When Charlie Gibson with ABC News acted ignorant of the booming ACORN corruption story while it was breaking, the pundits on the right were stunned that a major new anchor could be so insulated that he could miss such a story.
The rumors of John Edward’s notorious affair was buzzing in the alternate media for months before it was broken by….. the National Enquirer. Yet the New York Times did not seem to hesitate to give front page coverage to a rumor about an affair between John McCain and a colleague that proved untrue.
Critics of those that oppose the health care proposals, fearing death panels and rationing, are deemed liars and paranoid lunatics, yet they are reacting to the actual words spoken and written by the likes of Robert Reich and Ezekial Emmanuel (Rahm’s brother), and others.
The proliferation of media outlets has drowned us in information. While many question the lack of professional credentials on the internet it seems to me that the professional media has much to answer for. It was Dan Rather who reported lies about Bush that was discovered by an internet amateur, It was the New York Tines printing lies about McCain, It was Gibson at ABC who knew nothing about ACORN and it was all of them ignoring what so many already knew about Edwards.
Even at a professional level , reporters hear and see what they expect to see and hear- what they want to see and hear. And with a media centered in locations far from the heartland, educated at universities far from the heartland, they tend to surround themselves with like minded professionals whose collective universe is far from the heartland. Like media consumers the professionals tend to read for confirmation not information.
They are like a school of fish swimming in the same direction, fearing that the errant independent fish will end up on a hook. Responding to a question as to how a media professional can miss a story in what appears to be an obviously biased fashion, Bernard Goldberg noted, “Does a fish know he is wet?”
It is a perfect metaphor for a media that is oblivious to a world it is centered in but cannot see.