Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
Watching NBC's Andrea Mitchell this morning interviewing White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Melody Barnes, brought home to me just how useless our mainstream media has become with Obama and the Democrats in power. Now that Van Jones has resigned, Mitchell, having arrived at the conclusion of her interview, asked Ms Barnes about how they picked such an opportune time to announce Van Jones' resignation and what happened to the vetting process. Barnes deftly ducked the question like a 35 mph change up, at which point, Mitchell, rather than press the question with a follow up or tell Barnes that she had not answered the question, merely thanked her for her time and said goodbye. In truth, Mitchell was doing what the rest of the MSM are doing-catching up to the Jones story after he has resigned. The question begs; why didn't the mainstream media take the lead in this story about a self-proclaimed communist with a videotaped history of radical statements in the White House? What happened to that term, "watchdog media"? It is clear that this is a role that the media has abandoned now that George W Bush is no longer in the White House. Instead, they have left it to a few outlets such as Fox News, talk radio and conservative blogs to point out the faults and mistakes of the Obama Administration.
Not only has the MSM left criticism of the Obama Administration to the few conservative outlets to be found in the media, but they castigate them when they do so. How much abuse has Glenn Beck taken over his complaints and exposes about Jones' past? Then there was the round table discussion this week led by Tom Brokaw and including liberal news guys like Tom Friedman and David Gregory that talked in grave terms about the far-off fringes of news dissemination like the Internet and blogosphere.
It's not professional. There is no quality control, one needs a filter to get past all the crazy stuff. True enough; the Internet has everything from scholarly works and research material to child porn. The political blogosphere is centered on opinion (just like this one). But I would ask the learned and experienced journalists where we are supposed to go for true factual and reliable journalism. NBC? CNN? CBS? ABC? The New York Times? Or are we supposed to listen to the mad-hatters at MSNBC, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Obama-sycophant Chris Matthews?
The fact is, which even a simpleton has to know by now, is that the principal, traditional organs of the MSM are solidly in liberal hands. Only one news network (Fox) leans to the right-and is condemned for it. And among the nation's newspapers, what percentage are conservative? The Washington Times is the one paper that comes to mind. Talk radio, it is true, is dominated by conservatives, but not because liberals are being discriminated against. It is because the conservatives, led by Rush Limbaugh, who paved the trail, have out-worked the liberals and put out a better and more convincing product that millions of everyday Americans had been starving for. On the other hand, liberal attempts in talk radio have mostly flopped.
So now the liberal media bemoans the intrusion of Fox, talk radio and the conservative blogosphere. Well they should. The Jones episode illustrates how these outlets did the MSM's job for them-a job they didn't do because they wanted to ignore Jones' presence in the White House. One might ask, where are the Woodwards and Bernsteins, dedicated investigative reporters dashing through the Washington Post news room, papers in hand, running down the next lead into government skulduggery-as seen in the movie, "All the President's Men"? It brings back memories of that last great presidential scandal involving a Democratic president. It wasn't the Washington Post or New York Times that uncovered the fact that President Clinton had had an affair with a White House intern in the Oval Office and had committed perjury about it. Nor was it ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS, MSNBC or any of those "reliable" organs. A guy named Matt Drudge beat them all to it. Once the story was out, all they could do was catch up to the rest of the pact and dutifully report what the whole country was buzzing about.
The sad fact is that the liberally-dominated MSM is not interested in holding a Democratic president's feet to the fire. That will have to await the next Republican administration. In the interim, it has been left to Fox News, talk radio and the amateurs in the blogosphere to disseminate and report the outrageous goings-on in the White House and Congress. Not even the Republican politicians can claim credit since they don't know whether they are on foot or horseback at the moment.
And what happens when ordinary Americans reach critical mass and decide enough is enough?
"Tea-baggers, Nazis, un-American, misinformed, crazies, town hall disruptors." Those are the judgements not only from the Democrats, but their allies in the media.
The truth is that in a free and democratic society, we need a free press to act as watchdog and hold the government's feet to the fire. It must be done across the board, however. Unfortunately, our present media is too biased ideologically to perform that role in an even-handed manner. Thus, it is left to a few voices, including amateurs, to fulfill the role.