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Our Agenda-Driven Press Corps

In his post yesterday about the Los Angeles shooter, Jeff pointed out the noteworthy lamestream media silence on certain key elements of the shooter’s manifesto.  Indeed, as Noah Rothman notes today at Mediaite: When crazed shooters can’t be linked to the Tea Party, the media displays admirable restraint.  The story of the shooter in Los Angeles, in fact, is–like several other recent shooters–only of interest to the press corps to the extent that it helps feed the narrative about “gun violence” and the need for more gun-control.  Elements of the story that don’t fit with the narrative are omitted, and especially those elements that contradict the narrative or help to fuel competing narratives.  Because the Los Angeles shooter’s manifesto complains about perceived “racism,” this could theoretically turn into a story about how the racial grievance industry has created a monster, but of course it never will because that is not an agenda the media has any interest in promoting.

Most of the times these days it seems that the press corps is pushing several different agenda items at one time, and news stories are only of interest or worth covering to the extent that they help advance one of those agenda items.  Rather than report the facts and let things fall where they may, the press tries to shoehorn as many stories as possible into the service of one agenda item or another.   The other day, for instance, I woke up to this story on NPR explaining that:  “The gun violence that scars some Chicago neighborhoods has been a plague for one woman. Shirley Chambers first lost a child to gunfire in the mid 1990s. In 2000, a daughter and a son were shot to death just months apart. On Monday, Chambers buried her last child.”  The story could have focused on the horrible failure of gun-control in Chicago, it could have talked about the problems with gangs in the city or crime related to drugs, it could have talked about the plight of inner-city blacks caught up in a dysfunctional culture, but it didn’t do anything like that.  No, the story had to be forced to fit the current narrative about the evils of “gun violence.”

But it’s not just “gun violence.”  As I write, a huge winter storm is bearing down on the Northeast.  When I spent a few years in New England in the 1980s, this sort of thing was to be expected and was known simply as “winter.”  These days, every storm of any magnitude is a big story, people are encouraged to panic and to scurry about, and inevitably, the articles begin to appear linking the storm to “climate change.”

Other common themes of note these days include the repeated focus on “bullying” as a way of pushing “anti-bullying programs” and “anti-bullying” legislation.  Hence, this horrible story is of interest to the media because it is seen as a way of advancing the “anti-bullying” agenda.  In years past, it may have been reported simply as a brutal fight in a school yard, but not any more.   I’m curious to know more about the attacker, but the story doesn’t tell us, nor does the journalist who wrote the story have any interest in reporting what the actual issues in this case are, because doing so would only undermine the “anti-bullying” agenda.  Even NFL cheerleaders are of interest largely to the extent that they can help advance the cause.

And of course, gay issues are another big agenda item for the press corps, but only insofar as gays and lesbians can be portrayed as either victims (of hate or discrimination or abuse) or as inspiring and selfless humanitarians.  Hence, this story about a supposedly “gay” dog in Tennessee was picked up by the national press because it helped advance the narrative that people in “red states” are stupid bigots who hate gays;  in truth, it is really a story about how there are people in all states who shouldn’t own dogs either because they are irresponsible and self-centered or because they have no knowledge or understanding of normal canine behavior.  Had the dog been euthanized after having been abandoned by a gangster or a meth addict in the inner city, you can be certain it wouldn’t have made the news.

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25 Comments

  1. The MSM is in the opinion business, not the reporting-of-facts business. The LAPD shooter confuses the opinion agenda of the MSM, so they are forced to tailor the reporting of facts to protect the MSM agenda from scrutiny and charges of hypocrisy. It is lying by omission.

    The woman in Chicago lost all of her children to the existence of guns. The MSM agenda is the abolition of guns. So, the woman was the four time victim of the existence of guns. There is no other “meaningful” message possible for the MSM. The woman and her dead children are useful statistics and will become a permanent MSM talking point.

    Snow in New England is a new phenomenon. Never before have we had to contend with man-made-global-climate-change as a source of a blizzard. Whether it stands up to blizzards of yore is irrelevant. A guy who dies from shoveling this snow will be a victim of man-made-global-climate-change. That makes him a victim of human evil. The MSM needs that.

    To the MSM bullying is a hate crime and only the brilliance of government can deal with this horrible blot on political correctness, unless it Obama bullying the Congress for the good of the country. Elites do not bully, they lead forcefully.

    The gay dog is a bridge too far. I will have to wait and learn from the MSM on this one. I can hardly wait for the SPCA to be charged with a disproportionate euthanizing of dogs suspected of being gay. Caninehomophobia may be the new Code Pink outrage of the decade.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 9, 2013 @ 11:43 am - February 9, 2013

  2. The other day, for instance, I woke up to this story on NPR…

    That’s part of the problem.

    Comment by Ignatius — February 9, 2013 @ 12:48 pm - February 9, 2013

  3. This doesn’t quite fit your series – though it’s clearly related – so I’m going to link the Sloganeering one.

    Comment by Assistant Village Idiot — February 9, 2013 @ 12:50 pm - February 9, 2013

  4. Ignatius–I used to listen to NPR for the news, but that changed about 8 or 9 years ago. Now I still listen to it some of the time, but my aims in doing so are different. Now I listen to it to track and monitor the bias, which, as you can imagine, is easy to find there.

