The Fourth Estate

Ever wonder why the two presumptive nominees both rank so low in the polls.  High unfavorables, not trustworthy.  Me too.  I mean why would we elect someone whom we can’t trust? Who’s character is at best questionable?  The answer seems to be in the media coverage.

The U.S. ranks 41st of 180 countries in the 2016 Press Freedom Index.  41st!  Our Constitution has freedom of the press in the First Amendment!  The explanation isn’t government control like China or North Korea.  The explanation is corporate ownership of the media.  These large corporations are more interested in ratings than journalism.  The trend from hard news to infotainment has been a trend for a while.  They know sensationalism sells.  Trump’s outrageous, boorish behavior has got him over a billion dollars of “earned media.”  The press hides around every corner trying to uncover the latest Clinton scandal.  Trump’s racist, sexist base say that he’s saying what they can’t.  People have a visceral reaction to the Clinton’s.   The press knows that supporters are blind — or at least forgiving — of a candidate’s faults and detractors view them as deal killers.   If it bleeds it ledes.

Trump may be bad for America but he’s great for CBS.

— Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS

Blow up your TV.  Throw away your papers.

— John Prine, “Spanish Pipedream.”

The image is of the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood in Washington, DC, as this campaign is anything but pleasant.





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127 responses to “The Fourth Estate

  1. Excellent post, dnd. Thank you. I am greatly concerned with what a mega-corporation owned press, plus voting restrictions, might do this fall.

    Trump cannot get near the White House without a major assist from the press.

    Once Hillary wins, I hope we will look at breaking up the big media companies. They’re of relatively recent vintage — believe they were enabled by a 1996 Telecomm “reform” act.

    And bring back the fairness doctrine. The view from nowhere, or from rightwing fantasy-land, is killing our democracy. Which depends on informed citizens. There is so much crap out there right now, I don’t know how naive people wade through it.

    It should not be this hard.

    PS: I would love to see Rupert Murdoch and his “news properties” dealt with. One individual should not be able to wield such outsized influence on three continents plus (UK, Australia, US). He’s made a sewer out of every political system he has introduced his poison into.

    We cannot afford Rupert Murdoch.

  2. tempebev

    Excellent post and response dnd & Dog.

    • dnd

      Thank you for the kind words. As Marshall McLuhan said in the ’60’s: “The medium is the message.”

      Agree Sra Dog. Hope Hillary breaks them up and we can get back to the news.

  3. Agreed, excellent post DND, some news for you folks, we’ve had a come to Jesus moment and I’m staying here at CHOA. For now at least! 🙂

  4. tempebev

    And we’re officially off for the convention elected GOP candidate. Good thing the Tour de France is on everyday for watching enjoyment. Time sure flies: advertisements are already on TV for school crayons etc. I think the word of the day and coming days is “ENOUGH” for black and whites and whites and blacks. More musings in the days to come.

  5. tempebev

    If you haven’t seen this, it’s wonderful. I really miss them.
    Stephen Colbert Brought Back “Stephen Colbert”—and Jon Stewart—to Explain the Rise of Trump

  6. tempebev

    From a friend: “Melania is helping Donald Jr. with today’s convention speech: “I Have a Dream.”

  7. Formal nomination of Donald J. Trump last night, and Roger Ailes in his own “quit or be fired for cause” moment. Regrettably, he has lots of moolah and will not be living under an overpass anytime soon.

    Still, tra la tra la tra la.

    A hinge in history, methinks.

    • Dullest, most insipid GOP convention of all times!

      • dnd

        Fortunately there’s baseball to watch. But I’ve been watching clips of the hate-fest. Pretty ugly.

        Scott Baio told Tamerin Hall that he wrote his convention speech in church. This begs a couple of questions.

        1. Did he do that to convey that the nasty stuff he said about Hillary and the positive stuff he said about his very un-Christian candidate was divinely inspired? By Jesus who preached love?

        2. Why wasn’t he participating in the service? You know, stuff like praying, listening to the sermon, etc.

        • dnd

          I had a brain fart this morning watching the coverage of last night’s convention coverage. One of the right-wing apologists was saying that a recent poll showed that the majority of Americans thought Hilary should be prosecuted over the e-mail server. I thought: “What a stupid question.” Is the former Republican AGOTUS, who all the Republicans love, and was close to the investigation, know less than your average American, who only knows what was reported on TV?

          And then it hit me. Most of these polls are by {fill in your corporate media here}/{fill in some participating university}. The university gets funding from the corporate media, the corporate media gets to choose the questions, and they always ask questions that hint at scandal or sensationalism.

  8. I wish Colbert could quit his CBS contract and go back to Comedy Central and his Colbert character. We really needed him; it’s a civic duty.

