Human Exceptionalism

Seventy Percent of Public Say Media Out of Touch

Gee, I wonder why? From the story:

Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe traditional journalism is out of touch, and nearly half are turning to the Internet to get their news, according to a new survey. While most people think journalism is important to the quality of life, 64 percent are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities, a We Media/Zogby Interactive online poll showed.

This isn’t something to celebrate. A vibrant and independent media are crucial to democracy, but so too is a fair media. And that is what is so often missing in today’s MSM. It isn’t the biased or skewed reporting that clearly takes sides that bothers me so much–it is the refusal of many to fully report the facts that don’t fit with the story line. Here are just a few examples that I have personally experienced:

– When I was working with Chip Klooster several years ago–who “kidnapped” his Alzheimer’s disease afflicted father Gerald after he heard his mother Ruth planning to take the elder man to Jack Kevorkian–the CA media kept insisting without any factual basis other than Ruth’s insistence, that Chip was in it for the money. That was never true, and in fact, Chip paid a huge cost financially and emotionally in successfully saving his father from assisted suicide. Then, when Ruth got the movie deal and I confronted the reporter who had been so insistent about Chip’s venal motives, he just shrugged and said they were both nuts.

Speaking of Kevorkian, the media’s insistence that he helped the “terminally ill” commit suicide when most weren’t, and their refusal to mention his goal of human vivisection.

– The media’s refusal to report or barely mention that when Michael Schiavo wanted Terrie dehydrated, he was living with another woman, was engaged to her, and had children by her. That didn’t look good so they usually just called him her “husband” and didn’t bring it up in order to pursue the religious right angle. The use of the term “husband,” was accurate but woefully incomplete if readers were to understand the story since it strongly implied that Michael was a loyal husband to Terri when he had definitely not been for a very long time. Indeed, having children with a fiance` should have been seen as abandonment of the marriage.

– Adult stem cell successes: Need I say any more about the media blockade on that issue?

– When New Jersey passed a bill permitting cloning, implantation, and gestation through the ninth month–a very big and radical deal–I wrote about it and mentioned it repeatedly in interviews with reporters for the Miami Herald and LA Times, to name two, and provided proof. None of it ever made the stories. Instead, the reporters stopped calling.

I could go on and on, and this doesn’t even get into the language media use to shore up one side and downgrade another–such as the KC Star’s insistence on using early stem cell for embryonic stem cell.

But people aren’t dumb. Most sense they are being denied the full scoop because of its potential impact on outlooks and views. They resent it and that is a big reason why many newspapers are losing readers and TV news viewers. That is why ‘alternative’ sources have become so important: People want to learn, as Paul Harvey puts it, the rest of the story that the mainstream reporters with their near uniformity of views and pack mentality often leave out.