Friday, October 08, 2004

ABC News internal memo

Matt Drudge has posted an ABC internal memo that counsels staff not to hold both sides "equally accountable." Others will talk more about the memo itself, but I have a more basic question.

I have always wondered how the networks keep their staff in line. How do they enforce such hegemony among their reporters and writers? How do they keep them on the same ideological track day after day? How do they cause their reporters to ignore the obvious and distort facts for the duration of a long campaign and beyond?

In a large network with many employees, it takes a lot more than internal memos to accomplish that task. This evidence provides a good start on finding out the rest of the story.

We usually see only the biased results on our televisions in the evening. We saw the Dan Rather memos and CBS' attempts to defend them. We see so little of the process that goes into producing such propaganda.

Thank you to the anonymous ABC employee that forwarded the memo to Drudge. It is only to appease those potential whistleblowers that the networks occasionally veer into fair territory. When you see a fair story on ABC news, don't be fooled into thinking that the network has gotten better. The occasional truth passing out of network headquarters is necessary to keep the network as a whole in line.

Even with such careful maneuvering, the occasional Bernard Goldberg or anonymous memo passer can do tremendous damage to the network facade.

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