It's refreshing to see the MSM implode. Having started my professional career in the journalism field, I quickly left after clearly not relating to the "write this story in this perspective because the managing editor says the publisher says so" model. Early assignments shocked me at first -- being sent to interview the "man on the street" (a typical new reporter assignment) and get opinions on proposed ordinances that reflected a certain view (with one or two street people to be the uncredible opposition). One memorable assignment was a proposed city council sign ordinance change restricting the height of all commercial signs, which the Council Bluffs newspaper publisher strongly supported but the business community opposed. I found nothing but disinterested people - how could you expect the man on the street to give a damn about sign ordinances - but was expected to have "five for the ordinanace, one opposed" so the paper could prove the citizenry supported the publisher's position - I bribed college friends from Omaha with beer to get my quotes and finish the publisher's exercise in fraud.
Even after having left shortly after and proceeded into a successful IT executive career, I've always been puzzled at the tolerance for complete incompetence in the MSM. Reporters who've interviewed me consistently missed basic facts and their editors never considered any sort of verification.
When your software is mostly bugs, your software business fails. The MSM's product has been nothing but factually-flawed opinion pieces posing as news for at least two decades. Their demise is well overdue.The bias of media is nothing new to those of us who work to produce content for the beast, but I submit that much of it is due to laziness rather than much else. The well known restatement of Occam's Razor that one should not attribute to malice what could be caused by incompetance/stupidity applies in spades here. The pressure of deadlines and editors means that it is easier to go with the flow than write some story that challenges long held assumptions by ones colleagues and bosses. Much the same explains why experts in practically every field consider most news articles written about their field to be chock full of laughable errors, the feeling that the story needs to filed ASAP in order to "beat the competition" means that time spent fact-checking is generally speaking considered a waste - after all the theory goes "no one will notice".
ANYONE wanting to hear daily insights into what it is like to be in a convoy hit by an explosion or ordered to pick up the body parts of comrades dismembered by a suicide bomber does not have to be there in person any more.
Instead they just need to log on to the internet from the safety of their home or office.
In a development that is worrying US military commanders in Iraq, a growing number of US soldiers - 200 at the last count - have set up their own blogs, or internet diaries, and are updating them from the battlefield.
The phenomenon, helped by internet cafes at almost all US camps to permit soldiers regular contact with home, has for the first time allowed personal reports of the reality of combat to be read as they happen.This is a curious claim and one which is not really backed up with any evidence. It is true, and obvious, that OPSEC and privacy concerns do affect military blogs and that therefore sometimes some milbloggers will overstep the line, but this article is more like wishful thinking than fact. It is clear from the fact that a google search gives thousands of hits and that there is both a http://www.milblog.org/ and a http://www.milblogging.com/ that milblogs are a growing category, something that would not be the case if the military was really opposed to their existence. Unlike the MSM the (US) military seems to think that it is better to have the unvarnished truth out there from the boots on the ground than worry about its precise content except in the limited case where it affects security or privacy. Indeed if you read the "conservative" Weekly Standard earlier this month you would see much evidence that the rise of the milblogs is directly attributable to the lack of good MSM coverage on military affairs although that article does have a prescient warning of a threat that I suspect the SMH article is an example of:
Second, some mid-level Pentagon type will decide that troops and officers speaking their mind is a threat to the tradition of a military detached from politics. Here's hoping Secretary Rumsfeld squashes that with a pre-emptive snow-flake that notes this development is critical to the public's understanding of the sacrifices and contribution of America's military.I can well believe that some staff puke, powerpoint warrior or puzzle palace inhabitant will feel that their cozy position is threatened by the existence of milblogs. Certainly I can well believe that the people who leak juicy stories to Washinton journalists, and the journalists themselves, will feel threatened because Milblogs seem likely to