Friday, March 04, 2005

MSM Corrections vs. Blog Corrections

The high and mighty MSM, their domain under attack by a plethora of citizen journalists, are increasingly whining about their shrinking base, and the unfairness of it all. Sadly, they still perceive that they are the sole messengers of the "pure" truth, whereas in reality, they have reduced themselves to simply storytellers, and in many cases novelists with access to the front page...Jason Blair, Dan Rather, et. al..

But something caught my eye a couple of days ago while I was reviewing Hugh Hewitt's Blog and Michelle Malkin's blog...They each posted corrections. Both corrected some minor detail about an item that appeared in their respective blog. Interesting...the language was straightforward, the font size was the exact same as their usual postings, and the obvious intent was to make a needed correction.

Now compare that to your usual MSM retraction which is: 1. Non-existent. 2. Buried on page C23. 3. Defensively unapologetic. 4. In a font so small, an electron microscope would have a tough time discriminating between letters.

I am amazed that the MSM still believes they are the torch bearers when their best efforts fall far short of what they demand from all other institutions. Step One for getting back in the game...learn how to admit and correct your many mistakes!


Cheryl said...

Recently I've made a few comments on a few blogs about the state of the media and their current role and I think I can say it again here in reply to your post and it is just as relevant.

The MSM needs to do 1 of 3 things
1. Lead
2. Follow
3. Get out of the way

They sure as heck are not doing #1 or #3 and barely #2.

An interesting quandrey was posited by Jay Rosen's Press Think, basically asking what the role of the media is -- it boils down to a moral question (I'm not sure if both moral and media fit in the same sentence) but it is very thought provoking and stimulating. You may want to review and comment here (be sure to include a link back) about your thoughts.

I am curious to see how you would address the "parable".

Cheryl said...

How does someone email you? I can't find your email address.

I have some other thoughts regarding building traffic, etc, but don't want to post.

If you are interested, please email me.

I've become good friends with a number of bloggers and even took part as the only non-blogger on affair.

If you are interested, I have some thoughts you might find of interest.

I'm no expert, but I've become a prolific reader of blogs and as a reader appreciate some things you might find helpful.

If not, that is OK -- I will continue to read!!!!

Happy Friday

Major Mike said...

I'll figure out a way to get an email address to you in a semi-secure fashion...hopefully by the end of the day.

Major Mike said...


I did comment on Jay's blog...very interesting question...thanks for the head's up.

Barb said...

Cheryl - The MSM not only can't get out of our way, they can't get out of their own way!

Major Mike - I hope that the Mudville visitors will help to peg your site meter.

By the way - if either of you has any idea how to make Blogger do Trackbacks, I'd love to know !( That's one way to help increase your visibility, if you can link your posts as trackbacks to folks like Blackfive and Grayhawk.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mike, Nice to see another vet from Orey-gun. Everything you say about the MSM obviously applies to the Oregoneon as well as my local fish-wrap the Corvallis GT. Hang in there. the 'sphere is a big place with a lot of folks raising their hand -- just takes a while to be noticed. Cheers from an old Squid who spent a lot of time hauling Marines to the beach. Bill

dawn said...

I was directed to your site from Mudville. As much as I love newspapers, I tend to keep up with the news online for the sake of convenience and accuracy. Keep up the blogging!

Papa Ray said...

Hey Major,

Sorry to be late to the party, didn't have good map reader, you know those butter bars..they get lost on the way to the latrine.

Nice to meet you, interesting writing and good content.

Don't give up on the blog, it takes people like me a while to get with the program.

Hang in there

Papa Ray
West Texas

Paul said...


Many of us tend to read the same blogs without wandering too far afield. It usually takes a wake up call from someone like Greyhawk to make us move out a little.

I appreciate what you have had to say!

Cheryl said...

Hi Major,

Looks like all of a sudden your getting new traffic.

I'm not a tech geek, but if you go to this blog and email the blogger, tell him Cheryl sent you and ask if he can help you with trackbacks, I'm sure he will.

In fact he has a new blogger tool he's developed and selling for $20 that is suppose to be awesome -- he's an out of work coder and very good.

