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Mon May 7, 2018, 01:57 PM

"Both Sides" Journalism

I was reading an article about the ongoing problem of "Both Sides Journalism" or "He Said, She Said Journalism" where we are given lots of information, all it being treated equally, and drawing no definitive conclusions and it really struck me that what we may essentially be seeing is the "Foxification" of the MSM, specifically the MSM has largely begun to promote what Fox News (pretends to) promote with it's infamous tagline, "We report. You decide." Thoughts? Opinions?

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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Both Sides" Journalism (Original post)
Proud Liberal Dem May 2018 OP
el_bryanto May 2018 #1
Proud Liberal Dem May 2018 #2
unblock May 2018 #5
unblock May 2018 #3
jayschool2013 May 2018 #4

Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 02:04 PM

1. There's probably a couple of books that could be written about this.

But maybe as a shorthand it was something like this.
Step 1 - Get rid of Fairness doctrine which required both liberal and conservative views to be promoted (two benefits here, made it easier for conservatives to pretend their view's weren't heard, and, more importantly, set the groundwork for a ideologically conservative news.
Step 2 - Tell the American people, and conservatives in particular, that the Media was biased against Conservatives and couldn't be trusted.
Step 3 - Organize campaigns against anybody expressing liberal ideas or even facts which support liberal ideas.
Step 4 - Create Fox News which claims to present the news fairly, but actually eliminate all credible liberal ideas and only promotes conservatoid ideas.

Something like that.

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Mon May 7, 2018, 02:06 PM

2. That makes a lot of sense

And a lot of us saw this sort of stuff happen right before our very eyes with NPR.

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Mon May 7, 2018, 02:24 PM

5. foxnews actually does a good job of presenting what they label as the liberal view,

but which of course is a strawman, usually an laughably extreme left view, or in any event a caricature of a liberal viewpoint.

that way, viewers can be told they're hearing both sides, when in fact they're hearing a right-wing side and a right-wing's version of the left's side.

the typical foxnews viewer thinks all democrats want to send swat teams house-to-house across the country to seize every last guns.
the typical foxnews viewer thinks all democrats want cripplingly high taxes on white people to give to black people.
the typical foxnews viewer thinks all democrats want gay sex in the streets and transpeople exposing themselves in every bathroom.
the typical foxnews viewer thinks all democrats worship satan or pagan gods.

the typical foxnews viewer is unaware that these are right-wing cartoon views of liberal positions.

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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 02:11 PM

3. the problem is that foxnews sets the agenda and frames the questions for the msm.

the msm might handle those topics and questions more responsibly, when viewed as individual questions; but the overall agenda isn't balanced.

for instance, foxnews might declare hillary guilty of some criminal whatever, say involving emails. obviously biased and irresponsible.

the msm more responsibly presents the accusation and relevant facts and explains why hillary isn't guilty, or whatever mistakes she made don't rise to the level of anything that would normally be prosecuted.

ok, better, but now we've devoted a lot of media attention to an accusation that smears hillary. best outcome for democrats is neutral as people see hillary as guilty of nothing. more realistic outcome is that yet again, a few more votes get peeled away as more and more people think "where there's smoke there's fire" as she keeps getting accused of... things.


genuinely balanced reporting would also include perspective on the matter, including:

- what crimes involving classified information and emails generally get prosecuted (it almost always requires criminal intent, which never remotely was in question in hillary's case);
- what did previous secretaries of state do (powell and rice also used private servers; powell explicitly recommended this to hillary);
- what *positive* information was in the tens or hundreds of thousand emails, not just the one or few possibly retroactively classified bits? (hillary was an amazingly productive workhorse who helped many people and accomplished much and we have a detailed paper trail of what she accomplished and how she did it -- how is this not newsworthy??)

instead, 98% of what we got was the usual accusation and denial that "feeds the narrative", because the msm is more interested in perpetuating existing story lines than in actually reporting news and analyzing it in anything close to a responsibly pattern.

their lazy reporting is made easier by republicans constantly feeding them "stories". an easy thing to do if the "stories" are often just smear rumors that you started and are perpetuating.










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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2018, 02:15 PM

4. Resources and the 24-hour news cycle

TLDR version: We have this perfect storm of factors:
1) A gusher of lies coming from politicians
2) Resources being funneled from traditional journalism to either hedge funds (see The Denver Post) or to commentary
3) Slimming profit margins exacerbating the problems stemming from No. 2, AND
4) The Foxification of news into partisan squabbling instead of real fact-checking.

A lot of the problem with "both sides journalism" is the lack of resources for actual in-depth journalism, which seeks to find the truth.

Back in the day, when we assumed that politicians lied only occasionally, and before they all had massive PR apparatuses, we also had only one or two deadlines per day. With fewer deadlines, fewer lies to chase down, and less spin coming at us, most journalists could take the time to suss the most outrageous claims, and do it in time for a deadline later today, tomorrow, next week or even next month.

Further, when major networks figured out they could make money off news operations, the profit motive became even greater in journalism where it hadn't been that great before.

When CNN's founding in the early 1980s heralded the advent of the 24-7 news cycle, a lot of money for reporters started getting funneled into commentary instead of original reporting. Then Fox News started promoting the idea of partisan journalism, which required more spin than actual reporting.


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