Sunday, May 8, 2011

Losing Faith in the Mainstream Media

I just read Jo Mannies article about the UMSL incident that completely fails to point out that Breitbart's videos were maliciously edited and amazingly fails to even provide readers a link where they can see the fuller videos. Just like the Post-Dispatch and KMOX, she doesn't inform her readers of the relevant facts despite having every opportunity to do so.

I can't even describe how depressing it's been in this case to see how badly the St. Louis media has covered the story. Though I've always been critical of the media, I used to think that they'd get the story right if they were just given easy access to the correct information. In this case, they were given easy access to the correct information; they did not get the story right. I used to think that the media could get the story right if it was demonstrated just how systematically dishonest Andrew Breitbart is. He has been shown to intentionally distort video over and over, yet they did not get the story right. I used to think that maybe reporters could get the story right if you gave them a personal phone call and talked about the issues rather than just sending them a link to the information on a blog. I gave reporters a personal phone call on this issue; they failed to get the story right. I used to think that maybe reporters preferred Breitbart's side of the story because they were always presented with video, a more digestible medium than the written word. In this case, there was video available that clearly showed Breitbart's bloggers were lying; the media ignored it and did not get the story right.

In this case, Jo Mannies, Kevin Killeen, and Tim Barker were given every opportunity to get the story right, yet they still failed miserably, in a way that should be embarrassing for any St. Louisan who cares about having a competent mainstream media. Compare this to the Kansas City Star, who from the very beginning r this as a dishonest hit job from a known con man. I keep trying to make excuses to believe that maybe the state of the media in St. Louis isn't as bad as others say, but I'm not sure I have any left.

Update: Jo Mannies at the Beacon has now updated her post with a link to the Media Matters analysis and KMOX put out a new story that got it right. Now it's up to the Post-Dispatch to make it 3 for 3!


  1. Truth to power Adam, the sad fact that this state is tilting towards the crazies on the right shows where the 'power' is and the local media doesn't want to disrupt their view base too much and lose out on advertising $$$

    Voices like yours are sorely needed, appreciate your efforts and keep up the fight

  2. Thanks to Adam for pursuing this issue. In a historical sense, it's hard to think of any media outlet that has fallen from grace more than KMOX radio. The "news, sports, and information voice and choice" of St. Louis used to be known for its balance. Almost any time of the day when there was not a Cardinal, football Cardinal, or Blues game, you could turn on the "Might MOX" and hear intelligent balanced talk. The late Bob Hyland who was general manager of KMOX for years had a unique eye for talent, the kind that could inform and entertain. He brought us the likes of Bob Hardy, Ann Keefe, Jim White, and John McCormick. He ran a very successful financial operation in part because he was willing to sacrifice a buck here or there in order to have staff who would "get it right." When Hyland was alive, Rush Limbaugh was but a blip on the St. Louis airwaves from a low-wattage station in Illinois. Mark Reardon's "little Rush" imitation would not have been tolerated.

    I don't know if KMOX will every return to its former glory days, but if it does it will because it is bird-dogged for being inaccurate and cavalier about it. Thanks to Adam for being on their case. It's hard to imagine a greater civic improvement that St. Louis could have than the return of KMOX to accuracy and integrity. Stay with it, Adam!

  3. I think the media are as bad as others say, but not necessarily because the reporters are bad. Rather, I think they prefer Breitbart's side of the story because they are paid to prefer it.