by Leonid Balaban
Please forgive me for not posting properly, but for some reason I couldn’t reply to Joe’s post.
I don’t mean to be sarcastic in my answer to your post, but “you’ve got to be kidding”.
Please tell me of any other issue that occupied news and cable airways more than the Obama-Wright controversy? In fact, Obama had to make 2 separate speeches about it, just to make people stop talking about.
Firstly, if Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others want to practice journalism, that would be the first time they’d ever do it. Hannity might not even know what journalism is all about, since he never bothered finishing his college degree at NYU. Same goes for Rush Limbaugh, who flunked out of Southeast Missouri State University. O’Reilly at least has two master’s degrees and one of the in Journalism.
Second, the art of practicing journalism involves presenting facts which are found during extensive research. I agree with you partially that new media has not been doing a good job in that area. With that said, talk show hosts like Limbaugh, Hannity, Olberman and others are not journalists, but talk-show hosts, who are on the air to present their opinion and not news. They discuss newsworthy events, but that doesn’t make them journalists.
Third, the Fairness doctrine and the deregulation of the FCC which started by Pres. Ronald Reagan had a lot more to do with the dying breed of journalists and real news coverage than the so called “liberal media”
Forth, speaking of liberal media, I don’t have the figures behind my claim, but let’s look at the Colorado Radio market. Name me one other radio station, other than KKZN-760, that broadcasts liberal/progressive talk? You might be somewhat correct when it comes to print media, but there’s little doubt that radio and TV markets are controlled mostly by conservatives. Example, Clear Channel Communications, broadcast primarily conservative talk. Sinclair Broadcasting group, which operates a lot of TV stations, mainly in the south and midwest, actively promotes right-wing/conservative agenda. I urge you to look at this wikipedia article that contains a lot of information regarding its controversies.
To prove my point that liberal media bias is just a myth, I bring you David Brooks, a conservative columnist who writes for guess what? New York Times, and organization that’s absolutely despised by the right. Here’s what he said about Sarah Palin in his interview for the Atlantic:
[Sarah Palin] represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party. When I first started in journalism, I worked at the National Review for Bill Buckley. And Buckley famously said he’d rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. But he didn’t think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I’m afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.
So, I hate to burst your bubble, but journalism is not dead, at least not yet. We need not only to re-regulate FCC and the media markets, but allow News organizations to work as non-profit units, that way they cover events and news fairly.