I’m on email lists with activists, journalists and other “elites” (as Republicans would call them). Mostly, they are very nice, smart people. But after all these years, their limited and persistent world view still surprises me, and I find myself going back to the old-time blogs to cleanse the mental palate. Because what bloggers have been doing for 15+ years is pointing out the failings of the media regarding the issues of the day, and the media are still more concerned about their own feelings than anything else. They hate self-criticism.
I’m not saying that to be mean; I’m frustrated, and trying to describe the problem.
For instance: The fact that the New York Times has neither retracted nor apologized for the egregious coverage of Hillary Clinton, But Her Emails, Clinton Cash, and the Comey investigation, and their last-minute absolving of Trump’s Russia connection, shows me they are, like any other information, to be taken with salt. A lot of salt! To the media people, the Times is — I wouldn’t say above reproach, exactly, but they are reluctant to acknowledge the ongoing systemic problems and bad incentives.
More than 10 years ago, I was part of a group of bloggers and journalists who worked to put on a conference at Penn meant to prepare journalists for the new online world. I was taken aback once I learned just how large the grudge journalists held against us, and how they were not listening to the useful advice we gave. What they resent the most on some primal level (this is my theory, anyway) is that bloggers are in the habit of saying what we really think, and most of them can’t. Not if they want to keep their jobs. They have to color within the lines.
Also, our instincts have been right a lot more often than theirs. Which of course makes them even more resentful (if they think about the dirty fucking hippies at all these days).
We were right, but so was Cassandra, and no one ever believed her. And what’s their beef? I don’t see many journalists begging readers for money to fix their cars.
Ah, well. Grass is greener, etc.