The old media is on the ropes. Newspaper circulations are at an all time low and still slipping. Network news is
having trouble competing with PBS for ratings, having lost many of their viewers to cable news, notably - the much
hated and loved Fox. Once respected news journals like Time and Newsweek now share rack space with other sensationalized
headline merchants like The Globe and The Enquirer, which sell better because their headlines are more reliable.
Even the household term old media itself describes the fading glory of a once mainstream news establishment turned
tabloid rag, now permanently engaged in the perpetual art of sensationalized disinformation.
The impending death of the old media is a completely self inflicted demise. It was only a matter of time before the
average American would stop hopelessly waiting for an honest unbiased reporting of simple facts from the old
media. After years of endless politically motivated fraudulent stories intended to manipulate public opinion in favor
of the editor’s personal views, followed by angry mob-like establishment-wide defenses of the obviously indefensible,
the American people simply tuned out.
Why not? We live in the information age where anyone can log onto a computer and access endless unfettered information
and view points at their finger tips. We are able to do our own research in minutes, review all sides of any issue
and draw our own conclusions. We no longer need an elitist newsroom full of bloated self-aggrandizing windbags shaping
our news and views. We can shape our own, thank you very much, and we are.
In an increasingly desperate attempt to reach out and reclaim audience, they use the only tool available in their
arsenal, sensational headlines. In their feverish scramble for survival, they rush to print with unchecked unreliable
stories from un-named sources, to only in the end, follow almost every story with a redress or full retraction and apology.
Once busted on a story, they scramble to generate a similar headline that they can support in order to justify the one
they couldn’t. But it’s too late… The credibility is gone, the story is compromised.
The recent Newsweek blunder concerning an alleged Koran flushing GI at Gitmo is a perfect example. Like Rather-gate,
the story turned out to be totally untrue. After it ignited a firestorm of death and destruction in the terror hotbed
of the Middle East, Newsweek has worked around the clock to develop a similar headline, in order to justify the bad
one. Time Magazine has decided to lend a hand, since all establishment news sources have been equally compromised.
Time has now gone so far as to place in print, the interrogation log books from Gitmo in an attempt to paint a particularly
horrifying picture. While it doesn’t confirm any earlier claims, it achieves the goal of raising more unanswered questions
concerning interrogation practices. Why? - Because a story like this leads to the desired result. It creates doubt in the
mind of the reader, as in “maybe there was something to that original Newsweek story that is being covered up?”
It also causes left-wing half-wits to turn up the volume on their chant for a kinder, gentler interrogation process,
shifting the administration, our military and our intelligence community from defending our nation to defending
themselves. It isn’t important that any of it be true, only that it create the doubt needed to shift the focus off of
the bogus news reporting and onto the brutal treatment of terrorists by an administration with an alleged Gulag mentality.
Now we have half-wit has-beens like Jimmy Carter calling for the closing of the terrorist detention camp in Cuba. Why not
full amnesty, US citizenship and reparations too? Come on…
Admittedly, the interrogation practices have been very fruitful, leading to the capture or death of the majority of
Al Qaeda’s leadership and the discovery of countless sleeper cells in the US and around the globe. But these headline
hungry old media journalists are not presently concerned with truth or security, only with that which sells papers and
creates dissention in the audience they no longer control.
These same journalists once blamed the administration and our intelligence community for not doing enough to stop the
events of September 11th, 2001. These are the same folks that stirred the American pot of dissention and fear resulting
in the Patriot Act, and then immediately after, wrote headlines attacking the Patriot Act.
These are the same folks who repeatedly run headlines on Abu Graib prison and Gitmo on every cover in America, but have yet
to run a story on the millions in mass graves in Iraq or Iraqi prisons full of grade school aged children who had been
kidnapped from their families, later liberated and returned home by American GI’s.
The shaping of public opinion via bogus or at a minimum, slanted headlines is a very effective practice. The current
outcry to close the terrorist detainee camp at Gitmo is a direct knee-jerk reaction to more bogus sensationalized
headlines by the old media. Few bother to read the details, if they did, there would be no such outcry. The headlines
alone drive the public perception of Gulag styled handling of detainees, even though American tax dollars are in use
providing free Koran’s, prayer rugs and room and board to people who want us dead. Not a single beheading has taken
place at Gitmo, yet Gitmo is the new home of terror against terrorists according to the old media.
If asked in the privacy of his own home, what we should do to terrorists to extract information needed to save
American lives, every average American would respond the same, “what ever it takes, just don’t tell us about
it”. It’s called getting the job done, while maintaining plausible deniability. The current policies in effect at
Gitmo are far more politically correct than mine would be if extracting the information meant life or death for my
own child. Well, it does… or have we already forgotten?
There is no way for the old media to save itself at this point. We just don’t need them anymore and most of us are tired
of being lied to and manipulated.
But what’s really concerning about the current circumstance is - how far are they willing to go in their unrestrained
efforts to resurrect an industry gasping its last breath? You don’t have to be a terrorism expert to know that
anti-America headlines are of great help to terrorists everywhere. They have come to rely upon the useful idiots in
the old media to do their bidding in the war for public opinion and old media journalists on the edge of unemployment
It amounts to aiding and abetting the enemy. We all know it and we will all pay a price for it sooner or later. In the
end, the old media will wither away into obscurity regardless. But how many American lives will be expendable in the
eyes of those who help the other side?
The ability to shape public opinion is powerful. Intentionally shaping it against one’s own national security
interests is an act against one’s own country. Where is the public outcry about that?