9 thoughts on “United States violent Tea Party thugs

  1. BUZZFLASH DAILY HEADLINES

    Did you hear the joke about CNN sponsoring a Republican presidential candidate debate with the Tea Party as a partner?

    Well, it’s not a joke.

    According to Mother Jones, “Sam Feist, CNN’s political director, says the arrangement was designed to give undecided voters a way to educate themselves about ‘diverse perspectives within the Republican Party, including those of the Tea Party.’ It’s not the first time CNN has partnered with the group. Earlier this year, CNN embedded with Tea Party Express on one of its bus tours, giving the group extensive coverage.”

    Hold that outraged laughter for a moment. Each year, the corporate media gets more and more skewed toward titillation and craven appeals to “targeted news marketing.” And that is dangerous to a democracy.

    Television news, in particular, has long since become an entertainment product, something that is sandwiched between commercials. To get higher fees for ads, the media conglomerates need to attract more viewers. And to attract more viewers, they need to sensationalize and reinforce a viewer’s worldview, not objectively report the news.

    In essence, “the news” has become another branded consumer product. It’s not about a balanced perspective on what is happening in the world or the key policy issues facing the nation; it’s about what will attract more viewership.

    Yes, CNN appears to be making a concession to the populist right wing, which is perceived as being in political ascendancy in Congress, but it is also trying to attract a niche market share normally “owned” by FOX. Accurate news hasn’t been seen as profitable since the days of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, but selling an “attitude” about the “news” is – or in the case of FOX, making the news up to fit a political prism.

    Many progressives, including BuzzFlash, may feel vindicated that a recent study indicated that FOX viewers are the most misinformed about the news. Indeed, according to TPM, “as exposure to Fox News increased, so did the misinformation.”

    But the study also showed that consumers of broadcast news outlets, in general, had many facts distorted, just to a much lesser degree than FOX viewers.

    It’s a perilous time for lucid decision making when “the news” is adapted to preconceived ideas and prejudices that can increase big media profits, rather than exposing us to the truth. A perilous time indeed.

    Mark Karlin

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