Chesser’s point is an important one we have made frequently in The American Culture: the Mainstream Media are no longer mainstream at all, having driven their audiences away through their open bias, political partisanship, and offensive elitist arrogance.
Chesser amusingly points out how a poster held up at a Tea Party rally in Atlanta and seen on Fox News (of course) illustrated the widespred contempt for the arrogant but rapidly declining elites still erroneously characterized as mainstream (though largely only among themselves at this point):
The poster scribe could have condemned any other media formerly known as mainstream. He (or a brash she) could have written "MSNBC Sucks," but what’s so bold about stating the obvious? He could have scratched out "USA Today Sucks," for promoting their love for big government, but the McPaper’s crosswords are pretty good. He could have stated "the Journal-Constitution Sucks," but why disrespect the dead?
Chesser provides several ripe examples of CNN’s grotesquely biased coverage of the Tea Party movement, in which the so-called news network continually projected an arrogant superiority over the revoltingly common people who had gathered to protest their government’s takeover of everything from banks to toilets. He also alludes to the outrages against common sense and any sort of journalistic standards common at USA Today.
His conclusion: the national TV news outlets other than Fox News Channel have willingly transformed themselves from national news efforts into puny, partisan, political advocacy rags, and their audiences are progressively (pun intended) shrinking to the typical size for such entities: vanishingly small. To wit:
While activists exercised their outspokenness against big spending, overtaxing, and over-regulating government, [obscure CNN "reporter"] Susan Roesgen (thumbs up for Bush-Hitler; thumbs down for Obama-Hitler), Anderson Teabagger and even Ashton Kutcher helped them achieve a milestone that most of them don’t realize. It’s that the media formerly known as mainstream has seen its re-categorization completed. MSNBC, the New York Times, and other mainstream outlets joined CNN Sucks in either dissing or disregarding the tea party protests’ newsworthiness. They now belong with semi-known far left publications such the Nation, Mother Jones, and American Prospect.
—S. T. Karnick