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.