The news media today: What is it good for?


By Max R. Weller

After all of the buildup in the news media, you might have thought that President Obama was going to come up with a brilliant new unilateral approach on immigration policy. Instead, it’s the same ol’ delay leaving millions of people in limbo; it remains unlikely that any permanent resolution will be forthcoming in the Obama vs. Boehner pissing contest.

And why is the media hanging around in Ferguson, MO for weeks and months on end? Could it be to instigate violent confrontation between “protesters” — many of whom have no ties to Ferguson, and come from other states — and the authorities? Is it really all about ratings? See the recent Gallup Poll: Trust in Mass Media Returns to All-Time Low. My own distrust centers around the appalling ignorance of most reporters and commentators.

Seems to me the American people are being poorly served by politicians in both parties and by the news media.

On the local scene: I realize this is an editorial from the Longmont Times-Call, but newspapers in the same corporate family are fungible, so what I say also applies to the Boulder Daily Camera.

Recently, there have been some encouraging signs of change at the DC: more moderate voices in the editorial capacity, for example. This is good, if it continues as a long-term trend.

Reportage at the DC? Not so good; the newspaper continues to accept and to parrot the PLAN-Boulder County line, as put forth by the elected representatives of this cabal of less than one percent of Boulder’s citizens. And Heaven forbid that the DC should critically examine what’s really going on at Boulder Housing Partners, Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, and Bridge House (the Big Three players in our local homeless shelter/services industry). I might have a heart attack if I ever read a story in which the reporter/writer asked probing questions of Betsey Martens, Greg Harms, and Isabel McDevitt! It ain’t happening now, ain’t never happened in the past, so why should we expect it to happen in the future? $200,000 apartments for only 31 active alcoholics at 1175 Lee Hill, while hundreds more homeless single adults are still on the streets, isn’t even on the DC’s radar screen. Municipalization shenanigans? The DC doesn’t seem to care about being the people’s watchdog with that issue, either.

A Free Press exists in theory, here in the Boulder Bubble, but in practice it falls far short of the ideal.

Where is Clark Kent when we need him?

George Reeves and Jack Larson (as Jimmy Olsen)

The information we need is out there, but finding the truth requires sorting through piles of garbage, and is not for the faint of heart.


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