“You have done a superlative job of diminishing what was once a great profession”

It’s quite normal and routine to read about media bias at my place.

It’s quite another to read about it from an insider, from an acclaimed news guy who spent decades in the biz, from someone who has historically poo poo-ed the notion that your regular news outlets are completely in the tank for leftist thought, memes and ideologies, from someone who is usually most calm, most mild, most unruffled and most unlikely to be anything but.

Deacon Greg however has had enough and is uncharacteristically ranting about it in what I’m calling a most righteous diatribe:

AndreamitchellFirst, there was the Trayvon Martin boondoggle a few months ago.

Then yesterday, evidence of some creative editing regarding Mitt Romney’s visit to a WaWa in Pennsylvania.

Today, we have Andrea Mitchell’s spectacularly lame followup to “criticism of the Romney clip edit” — which amounted to Ms. Mitchell saying, with a sigh and a frown, “Oh, bother.  Fine.  Here’s what we left out.”   She failed to acknowledge what the “criticism” entailed; she neglected to point out how the editing misrepresented the event being covered; and she offered nothing resembling an apology or an admission of responsibility for something that was, as a matter of fact, irresponsible.

I’m tired.  Truly.  I’ve grown weary of trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable.  For years, people have stomped their feet and pounded their fists and snorted “Liberal media bias!” and I’ve always tut-tutted and shooshed them and said, “No, no.  Calm down.  They meant well.  It was just a misunderstanding.  A mistake.  These things happen.”  I spent over 25 years working in the oft-reviled Mainstream Media and I saw up close and personal how the sausage was made.   I knew the people who wielded the knives and wore the aprons, and could vouch (most of the time, anyway) for their good intentions.

But now?

Forget it. I’m done.  You deserve what they’re saying about you.  It’s earned.  You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you.   You have successfully eroded any confidence, dispelled any trust, and driven your audience into the arms of the Internet and the blogosphere, where biases are affirmed and like-minded people can tell each other what they hold to be true, since nobody believes in objective reality any more.  You have done a superlative job of diminishing what was once a great profession and undermining one of the vital underpinnings of democracy, a free press.

Head over there if only to read the title of his post… and understand this comes from someone who would normally make Clark Kent look like an agitator.

With props to The Anchoress who writes:

You know Deacon Greg, right? Affable fellow, likes to write homilies and participate in Adoration? Doesn’t like yelling or gratuitous snark? Formerly an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer for CBS News? For almost 30 years? Blogs like a news miner, offering up choice nuggets without comment?

During the course of our long friendship he has been the guy psssting to me, “don’t you think you’re being too hard on the press? Must you piss on the press all the time? They don’t mean anything malicious. The newsroom is just a busy place; balls get dropped….yadda yadda…well, okay, you can sneer at that one…”

Well, today, this gentle soul’s last nerve
 got fried, and it was Andrea Mitchell and NBC News that flipped the switch.

She’s got more and yep, it’s worthy.

The media’s stranglehold on agenda setting is over and NBC is helping speed that slippage along.

Good.

I pray Obama’s re-election chances are caught up in the backlash.

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Posted by on June 19, 2012.
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  • GarandFan

    “You have done a superlative job of diminishing what was once a great
    profession and undermining one of the vital underpinnings of democracy,
    a free press.”

    Hmmm…..looks like someone finally woke up.

    Ain’t REALITY a bitch?

  • Stan Brewer

    Does anyone here think that Mrs Alan Greenspan will lose her cushy position at PMSNBC over this latest sleazeball attempt make Romney look like a fool? I don’t think so. Comcrap will see to it that she keeps her job. But then again I may be wrong. One would think that the Dan Rathernot/Mary Mapes fiasco would teach them a lesson. Nope they have to try it again and again hoping something sticks. Talk about insanity. The media still has the Watergate mentality and do everything (legal or otherwise) to bring down the opposition to Barack Obama anyway they can. Watch O’Reilly and Goldberg try to blame the conservative bloggers for this one.

    • SCSIwuzzy

      Even though she is from WaWa territory, I doubt she has gone into one and ordered for her self in many, many years.

  • 914

    I think Dan Rather cut her to the quick. Kudo’s however Andrea and carry on..

  • cirby

    It will be interesting to see how many of the old-school news outlets close their doors right after the election. Any bets on whether MSNBC gets shut down on Jan 1, 2013?

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      Can’t happen too soon.

    • herddog505

      I often wonder what’s kept some of them going this long.

      • Commander_Chico

        They make money?

        • Gmacr1

          Seems not so much.
          All the big papers in AL (Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile) took a powder and announced they were ‘consolidating’ their services. Among the ‘consolidations’ are: Firing over 300 staffers, cutting publication to 3 times a week and trying to remake their image with ‘in depth’ stories.
          I laughed because the newspapers here are the last bastion of the Democrats in the state and they’ve been bleeding green for several years as subscribers went digital as they looked for news that wasn’t presented with a liberal slant.
          I read it for the comics, which I can get online but prefer to have in hand. Oh well, sucks to be a liberal Democrat in AL these days.

