Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Media Matters, Not Truth

When we read or watch news we always want to be able to know what is true, and what is not. Human nature is to believe that which agrees with our world view, and to dismiss what doesn't fit. It takes a significant event in our lives to change our way of thinking. We always wanted to think journalists and media news sources to be impartial purveyors of truth and honest evaluations, because for the most part we are dependent upon it.  This is a constitutional responsibility of a Free Press.  But if abrogated it diminishes the capability of the citizens to limit excesses of the government.  For that purpose the press was to be kept separate of the government and not obedient to a single faction.   But since the days of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite we have learned that they are really just people relating stories, always with their own world view inescapably shaping the message that gets portrayed.  In a book "Bias" by Bernard Goldberg, 28 year veteran of CBS, wrote
(page 2) "Nor is it easy to write about other friends at CBS News, including an important executive who told me that of course the media tilts left -- but also warned that if I ever shared that view with the outside world he would deny the conversation ever took place"
(page 4) "Sadly, Dan [Rather] doesn't think that any critic who utters  the words "liberal bias" can be legitimate, even if the critic worked with Dan himself for two decades.  Such a critic cannot possibly be well meaning.
But real media bias comes not so much from what party they attack.  Liberal bias is the result of how they see the world."
For Bernard Goldberg, the revelation was that
"TV journalism had become a showcase for smart-ass reporters with attitudes, reporters who don't even pretend to hide their disdain for certain people and certain ideas that they and their sophisticated friends don't particularly like."
This revelation came about from consideration of the CBS news reporting during a Presidential Campaign
"Engberg's voice covered pictures of Steve Forbes on the campaign trail. 'Steve Forbes pitches his flat-tax scheme as an economic elixir, good for everything that ails us.'  Scheme? Elixir? What the hell kind of language is that, I wondered?"
Well it was among the signs of the progressive world view that has overwhelmed what we refer to as the main-stream-media. Producing a massive repetitiveness of the subtle message of derision that has convinced many that what they don't like is not a legitimate viewpoint.

It repeated with the "Fake But Accurate" campaign, that resulted in the dismissal of Dan Rather and several others at CBS.  A view that even though the charges and sources were demonstrated to be completely fraudulent and forged, the prevailing view of the MSM was that it was still "accurate".

It has been refined with even more activism and politically motivated operations at the new breed of "watchdogs" at Media Matters. That Media Matters is overtly partisan is not the issue.  The degree to which they influence and interact directly with, and possibly between, the Media, the Democrats and the White House is.

You might be saying that Fox News is doing the same thing as Media Matters (collusion), as this article on the Daily KOS about an "expose" of an RNC memo by Jon Stewart tries to portray.   But even as comedian Stewart's video riff (available in the article) shows, Steve Doocy (Monday 2/20) actually stated
"the RNC sees trouble for the president regarding this, and apparently they sent out something according to the papers called pundit prep"
which Stewart hears and portrays as evidence that Fox is taking direction from the RNC.  However Steve Doocy was reading, or "taking direction", directly from the Saturday 2/18 New York Times 
A recent “Pundit Prep” document cited the national debt, unemployment and the price of gas as the three best ways to define the “Obama economy.”
Well as Jon Stewart states about viewers who take him too seriously, "Its a comedy show! Not news!".  But when you watch it, as so many young people do, you end up believing the lie that Stewart has so vividly and comedically portrayed.

But is Media Matters dramatically more involved/colluding with the Democratic Party and the Media? In a series of articles written at the Daily Caller, from interviews with former colleagues at Media Matters, and internal documents
The group operates in regular coordination with the highest levels of the Obama White House, as well as with members of Congress and progressive groups around the country.  ...
“We were pretty much writing their prime time,” a former Media Matters employee said of the cable channel MSNBC. “But then virtually all the mainstream media was using our stuff.”
...Media Matters staff had the direct line of MSNBC president Phil Griffin, and used it. Griffin took their calls....
Reporters who weren’t cooperative might feel the sting of a Media Matters campaign against them. “If you hit a reporter, say a beat reporter at a regional newspaper,” a Media Matters source said, “all of a sudden they’d get a thousand hostile emails. Sometimes they’d melt down. It had a real effect on reporters who weren’t used to that kind of scrutiny.”
A group with the ability to shape news coverage is of incalculable value to the politicians it supports, so it’s no surprise that Media Matters has been in regular contact with political operatives in the Obama administration.
Media Matters also began a weekly strategy call with the White House, which continues, joined by the liberal Center for American Progress think tank. Jen Psaki, Obama’s deputy communications director, was a frequent participant before she left for the private sector in October 2011.

Every Tuesday evening, meanwhile, a representative from Media Matters attends the Common Purpose Project meeting at the Capitol Hilton on 16th Street in Washington, where dozens of progressive organizations formulate strategy, often with a representative from the Obama White House.
The Daily Caller analysis of the war against Fox News story
A little after 1 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2009, Karl Frisch emailed a memo to his bosses, Media Matters for America founder David Brock and president Eric Burns. In the first few lines, Frisch explained why Media Matters should launch a “Fox Fund” whose mission would be to attack the Fox News Channel.

“Simply put,” Frisch wrote, “the progressive movement is in need of an enemy. George W. Bush is gone. We really don’t have John McCain to kick around any more. Filling the lack of leadership on the right, Fox News has emerged as the central enemy and antagonist of the Obama administration, our Congressional majorities and the progressive movement as a whole.”

“We must take Fox News head-on in a well funded, presidential-style campaign to discredit and embarrass the network, making it illegitimate in the eyes of news consumers.”

“So, [Fox News] is no longer a news organization. This is a political organization, and their aim is to destroy a progressive policy agenda. They’d rather win in the ballot box than see any sort of real debate on health care. It’s a real shame.”

Ed Morrisey at Hot Air points out the real problem with this,
The real issue was the fact that MMFA did that while coordinating closely with the White House, which prompted the question of whether Barack Obama and his staff weren’t really the hands pulling the strings on its MMFA marionette.

So what was going on at the White House at the time that Frisch sent this memo to Brock?  It was just within days that Obama and his administration launched their weird war on Fox News.  On October 11th, White House communications chief Anita Dunn — one of MMFA’s main contacts at the White House — went on a nine-minute tirade about Fox on CNN, calling it “an arm of the GOP.”
For Media Matters truth is no longer the goal and independence no longer desired.  Identifying an enemy/pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it, is their goal.  Alinsky rule number 13. So in the battle of ideas one, unscrupulous, but effective technique is to paint your opponent as not worth listening to, illegitimate. The constant repetition of this message is usually effective at convincing people, regardless of the accuracy of such accusations.  That way you don't have to listen or consider that which you don't agree, you can dismiss it as an unacceptable source.

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