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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10148/media-bailouts-continue/

Media Bailouts Continue

June 16, 2009 by

Here are two symptoms of the establishment media’s ongoing (and irreversible) decline. First, the New York Times comically reported today that it has discovered — thanks to unidentified sources — that a retired Major League Baseball player failed a confidential drug test six years ago. Is there really a large market for this type of poorly sourced, out-of-date violation of a private labor agreement? Not really, unless you count feeding other establishment media outlets — who breathlessly repeated these un-sourced rumors as fact — as a large market.

The second symptom is equally comical. ABC News, following the recent example of NBC News, has decided to rent its operation to the White House to produce some slick infomercials promoting Barack Obama’s demand for complete nationalization of the U.S. health care system. This shouldn’t surprise anyone: Former ABC reporter Linda Douglass is now in charge of Obama’s health care propaganda.

Again, it would be easy to get all up-in-arms about this, but I think we’d all benefit by laughing this off. Network news has been a dead industry for years, surviving primarily due to the bureaucratic management practices of network ownership and the need to mollify Beltway politicians with flattering coverage. The steeper the decline in viewer demand, the more “news” operations are driven into the arms of their government benefactors — the only people on Earth who still consider them relevant.

Not every government “bailout” involves direct transfers from taxpayers. Granting special access and political favors have long been means by which the state artificially increases demand for establishment media outlets. Look for more “news” outlets to produce White House propaganda as financial losses continue to mount.

{ 12 comments }

bearing01 June 16, 2009 at 7:44 pm

I turn on Bloomberg during breakfast to catch the price of Gold and oil. Then I watch yesterday’s recording of Glen Beck.

filc June 16, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I stopped watchings mainstream news like 3 years ago. I haven’t watched TV for a while but quiet frankly am surprised its still straggling along. The stuff is sheer garbage.

dean June 16, 2009 at 11:53 pm

It amazes me that there are many people that think that network news anchors (cable ones are just as bad) are some kind of brilliant investigative journalists. For God’s sake, all they do is read a teleprompter (an important skill for those seeking the highest office in the land, as well).

When you see Meet the Press (supposedly the “hardest” interviews and most critical analysis) host David Gregory on NBC’s Today show, talking about the best way to grill burgers and giggling like a schoolgirl with Al “the surgery didn’t stick” Roker, you have to wonder how anyone thinks any of these goons are intelligent.

It’s all a joke, and it makes me sick when one of them dies, and the rest act like some saint has passed. Remember Tim Russert’s passing? It was like Christ himself had been crucified, again. I can only guess that they do this for one of two reasons: A) they honeslty believe their own hype or B) they realize that they have to set the standard, so that when THEY pass on, they’ll be given a state funeral as well.

Marc Sheffner June 17, 2009 at 4:24 am

The people who work in national media are well aware of the heavy responsibility they carry: they are the ones telling the plebs how it is. Laugh it off, if you can. No doubt there were Germans who laughed at Goebbels. At first. And if you think that is funny, this will no doubt have you ROFL or even LMAO.

geoih June 17, 2009 at 6:24 am

Quote from Marc Sheffner: “Laugh it off, if you can.”

I agree. If you don’t think this stuff is effective, then you aren’t paying attention.

Richie June 17, 2009 at 7:29 am

I agree that it cannot be “laughed off”. The mindless voters still watch the media garbage and accept it all as gospel. That is extremely dangerous.

Stephen Grossman June 17, 2009 at 7:34 am

Mainstream journalists are prostitutes. We need objective reporting from educated people who respect individual rights and man’s independent mind.

Bogart June 17, 2009 at 8:10 am

Hey Dean:
This is why Fox news is so popular. They have super hot babes. Just yesterday in our company break room two super hot babes were debating how Letterman dissed an older previously super hot babe who is now just mostly hot. At least that is what the caption said. We had the volume turned down.

What we really need for 24hour and network news is for NBC,ABC, FOX etc to step down and let the folks that make page 3 of the Guardian take over. Then we won’t need audio at all.

KP June 17, 2009 at 10:57 am

Wow looks like my post was deleted.

Again, relevance for the first paragraph to the last is unsubstantiated. The story broke because of a year long release of records that implicated many of the top baseball in America, Sammy Sosa being one today.

The fall of the media is purely on their slow transition for paper to internet; and free publications via the internet, ads from Craigslist and Ebay that hurt their revenues. Not poor reporting.

CJ Maloney June 17, 2009 at 1:02 pm

ABC News is still on TV???!?!?!?

Ben Ranson June 17, 2009 at 9:33 pm

I think that a broader look at the media is called for. Many companies selling books, movies, news and music are doing well. Disney, Apple and Google are examples.

It would be no surprise if some media businesses fail in the coming years, but his would not be a new trend. History is full of failed media businesses The National Police Gazette, Look magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, The New York Herald Tribune, The World and Punch were all popular at one time or another.

On the whole, newspapers survived competition with radio networks and movies. Radio networks and movies survived competition with television. Broadcast television networks survived competition with cable. Of course, many inefficient businesses were eliminated along the way.

At no time in this process could the media establishment be described as having been in decline. Far from it. Good writers and reporters moved to new jobs in new media as they became available, and as old businesses failed. Similarly, print reporters and writers are now moving to blogs and Twitter.

I do not agree with Mr. Olivia’s assertion that the content he describes is symptomatic of “the establishment media’s ongoing (and irreversible) decline.” Lurid and poorly-researched mudslinging are not a new forms of content as far as newspapers go, and the broadcast propaganda business is as old as television.

Mr. Olivia’s point is contradicted by the fact that new media companies are also big players in the yellow journalism and propaganda businesses. YouTube and Twitter, for example, are loaded with malicious rumors and propaganda. It is provided because the public demands this sort of content.

Trisha June 20, 2009 at 3:51 am

Advocating laughing it off is to assume that it has no effect on the masses. MSNBC’s embrace of Obama as some kind of Messianic figure may be more to do with GE’s desire to obtain Government largess than any true conviction as to his capabilities, but it is still propaganda and is, as such, to be ignored at our own peril.

As for their eventual descent into bankruptcy? Another case of wishful thinking. The Government will simply fund them through the back door, with your taxes. They are too useful to the ruling elite to be allowed to die.

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