Thursday, July 24, 2008

Susan Estrich on Media Fawning

Susan Estrich writes an insightful article on the problems with fawning media coverage for Sen. Obama. Here's point two (of three) in her conclusion:

Second, being the favorite of the press doesn't necessarily win you votes. Most people don't actually like the press. The friend of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Being liked by the boys and girls on the bus doesn't necessarily earn you the respect of the people back home. Standing up to them, giving as good as you get, all that helps. But if being loved by the press were a sure route to success, Hillary Clinton would never have carried all those big states after March 1. Ronald Reagan would never have gotten elected President. George Bush would have lost, twice.

It has been interesting to watch the backlash grow against blatant media bias. A big wave came with the media treatment of Sen. Clinton. A small but significant pro-media group was peeled off. I wonder how low the rating for reporters will drop in the next Harris poll on trusted professions. The last one in 2006 had the news media in 14th (TV newscasters) and 16th (Journalists) out of 22 places and 4 to 11 percentage points below the President (13th).

The lack of public concern over the financial woes that newspapers are facing or the drop in readership and viewership of the mainstream media is telling. All this is compounded by the fact that newspapers, news magazines and the evening news aren't even on the radar of the young.

The mainstream media's slow demise is turning out to be no loss--especially as seat-of-the-pants journalism and commentary blossoms in the blogosphere. That's how it was when the press began and grew in this country. People reported and commented out of love and passion rather than for professional status.

No comments: