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Writer aboard Titanic worried about who’s buying other ocean liners

Writer aboard Titanic worried about who’s buying other ocean liners

Trust in the mainstream media is at an all time low, according to Gallup:

Americans’ distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

The public rightly views the legacy newspapers and television news operations as too liberal.

The elections of 2008 and 2012 saw pro-Obama partisanship which made even liberal media analysts blush.

Newspapers also are bleeding cash and desperately trying to find a way to make money online.  The NY Times survived only through a cash infusion from a Mexican billionaire.

Yet the possibility that the Koch Brothers might, just might, be interested in buying eight newspapers owned by the Tribune Co., including the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune, has the legacy media and left-blogosphere worried.

But no column I’ve seen is more self-unaware than What would the Koch brothers do to the Los Angeles Times? by Harold Myerson at The Washington Post (h/t @jpodhoretz):

  • “Their purchase offer won’t be buttressed by a record of involvement in or commitment to journalism on their part. But it will come complete with a commitment to journalism as a branch of right-wing ideology.”
  • “Given the nature of the Kochs’ investment in grass-roots activism and politics, that doesn’t bode well for the kind of fact-based journalism that most American newspapers strive to practice.”
  • “Being human beings, all newspaper owners have politics of their own. Since the 19th century, however, most haven’t gone into business primarily to advance a political perspective.”
  • “In their very-brief no-comment on the sale rumors, the Kochs took care to note, “We respect the independence of the journalist institutions” owned by Tribune, but the staffs at those papers fear that, once Kochified, the papers would quickly turn into print versions of Fox News.”
  • “Though slimmed down from its glory days, the L.A. Times remains a great newspaper ….”
  • “But Times readers (and the Koch brothers themselves) would view a sale to the Kochs as a political transaction first and foremost, turning L.A.’s metropolitan daily into a right-wing mouthpiece whose commitment to empirical journalism would be unproven at best.”

I think John Podhoretz had it right:

More Hah:

Worst Job of 2013 - Newspaper Reporter


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I wonder if he would be as concerned if George Soros was the prospective buyer?

casualobserver | April 24, 2013 at 4:59 pm

What? He says this with a straight face? “…that doesn’t bode well for the kind of fact-based journalism that most American newspapers strive to practice.” What a silly man. He clearly is in the ranks of those ‘reporters’ who ‘inspire’ 60% of the nation to distrust them.

    marfdrat in reply to casualobserver. | April 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I was thinking the same thing: “fact-based journalism” (that happens to fit into the narrative, of course) – what’s laughable is he really believes they’re dispensing “facts.”

G. de La Hoya | April 24, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Is there much difference between a used car salesman and a newspaper reporter? I will leave another profession out of the discussion out of respect for the Professor, although D.C. is filled with them and the most couldn’t find their arse with both hands and they are running this country. Guess I’m the fool.

“The LA Times remains a great newspaper…”

…if you have a lot of fish to wrap.

I have a hard time believing that only 60% distrust the MSM…nobody that I speak to (and I talk to people around the country daily) and ask what news they watch ever say a newspaper or the main stream press….they’re online.

BTW, I thought Soros already owned much of the press…

You are misunderstanding the Pol.

The media cannot gain viewership with Conservatives, but by their insane bias they can keep the Kommiecrat watching their crap…Little is better then none.

    teapartydoc in reply to serfer1962. | April 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I see your point, but disagree a bit. Fox would have a lot fewer viewers, and the Wall Street Journal many fewer readers if not for their degree of balance. However, it may be that loyalties would not change if other brands were to try to follow suit. Even if some of them tried to change now, I would consider the fact that they may have done it just for the money.


johnnycab23513 | April 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm

The Slimes could go a long way to the right and still be a left wing mouthpiece.

The radical left is terrified of having to deal with anything resembling a cleaned-up mirror opposite of the monstrosities they’ve created, through which they push their incendiary rhetoric and lies day after day.

Case in point, Huffington Post. In the original (secret) blueprint, the architects said:
“(The site) will be a Democrat-leaning site with enough non-partisan news so as to appear more mainstream than it truly is; this is critical for credibility and for advertising revenue.”

Since then, Arianna has been on and on about her her site is completely nonpartisan, while gaining the biggest advertisers in the world.

They shudder when they ponder the prospect of a conservative-libertarian publication that’s honest and up-front about what it is – because honesty to the radical left is what kryponite is to Superman.

I have not yet read the details of this Gallup survey, but, in recelt years, Gallup has found those most like to trust the media are liberals or the least educated (low information voters who cannot tell Sarah Palin from Tina Fey).

Phillep Harding | April 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

If comments reflect readership (percent lurkers/commenters), conservative readers out number leftist or “liberal” (they aren’t liberals) by at least 10 to 1. And, considering how comments are worded and similarity of writing styles, most leftists making comments may well have reasons for commenting not related to habitual reading of news, such as class projects or people using sock puppets to increase apparent population.

I’m thinking that leftist voters are mostly low information who do not even read the leftist press, like everything but Fox. And Fox seems to be drifting left, trying to catch readership among those who don’t read to start with.

“The public rightly views the legacy newspapers and television news operations as too liberal.”

That’s an interesting bit of editorializing. Funny how I didn’t read anything resembling that thesis in the article. Did you read the article, Bill before making your own conclusions?

Well two can play at that game, take this quote:

“This year’s decline in media trust is driven by independents and Republicans. The 31% and 26%, respectively, who express a great deal or fair amount of trust are record lows and are down significantly from last year.”

It seems the Republican view that facts have a liberal bias are driving the public’s decreased distrust in the media (on average), as the media reports the news more factually.

    speebek in reply to Mike Butler. | April 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Mike Butler’s comment is an excellent example of the kind of shoddy reasoning that results when bias gets in the way of objective analysis (or completely supersedes it).

    He takes a quote demonstrating that Republicans AND Independents have a very low level of trust in the media and then clumsily tries to spin it as GOP bias.

    The money quote is “It seems the Republican view that facts have a liberal bias…” Really? The *Republican* view is that “facts have a liberal bias?”

    No, the actual, real-life GOP view is that far too many liberals report the facts with bias reflecting their own worldview. That Mike can’t even establish that proposition without resorting to a well-known (and easily disproven – green energy, embryonic stem cell research, health care cost control, etc., etc. ) liberal meme only demonstrates that his own bias is heavily interfering with his analytical powers.

    Add to that fact that he happily glosses over the fact that Independents have only a paltry 5% greater trust in the media on average (meaning that 69% of Independents don’t trust the media). Yet, somehow, GOP bias is driving the lack of trust in the media?

    At the root of every tortured argument is wishful thinking. Myerson is engaged in the same kind of pretense, imagining the L.A. Times (the L.A. Times!) as some kind of pristine bastion of journalistic objectivity that could only be sullied by the Koch Brothers libertarian/right-wing interests. It’s the kind of performance that reminds you to laugh out loud any time a liberal or progressive announces they are a member of “reality-based community.”

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