An effective way of dividing up an electorate is to separate the “right” from the “left,” “liberals” from “conservatives,” “liberals” from “progressives,” “centrists” from “progressives,” “alternative” from “mainstream.”
This is no more evident than in the media.
Right-wing media has successfully convinced large swaths of the population everything that isn’t Fox, Breitbart, Red State, The Washington Times, or the New York Post, etc. is inherently “liberal” simply by dint of it not being one of them.
But there is no “liberal” when it comes to the corporate media.
The so-called “liberal” media has become nothing more than a weak generic misnomer for anything not overtly pandering to the billionaire agenda.
CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC–all the major national news conglomerates–are not liberal; they’re multi-million dollar corporate juggernauts with banking, advertising, airline, automobile, insurance, food industry, retail, weapons, fossil fuel, and telecommunications executives sitting on their boards of directors, married to the almighty dollar/ratings.
This is why all we get from them is horse-race, personality-driven clickbait, not issues.
The New York Times is a popular conservative target.
Just like television media, though, it too operates within a corporate hierarchy.
And that hierarchy has determined that MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow is just too “opinionated” to be associated with any of its reports.
It all started when an MSNBC producer extended an invitation to New York Times finance editor David Enrich to discuss with Maddow a story he was running about anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank flagging suspicious transactions involving Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“The Times was wary of how viewers might perceive a down-the-middle journalist like Enrich talking politics with a mega-ideological host like Maddow.”
An MSNBC spokesperson commented:
“For over a decade, The Rachel Maddow Show has welcomed the best journalists from across the country and celebrated the hard work they do, day-in and day-out. This includes countless New York Times reporters and editors. That commitment to journalism is part of the DNA of the show.”
Perhaps the powers that be at the Times are feeling a little squeamish over being labeled “liberal,” because Maddow’s show is not the only one it has eschewed.
According to individuals familiar with the Times’ decision making, The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell and CNN Tonight with Don Lemon have also been shunned.
Times executive editor Dean Baquet and others at the Times have apparently become concerned that if a Times reporter appears on one of these “liberal” programs, he or she might be mistaken for liberal him or herself.
Interestingly, several former Times journalists, like Maggie Haberman, Julie Davis, Patrick Healy, Mike Schmidt, Nicholas Confessore, and Jeremy Peters, are now CNN political analysts.
Also interestingly, NBC denied Rachel Maddow–its own employee–the opportunity to host Meet The Press because she is “too partisan.”
She’s too partisan for its own good.
Figure that one out.
Former Republican Florida congressman and current Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough was promoted over her.
So the New York Times, an extremely reputable journalistic outlet, is falling for Trump-era “fake news” attacks, and it doesn’t bode well for the direction the media must go if it plans to live up to its role as the fourth estate.
Just look at how it panders to middle-of-the-road Democrats like Joe Biden and all but ignores or responds passive-aggressively toward true progressives like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Chris Hedges nails it when he states:
“The corporate media ignores issues and policies, since there is little genuine disagreement among the candidates, and presents the race as a beauty contest. The fundamental question the press asks is not what do the candidates stand for but whom do the voters like.”
Entertainment and capital have corrupted our media landscape ever since Ronald Reagan stopped enforcing the Fairness Doctrine in 1986.
Bill Clinton finally put it in its coffin ten years later when he signed the Telecommunications Act.
Unless the corporate media has an epiphany within the year, we are going to repeat the same embarrassing sideshow we saw in 2016.
That means we might repeat the same embarrassing sideshow we saw in 2016.
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