The atomized culture giveth and taketh away. While it’s allowed M-For-Fake hucksters such as Michael Moore, James Frey and Ward Churchill to hawk their wares, it’s greatly diminished the power of the mass media as a whole, and thus greatly diminished the power of hucksters such as Mary Mapes and Jayson Blair.
Peggy Noonan has a great essay titled, “Not a Bad Time to Take Stock“, coming on the 25th anniversary of the Gipper’s first inauguration, 11 years of GOP control of Congress, and since then, an increasing diminution of the power of the liberal media. But one of the paragraphs rang especially true for me:
We are in a time when the very diminution of the importance of network news leaves some old news hands to drop their guard and announce what they are: liberal Democrats. Nothing wrong with that, but they might have told us when they were in power. The very existence of conservative media–of Rush Limbaugh, of Fox, of the Internet sites–has become an excuse by previously “I call ’em as I see ’em/I try to be impartial” journalists to advance their biases. Actually, it’s more Fox than anything. The existence of a respected cable network that is nonliberal and non-Democratic (or that is conservative, or Republican, or neoconservative–people on the right have polite disagreements about this) is more and more freeing news outlets, encouraging them actually, as a potential business model, to be more and more what they are. Is this good? Well, it’s clearer.
This is something I wrote about several times over the past two years, beginning in February of 2004 with a post that collected several media figures going on the record about their biases, and in April of 2004, when I first interviewed Bernard Goldberg for TCS Daily:
in the past, media elites denounced any claims of a liberal bias in the news with a shrug and a “who, us? We’re not liberals. We’re not leftwing. We’re objective and neutral. No biases here!” More and more, as we’ll shortly see, the media are going on the record (Brock, Gore and Franken, notwithstanding) that it leans pretty heavily towards the left.
This new topsy-turvy world may have been ushered in by Bernard Goldberg, the author of two best-selling books, Bias and Arrogance. Goldberg built on the still ongoing spadework by the Media Research Center to document the leftward tilt of the media. Then the Blogosphere essentially had its grand opening on September 11th, when several million Americans who couldn’t log onto the Websites of CNN, The New York Times and the Washington Post, instead began checking out alternatives whose servers weren’t blown out from too much traffic. These newcomers to the Blogosphere stayed there, and often put down roots themselves, as the media trotted out its clich