Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Corporate Media's Failures Are Poisoning Our Democracy

Dan Froomkin nails "both sides do it" media coverage of the shutdown, by @DavidOAtkins
The cultish adherence to false equivalence in the name of "balance" and the appearance (but not substance) of objectivity is a cancer on democracy.  

Democracy doesn't work without the informed consent of the people, and disinformation is poisoning the public discourse.  The corporate media has become the antithesis of the Fourth Estate.
"This sort of false equivalence is not just a failure of journalism. It is also a failure of democracy. When the political leadership of this country is incapable of even keeping the government open, a political course correction is in order. But how can democracy self-correct if the public does not understand where the problem lies? And where will the pressure for change come from if journalists do not hold the responsible parties accountable? The truth of what happened Monday night, as almost all political reporters know full well, is that "Republicans staged a series of last-ditch efforts to use a once-routine budget procedure to force Democrats to abandon their efforts to extend U.S. health insurance..." But the political media's aversion to doing anything that might be seen as taking sides — combined with its obsession with process — led them to actively obscure the truth in their coverage of the votes. If you did not already know what this was all about, reading the news would not help you understand."
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