I know I’ve been AWOL and this isn’t about science at all, but…

I do find it really odd (I’ve just taken my medication for the day, and so can express myself so mildly) that the members of the same mass media organizations that worry whether or not President Barack Hussein Obama (I still love writing that) has taken on too much as he attempts to undo the disasters left for him by the previous criminal conspiracy administration [too many to link — ed.] actually complain when President Obama’s spokesman pokes a little fun at the previous administration’s consgliore Vice President after said consigliore eminence grise attempts to portray Obama’s efforts to stop torturing people is a bad thing.

So, it’s ok to accuse someone of endangering the country because he won’t destroy the ability to prosecute terrorists by torturing them to the point of insanity, but it’s not OK to compare the worst vice president in history to a drug dependenent, grotesquely obsese, yakmeister most-popular conservative entertainer in the country?*

[I never pass up a chance to post this portrait of the de-facto dear leader of the Republican Party–ed.]

And, by the way, to fret when the new President shows himself able to actually think about two matters in the same day?

There are lots of structural reasons why the main stream media is falling apart.  But the truth of the matter is that every major dead-tree and traditional broadcaster/cable net had, not too long ago, a serious brand, a name that could be seen as a destination.  CBS, the home to the correspondent who was shocked, shocked, to learn that the Obama administration might not take the former grossly over-promoted button man vice president seriously, was once the Tiffany Network, the place that Murrow and Cronkhite called home — the network that proved it was possible to do real news reporting in that gossamer medium with all those moving pictures.

Now?  With honorable exceptions, its a self-parody, in which the only consolation is that it is not yet Fox “News” [sic — ed.].  (Late breaking:  ABC and MSNBC pile on to defend poor little Dick’s honor, with no sign that they saw anything amiss, or a mite disrespectful,  in Mr. Cheney’s original feral fantasies.

These are all still influential venues, which is of course the problem.  But, speaking as someone who grew up personally and professionally in the traditional medium (stints, early on, at Time magazine and all), this smells to me like the end game.  The institutions that are trumpeting this stuff the loudest are economically and psychologically tied to the idea of being platforms of mass media.  This kind of partisan commentary masquerading (poorly) as commentary is the staple of niche media.  And in that space, there is already plenty of competition, lean, mean and ready to eat the dinosaur’s lunch.

So the next time someone complains about the fate of newspapers or the decline of venues for national conversation, you may (and I do) agree that there is a real loss there.  But recall as well that the supposed moderators of that national agora chose to piss it away in defense of an oilpatch chickenhawk with an eagerness to trade in other’s pain.

*Limbaugh apparently pulls a rating of around or just below 6 — as in 6 percent of radio listeners tuned in to anything at the time of his broadcasts are listening to him.  That’s a serious number. Still, as this report shows, there are some curiousities lurking beneath the gross figures that undergird the fat man’s fat paycheck.

Image:  Cornelis de Vos, “The Triumph of Bacchus,” 17th c.

Explore posts in the same categories: Crime, deceit, Journalism and its discontents, MSM nonsense, Republican knavery, ridicule, Statistics

One Comment on “I know I’ve been AWOL and this isn’t about science at all, but…”

  1. BCC Says:

    I so love this image…

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