These are not my words but words of Michael S. Malone (ABC.com’s “Silicon Insider”). You can read what he thinks about the Traditional Media and their coverage of the presidential campaign in: Editing Their Way to Oblivion: Journalism Sacrificed For Power and Pensions.
Below are some quotes from what he wrote. I will start with a quote that describes a moment similar to what happened in my life. Here is this quote:
But what really shattered my faith [in traditional media] – and I know the day and place where it happened – was the War in Lebanon three summers ago. The hotel I was staying at in Windhoek, Namibia only carried CNN, a network I’d already learned to approach with skepticism. But this was CNN International, which is even worse. I sat there, first with my jaw hanging down, then actually shouting at the TV, as one field reporter after another reported the carnage of the Israeli attacks on Beirut, with almost no corresponding coverage of the Hezbollah missiles raining down on northern Israel. The reporting was so utterly and shamelessly biased that I sat there for hours watching, assuming that eventually CNNi would get around to telling the rest of the story . . .but it never happened.
I had a similar experience that shattered my faith in the Western Mass Media and it happens also to be related to their reporting of the situation in Israel.
Half of my life I spent in Communist Eastern Europe. There, it is was obvious that the Media lied. People would buy newspapers to get TV programme schedule, read the joke section, or to use it as a replacement for toilet paper, which from time to time was impossible to get. (Newspaper works pretty well in that role, but you have to crumble it properly.) TV news was a matter of jokes, but it was between a kids cartoon and a daily movie so most people watched it. After years and years you learn how to detect BS in what ever you hear on the TV or read in a newspaper.
From time to time, when it was not jammed too much, we listened on short waves to the Radio Free Europe or Voice of America or BBC. To me the Western media were a beacon of truth.
Anyway, eventually I left my Communist Fatherland. Through a series of circumstances I eventually ended up spending close to two years in Israel. It was a time when the Intifada started. I could not read Hebrew, so, apart from Jerusalem Post, my news source were various English magazines, Time for example, or bits and pieces of English news broadcast on Jordan TV. So here I could hear and read the news and then compare it to the reality of what I saw happening around me. And soon it became obvious that one of these had to be not true. And it was not no only the fact that reporting was biased, full of half-truths, but the “news” was presented using the same “constructs” as I remembered from the Communist Mass Media. Eventually, when I left Israel to start studying in the Western Europe, I was completely cynical about the Western Media.
That’s all for a personal angle to that story.
Here are some more, hard hitting quotes:
But nothing, nothing I’ve seen has matched the media bias on display in the current Presidential campaign. Republicans are justifiably foaming at the mouth over the sheer one-sidedness of the press coverage of the two candidates and their running mates. But in the last few days, even Democrats, who have been gloating over the pass – no, make that shameless support – they’ve gotten from the press, are starting to get uncomfortable as they realize that no one wins in the long run when we don’t have a free and fair press. …
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Gov. Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to Alaska to rifle through her garbage. This is the Big Leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play. The few instances where I think the press has gone too far – such as the Times reporter talking to Cindy McCain’s daughter’s MySpace friends – can easily be solved with a few newsroom smackdowns and temporary repostings to the Omaha Bureau.
No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side – or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for Senators Obama and Biden. If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as President of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography. That isn’t Sen. Obama’s fault: his job is to put his best face forward. No, it is the traditional media’s fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so.
So here we have it. Because of the Media’s refusal to ask Obama hard questions people are going to vote for someone who they do not really know. The holes in the knowledge of who Obama really is are filled with each voter’s wishful projections and hopes.
We have had many presidents who said one thing during the campaign, and then did another thing starting Jan. 20th. That is unavoidable. That is why it is important to know the candidate. It is important to know what they really want for America. Not what they say on their website. Word’s on a website are just words. Worth as much as words in a Communist newspaper (or maybe less because a newspaper can be dual-use).
Michael S. Malone thinks Obama is a cipher. Who is Obama for you? Do you know him sufficiently well, to trust in what he will do after Jan. 20, 2009. The programs from his website will change between Nov. 4 and Jan 20. Do you trust just these words, or do you trust the person? Or do you just hope.
Maybe you think that things cannot get worse than they were under Bush, so you are willing to give Obama a try. Believe me, things can be way worse than the last 8 years.