Thursday, July 28, 2005
What is the main stream media anyway?
Took a nap at lunch time, having gone back to my apartment, having eaten a sandwich at my desk so I could use the time for re-energizing my tired body. S.O. was at work, giving me free run of our our apartment. One of the great things about being 13 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time is I get to take in the evening news and opinion programs during my lunch hour. Today in my short conscious intervals, listened to Lou Dobbs rant and rave about one of my favorite subjects: supposedly "free" trade and the greedy efforts of US corporations to make money while offshoring all or most of their jobs. As many of you know, Lou Dobbs beats this dead horse any and every chance he gets. From his commentary:
(CNN) -- Every so often, a member of the economic orthodoxy decides to attack me personally in print. Today I'd like to address a column in The Philadelphia Inquirer, with this question as its lead: "Will China's decision to unpeg its currency to the U.S. dollar make Lou Dobbs shut up?"
This was written by a nasty piece of business by the name of Andrew Cassel, who calls me "pompous," "portly" and a "protectionist."
First, let me answer Cassel's question: No, it won't. By the way, Andrew, bad timing. The People's Bank of China now says that the 2 percent revaluation of its currency is a one-time deal. Now, we'll see whether that turns out to be the truth, but either way, it ain't enough. Nor will it be to salve our projected $170 billion deficit this year with China. And Treasury Secretary John Snow, who hails this revaluation, can't say with any specificity at all what U.S. exports to China could possibly benefit.
And Andrew complains that in every report on this broadcast, as well as in the interviews and commentary, that I bash China and demand that America get tough with China. No bashing, Andrew, unless you consider my reference to China as a Communist, authoritarian nation as bashing. I notice, instead, you call China quote, "A country with one-party rule, a weak legal system, poor environmental record, and so on."
As to "get tough," Andrew: I'm guilty as charged. If we don't demand a reciprocal trade relationship with China, there is absolutely no limit to our potential deficit. I want expanded U.S. trade with China, it's just that I prefer the Chinese balance the relationship with purchases of U.S. products and services. Andrew, that is called balanced trade, not protectionism.
Finally, Andrew, you and your ilk are nothing more or less than corporate supremacists, and your mindless faith-based understanding of economics is what got this country in this mess in the first place.
Now, I'll leave the "portly" discussion, if I may, for another day.
Now I tend to agree with Lou Dobbs for a whole host of reasons. Yet today my purpose is not to defend or criticize him. Rather, I would like to take a minute to exam this ridiculous canard, that somehow the "media" is of a single minded bent, intent to publish only bad things about America. Accordingly, non- traditional media, such as your humble scribe here, are portrayed as doing God's work to spread the "truth" and defend the America way of freedom. Not two days go by without Michelle Malkin ( you know her, she's the C**T)beating up the MSM, as it is known in bloggerspeak. Assured in her self righteousness, she then calls her agent to book yet another appearance on some Fox news program.
Excuse me while I sneeze: Horseshit!.
All media is biased, because paid or unpaid one cannot approach a subject in a totally objective manner, no matter how hard one tries. Its why you have to read a wide variety of things and form your own opinion. The assertion that somehow, out there, is some monolithic, liberal minded set of journalists, working to defame the President and undercut truth, justice, and the American way is quite simply ....a cop out by individuals who will not do the intellectual heavy lifting to sort through the various sources of information and form one's own opinion. Michelle Macangalang is the worst offender on that score, IMHO.
Lets go back to Lou Dobbs for a minute. His other hobby horse that he loves to ride is about illegal immigration. If you closed your eyes you could just about hear the voice of any right wing Republican talking as he points out the hypocrisy of the administrations immigration policy. He works for CNN though, so according to the "conventional wisdom" he must be part of the great big liberal conspiracy.
So I roll over and change the channel. Bill O'Reilly is on. Now I know there are people who love him, but me, I always want to take a Lousiville Slugger ( I prefer the "crack" of a wooden bat to beat idiots, rather than the "ting" of an aluminum one) and swing it straight across his forehead when I see him launch into his smug self assured talking points, that because he has no respect for the intelligence of his viewers, he has to spell out in writing along the right side of the screen. Bill is one of those guys who loves to attack the " Main Stream Media" even though with his books and broadcasts, he is just as much a part of it as Dan Rather or Peter Jennings.
"Come here Bill, let me show you a thing to two....."
The term main stream media is just plain flawed. Lets replace it with a more accurate term. Namely, paid or unpaid media. Your humble scribe is part of the unpaid media, much as he hopes his efforts will earn some recognition and a job offer to write for one of Asia's leading newspapers. Bill, Lou, Dan, Peter, and many others are paid for their efforts. They sell a product.
Note to self, I HATE BLOGGER!!!!! Just tried to save what follows and the damn thing lost it all......
The marketplace of ideas, expanded and enabled by the internet, is not a place of absolutes. Its more like a giant COSTCO. You can get anything there. Its up to you the shopper to make intelligent choices. Or not so intelligent choices, doesn't matter, its your money. There are name brands and there are off brands. Each company and product being sold has its strengths and its weaknesses. Its impossible to be totally 100% objective in writing about the complex issues of our day.
Think of it this way. I don't buy the Wall Street Journal because I am expecting to find a ringing endorsement of leaving Social Security alone or seeing support for John Kerry. I don't get the New York Times and expect it to have love for George W. Bush ( that's a sentiment I can agree with, by the way.) Yet each has well written stories and background information which is useful in helping me to form an opinion. The best objective source of info that I have found is The Economist, primarily because it is not an American publication.
What really troubles me these days is the way that discussion is presented by both the liberals and the conservatives. We don't argue ideas anymore, we simply discredit the messenger. It is possible to look at a set of data and come up with differing conclusions. However in today's world, if that conclusion differs from the conventional wisdom of either liberals or conservatives, then it somehow makes you a moonbat, worthy only of ridicule. Children do that kind of name calling, not thoughtful adults.
One of the big things that folks harp on these days is , "Why is there no good news reported by the media about Iraq?". A few months back, I posted my thoughts on that subject here. Problem is, that if you do a really objective look at what is being reported there is plenty of good news being reported, by all types of media. There is also plenty of violence still to focus on. Its simply ridiculous to categorically state that those who oppose the war are somehow disloyal to the nation. That being said, there are some idiots who take their opposition outside the realm of good taste. Welcome to the marketplace of ideas. Caveat Emptor.
So in the spirit of fair warning, here are the biases you will see me bring to this blog:
You will never hear a positive endorsement of feminism, gay rights, or gay marriage here.
I like women entirely too much and the more women I can like, the better.
America is the greatest nation on the planet, even if I like living overseas.
Beer is good food, the more the better.
Sex is my favorite thing to talk about, and more importantly, do.
You will never see a naked woman on this blog, but I will post pictures that come close.
There will NEVER be a naked man picture on this blog.
Sexual harassment will not be tolerated. It will, however, be graded.
Marriage is overrated.
A woman who cooks and cleans and then leaves however.......is a real find.
I still don't know what to do about the S.O.
Its all about me.
There you have it, so here's hoping you will still purchase my product, here in the marketplace of ideas.