Citizen Koch,” a documentary about money in politics focused on the Wisconsin uprising, was shunned by PBS for fear of offending billionaire industrialist David Koch, who has given $23 million to public television, according to Jane Mayer of the New Yorker. The dispute highlights the increasing role of private money in “public” television and raises even further concerns about the Kochs potentially purchasing eight major daily newspapers.
Media reporters like Politico’s Dylan Byers (who was one of two reporters selected to interview Kurtz on Reliable Sources Sunday, along with NPR’s David Folkenflik) and Huffington Post’s Michael Calderone, academics such as NYU’s Jay Rosen, and others in the industry lit up the social network with comments and reporting when the news broke.
But the low ratings lend credence to the claim that few people outside of the media world care about media reporting. That seems to be especially true among young people — a deeper dive into the ratings shows that the age of the average viewer for Sunday’s show was 64.2 and that it scored a infinitesimal 0.6 ratings among viewers 18-49 years old — which equates to roughly 70,000 viewers.
That’s because Kurtz’ greatest flaw didn’t come from one sloppy article, but being part of a visible industry that follows its own norms instead of delivering content that critical readers will find informative, enlightening and/or beneficial to all.
I think that Woodstein has been gone a long time, if they / it ever existed.
While violent terrorism is undoubtedly real, it is worth restating a few basic statistical facts about the level of threat it poses to the average American. In their 2010 report for Foreign Affairs, John Mueller and Mark G Stewart constructed a comparative analysis of terrorism compared to other potential causes of death to Americans. What the results showed was that the average American on an annual basis is more likely to be killed by one of their home appliances, drowning in a bathtub, or in a car accident involving a deer, than they are to be killed in a terrorist attack. This is to say nothing of the threat of ordinary violent crime, which poses a greater threat by several orders of magnitude than that of terrorist violence and continues to churn on at an industrial scale throughout the country.
Nevertheless, due in large part to unbalanced and sensationalist media coverage, Americans have been more willing to part with their rights and freedoms in response to perceived threats from terrorism than they have from violent crime - the latter of which receives proportionately scant media attention. Viewed in this light it is easier to reconcile how tens of thousands of gun deaths a year can be taken in stride as “the price of freedom”, while a single bombing can prompt calls for the suspension of the once-cherished civil liberties granted to citizens by the American Constitution.
It is easy to criticise the media, and after this disastrous week , there is much to criticise. But the consequences of the casual racism launched at Chechens - and by association, all other Muslims from the former Soviet Union, who are rarely distinguished from one another by the public - are serious. By emphasising the Tsarnaevs’ ethnicity over their individual choices, and portraying that ethnicity as barbaric and violent , the media creates a false image of a people destined by their names and their ” culture of terror ” to kill. There are no people in Chechnya, only symbols. There are no Chechen-Americans, only threats.
Ethnicity is often used to justify violent behaviour. But no ethnicity is inherently violent. Even if the Tsarnaevs aligned themselves with violent Chechen movements - and as of now, there is no evidence they did - treating Chechen ethnicity as the cause of the Boston violence is irresponsible.
One hundred years ago, the violent act of one Polish-American caused a country to treat all Polish-Americans with suspicion. Now, the Poles have become “white” - which is to say they are largely safe from the accusations of treason and murderous intent that ethnic groups deemed non-white routinely face. When a Polish-American commits a crime, his ethnicity does not go on trial with him.
But this change is not a triumph for America. It is a tragedy that it happened to Poles then, and a greater tragedy that we have not learned our lesson and it happens still - to Hispanics, to Arabs, to Chechens, to any immigrant who comes here seeking refuge and finds prejudice instead.
February’s numbers were better than the average job creation for the previous three months. But don’t break out the bubbly. We are still in a debilitating jobs recession. As these charts show, while corporate profits and the stock market are setting records, we still have 3 million fewer jobs than we had at the start of the recession. In a typical post-war recovery, the U.S. economy now would have had about 10 million more jobs than at the recession’s start.
A journalist would have to be digging for this kind of information instead of the usual story about the fireworks that are erupting for the Casino Economy.