    Comment by Kurt — February 9, 2013 @ 4:04 pm - February 9, 2013

  5. AVI–You’re right, this is not exactly part of the “social liberalism” series, though of course there is a lot of overlap. I’ve got more posts planned for that series, but haven’t gotten to any of them yet this week.

    Comment by Kurt — February 9, 2013 @ 4:05 pm - February 9, 2013

  6. We can only hope that a majority of the country wakes up to the dishonesty and manipulation pulled by the MFM and begins tuning them out en masse.

    Comment by V the K — February 9, 2013 @ 4:53 pm - February 9, 2013

  7. The MSM is in the opinion business, not the reporting-of-facts business…

    The MSM is in the opinion propaganda business, not the reporting-of-facts business…

    FIFY, with my apologies for being presumptious.

    Comment by Bastiat Fan — February 10, 2013 @ 1:38 am - February 10, 2013

  8. In the old days it was called “Pravda” and available exclusively in Soviet countries.

    Comment by Paul — February 10, 2013 @ 2:30 am - February 10, 2013

  9. [...] (Gay Patriot) discusses our agenda driven [...]

    Pingback by Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup » Pirate's Cove — February 10, 2013 @ 9:23 am - February 10, 2013

  10. Why are you still calling them Main Stream Media? Why not just call them what they are Democrats or the Democrat Media Machine. Brian Williams Democrat, New York Times Democrat MYTD, …

    Comment by Kid Blue — February 10, 2013 @ 10:59 am - February 10, 2013

  11. Ignatius – “”The other day, for instance, I woke up to this story on NPR” – That’s part of the problem.”

    True, very true. I stopped listening to them way, way, back just after the Rodeny King riots. The local NPR in DC had a panel of local college professors (mostly from Howard U) all of whom insisted that Reginald Denny (the truck driver nearly beaten to death by a gang of black thugs simply for being white) MUST have said something to spark his attack. They all insisted that black folks don’t just attack innocent people without provocation.

    It never dawned on these “educated” college professors that black folks can be just as bigoted (and sometimes more so) than other ethnic groups.

    The NPR moderator didn’t question a single person on that panel about their allegation against the victim of racial violence. Not one peep out of him or anyone else that such a “blame the victim” mentality was just plain wrong. To question their allegation would have gone against the narrative of white oppression/black victims.

    Oh, and for whatever it’s worth. The LA riots, and especially, the police abandoning LA to the thugs, are a good reason for the right to keep and bear arms. Without guns for self-defense there would have been a lot more dead Korean store-keepers in LA as they were often a target by the black thugs in LA during the riots.

    Lastly, it has to be said that there were many, many, good samaritans (who were black) who helped many of those being attacked during the LA riots. Denny himself was rescued by 4 black folks who lived nearby, saw his attack on TV and went to his rescue. A black preacher helped save the lives of many of the Hispanic victims by using his own body as a shield. These last few stories didn’t make the news much either because they didn’t exactly fit the narrative of white oppressor/black victim.

    So, the press being driven by an agenda is really, no pun intended, “not news.”

    Comment by Charles — February 10, 2013 @ 12:35 pm - February 10, 2013

  12. I am surprised that the panel on the NPR program about the L

    Comment by Roberto — February 10, 2013 @ 12:45 pm - February 10, 2013

  13. I am surprised that the panel on the NPR program after the L.A. riots tried to say the Reginald Denny provoked the attack. The provocation was group anger as a result of the jury decision to acquit the police in the beating of Rodney King for resisting arrest. The police were mostly white as was the jury, so they every non-black was a subsitute for the acquittd police and the jury.

    I wonder if the MSM has carried any portion of Dr. Ben Carson´s speech at the Annual Prayer Breakfast. He ruffled Obama´s feathers but good.

    Comment by Roberto — February 10, 2013 @ 12:52 pm - February 10, 2013

  14. True enough, Charles, there’s no real “news” to the fact that the press is driven by an agenda. I was just struck by the fact that I was browsing headlines the other day, and it took very little in the way of thought or effort to connect the stories I saw back to one agenda point or another. Either I’m just much more practiced at recognizing the bias than I was in my younger days or the agendas that drive most news reporting are even more blatant. I think it’s a little bit of both. More and more these days it seems like the press has templates for stories and only stories and details that the fit the templates are reported.

    Comment by Kurt — February 10, 2013 @ 12:55 pm - February 10, 2013

  15. Roberto wrote: I wonder if the MSM has carried any portion of Dr. Ben Carson´s speech at the Annual Prayer Breakfast. He ruffled Obama´s feathers but good.

    I had considered mentioning the Carson speech in my post because, like you, I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere but on conservative blogs and by conservative friends on Facebook. I’ve heard that some folks on Fox News have mentioned it, but aside from Fox, there seems to be the sort of news blackout one has come to expect for stories of that sort. It doesn’t fit the template.

