trump versus the 4th estate

Monday, February 20th, 2017

what is trump’s aim in running against the US media. while maybe we don’t care for some of the opinion pieces in the new york times or how certain viewpoints which were extremely leftwing 20 years ago have been normalized by the primarily center-left US media, the new york times and the washingtonpost are worthwhile. as is the kansas city star (which ernest hemmingway once wrote for), the chicago tribune and a lot of local newspapers. there is a trend of people who have a certain PoV then moving up the ranks at a media company and populating it with people with similar views.  and for sure the US media has a center-left feel to it. if one looks at the major news channels most have producers, commentators and hosts culled from the clinton administration. now some are surfacing from the obama administration. cnn’s christiane amapour was a fine journalist until she married bill clinton’s press secretary. which confirmed that it really was OK to call CNN the clinton news network.

eroding trust in the media started a bit with the george w. bush administration. there’s a story from the early 00s about how the bushies thought the new york times helped to take down george the elder. then there was the famous newsweek cover story from 1988 about george bush being whimp. but what will trump win by eroding all trust in the US media? it’s not like in the balkan wars whereby the news media (a bit like ami horowitz) were reporting on shootings and massacres that never happened.

we like wikileaks because it is completely transparent and the service provides primary resources for journalists, bloggers and armchair detectives around the world.

the traditional news media, on the other hand, takes primary sources and then interprets them. basically once one gets from there was a car accident with 4 cars. then the bias sets in when a reporter mentions how many children were hurt, mentioning a person’s nationality or race, the type of car that caused the accident, where the accident happened. so it’s not really possible for anyone to read a news article without we ourselves also injecting personal bias into it–based on our interpretation of the facts and our level of education and our socio-economic background. if the accident was caused by a Porsche, one immediately thinks that the driver was a wealthy playboy. if the accident was caused by a hyundai one might have a different opinion about the driver.

in the end, all information is good. but one should not discount info from all sources. they all bring together a rich tapestry of stuff that we can shift through and form some reasoned conclusion. maybe.


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