Saturday :: Oct 8, 2005

The Message IS The Medium

by pessimist

Some of our Wrong-Wing Wregulars still don't get it - and maybe they never will - but I'm going to try one more time. Please lean in so that you can hear me clearly.


Without total control of the mass media machine, little irritants like The Truth can seep inside closed Red State minds, corrupting the GOP concepts that we are all expected to understand in the manner directed. For instance, we are to believe that Harriet Miers is qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice, and that Iraq is all about establishing democracy and freedom.

But as more and more of the media remembers what they are REALLY supposed to be doing with the information that they present, we discover that conservatives hate the idea of Miers on the Court, and that Iraq is going to civil war Hell in a Bu$hCo handbasket delivered by a National Guardsman who has been deployed for months with no body armor riding in a Humvee sans armor plating and equiped with a gun that has no bullets.

Sounds like a job for a certain ex-Air Force E5.

Let's listen in to what the media itself has to say:

Long an outlet for the GOP message, talk radio undergoes a shift

The 40-somethings with their hands on the driving wheel and money in their pockets - prime radio audience targets - are more likely to listen to news about gas prices than the Supreme Court and more interested in new approaches to their lives than old opinions of politics, said Holland Cooke, a Cleveland-based radio industry consultant.

"Most political talk stations (ratings) are down over last fall, conservative or not," added Tom Taylor, editor of Inside Radio, an industry publication owned by Clear Channel Radio. "You can surmise that people are a little burned out on the partisan back and forth. Culturally, this may not be a time when political talk sells."

There are signs that the Republicans could be losing some of their overwhelming edge. Ratings for Limbaugh and Hannity slipped this spring in some markets. Liberals such as Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and Al Franken are carving out their own radio niche. And Democrats argue that they have an edge on the Internet, where explosive growth could dwarf the political impact of radio.

We here on The Left Coaster potentially have a larger audience than any radio station - even that on satellite.

But access to a media distribution system of any kind is of little value if the data presented can't be trusted. Bu$hCo just got busted for this the other day - and the media agrees that changes need to be made:

Beware government that spins the news


It is wrong for the government to disguise positive commentary about its activities as news, and doubly wrong to hide its behind-the-scene manipulations of the data from audiences. When other governments do this -- particularly those in authoritarian or communist countries -- we denounce it as propaganda.

That's the word that the Government Accountability Office report released last Friday used to describe a White House campaign two years ago that promoted President Bush's education policies.

The GAO got it exactly right. The Bush administration should be ashamed even to have come up with this campaign, as it now seems to be.

The GAO report should put an end to any doubt about the campaign's essential dishonesty, including the Justice Department's attempt to parse the meaning of 'factual'.

The GAO report is a clear-eyed assessment of a government policy that crossed the line. In retrospect, it is easy to see the administration's error. It is a mistake that never should have gotten clearance beyond the first stage of consideration.

And neither should George W. Bu$h have gotten beyond 2000.




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