I'm sure he'll be of tremendous help :)


Toni said...

MM - get haloscan. Gets really easy cause they now have an automatic way to do the install. The only thing is you will lose your comments. I installed it (and I'm an idiot with code) and it was very easy. The other thing is to comment at other blogs for trackbacks. If you need any help just ask. I have people who can help. LOL. No, I'd be happy to help.

Deb said...

Major Mike,
I'm so glad I found you! (thanks, Greyhawk!)
Applause for talking about the media. I, too, go to the Bloggers for info on what's going on, being totally disgusted with the MSM these days. So, please, blog on!!
I like your other posts as well. I'll be adding you to my every day list! Thanks!

Anonymous said...


The MSM needs to be slapped with the dirty soles of a pig farmer's shoe.

That is all.


Dave G said...

Keep up the goodwork on calling out the MSM. Their biggest problem is that they suffer from anal cranial syndrom (head up their ass). We have a managing editor in our local paper who calls himself a progressive. I called a socialist in a response to an OpEd he wrote condemning out troops.

Jean said...

Major Mike,
Keep going - it just takes us a while to find you. But Greyhawk sent us, and as usual is spot on. After reading your stuff, you are now in my favorites!

Tim Smith said...

I am convinced that the MSM is a wash. However, they are not going to make a graceful exit. They remind me of the Iraq insurgency. They're being displaced/replaced, they are experiencing a loss of power and control, they no longer can dictate the news or events,and...they don't like it! I got to your blog by way of Mudville Gazette, keep up the good work. Speak from your experience, the things that you know to be true.That goes farther than opinion.

Kevin said...

Your use of the term "MSM" is the equivelant of 4 year olds being afraid of the Bogey man. Either you think that the average American is too stupid to see through any misleading commentary or you think that there is some conspiracy to "get you".

Here is the truth. More and more the MSM is becoming a right wing, radical theological entity. Just listen to the Venom spewed on Fox news and talk radio every day. It is a disgrace.

I long for the days when the Media really did set it self up as the "4th branch" and the enemy of the State. We have long since learned that the Bush Administration has engaged in illegal propaganda tools to get its message across.

What we really need is not more Joe Gannons but we need a media who really WILL confront and contradict the crap coming from the White House. We need more Woodward and Bernsteins, more Rathers from his early days more reporters who REFUSE to imbed (and thus be held to military propaganda rules) and actually report.

Your fear of the MSM is a psychotic condition that needs help.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, you are such an idiot I don't know where to start.

First of all, the MSM- main stream media is a term which refers to traditional print and televised news such as the evening broadcasts on the 3 major networks, and papers such as the NYT, and WaPo. They are still mainstream and have a large audience. And an ideology. And have for years.

So now they have competition and are being challenged by alternet media sources, and you go off on some rant against the competition and say that Major Mike has some fear of the media? Sorry pal, what you are doing is called projecting.

Go back and re-read your post. You seem to think the White House is controlling the media.

Who is psychotic

sueb/mn said...

Hi Major Mike,

I'm glad to have found your blog (through Mudville Gazette) - and I completely agree with you about the MSM.A lot of them act like spoiled children who no longer get what they want.

Kevin: there is no way the MSM is moving to the right.

It would be wonderful if they became believable

Major Mike said...

I welcome all comers, but I have yet to be diagnosed as pyschotic...I'll mention it to my MD and see what he says at my next physical.

Here's the pieces aren't shrill, and most of what is coming from right leaning blogs and talk radio is also not shrill. But I see the left leaners getting completely apoplectic when the slightest critique is made of their torch bearers.

Let's keep it level headed, push it around the table and have a discussion. But your race to a medical diagnosis, via a modem cable, leads me to believe that that is only a remote possibility.

Keep reading...I apreciate the traffic.

Barb said...

