*happy sigh*

February 8th, 2007at 10:35pm Posted by Eli

Me, almost two years ago:

The other two legs [of the Republican triangle], election manipulation (whether via rigged electronic voting or just plain old gaming of voting rights and opportunities) and complicit media, are still in perfect health, seemingly unafflicted by the tumors of fair play and accountability. The Democrats are strangely passive on electoral reform, and they seem resigned to the media’s preferential treatment of Republicans as a fait accompli.

(…)

Is it possible that in their blind efforts to race to the bottom common denominator, that [the media] will begin to see a backlash, wherein more and more people become disgusted with the fluff and the spin, and begin to avail themselves of the copious alternatives available in cable television’s expanded basic wasteland?

Oh, the media hacks would misread the signs at first, and frantically crank up the volume while cranking down the content in a vain effort to rekindle interest, but that would only accelerate the rate of desertion. Any network with a safe harbor of solid, reliable, in-depth news could clean up in such a scenario, although the greater probability is simply that fewer people would watch any news at all, at least until the news media finally caught on.

Or, alternatively, instead of driving people away in disgust, which is, quite frankly, difficult to do in this country, we could have the equivalent of an Enron or Watergate scandal…. I’m talking about evidence of a deliberate media whitewash or coverup of a big, important, damaging-to-Republicans story… preferably with some juicy memos or phone calls showing that Rove or other significant Republicans were applying the pressure.

The effect might only be temporary, but for at least a few years, the media would be a lot more wary about getting into bed with the Republicans, or even appearing to be. Of course, the tricky part would finding a way to propagate an anti-media story without the help of the media – blogs can only do so much.

Eric Boehlert, Tuesday (by way of Christy, today):

So as the facts of the White House cover-up now tumble out into open court, it’s important to remember that if it hadn’t been for Fitzgerald’s work, there’s little doubt the Plame story would have simply faded into oblivion like so many other disturbing suggestions of Bush administration misdeeds. And it would have faded away because lots of high-profile journalists at The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, and NBC wanted it to.

In a sense, it was Watergate in reverse. Instead of digging for the truth, lots of journalists tried to bury it. The sad fact remains the press was deeply involved in the cover-up, as journalists reported White House denials regarding the Plame leak despite the fact scores of them received the leak and knew the White House was spreading rampant misinformation about an unfolding criminal case.

And that’s why the Plame investigation then, and the Libby perjury trial now, so perfectly capture what went wrong with the timorous press corps during the Bush years as it routinely walked away from its responsibility of holding people in power accountable and ferreting out the facts.

I don’t think this is going to be enough to fully expose the media for the right-wing tools they are, because I don’t believe that most people are paying close attention to the details and subtext of the trial, but I think it’s enough to start making a dent. If nothing else, it’s a pretty dramatic demonstration of just how big a joke the “liberal media” myth is, and we should bring it up every time the Republicans start whining about how they can never catch a break.

Entry Filed under: Libby/Plame,Media,Republicans


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