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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Media goes to war against the truth

Vanity Fair's September issue splashes a story by James Warren, "Is the New York Times Vs. The Washington Post Vs. Trump the Last Great Newspaper War?"

'Tis a one-sided story that doesn't even bother to give Trump or his staff a chance to answer the insipid remarks by Trump's critics.

Nor did Warren bother to do his homework.

From James Warren of Vanity Fair:
It was wheels-up at Joint Base Andrews as Peter Baker, the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times, settled into the Air Force One press cabin on May 19 at the start of a presidential flight to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Then his cell phone rang with a heads-up from his boss, Washington-bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller, that the paper was about to break a big story: Donald Trump had denounced James Comey — whom he had just fired as F.B.I. director — as a “nut job” during a meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office. He had also told the Russians that Comey’s ouster relieved “great pressure” on him just as the F.B.I. investigation of the Trump campaign and contacts with Russian officials seemed to be gathering momentum.
The airplane was aloft when the two television sets in the aft cabin, both turned to the Fox News channel, flashed bulletins about the story. But moments later, the same TV sets were touting another revelation, this one from The Washington Post — Baker’s alma mater. The Post was reporting that the F.B.I. probe had identified “a current White House official as a significant person of interest.”
Two paragraphs, one lie. The person of interest story proved false.

That was just the first two paragraphs.

Paragraph 3 seemed OK.

But then Paragraph 4 made up for it with two more lies in the first two sentences:
The ongoing tit for tat helps explain the online-traffic records for both newspapers and why they are, more than ever, the tip sheets and storyboards for cable and broadcast news. So the Post discloses that Trump revealed classified information to the Russians; then the Times discloses that Comey memorialized an Oval Office meeting in which the president allegedly pressured him to end the F.B.I.’s investigation into former national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russian officials.
The classified information was not classified and the existence of the memo is questionable as neither the FBI nor Comey have shown one, and besides Comey also denied being pressured.

Now for the kicker. The sub-headline to this story -- and it is a story, a narrative, a fairy tale -- is:
Breaking story after story, two great American newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post, are resurgent, with record readerships. One has greater global reach and fifth-generation family ownership; the other has Jeff Bezos as its deep-pocketed proprietor and a technological advantage. Both, however, still face an existential foe.
The existential foe is their credibility.
The financial models at the two newspapers are different, and so is what they are selling. The Post, whose coverage is Washington-driven, can never hope to match the Times’s range across culture, business, and international affairs, and the Times, whose total revenues are less today than they were a dozen years ago, cannot hope to match the deep pockets of Jeff Bezos, who sometimes earns more in a few hours, if Amazon stock goes up, than he paid for his newspaper to begin with. (Bezos made $2.5 billion — 10 times what he had paid for the Post — in the two hours after Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods was announced.) The Post is more advanced technologically than the Times and seems to recognize that the true competition, as publisher Fred Ryan Jr. put it, is “anything that engages you in your non-sleeping hours.” But both papers are ultimately built on people paying for quality.
The quality is fading as their lies pile up.
The most troubling question is not whether the Times or the Post — or any other news outlet — can continue to perform to a superior standard. It is whether Trump and people like him have so degraded basic notions of fact and authority that truth no longer matters. If they have, then the metaphor about Montgomery and Patton is obsolete. A better one would come from that famous remark by Borges, about two bald men fighting over a comb.
That is a great metaphor because it shows the utter futility of going after a president from the get-go. The press in the past always was smart enough to give a new president a honeymoon because this established the press as not being saboteurs.

Today's press has more diplomas and degrees than ever before and is dumber than bag of socks. Soiled ones.

The constant state of anger in the press along with the spinning of conspiracy theories greatly amuses Trump fans. We see an industry that long ago abandoned objectivity -- they considered us deplorable long before Hillary said it out loud -- get its comeuppance.

Now to watch it self-destruct.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's election.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's nomination.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

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  1. Democrat Media love themselves very much

  2. Wow. This guy Warren is not only whistling past the graveyard, he's bought an interval-ownership condo there.

  3. "James O’Keefe, a right-wing provocateur whose work has been widely discredited" he has? I guess in the leftist way of shutting your eyes and yelling Nah, nah, nah like a 5 year-old (apologies to five year-olds); and this gem "The unequivocal evidence of Russian involvement in the presidential campaign exemplifies the state of play..." Unequivocal? These preening morons act as if Russia hasn't tried to influence America at every turn over the last 100 years, and it's usually abetted by the democrat party.

    That's just a few of the priceless bits I found by skimming the article, I can't imagine what a full reading would reveal. Rationalization is a dangerous road to go down.

    1. Russian donations to the Worthless Willie crime foundation, selling Uranium assets to Russian businesses, just two of ten thousand tentacles where the Rooskies took an active hand in our political process. I wold say there is unequivocal evidence. Ties to President Trump? That false flag sting fell flatter mooslime contributions to peaceful society.

    2. Yeah, Hoss, that drivel is astonishing. I guess Mr. Warren is saying that legally wiretapped evidence is no longer permissible in a court of law? Alles Heil Sieg Heil, Mr. Warren! Party Uber Alles. What a dumb f---.

    3. And Ted Kennedy even sought their help to defeat Reagan. As close to treason as one can get when we have no actual constitutional enemy.

    4. And Ted Kennedy even sought their help to defeat Reagan. As close to treason as one can get when we have no actual constitutional enemy.

  4. The NYT and WaPo "crashed thru the window, six-guns a-blazing", right at the, well before, WAY well before, the election, cementing their position as NO TRUMP, NO WAY, NO HOW, so how can we believe them? And their TV friends, too!

  5. I don't see the NYT and WaPo fighting each other, which is what I'd expect in a "newspaper war", having seen a LOT of old movies about newspapers and newsmen and reporters on TCM. They could be ganging up on Trump, but as far as I can tell, they're beating on him separately.

    Also, they can't continue to "perform to a superior standard" when they are not now and haven't been performing anywhere near that level.

  6. The only fight between these two papers is over who can lie and cover for Democrats the most.

  7. Need to open comments on last post above.

  8. "The press in the past always was smart enough to give a new president a honeymoon because this established the press as not being saboteurs."

    Yep, the old bromide about having to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back.