Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Guess As To Who Won't Be Buying the Statesman

A few months ago, I had seen comments (as this entry states) at statesman.com from people who expressed hope that McClatchy would buy the American-Statesman from Cox. At this point, I'm ready to say that I don't believe that this will happen.

McClatchy (per 2008 up-and-coming blog finalist McClatchy Watch) apparently has its own problems at present. First of all, it is selling a large daily (the Miami Herald) itself, with similar results as Cox has had. The Herald just raised its prices in an effort to stay afloat, but there is speculation that it will eventually be merged into another paper.

In the meantime, in an era when many conservatives, right or wrong (and I believe they're mostly right) are seeing a lot of biased media*, one McClatchy paper, the Anchorage Daily News, has spent way too much time and resources trying to paint Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in the least favorable light possible. McClatchy Watch links to a couple of e-mail exchanges that the ADN editor decided to make public, and the comments appear to support him overwhelmingly. With that said, I believe most of the comments are by rabid liberals parroting the same talking points over and over (to which I say: Sarah Palin is not a moron, and she is not a bimbo. Is she perfect? No, and I haven't forgotten my promise to Mike "M1EK" Dahmus that I intend to write in depth about her at some point. But in the meantime, note that almost none (if any) of the commenters bother to debate actual policies.)

My point in all this: McClatchy is hemorrhaging subscribers, as are a lot of newspapers. They are not going to be the saviors of the Statesman.

*Sure, dissenters, use Fox News as your counterargument. I'll concede it to a point. Does it really cancel out every other form of media? Its bias doesn't even match that of MSNBC at this point.

4 comments:

Pat Doyle said...

Oh the liberal media myth again.

MSNBC airs exactly fours hours a day of anti-conservative/GOP programming (Maddow and Olbermann.) Well only two really, since both simply re-run immediately after each other. Hardball will blow any way the wind takes him, and anyone who watched Matthews and G. Gordon Liddy drool over Dubya's codpiece on the flight deck knows he's no liberal. Former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough spends three hours every day with Pat Buchanan defending the Bush administration and extolling the virtues of right-wing values, along with the rotating cavalcade of terminally-wrong Beltway pundits, those who thought Rev. Wright would sink Obama and still believe the country is center-right ideologically when we just had an election that proved them wrong in every one of their uneducated assumptions about the electorate. Buchanan is the obligatory guest on just about every MSNBC show along with Tony Blankley and Michelle Bernard. Finally we have Mrs. Alan Greenspan manning the lunchtime desk.

Then there's ABC news. 3 days after the anthrax attacks of 2001 Brian Ross cited an unidentified administration source tying the poison to an Iraqi strain, a report that was disproven weeks later when it was learned the source was domestic. To this day ABC news refuses to issue a retraction or correction to that story because it would be an explicit admission of their water-carrying for the Bush administration by providing a propaganda platform for it's false case for invading Iraq, something the public now overwhelmingly considers a mistake.

Then there's Rush Limbaugh, who dominates AM radio dials across the country and overseas military bases for 15 hours a week.

In general, traditional media has neither a conservative or liberal bias. It has an economic bias - an interest in framing narratives that will attract the maximum audience, hence all the flag-waving graphics and the rush to out-Fox the other guy in the wake of 9/11. Our press has largely traded the traditional role of adversary it's played in democratic societies for centuries in favor of a successful business model, and we're all the worse for it.

Pat D said...

The Beltway bias of maintaining the staus quo is certainly nothing new:

Newsweek 1/10/2009:

In times of war and crisis, as presidents such as Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt discovered, the nation needs a strong chief executive. The flaw of the Bush-Cheney administration may have been less in what it did than in the way it did it -- flaunting executive power, ignoring Congress, showing scorn for anyone who waved the banner of civil liberties. Arguably, there has been an overreaction . . .

Newsweek, August 1970:

The flaw of the Nixon-Agnew administration may have been less in what it did than in the way it did it -- flaunting executive power, ignoring Congress, showing scorn for anyone who waved the banner of civil liberties. Arguably, there has been an overreaction . . .

Snowed In said...

All that shows is that Newsweek seemingly plagiarizes itself and hopes no one notices.

I saw that in the comic strip Blondie once, and it was just about as blatant.

Pat said...

No, it shows that Newsweek, in keeping with the prevailing myopia of most traditional media outlets, is no more interested in hard-nosed investigation and original reporting now than they were in the post-Watergate era, so the pitiful state of popular reporting in 2008 is understandable. Time was when TV news outlets were designed as loss-leaders precisely because the business of news gathering is often anathema to turning a profit. It's mandate was to deliver as accurate copy to the citizenry as possible, even if that meant pissing off every single source giving you access because the suits had your back all the way. Nowadays it's just become another profit center for the multinational conglomerate, and the business of getting to the truth be damned.

Case in point: Tim Russert testified in the Plame case that he granted all his sources confidentiality unless they specified otherwise, an astounding revelation to journalism professors but unsurprising to those of us who watched that episode of Pravda-style proapagndizing unfold. Cheney called Russert the "go to guy" when you needed to get your message through the "media filter" as he called it.