Monday, August 11, 2008

The So-Called Liberal Media Becomes Even More So-Called

I have long held that the right wing's meme of the so-called liberal media is a bunch of malarkey. That position has only been strengthened in the light of recent stories.

Michael Horne, of MilwaukeeWorld, reported that there were a large number of staff persons at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel were being either let go through via buyouts, if not outright canned. Among these names were Stuart Carlson, their wonderful political cartoonist. Also named were Mary Zahn, Tim Cuprisin, Joanne Weintraub, Stanley Miller and many others. Cindy Kilkenny also added some names to the potential list, but added that mercifully Cuprisin wasn't going anywhere. Yet, anyway.

This is all piled on top of a number of staff persons that were released last year as well. MSJ is not unique in these measures. The downsizing of papers and TV news reporters and other staff have been going on for the last several years, nationwide.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of reporters, columnists and staff persons being released would be what could be considered the more liberal members. Meanwhile, the conservatives, like Patrick McIlheran and Jim Stingl, go relatively unscathed.

Michael Mathias, in an act of true citizen journalism, went to George Stanley, the decidedly conservative Managing Editor at the paper, to get some answers. Mike came away with this quote from Stanley:
We’re going to remain committed to providing the kind of news and information—including investigative and explanatory journalism—that our readers can’t get anywhere else (or that we can deliver of higher quality than any of our competitors). We think that’s where the future is. So there will be fewer wire service stories in the paper, not more of them. Likewise, we will maintain our commitment to covering political news out of Madison and Washington, D.C. We will focus our cuts as much as possible on areas where folks can get similar information of equal quality from other sources.

That is not saying much. Given how the media completely dropped the ball and failed to raise one question when Bush and his administration was feeding us lie after lie about why we should invade Iraq, maintaining that sort of standard is not something I thing would be worthy of striving for. And that was just one example. I could go on an on about how MSJ have given a lot of conservative politicians a nod and a wink as they go on to reprint the press releases from these people and report it as being news, without ever once questioning them.

Another example of how far from liberal the paper truly is comes from this past Saturday's paper. They ran a story about U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, and how he appreciates his colleague John McCain, but is endorsing Barack Obama for president. The headline of the article, which appeared on page 1, above the fold, read:
Feingold remains a McCain admirer
It was only after one looked below the fold, if one bothered, that they would see the subtitle which read:
He favors Obama’s views but likes GOP candidate

And if one was to read farther, it wasn't until after three paragraphs of what seems like Feingold gushing over McCain that the article even alludes to the fact that Feingold feels that Obama would make a better president.

And I am not alone with my concerns.

Gretchen Schuldt, of Milwaukee Rising, expresses her disappointment at MSJ's ignorant decision.

And both the erudite Brawler and the scholarly Illy-T have noticed that the Crossroads section, the Sunday oped section, has definitely taken a turn for the worst and have given up all hope of being credible anymore. (Of course, they did that when they hired McIlheran.)

With the loss of any resemblance of a balanced approach, and with an increasing propensity to just reissue press releases without doing any vetting for truth or accuracy, the so-called liberal media really cannot be considered either liberal or a source of news.

And then they wonder why their circulation continues to drop.


  1. Well, there's also this trend... H/t Tom McMahon.

  2. Waaaahhhhh!!

    Well, now you LeftyBlogs will have to do what us RightyBlogs did.

    Life's a bitch, and then you die.

  3. Dad,

    What would that be? Sit around and feed on the pap of talk radio? Thanks, but no thanks.

  4. Dad, we don't have a myriad thousands of corporate managerial millionaires to fund hundreds of sham "foundations" and thinktanks to employ our jobless writers and pundits, the way you guys have since the Reagan era.

    Our people tend to be honest, and thus cursed to work for a living.