Differing opinions about the not-so slow motion collapse of American newspapers.
Markos at Daily Kos says good riddance:
Newspapers like to see themselves as "essential to democracy" or some other such bullshit, but they've long been part of a much broader media landscape, in which broadcast and the internet have become the most efficient delivery mechanisms. And pretty soon, with convergence, they'll be one and the same. Newspapers have refused to adapt, or they've pissed away money buying baseball teams, or they've squeezed the value out of their product by demanding 30 percent profit margins, or they've expanded at unsustainable rates, or all of the above.
Baldwin, writing at HuffPost, doesn't see it that way:
Some friends of mine in the media business say the newspaper model as we know it is in its death throes. Papers will fold or go digital. The Times will survive only online. I hope that is not true. I hope that one does not need to own a computer and a high speed connection in order to stay connected with the world of news and opinion. The Times, like many other important journals, is not perfect. Sometimes its writing and its priorities are downright awful. But that is rare.
I still think people should read a newspaper every day and that children should be taught the importance of doing so in school. Television news can be good. It just isn't as good as the New York Times. And now more than ever.
Since President Obama's election, several conservative media figures have warned their audiences that Obama is planning to, in the words of Glenn Beck, "slowly but surely take away your gun or take away your ability to shoot a gun, carry a gun" or have suggested that a government effort to ban guns is likely. Worse still, they've often floated crazy conspiracy theories about the government's intention to do some pretty whacky things.
We've got a great new video out today hammering home some of the recent work we've been posting. Check it out:
We'd ask not why the media fail to describe Coleman as a "sore loser", but rather, why it is that
particularly since Tuesday's final count of any remaining, lawfully cast, previously uncounted absentee ballots
the media fail to describe Coleman as the loser at all, much less a sore one.
It's true. The press won't even come out and say Coleman lost the election, even though the state, and courts, of Minnesota have unequivocally announced that Franken got more votes. Last time we checked that meant Coleman lost.
Go read the whole item. Along with the press critique, there's lots of interesting legal details regarding the state of Coleman's recount challenge.
The New York Times goes deep today on it's-all-a-hoax point man Marc Morano, the former flack for Sen. Senator James Inhofe. Morano's got a new six-figure job pushing out misinformation (our words, not the Times') about global warming and trying to aggressively influence the media as the issue of curbing carbon dioxide emissions gets debated in Congress.
The Times piece is mostly helpful in letting readers know that Morano is in no way an independent or reliable source about global warming. Instead, he's a purely political player. Reporters should be clear about that when quoting him in coming weeks and months.
P.S. Favorite oxymoron from the Times article: "After college, Mr. Morano worked as a reporter for Rush Limbaugh."
Here is today's daily Red Scare Index -- our search of CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, MSNBC and CNBC for uses of the following terms: Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic, Communism, Communist, Communistic, Marxism and Marxist.
Here are the numbers for yesterday, Thursday, April 9, 2009:
Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 32
Communism, Communist, Communistic: 26
Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 1
Communism, Communist, Communistic: 3
CNN Headline News: 4
Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 0
Communism, Communist, Communistic: 4
Fox News Channel: 17
Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 7
Communism, Communist, Communistic: 10
Fox Business Network: 18
Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 16
Communism, Communist, Communistic: 2
Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 5
Communism, Communist, Communistic: 7
Socialism, Socialist, Socialistic: 3
Communism, Communist, Communistic: 0
The above numbers are the result of a TVeyes.com power search for these terms on these networks.
Maybe that's the future of conservative media criticism: pan the evil liberal media for its coverage before it happens.
Here's Cavuto yesterday, hyping next week's, right-wing anti-Obama rallies:
You might have heard we're going to be out in Sacramento a week or so from now to cover the tea party protest on the 15th. You might have heard a lot of news organizations are not going to be there. I know why we are there. I'm not sure why they are not. Apparently these populist protests don't count much for them. Millions concerned that they are being taxed to death concerns them even less.
So Cavuto has inside information on how news orgs across the country are going to cover an event "a week or so" from now? That's a nifty trick.
P.S. Did Cavuto really predict that "millions" will participate in the anti-government events next week?
Considering that it's a lazy and inaccurate description.
Yet the inappropriate tag pops up everywhere. Time's "Glenn Beck: The Fears of a Clown," is an interesting read and he raises lots of worthy points. But it's just hard to get past this:
The new populist superstar of Fox News has made a refrain of predicting that government policies are leading to disaster — dark, ruinous, blood-in-the-streets kind of disaster.
On what planet does the guy who defends the AIG bonuses automatically win the "populist" tag? (How about "elitist"?) Or the guy who claims the new president is going to take away your guns? (How about, "fearmonger"?) Or the the guy who does this.
Stop playing nice with Beck. Just be factually accurate instead.
Writes Michael A. Cohen in Politico:
While Democrats have sought to tie Republicans to Rush Limbaugh, his attacks are tame compared with those of Beck, who spoke recently of creeping fascism as visuals of Nazi rallies played behind him. His occasionally unhinged attacks of strung-together nonsequiturs about the evils of Big Government provide little in the way of constructive solutions to the country's vast problems...Republicans need to make a decision: Are they going to cater to the paranoid fears of self-styled "truth tellers" like Beck, or are they going to present a substantive policy alternative to Democratic rule? For the good of the party, and the country, let's hope it's the latter.
The new Republican leadership has drawn a line in the sand. Then dug it out and filled it with concrete. Rush Limbaugh is the One True Voice of God. Dissent and other forms of thinking will not be tolerated.
UPDATE: The far-right blog Little Green Footballs agrees with Cohen:
He's right. This turn toward the extreme right on the part of Fox News is troubling, and will achieve nothing in the long run except further marginalization of the GOP—unless people start behaving like adults instead of angry kids throwing tantrums and ranting about conspiracies and revolution.
UPDATE: From conservative blogger Rick Moran:
Beck worries me. Conservatives worry me. I worry about myself. I feel trapped in a huge ball of cotton, trying gamely to make my way out but don't know which direction to start pushing. I am losing contact with those conservatives who find Beck anything more than a clown - and an irrational one at that.
Today's entry comes courtesy of CNN.com:
Newt Gingrich said Tuesday the Obama administration is "intensely secular" and "anti-religious," the former House Speaker's second hard-hitting criticism of the new administration this week. In an interview with FOX News, Gingrich said he strongly disagreed with Obama's choice of Harry Knox — an outspoken activist for gay rights — to the White House advisory council on faith-based initiatives.
See here for all the questions I raised yesterday re: daily coverage of Gingrich's Groundhog Day-like partisan rhetoric.
The bottom line: It's not news.