Sunday, May 22, 2005

Week 1

Week 1
Part 1

(In response to this.)

Welcome to Smart Retort! This week, Gil states that media bias is economically smart! Did you mean, these past several articles by Gil haven't been "objective"? (There is a shocker!)

Let's start off with some fresh, illustrative hypocrisy.

In this week's obsessive rant, Gil states:

And I�m not going to waste ink on Ms. Coulter herself, except to note that were I to invoke violence against my political opposites the way she has, conservatives would be apoplectic. Well, more apoplectic than usual.

After that he goes on to "waste ink" on the name Coulter about 3 of 4 more times, once taking a jab at her as "Miss April" for Time magazine. And or course, slamming Time magazine itself as "conservative". (gasp!)

Don't forget, either, that (according to this article) Time was a conservative magazine nearly half a decade ago, so that's why they selected her. (Another fine example of liberals living in the past). Even though "The media landscape has changed immensely since then, of course."

Here is the shocker: "But a lot of media companies have come to realize that bias, sometimes, can do wonders for the balance sheet."

Sometimes? How about EVERY FREAKIN' COLUMN you write? What did they "realize" about that? Manic-obsession?

It�s Economics 101, really. And it�s an area where conservatives have liberals absolutely outmaneuvered. Because liberals, you know, consider themselves too smart to fall for this sort of consumerist nonsense. It�s the sort of self-defeating attitude that has led to the current state of affairs.

Once again, liberals have decided to characterize themselves as smarter than conservatives? This has been going on routinely for the past several months in the form of "liberal" colleges are more prestigous and prevalent than "conservative" colleges (excluding Christian schools, of course!). Somehow, these pompous, condescending liberals (ie. elitists) have evolved to intellectually surpass their conservative rivals? (Somehow, I doubt it.) What, did their heads become enlarged? (Perhaps.)

Week 1
Part 2

But some on this side of the fence are waking up to the reality that voting with your wallet may be the only way to ensure your interests are represented. Liberal Air America radio has made some headway, particularly in major markets.

Indeed. They have made "some" headway. Here is an interesting article titled:

Why the Liberals Can't Keep Air America From Spiraling In

By Brian C. Anderson,7147223.story

"Wait a second, you say, didn't I read that Air America has expanded to more than 50 markets? That's true, but let's put things in perspective: Conservative pundit and former Reagan official William J. Bennett's morning talk show, launched at the same time as Air America, reaches nearly 124 markets, including 18 of the top 20, joining the growing ranks of successful right-of-center talk programs (Limbaugh is still the ratings leader, drawing more than 15 million listeners a week).

And look at Air America's ratings: They're pitifully weak, even in places where you would think they'd be strong. WLIB, its flagship in New York City, has sunk to 24th in the metro area Arbitron ratings — worse than the all-Caribbean format it replaced, notes the Radio Blogger. In the liberal meccas of San Francisco and Los Angeles, Air America is doing lousier still. "

Actually, there are many that say Air America is a failed radio broadcast.

And Fox News is now successful enough that it can be programmed against; if officials at struggling CNN were smart, which they’ve consistently proven themselves not to be, they would position the network as the anti-Fox.

Did Gil just label CNN officials as "consistently proven to not be Smart"? CNN has proven itself to me to have a reasonable amount of journalistic objectivity. I guess in this sense, they are not that Smart.

But we forget that this idea of journalistic objectivity is a relatively new construct; Pulitzer and Hearst were known not for balance but for yellow journalism; the overt bias of Luce’s Time was, for a long time, the norm.

And I guess 1830 is relatively new? I guess since the invention of the PRINTING PRESS is "relatively new"? (Sure, if you have the lifespan of blood-sucking vampire!)


Detachment and nonpartisanship begin with the penny press, especially James Gordon Bennett's New York Herald, the most usual suspect of all. Mindich offers new wrinkles, attributing detachment not to market forces, but to a reaction against the violence of the 1830s, and identifying a spectrum of positions within nonpartisanism—Bennett's "centrist" position, William Lloyd Garrison's "antipartisan" stance, and Frederick Douglass's "activist" nonpartisanism. But one might look farther back for other genealogies. Detachment has a precursor in the ideology of the "open press" associated with colonial printers, for instance, and nonpartisanism has a rich history in the various reactions against 1820s partisanism among anti-Masons and workies.

In summary, this week's column has some decent points, but it sort of missed the mark.

It's not "bias" that sells. It's controversy. Foxnews may contain some "bias", but its not entirely one-sided bias. Every show on there I can think of has a liberal commentator or guest (think Susan Estrich, Al Sharpton, Alan Colmes, Dick Morris, Jeanene Garafalo, etc...)

To prove that controversy sells, simply think of Jerry Springer. Or Howard Stern. It's the two sides clashing that peaks interests in viewership (or readership).

It's not merely one-sided political bias that interests people. It's debate. It's controversy. All on-sided bias accomplishes is a concern over journalistic objectivity - something Gil Smart may very well be missing?

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