Wednesday, June 17, 2009

media matters

According to Barack Obama, "I've got one television station that is entirely devoted to attacking my administration."

The White House's grievances with the media do not end there, however. Last month, Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, attacked the UK Telegraph and then generalized his concern to all of Fleet Street, opining that re "the British media" in general "If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I'm not entirely sure it would be the first stack of clips I picked up.... you're not going to find many of these newspapers and truth within, say, 25 words of each other."

UPDATE June 20:
Meanwhile, Iran's supreme leader Khamenei declared Britain to be "the most evil" of foreign powers, reportedly because of the British media broadcasting BBC Persian into Iran.

In light of this concern, the White House may be relieved that many US newspapers are in financial trouble and, at least according to John Ibbitison's information, "network newscasts are also in terrible shape."

A decline in the influence of the MSM would be positive for political extremists. As Barney Frank (D-MA) has observed, "the right listens to talk radio, the left’s on the Internet and they just reinforce one another." Unabashedly partisan left wing news sites like DailyKos and the Huffington Post are already outstandingly popular: DailyKos averages 29 million pageviews per month and HuffPo 206 million. Almost 13 million people visit HuffPo monthly, making it the most popular online "newspaper" in the USA; this despite the fact conservative news aggregators were established earlier. The utterly crackpot has 600 000 people visiting it each month. It is fair to say that the amount of material on infowars that would be published by the MSM is pretty much nil. The collapse of the MSM's gatekeeper role, however, means all the conspiracy theories will get more play. That's good news for the left, generally, since many people are prepared to believed that the planet is more or less governed by a grand corporate conspiracy.

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