News, or Manufactured News?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by classicaliberal, May 31, 2012.

  1. classicaliberal macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #1
    There area a lot of things that bug me about the media we have here in America, but lately one of the things that has been causing me the most frustration is when comments are taken completely out of context and the media, regardless of the obvious truth, fan the flames. I expect the politicians to do this, but at what point does spreading lies for the sake of ratings, eliminate the media's credibility so much that they're no longer useful? I've reached that point, and I think America isn't far behind.

    3 Recent/Well-Known Examples:
    Rush Limbaugh saying he wants the 'president to fail' is a logical thing to say. If tomorrow Ron Paul were elected, and his stated goal was to slash military spending by 50%, medicare by 50%, and Social Security by 50% over the 4 years of his term, I'd expect political people on both sides of the aisle to say that "they hope the president fails". They wouldn't be talking about 'the presidency' or 'the country', they'd obviously be talking about the president's agenda. They'd hope the president would fail at implementing his plan.

    Hillary Rosen saying Ann Romney 'never worked a day in her life'. Ok, Hillary is a mother herself, she undoubtedly knows how much hard work it takes, the obvious point she was trying to make was that Ann Romney would have a hard time relating to the average American mom who takes care of kids AND works paid job. I understand why the Republicans jumped all over it, but did the media have to fan the flames? A poorly worded statement is cause for clarification, not demonization.

    Mitt Romney saying he 'likes to be able to fire people.' Well yeah, the opposite of being able to fire your employees is not being able to fire your employees. I'm pretty sure every single business man, entrepreneur, small-business owner in the world really values the ability to fire their poorly performing employees, or just reduce costs when revenues are down. Again, I understand why the left tried to make this an issue, but come on media... this is a pretty uncontroversial idea... a boss having the power to fire his employees. He didn't say he enjoyed firing people, but that he liked the ability to.


    I think the worst part of these types of media BS fests, is that they detract from the real issues. a 24/7 news-cycle is not a license to just make up your own news. But they all do it, every organization out there makes an issue out of things that shouldn't be. It's doing a major disservice to everyone of us who consumes their content and who would prefer to talk about issues that actually matter.

    Anyway, that's my $0.02. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    Do I detect a slight partisan bias in your complaints?
     
  3. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #3
    None was intended. This is a non-partisan issue if you ask me.
    Any opinion as to the actual substance of issue?
     
  4. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #4

    I'm going to be a little strident on this.

    If you're tired on "media BS fests" stop watching TV or scrawling through the Drudge Report and buy a goddamned newspaper.

    There are thousands of journalists working world-wide and just this year 20 of them died trying to get you real news. Anthony Shadid, a New York Times correspondent died after sneaking across the Syrian border; Marie Colvin, an American reporter working for The Sunday Times of London, and Rémi Ochlik a photographer were killed intentionally by Syrian artillery fire; Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington both died in Libya after a mine exploded, etc.

    The problem with the "media" is the genre of 24-hour news cable network has lost its collective mind and become nothing more than an echo-chamber for stupid political bickering that totally ignores both the fine work that other journalists are doing as well as the real problems that America faces.

    It's ******** and I'm tired of people lumping the wankery at Fox News (or those other *******s) with the real journalism done by people who face real danger to bring truth to power.

    There is simply no such thing as "the media."
     
  5. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    Jul 19, 2011
    #5
    You make a good, albeit obvious, point that there are good journalists out there. Your suggestion however that the problem being discussed is specific to only one type of media, or to one specific organization is clearly false... simply factually incorrect. In all three of the examples I provided, hundreds of news organizations from TV, to Radio, to Newspapers, to Magazines were all making $ off of pouring gasoline on the fire. I dislike Fox as much as the next person, but to suggest that the problem is a Fox News problem is doing a disservice to the truth... and is actually making the problem worse by implying that one side of the media-political spectrum spouts truth, while the others fallacy and lies.
     
  6. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #6
    Or read a book.

    And then comment about that.

    If you're going to eat fast food only to complain about the empty calories, then the problem is where you choose to dine.
     
  7. classicaliberal, Jun 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012

    classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    Jul 19, 2011
    #7
    IN my experience, books are exceedingly bad at delivering up-to-the-minute news content/analysis. ;)

    I personally get my media from a wide array of sources, I'm not complaining that there are no good sources out there, only that the vast majority of them all do the same thing, and that the vast majority of Americans have to suffer through the same garbage regardless of what channel they turn on or which page they turn.

    There is good stuff out there, but not much... and the bad stuff is pervasive.
     
  8. CalWizrd Suspended

    CalWizrd

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    #8
    This is the MacRumors PRSI forum. Don't you understand that in this "world" the only biased news outlets are those which would support Romney over Obama?
     
  9. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #9
    If you do the research, I doubt you'd find that any of the three examples you posted had any legs in serious journalism. The New York Times might written about each, but only in the larger context of what it said about the candidates or running for president. Other newsmagazines covered the brouhahas rather than the initial statements, which is perfectly valid to note that a controversial story gets legs. Some outfits might have mentioned it in a brief.

    But, to say that "The Media" covers these stories expressly is simply untrue. There's a wide news-hole that needs to be filled and so every agency is going to touch on one of the stories, but if you examine that coverage in context, especially compared to the width and depth of other stories, you'll see that editors from serious outfits don't care about these stories.

    I'll go back to something I've said before, if your news diet is the brain candy of Yahoo News and Fox, of course you're malnourished. If you snack on The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, etc. you will find that most of these "controversies" are just a small noise in the speaker of a much larger concert.

    Let me say this, I know and work with a couple of dozen journalists and none of them paid much attention or put any time into covering your examples. They were too busy trying to understand what happens to migrants in CBP detention, the environmental dangers in Costa Rica, the construction of new solar arrays, the failure of city schools to track vaccinations, and new scientific research programs.

    The bad stuff is certainly pervasive, but I blame the Internet's tendency to act as an echo chamber for that. But, think of it, if you're reading/watching outlets that always cover these dumb stories, you're the one feeding the fire.

    I think there's too much focus on partisan rancor and far too many stenographers at the ready for whatever stupid thing comes out of Candidate Brand A's mouth, but there's just too many journalists to say that "The Media" does anything.


    ----------

    [/COLOR]
    Good to see Captain Equivalence hasn't fallen of his horse.
     
  10. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #10
    I disagree. There are good news outlets out there, but they DO NOT and SHOULD NOT support President Obama or support Mr. Romney. They should do their level best to provide a neutral, unbiased explanation of the news. Some of those channels have opinion shows that are biased, but that doesn't taint everything.

    I know conservatives like to talk about liberal news bias, and there might be in certain terminology (repealing Obamacare is a "step back" or the opposite is some form of "progress), but if the story itself is just the news, then the bias imparted is miniscule compared to the story/fact manipulation in the media outlets that actually support the GOP.

    I have given up on CNN. MSNBC and FoxNews are great entertainment, but I don't go to either if I am looking for straight news. My local news is ok, but really NPR, BBC, and the internet (assuming you have a good filter for BS) are the best ways to get what happened (then make your own conclusions).

    I'm sorry CalWizrd, but this is PRSI in a forum where people know how to do their own research. You better not come here with BS and expect anyone to believe it. You better be able to back up your opinions or you are going to be put in your place. I come here because for the most part, anything you argue is going to be put to the test, and if you're wrong, or if there are holes in your arguments, they are going to be pointed out. To me, this is great practice for my profession.

    Unfortunately, we don't have enough conservatives, and the ones we do have, rarely can back up their opinions in the face of even the most trivial questioning.
     
  11. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

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    #11
    I don't watch US News channel due to this. Fox News is a running joke after another; NBC is not good either & CNN is not balanced news.

    I tend to watch BBC news as I have found is the most balance one.

    I do love watching Jon Stewart & The Colbert Report though :p
     
  12. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #12
    Rush Limbaugh is a bad example for what you are trying to discuss. Limbaugh intends amuse his poorly-educated and prejudiced dittoheads. He is a right wing entertainer, not a journalist.
     
  13. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #13
    I think the example is ok - the criticism is not of Limbaugh (we'd be here all day), but rather of the media's analysis and fanning-the-flames around that story. The point was that there's nothing fundamentally wrong with what he said (a partisan saying he hopes the agenda of an opposing partisan president fails), but that it was taken out of context and used to boost ratings by all media channels with little attempt to clarify the actual intent of the comments.

    One humorous aspect with this example and countless others is that you often hear analysts talk about how 'unfortunate' the comment was because it 'sounds bad', etc. Well, how about we discuss the substance of the issue and not how one person's comment can be skewed to make them sound bad? Clarify what they were trying to say if necessary, then discuss the substance. What does Rush Limbaugh want to fail? What policies? What does Hillary Rosen actually think of motherhood, and Ann Romney's ability to relate to the average American? Is there anyone who actually disagrees with Mitt Romney that business owners should be able to fire employees? (apparently so ;)

    These people make enough stupid statements on their own without having to manufacture stuff... the media is doing a disservice to the viewing population in these instances, and I think someone needs to call them out on it.
     
  14. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #14
    I classify him as an enabler, just preaching to the choir.

    Not difficult at all.
     
  15. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #15
    It wasn't taken out of context at all, unless by "context" you mean Limbaugh's expansive straw man regarding President Obama's alleged socialist agenda. I've included the quote below from the transcript on Rush's very own website dated January 16th, 2009.

    The point you are missing is that Limbaugh is a right wing entertainer whose audience loves his offensive humor. It has nothing to do with journalism.


    I, too, am opposed to soundbite journalism. I agree with you that focus on an awkward Romney soundbite doesn't do justice to the full extent of his pro-corporate ideology. Romney seems to truly believe that God invented the megacorporation to carry out His will.

    Rush Limbaugh is in a different category, and "policy" discussions, or, NFL football players, are all just fodder for the vitriol his audience finds entertaining.


    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2009/01/16/limbaugh_i_hope_obama_fails
     
  16. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #16

    You seem to be attempting to argue the point, but all the evidence you post, suggests that you're having a side argument about the VALIDITY of Limbaugh's comments. You're saying that it was a straw man, a falsehood, and that Rush's comments were not an accurate depiction of Obama's positions. Fair enough - that may be, people have different perspectives on the issue, but whether his analysis of Obama's positions were 100% accurate or 100% inaccurate, what we're talking about here was whether the media accurately portrayed Limbaugh's position, or purposefully took it out of context, purposefully blew it up into a much bigger issue than it deserved to be.

    Read the parts of Limbaugh's statement which I bolded. It perfectly clarifies his comments. It's President Obama's "liberal policies" being discussed, he wants the president to fail at implementing "liberal policies". That's now how it was perceived in the media. ;)
     
  17. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #17
    What is it about "I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: "Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails." Somebody's gotta say it." that you don't get?
     
  18. classicaliberal thread starter macrumors regular

    classicaliberal

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    #18
    It sounds to me like a prediction. 'Honored' is sarcastic, he's saying that he knows before hand how the so-called 'Drive-By Media' is going to twist his words, but he doesn't care... the truth needs to be stated in his mind.

    Stop making me look inside Limbaugh's mind... it's giving me the chills. ;)
    The truth though, is that not only did Limbaugh say nothing wrong, but he actually PREDICTED the BS coverage. :eek:
     

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