Brad DeLong and Bob Somerby regularly critique bad reporting in the American media, but they normally focus on individual reporters rather than on management and ownership, even though the latter ultimately must be held responsible.
Bob Parry has a piece up at Consortium News detailing the suppression of good reporting (leading to the development of a servile news media) during the last 20 or 30 years. Based on what he says, we can expect the same media people who pooh-poohed Walsh’s Iran-Contra investigation to do everything they can to sabotage Fitzgerald’s Plame investigation.
When the business Democrats succeeded in marginalizing Ralph Nader within the party, one outcome is that the Democrats failed to percieve the dangers of media consolidation, which one of Nader’s big issues. This has come back to bite them in a big way. They portrayed themselves as hard-headed realists and caricatured Nader as a quixotic do-gooder, but in the long run they crippled the Democratic Party. Unless that was their goal, we can only regard them as the silliest of suckers and chumps.
Sample from Parry:
Where I worked at the Associated Press, general manager Keith Fuller – the company’s top executive – was considered a staunch supporter of Reagan’s foreign policy and a fierce critic of recent social change. In 1982, Fuller gave a speech condemning the 1960s and praising Reagan’s election.
“As we look back on the turbulent Sixties, we shudder with the memory of a time that seemed to tear at the very sinews of this country,” Fuller said during a speech in Worcester, Mass., adding that Reagan’s election a year earlier had represented a nation “crying, ‘Enough.’ …
“We don’t believe that the union of Adam and Bruce is really the same as Adam and Eve in the eyes of Creation. We don’t believe that people should cash welfare checks and spend them on booze and narcotics. We don’t really believe that a simple prayer or a pledge of allegiance is against the national interest in the classroom. We’re sick of your social engineering. We’re fed up with your tolerance of crime, drugs and pornography. But most of all, we’re sick of your self-perpetuating, burdening bureaucracy weighing ever more heavily on our backs.”
October 23, 2005