional Wisdom, the "Villagers" and the despicable US corporate media push. Rejecting the crap US corporate pushes is hardly a retreat.

    Is stopping smashing your hand with a hammer "retreat"?

    Is not buying the lies of snake-oil salesmen, criminals, and cretins "retreat"?

    Is seeking the truth "retreat"? I think not.

    US corporate media is a vile, subversive, dangerous cult spewing misinformation across the land. Not subjecting oneself to their lies, dissembling, and manipulation couldn't be further from a "retreat". Its called being smart!

    You owe Act Blue $25 (none / 0) (#34)
    by msobel on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 02:32:47 PM EST

    long time ago (Thu Sep 03, 2009 at 04:25:47 PM EST)

    I will bet a $25 contribution to Act Blue that you can't go without posting a mention of "Fred Hiatt and his minions." for two weeks.
    They're just too juicy.

    Here's one for kdog (none / 0) (#38)
    by Spamlet on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 02:58:38 PM EST
    Slightly O/T, but I just found this story from Pheonix reported in the SF Chronicle (link button is not working for me today for some reason):


    Maybe newspapers are worth reading after all.

    Arts In NYTimes (none / 0) (#39)
    by NealB on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 03:42:01 PM EST
    Beside scanning the local paper (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) online, I check out the NYTimes Arts section (also online) a few times a week for theatre, dance, and movie news. I think it was Steve Gilliard who wrote several years ago that the cultural, travel, and leisure sections are the main attraction for the NYTimes and always have been.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#40)
    by Upstart Crow on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 04:01:24 PM EST
    and those are the sections that all the newspapers are pruning.

    No doubt (none / 0) (#42)
    by SOS on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 05:26:39 PM EST
    It USELESS. The mainstream big top political and business circus media in particular truly is one big lie.

    retreat (none / 0) (#44)
    by inzone on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:02:51 PM EST
    Retreat is a concept from "Battle of Jakes" on the internet... scary story of the right wing

    There was a time when (none / 0) (#46)
    by Radiowalla on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 09:36:43 PM EST
    I had TWO VCR's running every Sunday morning when I went out for my walk, just so I wouldn't miss the Sunday shows.

    Now I never tape them because I have lost my appetite for Tripe à la mode du Village.

    Similarly, I no longer read the editorial page of the NYTimes (save Krugman), never check the WP website.  I do still watch The Newshour.   That's about it.

    It's Pretty Sad (none / 0) (#47)
    by CDN Ctzn on Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 11:27:45 PM EST
    when the "Daily Show" is a more reliable source for news than all of the so-called "News" outlets.
    For years now, watching BBC, CBC, and reading "the Guardian" and "Salon" have been about the only reliable source for news available. Comparing their reporting with coverage of same event by US News outlets has caused me to wonder if they're even talking about the same thing.

    Useless? not in terms of controlling democracy (none / 0) (#51)
    by Bornagaindem on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 08:49:35 AM EST
    Useless? yes, for people who want information but they still pick our candidates for us. Every race for office in this country depends on how the media "perceives" you. The most egregious example is the latest presidential race- they loved Obama- he had a background they could eat up, he had no substance and so they made him into whatever they wanted. This compared to Bill Clinton - whom they hated - right from the start - how dare a man who was poor white trash from the backwater of Arkansas presume to be president. That was the narrative and they stuck to it through out the Clinton presidency. Al Gore was tarred with the Clinton brush as well and of course Hillary was the worst. Do you honestly think that Clinton would have been impeached without the complicity of the media and their influence.

    So yes the media is useless to us (based on their coverage Michael Jackson was the most important influence of our age) but they are far from useless in undermining democracy. In fact state run newspapers of the worst dictators in the world have lessons to learn from our media.  

    I thought it was just me, BTD (none / 0) (#53)
    by McKinless on Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 11:38:39 PM EST
    Except that I am boycotting the WaPo after what they did to Froomkin. Generally I don't trust it or even the NY Times. McClatchy, yes. The Guardian, yes. NPR, not as much as I used to, I am sad to say. I hit the blogs first (DK, FDL, TL, TPM,TaylorMarsh, Salon/Greenwald, Scott Horton) and watch Maddow.