The following video is from this past Friday’s Diane Rehm Show’s Domestic News Roundup. It really jumped out at me, as it reaffirms a lot of what I feel about the corporate media. Nothing against Washington Post national political correspondent Karen Tumulty, but I’m sorry, having a “fact checker” operation (which is often highly flawed in and of itself — see what I call “PolitiFiction” Virginia for instance) doesn’t absolve the media from doing its job. Which is:
a) to report what really is important, not a bunch of superficial, sensationalist garbage;
b) to report it accurately, not with false equivalency or mindless “both sides” nonsense;
c) to call out falsehoods and outright lies, not just in a “fact checker” column but in ALL their stories — in a prominent way. Which means…NO, the networks’ evening newscasts shouldn’t be freaking weather reports, and “news you can use” fluff. Nor should other “news” networks be dominated by faux “controversies,” people yelling at each other, etc.
The problem, and why doesn’t the media just admit it (Karen Tumulty basically does) is that they’re out for “eyeballs” and advertising dollars, and they’ll apparently do whatever it takes – including heavily compromising their jobs as “journalists” – to achieve that. Having said that, of course Tumulty makes a fair point that American citizens need to take some responsibility too, for consuming the “Kardashians” and other crap. But I would have been a lot more receptive to that argument if Tumulty – and many others in the media, not picking on her per se – actually addressed the (valid) criticisms raised and didn’t just blow them off in such a defensive, kneejerk way, as if it’s just inconceivable that the corporate media could ever do anything wrong. That’s clearly false, but it’s not going to stand a chance of getting fixed if leading media figures like Tumulty refuse to address them honestly.