Blogs are "a danger for journalism"


2 comments posted
Network News -- a "Natural Monopoly?"

Media Girl, you rock!

Wonderful insight!

Blogs are the tip of an iceberg. It's a massive conversation that's been going on since before the Republic was founded and those in the intelligentsia (now there's a word that a blast from the past) are finally catching on.

For years the media has ruled, all the while patting itself on the back about how grand they are. Finally, bloggers are showing that the media is fooling itself that it has moral authority or is anything but a mouthpiece for corporate interests.

The media thunders, "ignore that man behind the curtain. We're the great and powerful media."

Yet, look how inaccurate they are--and arrogant. At the end of the film "Trading Places" the Duke brothers, Mortimer and Randolph, have been outwitted by two upstarts and the Duke brothers are about to lose their shirts after their nefarious commodities scheme has failed. Mortimer shouts something like "you can't do this! This is an outrage! I demand an investigation! . . . We founded this exchange. It's ours!"

The media now feels like Mortimer did in that moment. Their collective property rights are under assault from some upstarts.

In short, what we have is a monopoly fighting for its "rights." When Bell was busted up in the 1980's, a network was busted up where people could not install an extension phone in their own home. "Cut the wires to the ringer, then they won't know we have a phone in the bedroom." After the fall of Bell, it was the first of a series of networks to fall as people were given choice. Like a pebble tossed into a pond whose surface is flat like glass, the ripples move out. The ripple effect of busting the trust (pun fully intended) now allows me to stand toe-to-toe with the media.

They thunder, "but blogs might be wrong. Blogs are only one person's partly defined opinion filled with half-truths!" Is the media so arrogant that they think of themselves differently?

In another project I was telling my boss about a guy named Vail--few have heard of him, but he made Bell the monopoly it was that lasted until about 1984 when Ma Bell was busted up. It was not Alexander Graham Bell who build the empire, it was Vail.

What did Vail say?

He said that a massive telephone system under what one might dub "single command" was (in words attributed to him) a natural monopoly. It was more efficient for their to be ONE telephone service--not two or three or more. In Middle School, this was taught. The inefficiency of competing wires running down the same street and telephones in one building that could not be connected to the building next door. "Our Weekly Reader," or as one wag put it "Our Weekly Dose of Corporate Propaganda" (Remember the failed Channel One?) recounted this lesson. There were "natural monopolies." Microsoft is positioning itself as such and the courts are going along with it--but that's merely an interesting aside.

Another "natural monopoly," MSM, now believes it is under assault from the unwashed masses who are doing what? First Amendment.

In the over-the-top comedy "Zorro, Gay Blade," Lauren Hutton demands her right to speak in the public square. The generalissimo has ordered she be arrested, but when reminded that this right is an ancient--to stand on the soap box and freely speak in the public square--he smiles and he orders his guards turn their rifles from her to the crowd. Yes, she has the right to speak, but he'll arrest anyone who listens.

I think what Media Girl is saying is that the rifles have just swiveled.

Matsu's picture
Posted by Matsu on 6 May 2005 - 5:41am

"The increasing sway of such thinking is borne out in a recent Magid survey for the Carnegie Corporation called "Abandoning the News" (See Web Resources, at right)."

This Magid guy is Frank Magid,, a consultant and survey maven whose work with some of the biggest news divisions in the world created this quagmire (and I don't mean Peter Griffin's neighbor in Family Guy - "alll-right!"). TV stations are required to air at least 30 minutes of public service "news" in exchange for their use of the public airwaves. Magid helped them turn a public service into the station's most profitable programming.

By the late-70s, news had degenerated into this cheesy "happy talk" format that tried to place a syrupy gleem over the constant barrage of car crashes, murders/crimes by the stereotypical minority suspects, and sexually suggestive objectifications of women. Fear and taboo sells, and the stations learned that if they can tease and tittilate the viewer just right, they will likely stick around for the main event - the commercial. Your government screwing you like a bad tool set? So what, here's another runaway bride story to distract you from the raping we are allowing big business to do to you. Union-busting? who cares! We'll reveal who will win the karaoke reality-show right after this commercial break!

Ask yourself this question - what percentage of the incidents in a news broadcast is a minority portayed either committing a crime or playing a sport? Wouldn't want to challenge suburbanites mental processes - as long as they are scared of "those people", they'll stay out in the burbs at the big-box stores flexing their buying power. How often do they cover corporate criminals? What about the toxic polluters who kill wildlife forever? And the increase in Autism and cancer that is largely due to the crappy products our news sources push into our homes every night?

Why doesn't the news mention the foibles of their corporate backers?

Because they are bunch of spinesless fuckin' lackeys.

Just like the conservatives who defend the powerful at the expense of the powerless. Yeah, real fuckin' macho. It takes some real guts to stand up for the guys who bribe you every two weeks. I guess it makes perfect sense that while others were risking their safety by working toward the single greatest accomplishment of their generation - civil rights - Bush was doing cheers at his yuppie borading school. (Don't forget "Spirit Fingers", little Georgy!)

Fuck the news. I'll read "MAD" and a non-corporate sellout blog instead.

massive not passive's picture
Posted by massive not passive on 9 May 2005 - 12:52am