  9. Cruz did an outstanding job last night.

  10. Holly crap Batman, Roger Ailes resigns for Faux News!

  11. dnd: with all due respect, you are so wrong about Tim Kaine. He’s a solid guy with liberal values. I think you are going to be pleasantly surprised. He was a very popular mayor and governor and senator, and he is way good on the issues that count. I hope you will keep an open mind (and have faith that you will).

    I am so happy it’s Tim. He is smart and decent and it will be hard for the fucking MSM to tear him apart as something wild-eyed and precious. The big money media is pernicious.

    Feeling more comfortable about November; relaxed a little with the Mike Pence choice, because he is such a moron. Lots of hard work and voter contact ahead, though. Concerned about voting restrictions and anomalies. All voters matter!

    • dnd

      Sra Dog,
      Kaine proudly supported TPA. And he’s for deregulating the banks. And pro-life. Hardly progressive on those issues.
      I think his selling points are his years as a civil rights lawyer, outreach to the Hispanic population, and he’s the likable one on the ticket. A happy warrior. A better communicator than Hillary and certainly more trustworthy, though that’s a low bar.

      I don’t think any on the short list were a good match but Kaine. Good Clinton triangulation.

      Who the hell is Al Giordano? Kaine’s brother-in-law? The explanation is why he likes him, not why he’s a good pick.

      Agree that Pence is a hateful human being. What bothers me about that ticket is that it exposes a fearful, hateful, bigoted underbelly of American society, looking for an authoritarian to make things right.

  12. And what’s with this Hill-cat crapola? There is something about it that strikes me as being a tad sexist.

  13. The thing, for certain, that this leak of DNC emails tells me is just how much Putin wants Trump to win.

  14. tempebev

    The new threesome – “PET” Putin-Erdogan-Trump

  15. So apparently Bernie is having trouble controlling his supporters, color me surprised.

  16. tempebev

    I haven’t been following Bernie’s minions, but if they are so pissed about things and don’t vote, I hope they will be proud of themselves when The Donald takes over.

    • dnd

      Bev, polls have shown that more Bernie supporters are willing to support Hillary than the PUMA crowd in 2008. I think we’re cool. Bernie will stress that tonight. The “minions” just need to blow off a little steam.

    • dnd

      Too bad Paul Simon wasn’t joined by Art Garfunkle. Would have sent a powerful message. And too bad he wasn’t out there w/o a band and just his guitar. He’s a great picker.

  17. dnd: Think you’re right about most Bernie fans voting for Hillary in the end. It’s the suckworthy MSM that’s making this out to be more conflicted than it is because — BOTH SIDES! Let’s not look at the fact that the GOP put up a reality TV mogul who won’t release his tax returns and a whackaloon GOP governor who cannot get re-elected in his own red state.

    Democrats in disarray! I think we will surprise them this fall.

    • dnd

      I agree Sra Dog. The media loves conflict. They’re feeding off the Bernie fans who are grieving. And the Hillary fans that are rubbing their faces in it. But the final stage of grief is acceptance. Bernie did a great job last night helping his supporters get to that stage.

  18. tempebev

    WTF? Why the hell is Trump broadcasting that he is inviting Putin to leak Hillary emails? What a cocksucker. Does this fall into some small corner of treason?

    Oh I went to the doc and I’m doing well.

  19. Amazing night at the convention.

    • dnd

      Veep nailed it. Clinton nailed it. Kaine nailed it. Obama? Mike-drop moment. And then the hug…
      When Obama said Hillary was the most qualified, did he think of his own veep?
      Interesting factoid: Clinton’s speech was 42 minutes, Obama’s 44 minutes. Coincidence?

      • dnd

        I saw Chuck Todd interviewing Rob Reiner today. They showed a mashup of Archie Bunker clips and Donald Trump. Remarkably similar.

      • I suspect Joe is more interested making sure Trump loses, not looking for imagined slights.

        • dnd

          I don’t think it was a slight. But surely he knows that Joe is way more qualified. So I suspect it was just campaign flourish.

          I want whatever Jennifer Granholm is having 🙂

          • She’s on a Hillary high, you’re welcome to some too.

            • dnd

              Just say no to drugs.

              • dnd

                Given the historic nature of it, I was a little disappointed in Hillary’s speech. Granted, all those who spoke before her knocked it out of the park, so it was a high bar, but she basically delivered a long stump speech. Good outreach to Bernie people and Republicans. Good focus on “we” and not “I”, finally.

                Really good convention. Compare and contrast 😉

  20. CNN says Hillary is 9 points ahead of Donald. Nice convention bump!

  21. tempebev

    Do you think Trump in genuine in his obvious bullshit and offensive remarks to people? Is this an act rather than ego? I have a hard time believing that this is all ego. If it is his ego must be the winner in the Guinness book of records for the biggest, most inflated etc of all time.

    What really amazes me is the number of people who buy this bullshit. At first I thought they were all from Mississippi or such, but they’re from all over. That many people can’t all be stupid or ignorant. Or can they?

