Friday Reads: The Fourth Estate is Failing Us

Lessons of history: How to boost newspaper sales with Sarah Bernhardt

Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!

My body is screaming for our brief respite from Daylight Savings time!  It switched maybe a month ago while the clock changes over the weekend.  So while I know I’m late for everything recently, my body tells me that sleeping is ok because this should be standard time. So, go ahead and do it!

My brain is also telling me to turn off the tv and stay away from most of today’s headlines.  We’ve never been at a place in history where journalism is more required and all we get is a group of hacks with very narrow vantage points.

This conversation is going on between a group of us on the Facebook page of a retired CNN producer.

Just wanted to let you know that all your whining about Dems’ “messaging” means absolutely nothing when my beloved colleagues aren’t gonna talk about what they say anyway.If a Dem shouts from the rooftops but those colleagues only care what Republicans say, will anybody hear the message?

No, my friends, no they won’t. And it’s bad enough that CNN, MSNBC, and the Big Three can barely be bothered to talk about anything beyond the Republican viewpoint, but in many parts of rural America, cable only has Fox News, which outright lies about what’s going on.

So think of some other way to get the “message” across. Better yet, ask yourselves why YOU think it’s not being heard. Is it really because no one’s delivering it? Or is it because the message gets delivered to and processed through a delusional political press that hasn’t learned anything since at least 2016 and probably much earlier?

The first response to her post brings the receipts. He explains why he’s given up on cable news altogether.

I stopped watching cable news when we cut the cord a couple of years ago. Usually watch NBC News Now in the morning, which is free, on YouTube. Not a single mention today of Biden when covering the jobs report. In fact, “Today’s job report wasn’t that good compared to previous months,” was the only comparison made. Cherry on top for me? A long rambling story about how everyone is getting a taste of winter “early” cause it is chilly for the NYC marathon, despite the fact that many frost and freeze warnings are running 2 weeks later than average. No one’s getting a taste of winter “early.”

This brings us back to a few more revolting recent headlines where research was the last thing on a reporter’s mind.  This one is recent from CNN.  Joshua Espinoza points a few things out at this independent media outlet that weren’t particularly well-searched.

So, many folks didn’t realize that the family has 10 kids which include foster and adopted children. So, 12 gallons of milk a week could be a reasonable amount. But, the real story is what’s the average price of milk been over the last few years?  Is there really that much inflation in ag products?  Is this truth or perception formed by sloppy reporting? Also, check the grocery cart out. Maybe buying less brandnames would help you make ends meet?

Even after adjusting for inflation, this concern really does hold up to the data.

I think this story should have been left on the cutting floor.  Either that or they need to talk to Texas about the amount of money they’re allotting homes with so many foster children.  This just isn’t adding up.

Then, I saw this on Brian Williams last night.  Maybe Brian got one thing right this year.

He has a point so watch this.

So, where are we at today?

And our politics girl has something to say about the inflation/shortage thing too …

Reporters in Washington in 1920

So, I’m with her on that. My other piece of advice is to go on a sabbatical for a year every few years if your journalist life is spent in Washington D.C  or New York City. Try existing somewhere with the rest of us.  I’m old enough to remember when a right-wing activist on CRT tricked you–New York Times–into thinking he just tripped across it because someone was mean to his granddaughter and you didn’t background check him either.  You seem to be always chasing the elusive characters in Hillbilly Elegy rather than talking to the majority of us who are real.

You should offset Fox New’s lies rather than compete with them! Like, take this turkey and deep fry it! From Vice: “Tucker Carlson Pumped Full of Fentanyl, Emerges With New Understanding of the Opioid Crisis.”  As if he wasn’t insane enough before.

Something happened to Tucker Carlson Monday morning that caused him to get emergency back surgery later in the week. It was, he said, according to a recording obtained by Motherboard, “one of the most traumatic things that’s ever happened to me in my whole life, ever.”

What exactly was so traumatic isn’t clear. A Fox News spokesperson said, “Tucker Carlson had emergency back surgery yesterday and did the show anyway. He thanks all those who tuned in and watched closely.”But before Wednesday night’s broadcast of his Tucker Carlson Tonight program, Carlson—who by all accounts doesn’t drink or use drugs—spoke in detail on set to his production team about what he experienced, and said that because he was treated with intravenous fentanyl and other powerful painkillers, he now understands America’s opioid crisis in a deeper way.

Carlson is the most-watched news host in America, a hugely influential figure whose team, as he says on the recording, “changed American politics.” His newfound insight into the suffering opioids cause is thus of potentially immense importance. (Motherboard described the comments to the Fox News spokesperson, who did not dispute their authenticity. Carlson, they said, would “take a pass” on discussing the topic with a reporter.)

“This is just like a miracle,” a production worker told him. “I, like, truly cannot believe you’re standing right now.”

“That was one of the most intense experiences of my life,” said Carlson. “They hit me up, they told me this morning, with such a huge dose of dilaudid, which is more powerful than morphine, when I got there, that I had trouble breathing.” (Dilaudid is a powerful opioid painkiller.) “Scared the shit out of me. Didn’t have any effect at all. And then all night, I lay there, the nurse finally upped my dosage of dilaudid to the point where every eight minutes I hit it and it was like getting shot. Just like bam, feel it hit me, and it didn’t touch the pain.”

1937 photograph of the offices of the Louisville Courier Journal. Photograph: Margaret Bourke-White/Getty

I’m also old enough to remember watching Geraldo Rivera open an empty vault on live tv in 1986 and later in 2003 , he broadcast his position from an active battle site in Iraq.  The military promptly kicked him out of there. He was just one of thousands of journalism who were more in love with being war time reporters than caring about the truth and saving American lives.

Still, all these hacks are still around some one and still creating ‘look at me ma!’ moments passing as news.  Like Politics Girl says and my friends, the media is really not going to address anything that makes Biden or the Democratic party look good. They better step up and serve their message cold and consider the press hostile.

Just an additional thought while I’m at this.  When is the last time a Democratic pol showed up on the Sunday Talk shows? (via Vox) “The staggering overrepresentation of white, conservative men on Sunday political shows. ”  This is from 2016 but still holds true. Here’s a study from 2020.

This research will compare guests between the first two years of Barack Obama’s
presidency and the first two years of Donald Trump’s presidency. A quantitative content analysis of television transcripts was used to identify changes in both the political affiliations and profession of the guests who appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CBS’s “Face the Nation,” ABC’s “This Week” and “Fox News Sunday” between the two administrations. Findings indicated that the dominant political viewpoint of guests differed by show during the Obama administration, while all shows hosted more Republicans than Democrats during the Trump administration. Furthermore, U.S. Senators and TV/Radio journalists were cumulatively the most frequent guests on the programs.

“That’s just the way it is Somethings, they never change.”

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


27 Comments on “Friday Reads: The Fourth Estate is Failing Us”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Have a good weekend! Weekends are now news breaks for me!

  2. MsMass says:

    Politics Girl is a gem! Her speech is a little too fast for me to easily process it but she’s so right in what she says.

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Read about this earlier. It’s appalling. The money spent on elections in this country is obscene now, and it’s only going to get worse when $$$$ come in from foreign countries.

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. dakinikat says:

  7. Daylight Savings Time starts earlier in the year & ends later than it used to. It isn’t right. Honestly, we don’t need to change clocks at all … we are not a farming culture anymore & even farmers have lights on their equipment now … they can be in the fields all night long if they want to.

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. bostonboomer says:

    I’m confused about the quotes from your Facebook friends. Are those quotes from two different people? If a person only watches one hour of news daily on YouTube (Does she/he read any newspapers?) how would she/he know what is said on cable news? To claim that MSNBC andI CNN never report anything Democrats say is pretty ridiculous.

    I have huge problems with the mainstream media and the Sunday shows are completely dominated by Republicans; but there is reporting on Democrats and their policies, and their messaging sucks! Democrats need to get out there and educate the public instead of just fighting with each other.

    • dakinikat says:

      yes, two different people …The top quote is from my friend the former CNN producer. The bottom one is from a friend of hers.

      And yes to both, messaging problems all over the place and the media gives a lot of passes to Republicans!

    • dakinikat says:

      The guy is a former CNN producer too but in meteorology. She did news programs.

  10. bostonboomer says:
  11. dakinikat says:

  12. NW Luna says:

    • quixote says:

      Somehow, I didn’t even know the vaccine was making such good inroads against the disease. This came as a complete and pleasant surprise. Progress!

  13. NW Luna says: