The American media were once steeped in a culture of liberty, and Bruce Walker explains why that is no longer so.
We got a little debate going about “objective” journalism in a recent post. I came across a piece at the American Thinker that does a good job of contrasting what the media culture in this country was once like, vibrant and messy, versus the corporate behemoths that walk in leftist lockstep today. Here is a bit of what Bruce Walker has to say:
Mass media once was a flurry of highly competitive newspapers who delighted in scooping other city newspapers for big stories, and whose editorial policies were almost always in conflict with each other because the newspapers themselves had certain philosophical and political "customers" who expected their newspaper to be a watchdog on the opposition. Every major city in the nation had several newspapers who disagreed with each other on policy issues and who presented news stories with different slants. The citizen was protected from the abuse because of very real competition between newspapers, just as Green Giant and Birdseye competed with each other for the frozen food customers.
The monolithic nature of leftism, however, prevented flourishing competition among big institutions from protecting us. As the left became a sort of political religion, the employees, directors, and owners of mass media corporations all began to think just alike. Part of that hive mentality has been attributed to geography: New York, DC, Los Angeles, and a few other places housed nearly all the television news and entertainment executives, most book publishing and film making, the bosses of the music industry, and the lords of Madison Avenue.
It became possible to attend a cocktail party in which every potentate of popular culture voted for the liberal Democrat presidential nominee, even when the conservative Republican candidate had carried forty-nine states. It became possible also for men like Obama, Axelrod, Emanuel to attend "respectable" colleges without, really, having to think an original and independent thought. It became possible for men to rise to heights without knowing any facts by mastering the catechism of leftism perfectly.
Leftism became an infection of mind and of spirit which grew into raging epidemic within those organs of mass media, and anyone who did not show symptoms of the sickness were, themselves, diagnosed as sick. Private thought, belief, and opinion became evidence of a stubborn unwillingness to submerge into the oblivion of the collective hive.
Because the opponents of the hive mentality of mass media have a thousand different opinions and beliefs, mass media finds its opposition incomprehensible and unconquerable. The idea that ten million free Americans could have almost as many viewpoints simply does not occur to people manufactured from childhood with a single viewpoint presented in cartoons, classrooms, college campuses, comedies, and corporate bureaucracies.
Here is the rest of “Mass Media and Private Liberty.”