Intelligent Design

ID controversy: Legacy mainstream media vs. new media

Spread the love

While we are on the subject of media/new media, here’s an interesting account of legacy mainstream media (LMSM) spin on an issue unrelated to the ID controversy – US immigration policy.*

The chosen example merely shows that LMSM can slant any controversy as long as everyone who has a say on the news desk is absolutely convinced about who the winners will ultimately be.

In LMSM, such stories usually get framed as a black and white morality play. On the ID issue, for example, doubts about Darwinism – of whatever kind – are treated like this: Bad or irrelevant “religion” attempts takeover of good and useful “science.”

Okay, so go be a profane, beer-swilling unbeliever somewhere if you like. But if you dare to wonder whether school kids should be told some of the textbook stretchers and fudgies, you are one disloyal bunny. It’s bad enough that you even know that the books are full of stretchers and fudgies , where Darwinism is concerned.

Next thing we hear, you will be handling diamondback sidewinders for Jesus way down deep in some East Carolina swamp** …. Hey, you read your fate here first.

This situation is not new. Doubts about Freudianism were routinely framed, years ago, as evidence of psychological problems, and doubts about Marxist economics were not tolerated from people who ate macaroni and cheese in order to pay off a mortgage. There is no middle ground or alternative viewpoint in a morality play.

What’s new is the challenge created by the new media, which empower alternative viewpoints like no other has ever done. To see why, consider what, precisely, is changing.

The blogosphere, the Web, and e-mail have undermined the newsgathering function of major media as such. They are not needed the way they used to be.

Today, an honest, meticulous, and creative person can, with affordable equipment, do a reasonable job of newsgathering.

How was it different in the past? Formerly, professional equipment was not easy to come by and information storage was itself a challenge. And if pros made a mess of things, they had to live with the results themselves.

For example, a pro needs to be able to trust her own notebook, story files, and morgue. That created some control over how unrepresentative news stories could become in democratic societies. She would need one heck of a memory to know the difference between the facts of the case and ten years of her own misrepresentation.

But today, stories can be slanted in order to affect an electorate, in the full knowledge that the correct information is archived somewhere on the Internet – and anyone who really wants to know can get hold of it easily!

Not everyone realized the significance of that fact until fairly recently. Hence pajamagate. The egregious thing about pajamagate was not that Rather was suckered by bogus dox (hey, stuff happens), but that his network took so long to just admit that fact, long after it was utterly self-evident.

I notice that Reuters has been much quicker disowning its recent fauxtos. People can learn.

The media have always been slanted in a liberal way. But that is principally because young persons inclined to traditional views do not go into media. They are urged to enter the clergy instead.

When people who espouse traditional views have gone into media, they have often been quite effective. One thinks of the conservative blogosphere, talk radio, and Fox News, for example, and a number of good conservative thinkmags.

But meanwhile, the burden of public recordkeeping and analysis is shifting toward the blogosphere, for better or worse.

I first realized that shift clearly when a New York Times reporter sneered at me last year as a (mere) “blogger. But my coverage of the incident in question had been more accurate than her paper’s, and unlike the reporter for her paper, I had actually seen the controversial film.

(*I am not an American, not to trying to become one, and don’t currently know anyone who is. Thus I have no cat in the fight over US immigration policy, and thought this a safe example.)

(**Please do not write to inform me that there is no East Carolina. That is the Americans’ problem, not mine. It is a forgivable lapse on their part, and I have – somewhat reluctantly – forgiven them.)

5 Replies to “ID controversy: Legacy mainstream media vs. new media

  1. 1
    BarryA says:

    Oh but Denyse, there is an East Carolina. They even have their own university and football team (the pirates). I might add that “pirates” is a much more genteel moniker than the barbarous “gamecocks” chosen by South Carolina.

  2. 2
    David vun Kannon says:

    Denyse wrote:
    doubts about Marxist economics were not tolerated from people who ate macaroni and cheese in order to pay off a mortgage.

    A valiant effort to get the Darwin-Freud-Marx troika into your text, but who is the subject of your passive voice? I can’t recall ever seeing a paen to Marxist economics on the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal. When did William Randolph Hearst or Joseph Pulitzer order his papers to heap scorn on mortgage paying macaroni eaters? Perhaps you are thinking of Leftist Marginal Stream Media and conflated the acronyms.

    “The media have always been slanted in a liberal way.”

    Always is a long time. Check out Wikipedia (go New Media!) on “Media Bias” for a variety of studies and conclusions on this issue. I personally found interesting the findings that journalists are conservative in their sourcing of stories, personally libertarian (not liberal), and that media are more liberal than the average Congressman, which makes them centrist!

  3. 3
    P. Phillips says:

    Hi, Denyse, I just got zapped on another thread, and responded, for citing “blog” sources versus “peer reviewed papers”. My longer response may have been zapped. In any event, I do think this remarks of the Pope (I think you wrote you are/were Catholic) are especially wise, even if I am posting on an incorrect thread, perhaps.

    I like the use of “logos”; this aspect of Christianity I am highly sympathetic towards. God bless the man! I hope I find the entire lecture somewhere on line; unfortunately, for some, they will doubt the validity because it’s not peer reviewed. May we be blessed with the gift of reason as well.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200.....;printer=1

    EXCERPT:

    In a major lecture at Regensburg University, where he taught theology between 1969 to 1977, Benedict said Christianity was tightly linked to reason and contrasted this view with those who believe in spreading their faith by the sword.

    The 79-year-old Pontiff avoided making a direct criticism of Islam, packaging his comments in a highly complex academic lecture with references ranging from ancient Jewish and Greek thinking to Protestant theology and modern atheism.

    In his lecture, the Pope quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor who wrote in a dialogue with a Persian that Mohammad had brought things “only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

    The Pope, who used the terms “jihad” and “holy war” in his lecture, added: “Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul.”

    Benedict several times quoted the argument by Emperor Manual II Paleologos that spreading the faith through violence is unreasonable and that acting without reason — “logos” in the original Greek — was against God’s nature.

    At the end of his lecture, the Pope again quoted Manuel and said: “It is to this great ‘logos’, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures.”

  4. 4
    P. Phillips says:

    GACK! I should have typed “these” remarks; sorry for any other blunders and lack of clarity! It’s tough for me to edit on a computer screen; I miss paper and pencil, a little.

  5. 5
    P. Phillips says:

    Oh, do I think Neo-Marxists and Neo-Darwinians and big bangers are, in a manner of speaking, spreading their “faith” by the sword? Well, yes! See the thread here on Illusion of Knowledge and the control of “peer review”; tactics of intimidation are a kind of “sword”.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....hives/1592

Leave a Reply