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Oct 16, 2004 18:41 # 27832
Sorry if this info has been posted elsewhere, but I was so profoundly effected and moved by this video clip that it's all i've been able to think about today. I've held for quite sometime the belief that the media too often serves as a pulpit for poltical spin of the spoon fed variety, obsessed with sound bites and news tickers and more inclined to bandwagons than real news. Television media, particularly, uses 24 hour news to retread the same highlights every 30 minutes and is only truly satisfied when there's a distraction of the scandal variety to make lazy journalism ratings worthy.
(i.e. Jackson, O'Reilly, Martha, Mary Cheney, blue dresses)
So please, if you have any interest in media, politics or Jon Stewart (of the Daily Show, yes) take 14 minutes and watch this clip from CNN's Crossfire. A pity that the comic from the fake news show is the only one who makes any sense. Can these guys (Begala and Carlson) squirm any more?
transcripts are online at CNN.com and clips (in other media formats) are available at nyc.indymedia.org and randomfoo.net
What do you guys think? Is he on the right track? Was he over the top? Shouldn't the media be held more accountable? Or is he too abrasive and critical? (personally, I couldn't agree with him more, but I'm interested in discussion, too.) Just questions ...
Nov 15, 2004 04:37 # 28925
I agree totally with what Jon Stewart is saying about the American media. He made another appearance on C-SPAN in the guise of an interview about his new book, but just like in his Crossfire appearance he turns the whole hour-long show into a debate about what's wrong with today's cash-driven media. I don't know if you can download it anywhere from C-SPAN themselves, but I was made aware that the hour-long C-SPAN appearance can be downloaded in torrent form from suprnova.org.
I think what Jon is saying is that the American media is straying further and further away from real investigative journalism, and instead is relying more and more on spin and rhetoric provided by either side of a dispute. What this means is that when you watch a CNN feature on say, gun laws, it most likely hasn't been extensively researched and debated by the journalist and/or editing staff of that channel. Instead they grab a bunch of film and sound bytes of NRA representatives and splice them in with some anti-gun protest footage. They don't actually try to find the truth of the problem themselves by researching the facts or interviewing impartial experts. What we end up with is a "she said, he said" style of journalism where both sides are presented, but never critically analyzed. The defenders of this style of journalism call it "balance" when both sides are represented equally. The idea is that you present people with the "raw information" and let them make their own decisions. The issue that this doesn't address is that many times groups like the NRA or the anti-gun lobbyists will twist the truth to suit their own ends, and the television news companies simply magnify the untruths by presenting them as "hard, unbiased news".
The problem that this creates is that people still expect the old style of journalism to be present, when it's not. When people watch CNN, they are under the impression that CNN is doing its best to verify information and get an outside perspective before a story goes to air. What people don't realize is that these 24 hour news channels are competing in the capitalist marketplace, and more often than not getting a story on air quickly is worth more than getting it right, or even trying to present relevant critical information.
The print media is not as guilty of this crime, as most major newspapers still take the time to research and verify facts before going to print. However, newspapers might not print a story until days, or even weeks after the major events have taken place, sometimes for the exact reason that they want to get everything right. However, by the time a print story has been released, most people have already formed their opinion based on the lazy television journalism and don't bother to try and get a different perspective.
Something needs to change. It is this form of lazy but sensational media that has allowed fear mongers like Bush and Australia's John Howard to spread false messages of fear and mistrust to their people. It is this form of journalism that represses commonly accepted, peer reviewed scientific discoveries in favor of the unfounded theories backed by wealthy companies that would be hurt by a change in public awareness. Lastly, it is this form of journalism that refuses to show the American people how their decisions are affecting the world. News channels don't want to come across as un-American for fear of dropping ratings, so instead of showing footage of the atrocities that we commit against the world, we are fed rationalistic rhetoric by the companies and governmental bodies that are commiting the crimes. We are also fed sensationalized stories of the atrocities committed against us, increasing the fear and mistrust that runs rampant in American society today. Media needs to get back to its roots and start helping America by shedding some light on the real issues, and by proving to us with hard research and undisputable facts that we can trust them again. All they are doing now is leaving us in the dark while telling us that we're enlightened.
I like the Sun.
I just realized I have both Jon's Crossfire appearance on CNN and his C-SPAN interview on my hard drive. If anyone is interested in seeing the shows but can't find them online, page me and we'll try and arrange some way for me to send you the files.
Keep the lines of communication open! The best way to a rational society is to talk, talk, talk about the issues that we see problems with, and help educate your fellow man!
I like the Sun.