    • Bev, I don’t think it’s a question of them buying his bullshit, they actually believe what he believes. I know we don’t like to think so but truth be told, there are a lot racists and bigots out there.

  22. tempebev

    If that’s true, then I’m glad I’m not one of them.

  23. Isn’t it fun watching the Donald self destruct!

    • dnd

      I think Trump has narcissistic personality disorder. Always has. When you couple that with the adoration he gets from the crowd when he says something outrageous, a lie, racist, it just feeds him to continue. I also think it may be lack of sleep. Maybe some mini-strokes.
      It concerns me that the US has such a large underbelly. The Obama presidency has festered this pus filled wound. Some may not believe Trump, but the like what he says. They have the same feelings as his. Ugly.

      • dnd

        Saw Paul Manafort on CBS This Morning today. They asked him if he endorsed Paul Ryan. He answered that he supports him in the primary and when he wins the primary he’ll endorse him for president. Oops. Wonder what that means.

        • dnd

          Thom Hartmann reported that yesterday on Morning Joe, Scarborough was ranting about Trump not being a Republican and that he was destroying the party. Ironic since he’s the one that pave the way for Trump having him on almost daily.

  24. tempebev

    D: You stated it nicer than I did.

  25. tempebev

    Trump sure backtracks on several of his outbursts. Wonder thy he can’t think first and speak second,

  26. If you thought their convention was dark, check this out.

    This was paid for by the RNC

  27. Happy first weekend of August, all. On vacay, but checking in periodically.

    Trust Bev is healing up well, and hoping Ralphie is doing well and hanging in there.

    Olympics: not watching. Too commercialized. I think they should just move between a few already built venues and stop making developing or stressed economies hemorhage money. Rio seems to be a case of “be careful what you wish for.”

    OT: does anyone know how I get my adorable beagle avatar back? It disappeared, sad to say.

    • Dog, log into your account, upper right of this screen, click on the place where your pic should be and you can upload your pic.

      • dnd

        The Hillary campaign isn’t running TV ads in the metro-Denver area any more. Must be up in the polls. Interestingly the Green party is running ads with Jill Stein. Clearly targeted at Bernie supporters. Not buying it.

  28. Thanks, Brian. Will try that later re avatar. Will put something up.

    Politicked out, but not for long. May cool breezes and cool drinks be in your future.

  29. tempebev

    OMG, 3 more months of all this political crap. Oh for a little cabin with nice weather on a hilltop without newspapers, internet and robocalls.

  30. Taking Ralph to the vet today, it’s time. Going to be a tough day.

  31. tempebev

    aaaaggghhh – Trump and his mouth.

  32. tempebev

    I’m sorry Brian. I was so pissed about Trump that I didn’t see the line about Ralphie. I understand what you’re going through and sympathize with you. If it’s time, then it’s for the best. Take care.

  33. tempebev

    Why isn’t there more uproar about Trumps 2nd amendment threat to H? He said if she’s elected there’s nothing we can do, except for the 2nd amend. people. That’s a threat for after she’s elected. Why does the media just brush off his asinine remarks and give him a free road of publicity repeating what he says hundreds of times a day? Is the secret service involved? Now he’s kissing up to the evangelists because he has a problem in Utah. The Mormons really do not like T.

    Sheriff Joe in AZ has approx 5 million in his campaign war chest. He’s 80 years old and has cost tax payers millions in court fees. What a wonderful legacy.

    I agree with an article in the local newspaper discussing NBC’s olympic coverage. The coverage consists of commercials with a little sports topics thrown in. With social media we know the results WAY before NBC shows the event at 10:30 PM. Loosing viewers to streaming video.

    Happy weekend to everyone – can’t wait to see what happens in the next 3 days.

  34. tempebev

    Yes, although I hate the word haboob. It has always been referred to as a “dust storm.” I heard an alert on my phone and looked out the window. My mouth opened and said Holy Shit! These usually happen in the late afternoon so it was a surprise. It was dark grey/brown and coming fast. So it came, blew over the house and brought a little rain. Pretty typical except for the timing. It’s always amusing when it makes the news since they’re pretty typical and not a big deal. We’re used to them.

  35. Julian Assage, champion of democracy or a voyeuristic creep? Discuss

  36. tempebev

    The 4 US swimmers who f–ked up their adventures after winning the gold, have also f–ked up their chance of branding themselves for commercial benefits. Gold isn’t going to pay the bills. They are a disgrace to the sport and should be treated the same as the Russian dopers. They are true “dopes.”

  37. I think the Clintons will have to shut down the foundation once she’s elected.

  38. tempebev

    Sounds like a good idea. Will Trump have to sell his interest in all his properties if he’s elected or will it be OK if his kids run everything? Nepotism lives!!!!

  39. tempebev

    Seven weeks after surgery, I’m released. No restrictions. PT starts this week. Hurray!

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