Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


We are the News!

For any of you who feel enlightened by the wise words of NLT - you are not alone!

Well, at least not alone in your medium of news consumption. The web has surpassed newspapers as the more popular news source among Americans. A growing 61% receive news online, whereas a dwindling 50% read the papers. Even the largely conservative talk radio beats newspapers with 54% - hence the impetus for Democrats to pass the greatest assault on free-speech in the history of America, the Fairness Doctrine.

It must truly rankle the editors of the NY Times (which will, ludicrously, begin charging for access to it's web site in 2011) to know they are second fiddle to the Pajamas Media. And national TV news agencies, at 71%, should also be feeling the heat.

Conservatives have long been awaiting the downfall of the liberal main-stream media. With the rise of Fox, the dominance of conservative talk-radio and now the exponentially growing impact of the internet (with its health contributors for the cause of conservativism) - coupled with the downward spiral of rival cable news networks and print media - it seems that a victory of sorts may be in sight.

Perhaps right-leaning bloggers should declare, We are the one's we've been waiting for! But, then again, maybe they shouldn't.

Categories > Education

Discussions - 10 Comments

ABC News has announced deep cuts, by the way.

I don't know about the Fairness doctrine, but I do think the informal spread of the fair use doctrine 17 USC §107, e.g. YouTube sparked this. After all blogs are really UGC(user generated content). In this sense "We are the News" is right on. Still Obama is the first UGC president(see Obama girl, see also audacity of Hope... a canvas upon which ideas are grafted/projected) .

At least part of the "historical" element of Obama is simply the manifold users who made videos and wrote articles linking him predictably to everyone from Lincoln to Hitler, Marx to Locke, dijon mustard or Steelers football, Islam, Buddism, Rev. Wright, Single payer healthcare...

In terms of Palin's inevitability or base a similar level of love and hate, information and misinformation is present, if it is the poor man's palm pilot or lipstick on a pig, SNL skits or comparisons to Wallace. Annointed in print during election season as a true "conservative" a "libertarian" or X, Y,Z, claims abound but perhaps just as importantly when it comes to UGC, those who blog about a candidate, especially perhaps those who create mashups (positive or negative) or write articles as props with potential links to areas of interest or expertise they wish to drive traffic towards, acquire some additional interest or aversion to a candidate.

More polarized, more parodied, more extreme, more ridiculous, more interesting and sometimes more thoughtful. Gaffes mean less, but are exploited more.

Still it is a Google powered copyleft world(how ludicrous is it to charge for online news?)

There might also be a grain of wisdom in the policy justification, if not the implementation of "The fairness doctrine"...certainly perhaps a lot is gained from Craig giving opposing links, sources.

From talking to folks who support everyone from Tancredo to Guiliani to Palin to Paul I am not sure right leaning bloggers are ready to come together, or even see various departures from certain positions as treasonous, e.g. immigration, the 2nd, abortion, deficit spending, iraq war, the role of the fed, interestate commerce, religion, global warming.

The funny thing is that the Pajama media is really just the critical people who used to read the old media and still do, but then instead of trying to write a letter to the editor or leave a comment decide to take an article and repackage it.

The producers/bloggers in the Pajama media thus stand in relation to the media as compliments, bloggers themselves don't harm the NYT, just as the person who makes a TV show mashup goes out and buys the season DVD's, these folks typically pay for subscriptions. But the good pajama media, takes "the heart" and thus produces something that in the aggregate is no longer a compliment but a substitute.

It isn't a Fairness Doctrine Question, but "a fair use" copyright question.

Here's a link for you, John Lewis:

I'm wondering if PajamasMedia will put one of their investigative teams on it.

If the wildly-leftist, anti-American (etc, etc) NYTimes doesn't come around and give a great big mea culpa for their botched reporting on that whole affair, then I would actually find a reason to care a bit less than I already do about their success or failure.

