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December 29, 2004
Why The MSM Has Run Aground

Hugh Hewitt writes a companion piece to his new book in today's Weekly Standard column, explaining why the mainstream media has suffered body blows to its credibility and how they opened the door to the inevitable reaction:

The new recruits to big journalism and their mentors did not work overtime to assure that, in the elevation of tolerance of ideological minorities, there would remain representation of majoritarian points of view. In fact, majoritarian points of view became suspect, and the focus of pervasive hostile reporting and analysis. Crusading journalists seemed to be an ideological pack. By the time the new millennium arrived, legacy media was populated at its elite levels by as homogeneous a group of reporters / producers / commentators as could ever have been assembled from the newsrooms of the old Hearst operation. Big Media had hired itself into a rut--a self-replicating echo chamber of left and further-left scribblers and talkers and self-reinforcing head nodders who were overwhelmingly anti-Republican, anti-Christian, anti-military, anti-wealth, anti-business, and even anti-middle class. These new journalists had no tolerance for majoritarian points of view, and the gap between the producers of the news and the consumers of the news widened until the credibility gap between the two made Lyndon Johnson's look modest by comparison.

As we see in Nick Coleman's rant this morning in the Star Tribune, it isn't just the hiring rut that caused the blog reaction. It's the arrogance that leads people like Coleman to believe that they can simply lie and threaten people into silence. It's the movable feast of media ethics that create debacles like the National Guard forgeries at CBS, which came from an already-discredited source that CBS management knew wouldn't withstand scrutiny -- and the hubris that allowed Dan Rather to "personally vouch" for their authenticity in order to quiet the criticism.

If it were simply bias, the blogosphere would remain a hobby for a few lonely souls who disagreed with the culture and cult of leftism. It goes far deeper than that, and the media knows it. Otherwise, we'd already have seen the report from CBS' "independent" investigation into its election-season fraud, and Nick Coleman would be struggling to find work in the freebie, alternative-news tabloids. It's an overt hostility to an entire political philosophy and contempt for the intellect of the consumers that keep the MSM ever on the edge of catastrophe.

Read all of Hugh's thoughts on the subject, and don't forget to order his new book on the blogosphere, Blog.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 29, 2004 7:14 AM

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