Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Press, and the meteor that hit it.

This is reblogged from Small Dead Animals, as usual, because I did a big long comment and it seems a waste not to post it here too.

Wayne Barrett, Donald Trump, and the Death of the American Press

How did we get from 'Village Voice' reporters digging up everything there is to know about a flashy New York real estate salesman to not knowing anything about the President of the United States and his ties to Russia?

I grabbed a coffee. I read the whole thing. It's pretty good. But I do have an issue.

I was at the Voice when the meteor hit. Like many papers back then, dailies and weeklies, the Voice made its money on classified advertising. The New York Times, for instance, had three important classifieds sections—employment, automotive, and housing—but if New Yorkers really wanted to find a great apartment, they'd line up at the newsstand on 42nd Street to get a copy of the Voice hot off the press.

And then the internet came along, and it was all there in one place—for free. The press panicked. The Voice's publisher at the time, David Schneiderman, announced to the staff that the paper was going free. It made no sense, he argued, to keep charging $1 for what consumers could get on the internet for nothing.

Here's how the staff heard it: Who would want to pay $1 a week to read Nat Hentoff on civil liberties, Robert Christgau on music, Michael Musto on New York nightlife—or Wayne Barrett on the follies of real-estate mogul Donald Trump? That is, who would want to pay $1 a week to feel themselves a part of what the Village Voice had made them feel part of for decades? But at the time, devaluing content was in fashion—which meant, as few saw back then, the profession was digging its own grave.

Mr. Lee Smith the aurthor, like many in the media, is blaming the Drudge Report and Craigslist for killing off "quality content" as they like to call it. Otherwise known as Real Journalism (TM).

But the meteor did not hit when Drudge broke the Blue Dress for free on the internet. The meteor hit a really long time before that, back before the Great Depression.

Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt won three terms as President, the American Press has been leaning hard Left. The author mentions this, but he doesn't really understand what it means.

Trump adviser Steve Bannon calls the media the opposition party, but that's misleading. Everyone knows that the press typically tilts left, and no one is surprised, for instance, that The New York Times has not endorsed a Republican candidate since 1956. But that's not what we're seeing now—rather, the media has become an instrument in a campaign of political warfare.

That's not true. I -remember- the pre-Internet press. The American press/tv/radio has been an instrument of political warfare for the DemocRat Party my entire life, 60 years. Big Government is their argument, and has been since the 1920's at least. Probably since Teddy Roosevelt, come to think of it.

The datum that the NY Times hasn't backed a Republican since 1956 is a bigger deal than Mr. Lee Smith would like to let on. They backed Jimmy Carter. That's pre-Internet. There was no excuse for that. Carter was and remains an -idiot- and they backed him to the hilt. Disaster followed, as day follows night.

Only now, since the back of the monopoly was broken by nerds in lab coats, are we actually having a real debate.

Other than that minor quibble, it was a pretty good article. >:)

The Irredeemable Phantom

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