The Special Interest Group Who Writes Your Daily Newspaper

Imagine if a special interest group controlled the news, particularly the news that was about the issues near and dear to them and their lobbying interests. Imagine if only the NRA wrote all the stories having to do with guns, or if only Planned Parenthood had a say in stories about abortion and choice, or if every story about the NFL had to be written, vetted and approved by the NFL’s management?

daily-planet-invasionWe face this situation in the real world all the time with journalists and issues affecting the news media. It isn’t that I don’t believe that the story of the Department of Justice investigating leaks isn’t important or worth coverage. But the media has focused on the story with all the intensity of a life and death struggle for the future of the free press (it isn’t) often giving other, more important stories the short shrift. In the daily White House briefing, Jay Carney is peppered with questions about James Rosen, Fox News, hysteria about wiretaps and the like because this is an issue that directly affects the press class.

By comparison, for instance, how much of the mainstream reporting around sequestration’s effects has been as pronounced? The exception was probably the hullabaloo over air travel, not coincidentally another set of circumstances that did directly affect journalists.

Combine this with the obsession among political journalists for “centrist” solutions that neither party nor the movements surrounding those parties is remotely interested in. For the journalism crowd who will likely never feel the effect of those cuts in the social safety net they often push for in order to achieve “balance” with some small concession to the progressive economic view, there’s no downside. They have no skin in the game, not really, so unlike harrumphing about an investigation into the leak of classified material, they feel justified.

It would be great if journalists could report as if they live in the real world. They could report on how policy affects actual people, and not just be intense when their own special interest group is affected.

And pigs could fly.

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  • histrogeek

    Until they give Bradley Manning any serious coverage from the free speech angle, the courtiers can skip Rosen.
    It’s like the hysteria over Judith Miller. It affects their class; therefore, it’s important. Screw the war (or sequester in this case), let’s worry about us.

  • brif

    it would be great if oliver could, for just a moment, take a break from being a defender of all things obama and actually try to understand what’s going on here. absolutely “James Rosen, Fox News, hysteria about wiretaps and the like” affect the press, specifically the ability of the press to perform its function. the james rosen subpoenas have potentially criminalized national security reporting. but oliver and all the other obama defenders looked the other way as rosen became the first journalist in american history to be issued a subpoena for possible espionage. The fact that the obama administration did this is absolutely terrifying.

    • Robert Scalzi

      WTF is going on in your teatarded head ?? this was a piece on the “journalists” not doing their Effing jobs . you really need to loosen the tinfoil on your head .

    • dbtheonly


      Better with the capitals. Next we’ll learn that proper names get capitalized. The first word of a sentence is also capitalized.

      I share your shock. To think that an ostensibly loyal American would potentially engage in espionage is outrageous.

      • brif

        Fortunately, the “ostensibly loyal American” who potentially engaged in espionage was stephen jin-woo kim, who is in custody. the FBI’s smoking gun that rosen could have potentially engaged in espionage was that he was “employing flattery and playing to mr. Kim’s vanity and ego.”

    • dbtheonly


      Didn’t add this last night, sorry.

      General Sherman had trouble with “Correspondents” or “Journalists”. He threatened to hang those he felt revealed secrets.

      Your “terror meter” goes off too easily.

      • brif

        general sherman? you had to go all the way back to the 19th century? a civil war military officer making threats isn’t remotely close to the james rosen situation. maybe if you spent less time focusing on capitalization you’d actually have some semblance of an argument or retort.

        • dbtheonly

          You miss the point Old Boy. It’s the hanging that ought to set off your “terror meter” regardless of who’s doing the threatening. When Lincoln was told of the threat his reply was that he thought Gen. Sherman just might do it.

          The capitalization advice is so that you might find yourself taken seriously here. Bad grammer & bad punctuation makes it easy to dismiss you as a crank.

          • brif

            you don’t have a point. We’re not in the middle of a civil war and the federal gov’t doesn’t hang people anymore so any attempt to compare then & now makes me laugh too hard to have any effect on my “terror meter”, whatever that is.
            Don’t worry, I’m not the least bit concerned about being taken seriously by the likes of you. Oh, I also don’t take “grammer” advice from people who can’t spell the word correctly.

          • dbtheonly

            ” …issued a subpoena for possible espionage. The fact that the obama administration did this is absolutely terrifying”

            Having trouble envisioning the movie, “Blair Witch Subpoena”? “Paranormal Subpoena”? “Process-Servers from Outer Space”? Frankly, not feeling the terror.

  • gratuitous

    Gee, millionaire “journalists” talking to millionaire elected officials in the major media outlets focus solely on the concerns of millionaires? The deuce you say!
    Here’s my shocked face . . . Z-z-z-z-z-z-z.

  • Zython

    Something to consider: Would we have even heard about this if the probe was targeted at bloggers, instead of the AP? My guess is “no”.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Probably would have heard about it from bloggers.

    • Buzz Killington

      The government has been illegally spying on us for years now. This is not a hypothetical question… the answer is demonstrably “no”.