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Friday, January 6, 2012

Media - The myth of objective and balanced

It is hard to pinpoint when it happened. Where it went completely off the rails. But following that period in the seventies with Watergate and the Vietnam War and Nuclear Power. The last time when journalism and the news was still telling people stories that had meaning. Until the eighties when superficiality was taking over every thing.
The fight between reality television over the news was the plot of the 1978 film Network, the "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" movie. The idea was presented fully formed in the movie Broadcast News in 1987. In that film, the devil is an empty headed pretty boy who can only read news and look good.
It confirmed what I had suspected. By the time I got to journalism school in 1985 at the University of Western Ontario, the graduate program was filled with people who wanted to be on television. The difference between wanting to be a journalist and wanting to be on television is night and day. People didn't want to be writers they wanted to be readers. They wanted to be on TV. It was worrisome then and at that time the only one who said "print is dead" was Egon Spengler.
Now this spawn of empty headed Barbies and Kens have taken over the airwaves. The Barbies rule on the news networks with the most right wing, conservative viewpoints. Canada's Sun News Network has taken the playbook from Fox News and is gambling that people like to hear diatribe from pretty faces, preferably blonde. Is this news for the master race?
One thing that Fox News has put up front is that they are representing a viewpoint and it is one against the vast liberal media conspiracy. That is how they are fair and balanced as the other side of the scale. How the most watched news network in the United States can still claim to be outside the mainstream media is beyond me, beyond me. Note to Fox News from reality, you have all the top watched news programs in the country, YOU ARE THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA.



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