          • Commander_Chico

            Paid reporting in some form will always be around, whether it be published on paper or tablets and smartphones.

            Many things – weather, sports, entertainment, – will sustain the model along with news and political reporting.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

          Like you make sense.

  • davidt

    The press has always had a bias, it’s just that the internet has shed some light upon it.

  • Commander_Chico

    So “Deacon Greg” is whining that everyone does not see the world his way and agree with him? That others have biases and points of view?

    Yawn.

    As for the “Trayvon Martin” debacle, last time I checked there were still charges against Zim, and his credibility has been severely damaged by a number of lies to the judge he and his wife were caught in.

    • Vagabond661

      So NBC (or CBS or CNN or…) is whining that everyone does not see the world his way and agree with him? That others have biases and points of view?

    • Gmacr1

      Last time I saw the ‘charges’ it appears the prosecutor is being a publicity whore and will not fare well when the case goes to court, if it even makes it that far.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Murphy/100001624276605 Ryan Murphy

      Last I checked I have seen lawyers saying many of the additional charges and ‘lies’ were flatly ridiculous and that the prosecution’s case was as strong as we tissue paper …

    • Mark81150

      Right.. because sharing the view that about 80% of the viewing public has is “whining”… Your state run media is getting caught pretty regularly lying, distorting, and creatively chopping video’s and audio to create news that didn’t exist.. any thinking human would call that a lie..
      but not you.
      You can no longer control the narrative with the big three, that monopoly is dead, and no amount off sophistry on your part will bring it back to life.. The internet and AM radio.. FOX has destroyed the left’s stranglehold on what people see and hear, you don’t get to force your “biases” down the troats of an unwilling public anymore.
      So you come hear to sniff and snort about oh it’s nuthin.. don’t look,.. when it is you that is whining. You ignore the facts all you want.. it just hastens the end of the left wing drama and fiction club which was NBC.

  • http://www.locomotivebreath1901.blogspot.com/ locomotivebreath1901

    NBC: Neo-Bolshevik Comrades.

    What makes Kandra think there’s anything wrong?

  • Hank_M

    I’m only surprised that Greg took this long to see the bias.

    • herddog505

      Who wants to believe that his chosen profession is populated with frauds and hacks who view their work NOT as a noble calling but rather as a cheap con game or hustle?
      I suppose, too, that this sort of attitude explains why lefties can’t see / believe that there is any media bias (except at FNC): “Those people believe what I believe! They see reality just as I do! They CAN’T be biased or dishonest! Why, that would mean that I am biased and dishonest, and I KNOW that I’m not!”

      • Commander_Chico

        Sure there’s bias. So what? Biased viewpoints are what is known as freedom-of-speech.

        • jim_m

          It is true that journalism has never been unbiased. The problem comes with the original implementation of the Fairness Doctrine in 1949, which created the false impression that the media were “fair”. This was never the case.

          The media, however, claimed this mantle of objectivity and have used it to cloak their bias and claim that their opinion is a substitute for truth. In fact they have taken this to the point where they actually believe their own BS is the truth and we now have them defending their mendacity by claiming that what they publish is “Fake but accurate”.

          The Pulitzer Prize is named for the man who created “yellow journalism”, is it any wonder that an industry that celebrates a prize named for a man who made his fortune on biased news is incapable of seeing their own biases?

        • Gmacr1

          Ah… but when that ‘freedom of speech’ is used to shape the message of what the purveyors want you to believe then it becomes biased, or as I like to call it, propaganda.

          • Commander_Chico

            The point of speech is to shape what other people believe. Again, so what? You don’t like it, answer it on your own or don’t watch at all. There are plenty of points of view out there.

            The root of the word propaganda comes from the Catholic Church, from Propaganda del Fide (propagation of the faith). In Portuguese, propaganda just means “advertising.”

            In other words, one man’s propaganda is another man’s faith or advertising.

          • jim_m

            Sorry. Using the lost root of a word or using a similar word in another language does not justify the bs you just wrote.

            Propaganda has a specific meaning and that doesn’t change based on your perspective.

        • SCSIwuzzy

          Deceptively editing what people say, on the other hand…

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ryan-Murphy/100001624276605 Ryan Murphy

          There’s bias, Chico, and then there is what this, what Dan Rather did, etcetera is … which is flat out lying.

  • Justrand

    “diminishing what was once a great profession”???
    Well, in fairness to Andrea Mitchell, it hasn’t been a “great profession” for quite some time…but she is certainly doing her best to further trash it!
    This particular episode is extra-pathetic, because in the first go-round she and her shill yuck it up over Romney being “out of touch” based on THEIR editing to make it so. Where the REAL clip shows that it is Obama who is out-of-touch because he and his verminous ilk don’t understand the power of the PRIVATE sector to spur innovation.
    In just a few short months we can put the tragic “Age of Obama” behind us…or else.

