Friday, April 22, 2005

IS TODAY'S AMERICAN NEWS MEDIA REALLY "LIBERAL"? NAH! I'D CALL IT "CORPORATE"!

In reference to Ann Coulter and Michael Moore and the issue of whether or not our country has a "liberal" media, a blogger posted this comment at another site I frequent:

"You neglected to mention that she has also been fired from a right-of-center magazine and censored by USA Today. The same USA Today that breathlessly prints Michael Moore's screeds as reportage. Perhaps Ann Coulter should market her work as documentary in nature. Who knows, she might win a Pulitzer."

Ahem. I posted the following response:

All of the below is just my opinion, of course, and it's long-winded like usual... but I just have to wonder from time to time if the media is really as "liberal" as many conservatives say it is.

Could the media these days maybe be more "corporate" than it is "liberal"? It seems to me they like to report on things that "sell" (like Michael Jackson, deaths in Iraq, Robert Blake, Laci Peterson, etc.) and that it's mostly about money. If special interests offer money to our media types to report things in certain ways, then I would guess the media would opt to go the money-making route. I think the media is generally like most other businesses in that the bottom line is very important.

As for Ann Coulter, hasn't she done quite well in print, making a name for herself with her books and articles, as well as with her public appearances? She does do well, but do people view her as an entertainer? As a political sage?

I think lots of folks view Michael Moore as an entertainer rather than as a guru. Does something that is at least perceived as entertaining sell more than what is not perceived as such? Rush Limbaugh may have some similar opinions to those of Coulter, but he does at least seem to sprinkle his commentary with comments perceived by many as humorous. And while I tend to disagree with most things Rush says, I will admit I laugh out loud at his comments sometimes, because once in a while I do find him to be funny.

Despite Ann Coulter being a nice-looking, well-dressed person, I think her comments and her abrupt manner cause her to come across as cold, hypercritical and humorless. Moore, on the other hand, looks more to me like a big, ugly, doofus teddy-bear type, possibly more like how he may believe an average American would look...

Whether it's an act or not, Moore just seems to me like he should have more appeal to the public than Ann Coulter due to the image he has cultivated, if nothing else.

If it's all about money and image, and if Moore is making himself more appealing to the public, I think that is what the public will buy... and therefore he is who the media will be more likely to feature when given the choice. If the media can make more money via Michael Moore than they can through Ann Coulter, my guess it they'll lean toward Moore, whether or not they agree with his political views... and Ms. Coulter won't get nearly as much air time.

The following information might be hard to find, but I think it would be interesting... I would be interested in knowing how much hate-mail USA Today got re. Ann Coulter in comparison to how much they would get re. Michael Moore. I also think it would be fun to look at sales figures for Ann Coulter's books and for Michael Moore's books... I would imagine they might be fairly close in the number of books sold.

(end of comment)

With all that being said, I think Ann Coulter sets herself up for a lot of the criticism she gets, because of her brusque manner. Maybe even more for that than for what she says, which I usually find outrageous. When the other blog-commenter uses her "plight" as an example in support of an argument for a "liberal" media... it doesn't quite seem to make sense to me, particularly when today everything in America seems to be so much about image.

What are your thoughts on the media in America today?

10 Comments:

Blogger J. Marquis said...

I agree with you. For the most part the media is about money, not ideology. And I think this is one of those historical periods of great change and it's causing a lot of media people (especially in tv) to panic. They see Fox getting good ratings and they're scared to death of being accused of having a liberal bias so they put their toe in the water (i.e. the Ann Coulter article in Time).

I think the solution is the creation of a liberal tv news network (essentially as fair and balanced as Fox). Then the rest of the news outlets can drift back to the center and hopefully give us objective news coverage.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

Obviously alot of folk love getting smoke blown up their asses and watch Fox. Anyway 'fox' is a total joke - give me the sublte tones of the BBC anyday.

Not to concerned with Ann, all persona and product than actual savvy commentator.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

"Media"? You mean those 24-hour infomercials dictated by the Man Behind the Curtain? What's "political" about some CEO's bottom line? Any sort of "news" is something that went out with, uh, God, it's too far back to remember.

11:40 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

I always think the "liberal media" paranoia is funny, it really doesn't make any sense. "Liberals are corruting our childrens minds! They're everywhere, lurking behind every corner!!" Um...conservatives control the presidency, the house, the senate, and the majority of the governorships. Dan Rather, the guy who was most often pegged as being a liberal activist, was dead last in the ratings for a long time and retired in disgrace. Ann Coulter is a best selling author, Fox News is getting high ratings, Limbaugh gets millions of listeners every day.
Anyway, conservatism is everywhere, it's popular, and this "liberal media" stuff is just a desperate attempt by republicans to place themselves in the victim role. Which is understandable, it's been a very successful maneuver. So, your post is right on, it's all a giant, corporate platform. Hope you are doing well!

11:53 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

the difference with Moore and Coulter is that Moore established credibility with his documentaries on Flint Michigan, Nike, and Columbine before really delving into political entertainment. Ann Coulter has always been a vile conservative writer. So her jump to political pundit for Fox News wasn't much of a leap. She has no credibility and has done nothing to earn the respect of the general public.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

All of the networks back Bush. This "liberal media" term they like to throw around is B.S.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

I think that the 'liberal' media was a fact up to 15 years ago. CNN and it's made for TV war sounded the end of it. Along with talk radio. The right still uses that claim about the mainstream sources, but few people get news exclusively from these sources (ABC, NY Times, etc) in the modern world. Most people take in multiple sources. I truly hope Air America makes it so that the left can stop bitching about right wing talk radio.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Thanks, Phil! There are many of us who would also like to see that.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

My comments are plain and direct. Corporate! News is not news in this day and age, it's entertainment driven by ratings. Plain and simple.

I continuously BLOG on this. Most recent examples are dear to my heart. Wathcing CNN and FOX spin without regard to the family on missing District Attorney Ray Gricar.

He is MY District Attorney. I know the man, and am totally floored by the way they are trying to create a sensational story where none currently exits.

Shameful and disgusting!

Not liberal...corporate marketing!

3:06 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

I would agree that, in general, the media can be horrors. But this isn't the case. For example, there is a US Senator that I know of who built a career as a family values type. He has a son, who he attempted to bring up in his footprints. Unfortunately, his boy is a bit power hunger. He jumps from a seat on city council, to county commissioner, and hadn't been doing that job but a few weeks when he decided to run for an open US House seat. To top all of this off, Mr. Family Values developed a case of what is referred to as Jungle Fever. He started having an affair on his wife (yes they have kids) with a lobbyist who does business with him. To make it really interesting, he is a white conversvative and she is black, and apparently had their love child.

Talk about a juicy story that hasn't hit the press.

8:30 PM  

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