Sunday, June 12, 2005

Rathergate anniversary - 88 days and counting - the future of MSM/DNC weekly periodicals.

Click here for my explanation of the Rathergate anniversary countdown.

One tends to forget, even over a short period of time, how much the world changes right before our eyes. This amnesia sets in even when the world experiences rapid changes within a few months or years.

We have gotten used to the blogosphere and the new media. Many of us rely on the new media for instant updates and for news that we can get from no other source. We are accustomed to knowing the "story" long before the evening news broadcast chimes in with its own 30 second version. We are certainly well-informed long before we receive our daily newspaper. Weekly magazines have been relegated to the status of the pony express. Not only do we know the news before we receive our copy of Time, Newsweek, etc., we have access to voluminous commentary and analysis within a day or two of the story's first appearance. The traditional MSM/DNC news magazines have little to add.

This reality hit home yesterday as I stood in line at a bookstore yesterday. I noticed a copy of Time Magazine near the checkout counter. One of the cover stories involved "Deep Throat". It occurred to me that Deep Throat had been so thoroughly discussed and analyzed over the past two weeks that I was actually tired of the subject. The Time story could be useful only to those who were willfully cut off from the rest of the world since the end of May. Rathergate and the new media revolution had rendered Time as obsolete as the rotary phone.

The point I am making requires each of us to contemplate our own experiences with various news stories in recent years and how we, as individuals, receive and received news. If you reflect on your own experiences, I would bet that you find yourself relying less and less on MSM/DNC sources, particularly weekly periodicals. You can probably recall early instances in which you received particular news from a new media source and never bothered to check with an MSM/DNC source.

Even so, weekly MSM/DNC sources do continue to exist for a reason. They continue to be quoted and to create waves in situations such as the Newsweek-Koran-toilet story. I think we will find that MSM/DNC weekly news items have impact only to the extent that they veer from the truth.

(1) If a weekly publication seeks to reveal a previously unknown true item, that fact will likely leak out in another form long before the time of publication. The Deep Throat reporter did not wait for the normal periodical publication cycle to break Mark Felt's story. Vanity Fair doomed its own article to irrelevance by issuing a press release and igniting a feeding frenzy more than one week prior to publication.

But falsehoods are known only to the liar. When Newsweek lied about the Koran, no other news outlet could scoop Newsweek on the story because there was no story in the first place. When 60 minutes broadcast its forged documents story, they were in no danger of being scooped because no other network was about to go to press over a different set of forged documents. [While all MSM/DNC outlets do lie, it is highly unlikely that two MSM/DNC outlets will initiate the same lie at the same time. Most MSM/DNC outlets are merely following the lead of whatever MSM/DNC outlet originated the lie in the first place.] In short, weekly MSM/DNC outlets have impact mainly when they lie.

(2) A second purpose served by the MSM/DNC weekly outlets is to pile on and rehash the MSM/DNC official line on any subject. This week, for example, Time breaks the story that Gitmo detainees were "tortured" with music from Christina Aguilera.

Any news source is valuable only if it provides (1) previously unknown news or (2) analysis of existing stories. A MSM/DNC weekly outlet cannot provide #1 (unless such items are false). To the extent that it attempts to provide #2, such attempt will be stale and repetitive.

The weekly MSM/DNC outlets are useful only if the readers prefer being lied to or having the previously aired MSM/DNC spin reinforced in their minds.

[The same probably can be said for MSM/DNC books also, but that is the subject for another post.]

The same cannot be said for conservative weeklies because the conservative weeklies are still battling the MSM/DNC memory hole, white noise and other MSM/DNC bias techniques. Conservative weeklies' analysis still retains value. At some point, as the MSM/DNC withers on the vine, the conservative weeklies will become obsolete also.

The post-Rathergate world is still taking shape. The changes we experience today will seem commonplace in one year.

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