You might be persuaded by it!
Finally saw the movie “The Post” with Tom Hanks playing executive editor Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep playing Katherine Graham, owner of the Washington Post. The story is of a woman in a man’s world finding herself and facing down prison, Richard Nixon, and financial ruin by publishing the purloined Pentagon Papers three years before Watergate.
The movie evoked the power of the press — as so many movies have before it — by depicting that massive, two-story high printing press churning out the truth come what may. A different era! Up in the newsroom late at night, the desk shakes under the intrepid (and poorly dressed) reporter up in the newsroom (played by Bob “Better Call Saul” Odenkirk) as the presses roar to life.
Felt those good vibrations at 1901 Fish Hatchery Road, Madison WI when The Capital Times rolled off the presses — by the late 1970s, no longer hot-lead letter press — but the same visceral sensation. Face it: there’s no magic in keying “Publish” to send your stuff into the ether on the website. (Really should fold up one of those newsprint hats the pressmen wore.) Different era.
A little before my working days, The Capital Times actually published William F. Buckley’s column until, at (I think) the McGovern convention Buckley greeted publisher Miles McMillin as “Hello, you old communist!”
Pandering to its audience
These days, The Capital Times will publish a conservative columnist only if s/he denounces Donald Trump or Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Must reinforce the unchallenged political biases of its progressive subscribers.
Same with the New York Times. All three of its in-house “conservative” columnists are Never-Trumpers. The editorial page editor actually was forced to resign after he published an Op-Ed by U.S. Senator Tom Cotton defending the deployment of federal troops to quell domestic disturbances — an opinion held by 52% of Americans, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll.
“A fascist op ed,” full-time Trump-hater Michelle Goldberg thundered. That’s one of the ways America’s Left lets you know they disagree with your opinion. “Racist!” is another.
Good on conservative Trump-hater Bret Stephens, then, to call out this cultural Marxism in his own newspaper. Stephens writes:
Last week’s decision by this newspaper to disavow an Op-Ed by Senator Tom Cotton is a gift to the enemies of a free press — free in the sense of one that doesn’t quiver and cave in the face of an outrage mob. It is … an invitation to intellectual cowardice. … It is … an invitation to intellectual cowardice. … To suggest our readers should not have the chance to examine his opinions for themselves is to patronize them. … To claim that his argument is too repugnant for publication is to write off half of America — a remarkable about-face for a paper that, after 2016, fretted that it was out of touch with the country we live in.
‘There is a spirit of ferocious intellectual intolerance sweeping the country and much of the journalistic establishment with it. Contrary opinions aren’t just wrong but unworthy of discussion.’ — NY Times columnist Bret Stephens.
Vladimir Putin but not Tom Cotton
Even Michelle Goldberg acknowledges that “in the past, The Times’s Op-Ed page has offered ink to enemies of the United States, including Vladimir Putin of Russia and Sirajuddin Haqqani, deputy leader of the Taliban. But, Goldberg quibbles:
Putin and Haqqani … weren’t given space in this newspaper to advocate attacks on Americans during moments of national extremis. Cotton, by contrast, is calling for what would almost certainly amount to massive violence against his fellow citizens: an “overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers.”
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Heaven forbid that lawbreakers should be deterred, must less dispersed.
The Progressive snake eats itself.
The death of Journalism was when Journo List was shown to be assembling the daily narrative. Ezra Klein, a real dufus, was outed as allowing politically correct scribes in or out of the club. Then when John Podesta let someone hack the DNC server and we read MSM John Harwood and others admit to being whores for Hillary instead of “journalists” they were stuck.
Credibility and accuracy were the measures of good journalism. Think of how many highly paid media types have gone down in flames since President Trump was elected.
Now the remaining ink stained wretches are lucky to get column inches on page three of the weekly Shinbone Plaster.
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Long live the blogs.
Long Live Multiple Deck Dwellings!
The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.
Vladimir Lenin – Russian political theorist
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Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.
Benjamin Franklin – 18th century printer
here here my friend.
LUV your commenting handle!
For In The Fatness Of These Pursy Times, Virtue Itself, Of Vice, Must Pardon Beg The Bard
Here’s an opinion for ‘ya all. With all the gushing support for the police that has been printed in various forums lately why on earth did the Goobers On Parade insert an amendment in the Wis Covid19 bill that makes it almost impossible for cops to collect workman’s comp. With the constant contact they have with people who just don’t care or purposely act out in an unsafe way (Shorewood) the chance they will get sick is massive. So; on the my opinion on this stab in the back amendment. WTF.
A MUST READ that superbly unpacks why and when the media went Lefty:
”Actually, how the media descended to these unethical depths is no mystery at all.
”In the early- to mid-90s, the news media was at an all-time high. Newspapers were welling for fabulous multiples; there was really only one cable news network (the acronym that must not be named) and the alphabet channels still dominated broadcast news.
