Is relying on the Media to be our "watchdogs" something new? Hardly. Anyone remember the role the Muckrakers played in disclosing the abuses of corporate monopolies? Disclosing the abuses in the meat packing industry? The unfair dealings the railroads undertook with small businesses and farmers? Remember the Grange and the Grange Laws? Anyone remember the role of Media in reporting on the Viet Nam War? How about Woodward and Bernstein's work at the Washington Post revealing the connection between a petty burglary and the paranoia of President Nixon? Remember? But does Media still act like the "fourth estate" discerning public political and governmental abuse? Hardly!
Some years ago, several respected journalists were caught accepting payments to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars for writing articles favorable to then President George W. Bush's 'No Child Left Behind' initiatives. The people paying for the favorable press? The political arm of the President under the control of none other than Karl Rove. Obviously, most of the "journalists" caught had their reputations severely damaged for not providing objective reporting. But certainly a decision was made by those willing to deviate from their journalistic integrity in order to receive favorable access to major political leaders, including the president.
But is this still happening, even after the massive scorn cast upon those caught in the Bush scandal? You bet!
According to Media Matters, Fox and CBS News political analyst Fred Luntz actually reported "findings" this past election on focus groups he was polling on Fox while at the same time accepting close to $80,ooo from the Ryan Campaign and Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS. Gee, seems Rove likes playing the Media for fools. According to the report, Luntz was especially strident in his criticism of Vice President Joe Biden after his debate with GOP VP Candidate Paul Ryan, continuously chiding Biden for his incessant rude smiling and facial expressions while Luntz continuously praised Ryan for his performance as evidence of his leadership. Not surprisingly, Fox News began pushing a narrative that Ryan won the VP debate and that Biden was "out of control" and in the words of Keith Ablow on Fox, Biden acted like he had "dementia." In reality, the all reasonable polls indicated Americans felt (overwhelmingly) that Biden not only won the debate, but that Ryan was actually weak and ineffective in his performance! Then why did Fox push a narrative ultimately favorable to the GOP?
It was also reported yesterday by The Associated Press that Roger Ailes, Managing Director of Fox News requested one of their analysts meet with then head of Afghan operations Gen. David Petreaus to seriously consider seeking the GOP nomination for President! Huh? A media outlet actually engaging in partisan political slate building? According to the AP report, Petreaus was told to only accept the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs if Obama asked and to then resign after six months and then make the run for the GOP presidential nod! Since when do our leaders take political advice from media outlets? Does the media report the news or create it? Do they investigate politicians or do they make them? Fox News, a leading subsidiary of the GOP!
As an aside, according to an article in the December 10 edition of Time Magazine, reader recommendations on Amazon drive what they call the Amazon Algorithm that drives sales of books listed online. The more recommendations of a book that is received, the more Amazon will feature the book to new readers online. Since they show ample evidence of this fact, I ask all of my loyal readers to consider signing into Amazon and recommending "How Our Government Really Works, Despite What They Say" (provided you found the book worthy of recommendation). More and more folks are reading the book and learning about our political system based upon a historical and political science perspective, without a partisan bias. By recommending the book, more Americans will learn about our government and be less influenced by ideologically based Media, which has been letting us all down now for some time. Please consider posting a recommendation at Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. It is important that the word gets out to the general public that accurate information IS available. Many thanks and be well!