a reply to: CriticalStinker
My whole gist was really that the news has kind of died and gave birth to entertainment or biased platforms. Some have a true bias, and others
exploit people's bias for ratings.
Yes and no. News and politics have been entwined forever. One of the earliest newspapers in the United States was the The New England Courant, which
was edited by Benjamin Franklin's brother, James. In I think it was 1722, James Franklin did a month in jail after publishing an anonymous letter
attacking the governor of Massachusetts. It was btw the Courant that published the Silence Dogood letters which Benjamin Franklin submitted under a
pseudonym after older brother James refused to publish him.
Infamously, another Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Franklin Bache, editor of the Philadelphia Aurora, was imprisoned in 1798, after the passage of the
Alien and Sedition Acts, for his criticism of Washington, Adams, etc in support of Jefferson. (he died of Yellow Fever while awaiting trial)
This from a time when newspapers were mostly one or two sheet affairs. Speaking of which, the first multi-page paper published in the then colonies
was Publick Occurrences. It had exactly one issue in 1690 before colonial officials shut it down because a) it was illegal to print anything without
government approval and b) the government viewed the press as an impediment to their control and c) the printer/editor (Benjamin Harris) was printing
things they didn't like. Colonial officials tracked down and destroyed all copies of it they could find and only 1 survives to this day. Harris came
to the colonies after being arrested, convicted and imprisoned for "seditious libel" in England over a book he'd printed.
I'm not positive when the first formal endorsement was made by a newspaper but I know the New York Times endorsed Lincoln in 1860. In the 19th
century, papers were actually supported in large part by revenue from the political parties. It really wasn't until retail advertising became the
primary subsidy that papers started to trend toward more objective reporting. What we think of now as ethics in journalism really is primarily a 20th
That said, I do think that you're not wrong that things have changed. I'd just call it a regression. Some of it starts with CNN and the 24-hour news
cycle. Then there was the rise of Fox News, which was conceived of by Ailes in (IIRC) the 70's. Fox of course catered to the Right and it pushed CNN
further left. CNN for all the talk by Republicans hasn't been able to shift itself quite far enough Left and now it's found itself #3 with the former
straggler MSNBC picking up a huge chunk of market share.
And let's not even get started on online sources. I was one of those idealists in the 90's who thought the Internet was going to level the playing
field and facilitate a rise in independent journalism. In reality, what we've seen is the balkanization of the media. People like to talk about how
they're looking for (objective) "truth" and bias-free facts but the reality is most people are just looking for outlets that more perfectly feed their
biases and bolster their ever more skewed world views.
Not only have we regressed to a point where editorialization is favored over objective reporting, there's little pressure for media outlets to be
politically neutral and competition, owing to our own addictions to being told what we want to hear, actually drives them to become more and more
In many ways, it's like we have 19th century media made worse with 21st century technology. In the 19th century, one needed a printing press to put
out "news". Now all you need is WordPress and the right clickbait.
But maybe we shouldn't act like anyone who questions certain groups are "in the Kremlin pocket".
Agreed. It's bad all the way around. Not only is it smearing, which is always wrong, it makes people more likely to ignore real foreign influence.
The whole thing is a disgusting #show. I honestly don't have a clue how we go about fixing it either. I guess I'm hoping that at some point, the
weight of it all will bring it crashing down and in the aftermath, people will *actually* value *actual* objective, ethical reporting.
As it stands, people make a big production of "virtue signaling" a concern for "the truth" but in reality, it's mostly just bull# from idiots who
blather delusionally about being "free thinkers" but are really just looking for a reason to dismiss what they don't want to hear in favor of the
propaganda that they do.