Wednesday, January 12


Matt Drudge posts this overwrought column by Howard Fineman on the implosion of the mainstream media owing, as Fineman contends, to the Republican Party, George Bush, bloggers and "fraying journalistic standards." (Is there anything under this sun that George Bush doesn't take it on the chin for?). One cannot discern, however, in what descending order of impact he would rank their respective impact. Nor can one discern through all of Fineman's hand-wringing whether he believes the pronounced Liberal bias of the mainstream media was a good thing or a bad thing. While he slams CBS News for the "sloppiness" of the Rather/Mapes story and the perception that its assault on the president may have been politically motivated, he applauds past mainstream media achievements in "validating" the civil rights movement, ending the Vietnam War and chasing Richard Nixon from the White House. Seems that Fineman takes no issue with the mainstream media having a pronounced political agenda provided its patently Liberal causes are the right ones and the reporting (should read commentary) at least passes the smell test for credulity. What Fineman clearly overlooks are the systemic changes in worldwide communications -- e.g., the impact of the Internet as a ready, convenient link to myriad news sources coupled with the growing discernment of a more literate and savvy readership/viewership. The CBS reporting on Bush's Texas Air National Guard service, while egregious in its use of forged documents, didn't cut the mooring lines of the liberally-biased mainstream media. The MSM had already been cast adrift by the emergence of a conservative movement in this country, energized and made far more efficacious by the fortuitous advent of personal PCs and the Internet. Indiviual citizens can now check the checkers.

The force be with you!