A recent Gallup poll shows just how far the media has fallen in the eyes of the American public. There is a very simple reason for this, people who are engaged enough to actually take an interest in world and national events want to make up their own minds. Increasingly the public is becoming aware that not only are they not receiving the unvarnished truth from the media, the media is blatantly trying to influence their thinking.
One of the many benefits I was blessed with in my years studying the "climate change" debate was that I also was rewarded with a first class education into the psychology and practices of institutional bias. Through years of close observation I have seen how a group can become so obsessed and absorbed in their own theories and belief structure that they will go to any lengths to protect their cherished ideals and theories.
Garth Paltridge explained it this way when it came to the scientific communities tribal defense when it comes to the "consensus" view of global warming.
Basically, the problem is that the research community has gone so far along the path of frightening the life out of the man in the street that to recant publicly even part of the story would massively damage the reputation and political clout of science in general. And so, like corpuscles in the blood, researchers all over the world now rush in overwhelming numbers to repel infection by any idea that threatens the carefully cultivated belief in climatic disaster.I am reminded of this as I watch the leftist media complex and their various allies protect their narrative of the election. The media is not only ideologically liberal but has, with increasing malevolence and brazenness, gone to extraordinary lengths to promote their consensus view of politics and support and protect their champions.
The primary way they do this is creating a "consensus" narrative which all stories are not only covered but by also "driving" news cycles themselves. These forced narratives deprive any opposing point of view or even any other story which might be newsworthy of oxygen. They set the narrative and whatever other points of view there may be is constantly engaged in responding to a precast set of assumptions. The leftist view domination of the airwaves etc. dictates what is actually covered so that the general public is constantly being inundated with a ideological induced narratives of what is still called news. It is not only just one side of the story it is often not a story at all, just a slight of hand to hide the truth.
Even worse than the narrative spin is the way the media willfully ignores or short changes stories which might help their ideological opposition or hurt their fellow travelers. Not able to win the argument of ideas they instead create false narratives that support their views and "rush in overwhelming numbers to repel infection by any idea that threatens the(ir) carefully cultivated belief(s)"
With typical precision Mathew Continetti in his column explained how far the media has fallen during this election season.
The election is over, and Mitt Romney lost. He’s toast; his goose is cooked; put a fork in him he’s done; he’s yesterday’s news. Disagree? That’s too bad. The American media have made up their minds. And on this they are certain: Barack Obama is a lock for reelection. They may not be sure when Romney lost exactly—was it his trip to England, Israel, and Poland? Was it the Clint Eastwood speech at the RNC? Was it Romney’s response to the attacks on our embassies in Benghazi and Cairo? Was it his leaked remarks on government dependency? The exact date doesn’t matter. What matters is that the chorus has spoken. The politburo has decided. A consensus has been reached. Romney will lose, and the only question is by how much. The voters might as well stay at home.One wonders how intelligent, highly educated individuals could degenerate into pack like behavior where truth and common sense are ignored, falsehoods are not only promoted but cheered by the group if it promotes the cause and protects the tribe. How could adults behave this way?
The conceited arrogance with which our most sophisticated and well-schooled editors, writers, and journalists voice this conclusion makes it that much more annoying. Their eagerness to judge Romney a failure is not only premature but also erodes whatever credibility they had left. Indeed, the ridiculous manner in which the political press has covered the 2012 campaign suggests that “bias” is no longer a suitable description of the character of the media establishment. “Partisan toadies” may be a better one. “Obama’s army” is another.
Again I return to my study of the deranged "global warming scientific consensus" which mirrors the same physiological characteristics as the current media culture. Ole Humlum, Professor of Physical Geography at the Institute of Geosciences at the University of Oslo, on his wonderful site Climate4You site wrote a fascinating essay titled Handling the present period without global warming by Groupthink where he summarized the Groupthink phenomena so prevalent in science.
Irving Janis (1977) devised eight symptoms that are indicative of groupthink (cited from Wikepedia):If you may think that these characteristics do not fit the current media culture then I might remind you of the JournoList scandal during the last election. But then again it wasn't really a scandal at all was it?Perhaps as many as 400 journalist and academics, probably many more, created a secret communications channel in order to set narratives and defend against attacks against their chosen one, Obama. Even they admit that the O in Journolist stood for the candidate that they conspired to promote, Obama. Not only did they, without informing their readers, work as a unit to promote Obama they simultaneously worked to undermine McCain and Palin and oh didn't they smear Palin.
*Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
*Rationalising warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
*Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.
*Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, disfigured, impotent, or stupid.
*Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty".
*Self censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
*Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
*Mindguards — self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.
But as I said it was no scandal really, why? Because the general media complex even those not directly involved with JournoList just ignored or made excuses for the entire enterprise, just another day in media land. Certainly none of the cabal were shamed or fired from their positions for belonging to such an unethical enterprise. In fact most of them carry on in their current positions at Politico, The Washington Post , The Atlantic and other media outlets that disseminate news to a formerly trusting public. As James DeLong pointed out the biggest problem with the JournoList was a structural one within the media complex itself.
The real problem with JournoList is that much of it consisted of exchanges among people who worked for institutions about how to best hijack their employers for the cause of Progressivism. Thus, the J-List discussion revealed yesterday in the Daily Caller was about how the group could get their media organizations to play down the Reverend Wright affair and help elect Barack Obama.
That my friend is Groupthink and it infects the modern media to its very soul. The revolving door of leftist politicos to government positions is so common place that it is seldom even commented on. When it is, the practice is so common that the obvious corruptible bias in it is not even mentioned. Read this article in the Politico and consider the implications in the shaping of public opinion by the participants, particularly Stephanopoulos who is represented by ABC News as an objective journalist unlike the others who are obvious opinion commentators. The irony in the article itself is that it is written by a JouroLister.
Total objectivity is probably not possible in the media, but that is why we have opinion shows and commentators. But we have reached the point where truth is being held hostage to ideology which always leads to a societies collapse. Much as the global warming agenda in science is destroying the integrity of science the media is destroying journalism. The corpuscles are eating themselves but they do not see it, they are "rationalising warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions." because they have "unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions."
At this stage of the process the old line progressive infected media only has one hope, to be absorbed into a progressive dominated government where they can truly and without pretense become the propaganda arm of their wished for new world order. For if the market place of ideas is allowed to continue unchecked as our Founders intended and our form of government was established to protect, they will go the way AM radio was headed pre Rush Limbaugh, just more static cluttering the airwaves of America unlistened to and ignored then silent.