It is interesting that Kevin mentioned the MSM and FOX in the same breath, when as far as I'm concerned Fox is the exception! When I say MSM, I include the main TV Network news (ABC, CBS, NBC), the major Cable networks (CNN, etc.), and the large newspapers such as the Washington Post, the NY Times, etc. FOX is the only one in this bunch that presents a balance of viewpoints in the political commentary discussions, as far as I can see/read. If you're psychotic, MajorMike, then a whole lot of us are right there with you!
Seriously - I find discussions/arguments made with facts and presented calmly to be much easier to follow than attack pieces which don't have any constructive point. So far the level of discourse here has been good, and I'll keep coming by to read for that reason!

Kevin said...

A few points need clarification. First, my point is that the so called MSM (as defined by another poster as the major networks) are definately losing clout every day. One person said they were not but how could they not be? 20 years ago, all the other cable news networks either did not exist or were in the infant stages. Today, they are huge. Yes, Fox leads that group in conservative speak but MSNBC and CNN are not too far behind.

Sue says that there is no way the MSM is moving to the right. Really, How is Bob Sheiffer for Dan Rather?

What is the MSM? Only those 3 stations and the major newspapers (i.e, NY Times)? If you measure their "market share" it is declining dramatically and has for quite some time.

My second point is that it is NOT the media's job to send out propoganda "feel good" messages for the Government. It is PRECISELY their job to question everything the GOvernment does, assume they are lying and investigate it with diligence. A person asked if I thought the White House Controlled the Media. Well, yes. Why? Because anytime the White House wants to get a message out they can. The media will comply. Press Conference, bill signing, photo op with a bunch of troops while they cut veteran's funding... all will go out over the airwaves gratis from all networks.

And, as we have learned, the White House even funds Conservative talk show hosts to report on things "like" it is the news but in reality it is a Press Release.

My final point: Yes, the Conservative right does use the "MSM" as the bogey man. Just like we needed a bad guy to fight the war against (Saddam), we need a "bad guy" to hate in the media so we keep saying that "bad MSM, bad MSM".

What interests me most is that the Conservative right wing is supposed to be fighting for liberties and freedoms yet they hold in HIGH DISDAIN those liberties and freedoms. It is paradoxical.

Maybe if we had a more confrontational MSM 1500+ soldiers would still be alive today and we would not be in a quagmire searching for things that never existed in the first place.

Major Mike said...

Kevin, thanks for making some great counter-points. keep them coming.

A couple of my thoughts...we're not all over the government when they send us our social security checks or repair the potholes in the streets. Obviously, not everything the government does is evil, and needs to be questioned, as if the sum of the employees within the government themselves are evil. It gets tiresome if you are out there slogging away, and all you see is what a bad job you're doing. Please, find the corruption, find the mis-management, but not everyone in the government is evil.

Although I am a conservative, I don't hold our constitution or our value in disdain, quite the opposite. What I am asking for, is not feel good pieces, but simple fairness in reporting, labeling a story as an editorial when it clearly is, and treating the individuals within the organizations under scrutiny with respect, not lumping them all into the criminal catagory with the first paragraph on the page.

I don't believe there was much left to report prior to us going into Iraq. I think some of us will believe what we did was right, and some will believe what we did was wrong. But fundamentally, I feel that we are fighting the war on terrorism in the right place, we are having an effect on their resources and in the process, protecting our country. As a by-product we have freed 25M+ people from a brutal tyrant, and at least given them a shot at the liberties and freedoms we enjoy. Only time will tell in the end.

I have buried Marines in my time in the service, and I don't diminish the sacrifices of those who have died and their families, but in my mind it is a sacrifice this country needed to make.

Thanks again for the thought provoking comments.

Mike said...

Kevin, you make a valid point with the White House 'controlling' the media. However, that same point can be used in dealing with the insurgents. Why do you think many attacks in Iraq happen in the morning? So they'll make the nightly news in the U.S. Why is it that 9 times out of 10, the only video I'll see from Iraq is of a car on fire, or Iraqi citizens mourning the death of family members after a suicide attack? The insurgents are able to 'control' the media by demanding air time just as effectively, if not more effectively, than the White House.

The same goes for NOW, ANSWER, and all the other organizations who are generally opposed to the Bush Administration. If they have a protest or have a statement to the media, the media will be there to cover it.

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