    Comment by Kurt — February 10, 2013 @ 1:10 pm - February 10, 2013

  16. I have pretty much come to the realization that the media isn’t going to tell the truth-or at least all of the truth.

    The media bias comes out in what news they choose to cover and how they choose to cover it.

    Basically the media is pretty much a propaganda wing of the democratic party.

    Comment by Just Me — February 10, 2013 @ 2:24 pm - February 10, 2013

  17. Charles,

    Well stated. I was just becoming aware of the importance of politics during that time and well remember listening to NPR during and after the riots. I distinctly remember John Hockenberry sputtering that the Rodney King riots were ‘Ronald Reagan’s toilet’. Good times. But as you’ve implied, I don’t understand why it’s interesting to some to continually point out that most of the media in this country are left-of-center. (This isn’t directed at Kurt or Dan or anyone in particular, just that conservative media have made this the go-to story for decades.) I’m more interested in what to do about it, how to counter it.

    Comment by Ignatius — February 10, 2013 @ 2:53 pm - February 10, 2013

  18. You might want to see this:

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/52923

    Comment by Catseye — February 10, 2013 @ 4:19 pm - February 10, 2013

  19. Igantius,

    I believe the point of making it a go to story is that it is the epitome of of how the MSM uses race to keep us divides. they ignored as Charles so rightly indicated that there were many heroes among blacks who saved the whites and hispanics that were being attacked. The agitators were looking for an issue and the acquittal gave it to them. Five minutes after the verdict was announced there were some persons at Vermont and Normandy carrying placards saying WAR.

    Comment by Roberto — February 10, 2013 @ 4:54 pm - February 10, 2013

  20. Oops, sorry Kurt. I do hope that you don’t think that I was criticizing you. Didn’t mean to come across that way, I meant to just agree with you.

    That being said, I think it is good that you (and others) continue to point out that the “MSM” continues to report only what they think is “all the news fit to print” without looking beyond their own view of the world. (I just love to take their language and throw it back in their collective leftist faces) If more and more people would listen to what some of us say, then maybe, just maybe, they might to start think about the crap that passes as news.

    Blogs such as what you all do here are a help – a big help. thank you.

    Comment by Charles — February 10, 2013 @ 6:14 pm - February 10, 2013

  21. One interesting story relayed to me by my sister and her nephews about their school is the power of the word “bully” on the playground. If one kid just wants to get another in trouble by the playground monitors or teachers they can just scream “bully!” or “You’re being a bully!” and point at another kid to instantly incur the wrath of the thought policing old ladies.

    It’s amazing how McCarthyesque the tactics of the bully police have become… Learned very young these days…

    Comment by Tim in MT — February 10, 2013 @ 9:32 pm - February 10, 2013

  22. “…it could have talked about…a dysfunctional culture…”

    There are no dysfunctional cultures, only victims we have not yet sufficiently subsidized. All evil will be denied or explained away as the natural result of failing to embrace totalitarian socialism.

    Comment by pst314 — February 10, 2013 @ 10:23 pm - February 10, 2013

  23. Wow, Tim in MT, that is disturbing, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Kids are always quick to pick up on things like that and to figure out how to use them to their advantage.

    Charles, no need to worry or to apologize. It’s great to hear how much you appreciate the efforts of everyone at GayPatriot! :-)

    Comment by Kurt — February 10, 2013 @ 11:38 pm - February 10, 2013

  24. Ihope I´m not too late with this. I believe Senator Finestein is still traumatized by the assassination of then Mayor Moscone and Counsilman Harvey Milk. Ever since she has been on the crusade to grab guns. She tugs at her listeners heartstrings by quoting that there were 6,400 gun related deaths last year. She ignores the stat that at least 100 Americans day each day as a result of automobiles. The yearly numbers for the last decade varies from a low of 37,000 victims to 45,000. That´s 6 to 7 times more automobile related deaths than to guns. Morevoer, automobiles are registered and the motorist usually is licensed. Would she want to restrict vehicles, and have us go on horseback or a burro?

    Comment by Roberto — February 11, 2013 @ 12:57 pm - February 11, 2013

  25. The “drones” issue of taking out “Americans” who are Islamic terrorists is a handy case in point. The Progressives should be apoplectic over the drones, while the conservatives would be pretty much fine with them.

    So, why hasn’t the progressive press gone after Obama with the same vigor they went nutzoid over water-boarding? Because it is their guy doing it and because the conservatives are not a banshee chorus demanding it.

    Therefore, the progressive press writes itself a free pass in the same manner of obvious hypocrisy it ignores “what” is being aborted in the abortion process.

    Pontius Pilate Obama washed his hands of the firefight in Benghazi and went to bed leaving others in charge to make the decisions that only he could make as Commander in Chief. He did not make Joe Biden Acting President while he slept. He might just as well have told the chef in the family quarters to decide. The press is just fine with that only because the Obamessiah can do no wrong.

    This man can not be impeached and removed. He can proclaim Michelle to be the Mother of the Country and no one will dare snicker. He has played his progressive race card masterfully.

    Comment by heliotrope — February 12, 2013 @ 9:51 am - February 12, 2013

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