Cheat-Seeking Missles

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Don't Let MSM Get Away With False Stories!

What's wrong with this sentence?
Jules Crittenden has a great piece in the Boston Herald about Flopping Aces and other bloggers blowing the lid off AP's phony reporting from Iraq.
Savvy readers will focus in on two words: Boston Herald. The more conservative of the two Boston papers is also the smaller, with a weekday circulation in the low 200,000s while the Globe's is in the high 300,000s. Unlike the Globe, it is not linked into the national network of news organizations that set the news agenda and move it across their powerful wire services. So this story will reach some folks in Boston and some folks via the Internet.

And so it goes with criticisms of mainstream media. The MSM themselves circle the wagons. An attack on AP is an attack on the NYT is an attack on the LAT is an attack on WaPo ... is an attack on the Globe. So the great reporting that goes on at WashTimes, the blogosphere, Fox News (occasionally) and the Herald plays to those of us who seek it out, and is crushed by those with the power to keep it out of the mainstream.

Crittenden suggests that we go elsewhere for the news, which I did, finding his piece on memeorandum. But that's a long way from working well. I would guess that at least 50% of the news-related posts I make trace their way back to AP because it monopolizes news distribution in the United States. For a newspaper to survive without AP is simply impossible; it provides a lot of inexpensive news at a time when newspapers don't have the money to go elsewhere.

That's what's wrong with Crittenden's other proposed solution, that a right-thinking tycoon to fund a new, more balanced alternative to AP. There is no chance that a signficicant number of left-leaning, financially struggling newspapers would pay for a new news source that delivers a product that offends their politics.

In short, we can't kill AP and its ilk, so our only alternative is to force change onto them.

Here's what I propose instead: That the aforementioned right-thinking tycoon fund instead an alternative to the Pulitizer prize. The Pulitizer itself has become infected with the same liberal disease that's destroying the credibility of the MSM, so an alternative is clearly needed.

Make the prizes big and meaningful, and have a number of categories for reporting that blows the lid off MSM complicity with the liberal agenda. And if MSM won't carry the story of the prize winners and what they won for, take out full page ads in their newspapers and on their networks, drawing the attention of readers to the awards, and leading them to the Web site where they can read more.

The result would be an annual shame-a-thon for the MSM, and that might, just might, cause them to apply higher editorial and ethical standards to their work.

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