  • Idahoser

    yeah I’m not particularly impressed that someone finally grasps the obvious after deliberately hiding their head in the sand and aiding the demise of the country for most of their lives. So what if Reagan used to be a Democrat. That doesn’t make him a better conservative, it just means for most of his life he helped make the problem worse that he now wants to fix. If you were all that dam smart what took you so long?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.melson Dan Melson

    If there was no bias, errors and omissions of reporting and coverage would be roughly equal in favor of each party and equally in disfavor. But when it skews as wildly and consistently in favor of one party and disfavor of the other, there is a bias

    There are statistical tools that determine likelihood of bias in samples, correlation of data with bias, etcetera.

    Generally accepted mathematical standard is a 95% confidence interval. This doesn’t mean that 95% of the errors and omissions go in one direction, this means a 95% probability that a given distribution is outside the envelope of results predicted by pure chance. For 20 flips of a coin, it’s roughly 6 to 14 heads. The relative envelope in which you must remain increases as the square root of the number of trials.

    at 800 trials, this envelope is roughly 3% – any result between 375 and 425 is within the 95% confidence interval predicted by a 50-50 chance. But those outside this zone are in the region generally agreed to NOT be attributable to random chance.

    Unfortunately for those who are willfully blind to the bias, the statistical universe is a very large one, and the results are so far outside the 95% confidence interval that there just isn’t any doubt. There hasn’t been for years.

    The thing that really riles liberals is that Fox – despite all the claims of being a mouthpiece for the Republican party by Democratic partisans – is far and away the closest major news provider to passing the non-partisan test.

    • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

      Well said.

  • Scott Bush

    Was anyone else struck by the irony of this statement?:

    “You have successfully eroded any
    confidence, dispelled any trust, and driven your audience into the arms
    of the Internet and the blogosphere, where biases are affirmed and
    like-minded people can tell each other what they hold to be true, since
    nobody believes in objective reality any more.”

    If you are finally admitting that the media is biased, how can you then criticize the Internet / blogosphere who are doing the work that used to be done by the mainstream media? It’s true that conservatives congregate at conservative sites and liberals at liberal sites, but in conceding that mainstream media is biased, in what way is the newsroom different than a blog?

    One thing that has always struck me about criticism of blogs is this: The largest blogs routinely point to news articles published by the mainstream media, then pursue the questions and topics left unaddressed due to disinterest and/or bias on the part of the reporters. That’s not “telling each other what they hold to be true”, it’s investigating the story fully and providing the context. There’s a big difference.

    • herddog505

      Scott BushOne thing that has always struck me about criticism of blogs is this: The largest blogs routinely point to news articles published by the mainstream media, then pursue the questions and topics left unaddressed due to disinterest and/or bias on the part of the reporters. That’s not “telling each other what they hold to be true”, it’s investigating the story fully and providing the context. There’s a big difference.
      Excellent point.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/HL3635XCHO7RVRN2JMXPUJQXUY Steven

    My next thesis paper: The vanishing differences between journalism and the worlds oldest profession.

    As of this moment, the only remaining difference is: the worlds oldest profession is honest about what their job is.

  • Pingback: Fools, Tools, and the Hack Propaganda Biz | Daily Pundit

  • Mark81150

    Amazing… A truth that I cae to understand in the late70′s.. as I watched the MSM lie through their teeth to prop up the previously worst president in History Jimmy (It’s all YOUR fault America) Carter. The left has owned the big three sinc their beginning, when you had no other options to get your news. You bought their lies, or you got no news at all, hoping to use your own internal filters to screen out the most obvious lies.. which were usually not hard to spot.
    Then along came FOX.. AM radio, the blogs..
    The most recent polling I saw, put the public’s assertion that the media is a hard biased left wing shill operation for Obama was at about 80%. So the admission comes awfully late, since the public knows the media and their left wing agenda are pretty obvious.
    Only a fool who loves being lied to can defend it, and of course a liberal did, leaping to the defense of the MSM’s decades of propaganda with an idiots line aboutone man’s truth is another man’s propaganda line.. Right.. because chopping up a video to completely change the message a 180% for hyper partisan spin is just reporting the facts?…. maybe if you’re a halfwit.
    The left got caught, again, creating, not reporting the news, got caught with it’s left wingnut lies hanging in the wind.
    They don’t have any shame, ethics, integrity or even basic manners of civility. … and these clowns deign to lecture us on what words we can use, or what we can say because it’s uncivil.. while they report forged documents as real.. distort audio to make Zimmerman spew racist words he in fact did not use,.. and chop up a video of a GOP candidate to remove the entire second half of what he said.. so they could yuck it up like the good little demagogues they are..
    The US has not had a free press in decades, we have a single apostate news channel, the web, and AM radio as our last bastion of a real RADIO FREE AMERICA.. and the left went insane trying to kill it. Now they are seeing their dinosauer media dying as they loose their grip on the public, and are scared down to their socks, because they loose the argument every time they try and defend liberalism.