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    Writer aboard Titanic worried about who’s buying other ocean liners

    Writer aboard Titanic worried about who’s buying other ocean liners

    Trust in the mainstream media is at an all time low, according to Gallup:

    Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

    The public rightly views the legacy newspapers and television news operations as too liberal.

    The elections of 2008 and 2012 saw pro-Obama partisanship which made even liberal media analysts blush.

    Newspapers also are bleeding cash and desperately trying to find a way to make money online.  The NY Times survived only through a cash infusion from a Mexican billionaire.

    Yet the possibility that the Koch Brothers might, just might, be interested in buying eight newspapers owned by the Tribune Co., including the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune, has the legacy media and left-blogosphere worried.

    But no column I’ve seen is more self-unaware than What would the Koch brothers do to the Los Angeles Times? by Harold Myerson at The Washington Post (h/t @jpodhoretz):

    • “Their purchase offer won’t be buttressed by a record of involvement in or commitment to journalism on their part. But it will come complete with a commitment to journalism as a branch of right-wing ideology.”
    • “Given the nature of the Kochs’ investment in grass-roots activism and politics, that doesn’t bode well for the kind of fact-based journalism that most American newspapers strive to practice.”
    • “Being human beings, all newspaper owners have politics of their own. Since the 19th century, however, most haven’t gone into business primarily to advance a political perspective.”
    • “In their very-brief no-comment on the sale rumors, the Kochs took care to note, “We respect the independence of the journalist institutions” owned by Tribune, but the staffs at those papers fear that, once Kochified, the papers would quickly turn into print versions of Fox News.”
    • “Though slimmed down from its glory days, the L.A. Times remains a great newspaper ….”
    • “But Times readers (and the Koch brothers themselves) would view a sale to the Kochs as a political transaction first and foremost, turning L.A.’s metropolitan daily into a right-wing mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best.”

    I think John Podhoretz had it right:

    More Hah:

    Worst Job of 2013 - Newspaper Reporter


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    Phillep Harding | April 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    If comments reflect readership (percent lurkers/commenters), conservative readers out number leftist or “liberal” (they aren’t liberals) by at least 10 to 1. And, considering how comments are worded and similarity of writing styles, most leftists making comments may well have reasons for commenting not related to habitual reading of news, such as class projects or people using sock puppets to increase apparent population.

    I’m thinking that leftist voters are mostly low information who do not even read the leftist press, like everything but Fox. And Fox seems to be drifting left, trying to catch readership among those who don’t read to start with.

    Mike Butler | April 26, 2013 at 12:45 am

    “The public rightly views the legacy newspapers and television news operations as too liberal.”

    That’s an interesting bit of editorializing. Funny how I didn’t read anything resembling that thesis in the article. Did you read the article, Bill before making your own conclusions?

    Well two can play at that game, take this quote:

    “This year’s decline in media trust is driven by independents and Republicans. The 31% and 26%, respectively, who express a great deal or fair amount of trust are record lows and are down significantly from last year.”

    It seems the Republican view that facts have a liberal bias are driving the public’s decreased distrust in the media (on average), as the media reports the news more factually.

      speebek in reply to Mike Butler. | April 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Mike Butler’s comment is an excellent example of the kind of shoddy reasoning that results when bias gets in the way of objective analysis (or completely supersedes it).

      He takes a quote demonstrating that Republicans AND Independents have a very low level of trust in the media and then clumsily tries to spin it as GOP bias.

      The money quote is “It seems the Republican view that facts have a liberal bias…” Really? The *Republican* view is that “facts have a liberal bias?”

      No, the actual, real-life GOP view is that far too many liberals report the facts with bias reflecting their own worldview. That Mike can’t even establish that proposition without resorting to a well-known (and easily disproven – green energy, embryonic stem cell research, health care cost control, etc., etc. ) liberal meme only demonstrates that his own bias is heavily interfering with his analytical powers.

      Add to that fact that he happily glosses over the fact that Independents have only a paltry 5% greater trust in the media on average (meaning that 69% of Independents don’t trust the media). Yet, somehow, GOP bias is driving the lack of trust in the media?

      At the root of every tortured argument is wishful thinking. Myerson is engaged in the same kind of pretense, imagining the L.A. Times (the L.A. Times!) as some kind of pristine bastion of journalistic objectivity that could only be sullied by the Koch Brothers libertarian/right-wing interests. It’s the kind of performance that reminds you to laugh out loud any time a liberal or progressive announces they are a member of “reality-based community.”

    […] William Jacobson – Writer aboard Titanic worried about who’s buying other ocean liners […]

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