”The press caught wind of this newfangled Internet thingie. They started covering it, even to the point of hyping it. People became interested. As did much of the country, the news media became besotted by the potential of this new medium. Remember how many so-called “dot com” companies sprang up? The news media, too, drank the kool-aid, figuring that online production would be cheap and they could move the display ad concept that had kept them beautifully profitable for centuries over to the Web.
”And they made their content available for free.
”That was the biggest mistake. Only one major American news outlet – the Wall Street Journal – decided from the outset that its content had tangible value and that it would charge for access. They made some content available gratis, but if you really wanted the valuable information the WSJ published you had to pay for it.
”At this point, all the other newspapers (and the TV outlets) continued offering content gratis. And here comes the next blow: display advertising online DOES NOT WORK. It didn’t take marketers long to realize that web ads, unlike display ads, were directly trackable (in fact, that was one of the premises advertisers were sold by the media outlets: you can close the loop on spend vs. sales).
”So an increasing number of people STOPPED buying the papers, preferring their content online. The online advertising of the time didn’t work, because it was old-style thinking in presenting ads; it wasn’t yet based on the idea that you build massive databases and target ads directly to the people most likely to buy that product. And with fewer dead tree editions going out, the rate bases for the conventional model had to be cut – and cut again.
”Ah, but there’s more. The barriers to entry to set up a newspaper or TV outlet is a massive chunk of change. But an online news source? Those are CHEAP to launch. So facing declining rate bases, an audience who had been thoroughly trained to believe that news content is free and increasing competition, the news outlets started seeing serious erosion of customer base.
”What to do? Start charging for content? We can’t do THAT! So we’ll cut staff. The grizzled veteran reporters and editors – those who at least employed some modicum of self-restraint when it came to inserting opinion into reportage, and who by tenure had the biggest paychecks – were the first to go, usually via buyouts. They were the lucky ones; they got out when the getting was good. Who replaced them? Younger staff. Staff without the experience, staff who didn’t have a steely-eyed editor in chief screaming at them to get their $#!+ together. And much of this staff came in via a university system that was already indoctrinating, rather than educating, students.
”All types of media took it in the shorts with this, but it was especially the smaller-community outlets that suffered the most. This put more of the market (what was left of it, anyway) into the hands of the larger-city newsrooms – and guess what? Most large cities are LIBERAL!
”We cannot forget that news outlets are not their to provide us with news – they’re there (mostly) to turn a profit. They do so by giving their audiences what their audiences want. It’s a lot cheaper to cover and package media to a metro area of a million people than it is to do the same for a STATE with a million people – and even in THOSE states, the cities (and the bulk of the audience) tends to be… well, you know.
”Without going into too much detail, the media outlets miscalculated on social media just as badly as they did with the Web at the start. Like the Internet and how people would actually use it, the news media made a lot of noise about this additional Next Big Thing but really didn’t understand it – or how to use it.
”They finally figured it out, but the damage was done. Today, media outlets COUNT on people sharing their stories, because when they do, that generates page views and a chance to show some advertising. Each click might generate a tiny fraction of a cent, but when the business is already struggling, you’ll take those pennies.
”So: that’s how we got here. MASSIVE miscalculation about the Web. MASSIVE miscalculation about how to provide content. MASSIVE miscalculation about how to cover costs. Failure to foresee proliferation of more competition – and either start that highly-targeted competition themselves, or buy them out (like Facebook and Google do any time someone comes up with a new approach that threatens their bases).
”The appalling coverage these days traces back to one and only one thing: a self-inflicted wound.”
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Most of the dead-tree editions only allow “Democrats with bylines” . There’s precious little diversity in that media. The problem is that budding journalists have to go to J-Skool to be certified. Instead, they get indoctrinated by the Left inproggy pusillanimous pap and proggy propaganda. They think that they’re “fair and balanced”. They’re not. They have big bad biases. They all swim in the same school, yet believe they’re independent. A fish doesn’t know he’s wet, either.
Today’s print jurinals aren’t investigative reporters and use a bad practice, called, ““source journalism”. It’s where a reporter “plants” a story with a “friendly” source, then it enters the media bubble world and it itself becomes the story. That’s journalistic malpractice.
William F. Buckley said it best, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, … but then are shocked and offended to discover that there ARE other views. And as the censorious, godless, cowardly Old Gray Lady herself so brazenly says right on top the banner, ” All the news that’s fit to print.” (according to us).
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The late, great Fourth Estate has evolved to become a Fifth Column, the enemy within.
Veritas vos liberabit.
I always called it Das Kapital Times
DISCLOSURE: The Gotch used to deliver AND subscribe (until 2008 when it ceased daily publishing) to The Capital Times
It would now be more appropriately called The WEAKLY (sic)Insert!
Even the lovely and long suffering Mrs. Gotch, a career Lefty, no longer pages through it.
In its defense, it does have some use; we’ll be taking several issues up to Iron County to use as a fire starter.