Hammerblows to US Journalism Credibility
It’s been a very, very bad two weeks for US journalism. Nine days ago the ratings hyenas cackled with glee as the President of the United States yucked it up about lying to sacrifice the lives of our men and women in a ruinous war.
CNN, an alleged journalism entity envisioned as the premiere television news source with its singular focus, obliterated its reputation—labored and sweated for for 25 years by a lot of good people—in an incredible gaffe with the David Letterman show that has been ridiculed far and wide, as it well should be. Sad to see a once-great team so utterly disgraced in such a stupid, transparent manner.
The opinion of US journalists was pretty low before these two blunders, as show by our good friends at pollingreport.com:
Good to know we’re not the only ones here at The Left Coaster who think our journalism corps are a bunch of embarrassing, dangerous, infuriating, fawning cretins.
The above numbers and latest outrages dictate that this situation must be creating a vacuum—consumers will simply go elsewhere for news after being lied to and ill-served so many times. Are there any visible triggers to indicate the vacuum is being filled?
Yes. Kevin Drum was tapped out of the organic response—internet blogging--to lousy US political reporting and is now at the professional masthead of The Washington Monthly. Mathew Yglesias got plucked by The American Prospect. Bloggers are feted at the Democratic Unity Dinner, and the better ones are raking in tidy sums of cash for candidates and themselves. The marketers feel the undertow.
Do these developments warrant the judgment that US journalism has hit rock bottom and can only get better with blogging influence? Of course not. But they do earn the observation that good change is indeed happening, and that hope for improvement should not be lost.