FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

And Now, It’s Time for … "Media Jeopardy!"

by NORMAN SOLOMON

The endless show that seems to fill America’s every waking moment — and many of its nightmares — could be called “Media Jeopardy!”

Before proceeding, here’s a reminder of the rules: Listen to the answer and then try to come up with the question.

Let’s get started. The first category is “Media Untouchables.”

* They’re an ideological pair and stylistic opposites. On television, one is a slathering fount of bombast, the other is icy cerebellum, but both are widely syndicated columnists dedicated to helping the right wing of the Republican Party. One had a role in the scandal involving the Bush administration’s payback “outing” of a critic’s wife who was a CIA undercover agent. The other has been guilty of numerous ethical lapses, from unacknowledged conflicts-of-financial-interest to utilizing debate-prep papers stolen from the Carter White House to coach then-challenger Ronald Reagan in the fall of 1980. Yet neither man seems to suffer professional or legal consequences.

Who are Robert Novak and George Will?

* This cable network, partly owned by a major Pentagon contractor, has been trying to “outfox Fox” ever since the start of the Iraq invasion.

What is MSNBC?

Our next category is “Prejudice and Jingoism.”

* He has spewed out vile bigotry against Arabs on his morning show that’s nationally simulcast on radio and television. Yet network managers don’t seem to mind, and many politicians across the narrow liberal-to-conservative spectrum never seem to tire of cozying up to him on the air.

Who is Don Imus?

* While tributes are often paid to members of the U.S. Armed Forces who lose their lives in Iraq, these human beings are rarely mourned in the mainstream American media.

Who are Iraqi people?

Now it’s on to “Not-So-Public Broadcasting.”

* This network is now under so much effective political pressure from the Bush administration that alarm has spread across the nation. In a May 2005 editorial (headlined “A Publicly Funded Fox News?”), the St. Petersburg Times expressed concern that the network is apt to “increasingly find itself at the mercy of government and corporate masters with deep pockets and hidden agendas.” Yet the current media debate rarely mentions that — for more than a quarter of a century — this network has done very little to challenge those masters … and much to help them.

What is PBS?

We’re now in Double Jeopardy. The category is “Real Live Journalists.”

* As a Newsday reporter specializing in science and health, this journalist broke new ground with books and countless articles. She won the Peabody, the Polk and the Pulitzer prizes. In February 2005, resigning from the Newsday staff, she left a memo to colleagues that noted the recent evolution of the newspaper’s ownership, first with management changes at the top of Times Mirror and then the purchase by the Tribune company. “Ever since the Chandler Family plucked Mark Willes from General Foods, placing him at the helm of Times Mirror with a mandate to destroy the institutions in ways that would boost dividends, journalism has suffered at Newsday,” the reporter wrote. What’s more, she added, “The deterioration we experienced at Newsday was hardly unique. All across America news organizations have been devoured by massive corporations, and allegiance to stockholders, the drive for higher share prices, and push for larger dividend returns trumps everything that the grunts in the newsrooms consider their missions.”

Who is Laurie Garrett?

* This intrepid journalist broke many stories about the Iran-Contra scandal during the 1980s when he worked for The Associated Press. Years ago, he founded the website ConsortiumNews.com, which features ongoing investigative journalism.

Who is Robert Parry?

* She has covered the White House for longer than anyone else alive. Now, as a syndicated columnist, she is so insightful that President Bush goes out of his way to prevent her from asking questions at news conferences.

Who is Helen Thomas?

Now, we’re moving into Final Jeopardy. Our ultimate question is in the category of “Use It or Lose It.”

* They’re just a few words. And these days, many people in top positions of government power don’t seem to have the foggiest notion what they mean. But those words express the most crucial principle that journalists and the rest of us are depending on to preserve a constitutional system in the United States.

Time’s up. Can I see your answer please?

That’s correct. The First Amendment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norman Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, where he coordinates ExposeFacts. Solomon is a co-founder of RootsAction.org.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
Gerry Condon
In Defense of Tulsi Gabbard
Weekend Edition
May 19, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Getting Assange: the Untold Story
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Secret Sharer
Charles Pierson
Trump’s First Hundred Days of War Crimes
Paul Street
How Russia Became “Our Adversary” Again
Andrew Levine
Legitimation Crises
Mike Whitney
Seth Rich, Craig Murray and the Sinister Stewards of the National Security State 
Robert Hunziker
Early-Stage Antarctica Death Rattle Sparks NY Times Journalists Trip
Ken Levy
Why – How – Do They Still Love Trump?
Bruce E. Levine
“Hegemony How-To”: Rethinking Activism and Embracing Power
Robert Fisk
The Real Aim of Trump’s Trip to Saudi Arabia
Christiane Saliba
Slavery Now: Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia
Chris Gilbert
The Chávez Hypothesis: Vicissitudes of a Strategic Project
Howard Lisnoff
Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Curtain
Brian Cloughley
Propaganda Feeds Fear and Loathing
Stephen Cooper
Is Alabama Hiding Evidence It Tortured Two of Its Citizens?
Sheldon Richman
The Real Danger From Trump is Ignored
Jay Moore
Learning from History: Resistance in the 1850s and Today
Matthew Stevenson
Down and Out in London and Paris With Macron, May, Trump and Gatsby
David Jaffee
Rolling Back Democracy
Fred Gardner
Irrefutable Proof: Russian Election Meddling Documented!
Jess Guh
Neurology Study Reveals What We Already Know: People of Color Get Worse Healthcare
Joseph Natoli
A Culture of Narcissism, a Politics of Personality
David Rosen
Politics and the Agent of Social Change
Ian Almond
The Secret Joke of Our Democracy: Britain’s Elephant in the Boardroom
Andre Vltchek
Revolution Vs Passivity
Erik Rydberg
Stop the Jordan Cove LNG Project #NoLNG
Vijay Prashad
When Israeli Fighter Jets Almost Killed Nehru
Christopher Brauchli
The Certified Trump
Chuck Collins
Congress Wants to Cut Your Health Care — And Billionaires’ Taxes
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail