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.





















































 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
July 30, 2015
Bill Blunden
The NSA’s 9/11 Cover-Up: General Hayden Told a Lie, and It’s a Whopper
Richard Ward
Sandra Bland, Rebel
Jeffrey St. Clair
How One Safari Nut, the CIA and Neoliberal Environmentalists Plotted to Destroy Mozambique
Martha Rosenberg
Tracking the Lion Killers Back to the Old Oval Office
Binoy Kampmark
Dead Again: the Latest Demise of Mullah Omar
Kathy Kelly – Buddy Bell
No Warlords Need Apply: a Call for Credible Peacemaking in Afghanistan
Ramzy Baroud
Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on ‘IS’
Stephen Lendman
The Show Trial of Saif Qaddafi: a Manufactured Death Sentence
John Grant
The United States of Absurdity, Circa 2015
Karl Grossman
The Case of John Peter Zenger and the Fight for a Free Press
Cesar Chelala
Cultural Treasures Are Also Victims of War
Jeff Taylor
Iowa Conference on Presidential Politics
July 29, 2015
Mike Whitney
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey
Joshua Frank
The Wheels Fell Off the Bernie Sanders Bandwagon
Conn Hallinan
Ukraine: Close to the Edge
Stephen Lendman
What Happened to Ralkina Jones? Another Jail Cell Death
Rob Wallace
Neoliberal Ebola: the Agroeconomic Origins of the Ebola Outbreak
Dmitry Rodionov
The ‘Ichkerization’ Crime Wave in Ukraine
Joyce Nelson
Scott Walker & Stephen Harper: a New Bromance
Bill Blunden
The Red Herring of Digital Backdoors and Key Escrow Encryption
Thomas Mountain
The Sheepdog Politics of Barack Obama
Farzana Versey
A President and a Yogi: Abdul Kalam’s Symbolism
Norman Pollack
America’s Decline: Internal Structural-Cultural Subversion
Foday Darboe
How Obama Failed Africa
Cesar Chelala
Russia’s Insidious Epidemic
Tom H. Hastings
Defending Democracy
David Macaray
Why Union Contracts are Good for the Country
Virginia Arthur
The High and Dry Sierras
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, the Season Finale, Mekonception in Redhook
July 28, 2015
Mark Schuller
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting
Lawrence Ware
Why the “Black Church” Doesn’t Exist–and Never Has
Peter Makhlouf
Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After “Protective Edge”
Carl Finamore
Landlords Behaving Badly: San Francisco Too Valuable for Poor People*
Michael P. Bradley
Educating About Islam: Problems of Selectivity and Imbalance
Binoy Kampmark
Ransacking Malaysia: the Najib Corruption Dossier
Michael Avender - Medea Benjamin
El Salvador’s Draconian Abortion Laws: a Miscarriage of Justice
Jesse Jackson
Sandra Bland’s Only Crime Was Driving While Black
Cesar Chelala
Effect of Greece’s Economic Crisis on Public Health
Mel Gurtov
Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Joseph G. Ramsey
The Limits of Optimism: E.L. Doctorow and the American Left
George Wuerthner
Bark Beetles and Forest Fires: Another Myth Goes Up in Smoke
Paul Craig Roberts - Dave Kranzler
Supply and Demand in the Gold and Silver Futures Markets
Eric Draitser
China’s NGO Law: Countering Western Soft Power and Subversion
Harvey Wasserman
Will Ohio Gov. Kasich’s Anti-Green Resume Kill His Presidential Hopes?
Jon Langford
Mekons Tour Diary, Episode 4, a Bowery Ballroom Blitz