I wonder if any of the NLT bloggers who promoted the ACORN frenzy with such indignation will give us the follow-up on the story, or is it "Mission Accomplished" on that one, too? (They certainly had NOTHING to say when O'Keefe and his pals got caught in Landrieu's office, and hauled away by the FBI)

Um, with all due respect, you do realize that "the web" as a "news source" includes newspapers, right? The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal aren't merely pieces of paper with ink on them -- they're and Along with their brethren down the line, they constitute some of the web's most highly trafficked sites. (And that doesn't even account for the secondary digital publication of their work elsewhere, or the fact that the world's biggest wire service, Associated Press, largely consists of repackaged content from its newspaper members.)

More to the point, the vast majority of on-the-ground reporting continues to be conducted by these particular organizations. Just because you happen to read that information on the web -- whether on a paper's website, via an aggregator such as Google News, or second-hand on a blog -- doesn't mean you're not still consuming the work of the thing called "newspapers."

Indeed, I'm honestly a bit startled by your post: Do you seriously think Pajamas Media (and similar outfits) are now actually providing you with first-hand journalism to some great extent? Seriously? Pajamas Media is largely punditry. It began life as a political-blog network, and that's what it largely remains. If you genuinely think it and its ilk are now conducting the work long conducted by the likes of the Times (or the Chicago Tribune, or the Des Moines Register, or the Middle Of Nowhere Gazette, I don't know whether to pity the naivete or sit shocked at the ignorance.

Sometimes I think newspapers should just unilaterally close shop for a week, and let the world discover exactly how much it relies upon them. What a hoot that would be. What would you do -- furiously click around Pajamas Media wondering where all the news went?

I never quite know what to make of these sorts of triumphant posts by fellow conservatives. They reveal a real blind spot about the nature of news and information dissemination. So you want all the newspapers to go away, yet you're thrilled that you can get news from talk radio -- as if "talk radio" has its own massive staff of journalists around the world, gathering and checking and distilling and editing news. When you hear Rush mention some development from Capitol Hill, or cite a detail about the Chilean death toll, or joke about the locker-room quote from some ball player, where do you think he's getting it from, exactly?

If the news organizations you detest do indeed go away because the Internet has eroded the profitability of the enterprise we call news-gathering, I'm not sure what you think is going to replace it. We'll just have learned that news-gathering is an unprofitable enterprise. So what "news," precisely, do you assume you'll be getting from talk radio or anywhere else, at that point?

By the way, yeah -- I have a vested interest. I'm a journalist at a big-city daily. (Check the IP address if you're curious where.)

And I'm a diehard conservative. As are many of my colleagues -- far more than you realize, apparently. The jobs whose eradication you're rooting for are ours. The families whose anguish you're offhandedly celebrating are ours. The lives being turned upside down amid your glee (I wanted to go into journalism from age 5) are ours.

It's clear, as already noted above, that you don't get the fundamental nature of news dissemination, or truly understand why you know what you know about daily goings-on in the world. But what you also don't seem to grasp is that "the news" is far more than just your own pet interest, politics. When conservatives rail against the "mainstream media," they're doing it through a tunnel-visioned view of the media as a provider of political information. But in reality politics is just a smidgen of what the media actually does. It's not the end-all-be-all of a news organization's existence.

I'm not asking you to pity our position: If the economics wrought by technological progress cause our business to go under, then hey -- that's life. Nobody has figured out how to make advertising really work on the web, and that has disrupted the business models of much more than just the news business. We'll certainly not have been the first folks whose industry has crumbled. We're humans; we'll work hard and land on our feet.

If I am asking anything, though, it's that you realize it's far more than political coverage that's at stake here, and it's far more than political journalists whose livelihoods -- along with the lives of those around them -- may suffer. And if you do insist on viewing this through nothing but a political lens, then be aware that plenty of your fellow conservatives are among those facing upheaval: from the folks who man our research library to the staffer who assembles death notices to the woman who reports on the local restaurant industry to the clerk who sorts mail to the guy who covers high-school sports. There are the circulation staffers and truck drivers and warehouse guys. They are churchgoing, family-oriented American conservatives, and these are their careers. There are a whole lot of us here -- not to mention the majority of our colleagues who couldn't care less about politics one way or another. And THEY are the ones confronting the grim consequences of an industry dismantling.

As you indulge in your "whoo-hoo!" excitement about the struggles of the news business, you're overlooking the reality that in the broad scheme of things, the Frank Riches and Kate Zernikes are outliers. They're a drop in the bucket. And the comeuppance you're eager to watch them get also means trauma for many, many people whom you invariably would consider friends.

This is the first time I've opted to speak out like this. Through all these years of reading triumphant hand-rubbing by conservatives on this topic, I've held it in. So I apologize if my tone has been brusque; chalk it up to years' worth of pent-up frustration. I guess I'm just disappointed to see a post like this on a blog like this, where the tone is usually more sober and the analysis more perspicacious. And I hope you might see that your celebration is misguided, both for the reasons I outlined above -- which directly affect you -- and those I've cited here, which directly affect my family and plenty others just like us.

"I don't know whether to pity the naivete or sit shocked at the ignorance."

Try both, Chris! ;)

Thanks, Chris. You've made some very worthwhile points. I have friends who work at CNN--libertarian-leaning conservatives--and I've heard much of the same from them.

Wow, you weren't kidding about the NYTimes playing second fiddle to PajamasMedia. I mean, just look at this brilliance:

Pajamas Media! By the way, my great aunt said that at least 30% of the people in her nursing home watched Palin's appearance on Jay Leno's show the other night - and they LOVED her!

And just for old time's sake, here's the enlistment doc where Vietnam War booster GWBush checked the box stating his preference to NOT volunteer for overseas duty:


I am largely in agreement with you, and think you may have taken my words in a more wholesale and wantonly destructive manner than I had hoped to convey.

For example, I recognize the power of the major newspapers' internet presence, but my comparison was between those who get their news online or "read the papers" (as in printed papers). I was simply talking about mediums at this point in my post. By highlighting the NYTimes' plan to charge for on-line access next year, I was attempting to note their potential on-line influence and their continuing resistance to that medium (due to financial concerns, of course).

Very importantly, however, I entirely agree with your proper classification of most internet news coverage to be "punditry" or second-hand analysis. That's what I do, and I have no hesitation to admit such - I am most certainly not an investigative reporter. Most blogs fall into this category - with the exception of those few instances when we might be sent first-hand news or cover an event, etc.

My objection was not with investigative journalism, but with yellow journalism. As I said, "Conservatives have long been awaiting the downfall of the liberal main-stream media." It is the "liberal" portion of that equation which merits attention. Whether print or televised, it is the deception and bias which cause conservatives to hope for failure - and rightly so. Should they fall into squalor and disrepute, one should hope they would be replaced by more even-handed competitors.

I include the AP, Reuters, etc. in this analysis. All should be held to a capitalist, free-market model of competition based on their professional work-product. If they fail in their self-avowed journalistic objectivity, they should be punished by their readers. I do hope for the NYTimes to fail, so that it may either fold and make room for a less corrupt alternative, or moderate itself through an internal revolution aimed at preserving its existence.

All of this has already taken place on television. Fox news dominates, in part, because it provided an alternative to news stations despised by conservatives. The death throws of Olbermann's Countdown and MSNBC are a delight to me. There will be plenty of jobs over at Fox when MSNBC folds and Fox picks up their viewers.

If reporters would actually do their jobs and simply report the news, I would be deeply indebted to them. But, one cannot ignore the prevalent bias. Of course, no one wants delivery boys and print technicians to lose their jobs, but that would be the fault of the editors' partisan liberal agenda, not the conservative readers who boycott such trash. While remorseful, the loss of "innocent" jobs cannot be raised as a justification for sustaining a particular institution or industry which willfully fails to adopt its own standards of professional and ethical decency.

The downfall of the liberal main-stream media would be a very good thing - a reduction of first-hand, genuine journalism and objective reporting would be a tragedy. I suspect you and I agree on much, though our personal sympathies lead us to express them in different tones.

That's just utterly absurd, Justin. The whole thing. Reminds me of Palin on Leno the other night, with her justification for joining the FoxNews team...

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