EARLIER, I promised some thoughts on what to do about the news media's outright campaigning for Obama. (And that's what it is. Media bias used to mean that the would slow-walk stories that reflected badly on their candidate; now they just flat out ignore them, or even try to shoot them down. They're not just in the tank, they're functioning as arms of the campaign, and Obama's strategy shows that he knows that and is relying on it.)How depressing is it that his analysis is 100% correct, yet many people wouldn't agree with the statement. I have a lot friends who are Democrats and they all maintain that while CNN and MSNBC have a slight liberal bias, FoxNews is so conservative it should be a cartoon network, not a news channel. I have been encouraged this campaign to see polls where a majority of the people both see the bias and see that it is for Obama. That's a start, but only a start.
One of his suggestions I like:
If you want to have a media environment that isn't dominated by the Gwen Ifills and Keith Olbermanns of the world, you need to ensure that other kinds of voices flourish. That means supporting the alternatives with your eyeballs, your subscriptions, your advertiser-patronage (and you could write those advertisers and tell them you're happy that they're supporting that kind of programming, too -- they probably don't get many letters like that, so they'll be noticed) -- basically, your money. Businesses need money to flourish. There's a vast underserved population out there, for news, entertainment, movies, etc., and if people start serving it, the current "mainstream" media won't be so mainstream anymore. So if you're unhappy with current offerings, put your money where your mouth is.This just might motivate me to follow his suggestion. At the moment I get all of my news and read all of my opinions online. I don't buy any magazine or newspapers--ever. But this doesn't give money to anyone. Perhaps it would be a good idea to give some support to a media source that is (at least somewhat) unbiased.
Glenn's other suggestion is more troublesome:
And if you're one of the people with creative interests, start making alternative stuff. Not just news and punditry, but entertainment, documentaries, etc. If An American Carol does well this weekend, it'll make it a lot easier for the next film of its type to be made. If Evan Coyne Maloney's documentary work does well, it'll encourage a lot more of that kind of work.This is all very fatherly but it is quite an undertaking. What he basically suggests is to create media and entertainment and documentaries to rival CNNABCCBSMSNBC and Hollywood. That is no small order.
Think of it like cultivating a garden: Starve the weeds, feed the flowers. Like gardening, it's work. But like gardening, if you do the work you'll see results.
I mean, I have an idea for a SNL-like skit. Have Biden and Palin debating with Gwen Ifill the moderator. In between questions have the Ifill-look-a-like ask for short breaks where she runs to a closet off stage and services Obama. No more crude than what SNL already churns out and it makes the point. Now all I need are some writers, actors, a set, a crew, and network to air it on. I think it might be a while before I start competing with alternative content to SNL.
I don't know if I have any better suggestions than Glenn provides. I can say I'm frightened of an Obama presidency where the media makes no effort to report on anything negative and performs no investigative reporting. While I was never a fan of the attitude of the media after Watergate--in Hollywood investigative reporting was always a hero's duty and every government employee was corrupt and part of a grand, evil conspiracy. But the opposite of this--where the media is just an arm of the government and can be used to indoctrinate the population--is much, much worse.