Letters to the Editor

Alternative media

December 10, 2009

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To the editor:

In Saturday’s Journal-World, the editorial page editor highlighted the following from an Ellen Goodman column defending the mainstream media (MSM), while maligning an alternative media now taking its place: “There is a sense that we don’t need science or fact-checking as long as we have crowd-sourcing. We don’t have to build opinions on fact; we can build facts on opinions.”

Goodman’s Saturday column (like all others) then lists some of her own crowd-checked opinions which she elevates to facts, and which we should believe simply because she condescendingly says so. She presents neither facts nor arguments. She then laments a rapidly declining MSM, without which we, the hapless public, won’t know what the facts are.

Well, Ellen, some of us grown-ups manage anyway, in spite of your best efforts to determine that ourselves. If all the alternate sources you disparage were really as bereft of facts, arguments and science, and laughable, they would be in decline, not the MSM. You see, Ellen, this is a new competitive age, and you can’t be an autocratic gate-keeping censor any more. (Do you remember those old Radio Free Europe spot messages?)

Consider the criticism that you despise as customer feedback, which normal businesses deride or ignore at their own peril. But, then, I doubt that an old ankle-biter like you can learn any new tricks.

Comments

jonas_opines 5 years, 7 months ago

"Jon Stewart is the leading source of news for the left nowadays. What's that tell you?"

That you make up crap.

rtwngr 5 years, 7 months ago

Jonas - According to a Time Magazine online poll, back in July, 44% of Americans trust getting their news from the Daly Show. Jon Stewart rated higher than Katie Couric and John Gibson. - Just so you know.

Why don't you do a little fact checking yourself.

Zype 5 years, 7 months ago

Because polls are always 100% correct. Everyone takes part in them; it's not just a small group of people who are polled. This is why we should always trust them as absolute fact for what the American people want and like.

grammaddy 5 years, 7 months ago

At least those of us who watch "The Daily Show" know that it is a fake news show. Jon Stewart makes fun of everyone. I guess that makes him an equal opportunity a$$ hole. Unlike those who just want to trash the progressives.

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

"Goodman’s Saturday column (like all others) then lists some of her own crowd-checked opinions which she elevates to facts, and which we should believe simply because she condescendingly says so."

No, she did not.

Facts are facts, Mr. Smith, not opinions. No matter how many times you challenge facts as being contrary to your opinions, they remain facts. Claiming that Goodman is merely spouting opinions in what those elite psychiatrists call "projection."

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

"Ellen does not really know what the farmer in Audubon Iowa, or the welder in Salina Kansas, or the dental hygenist in Poplar Bluff Missouri think."

Think? About facts? Why would it matter to anyone, including themselves, what these 'real' Americans think the sum of 2+2 might be (it is a fact that it is 4), whether Reagan cut estate taxes (pace Sarah Palin, it is a fact that he did not), or whether WMDs were found in Iraq after the invasion (it is a fact that they were not).

But then, this matters not to the anti-Knowledge, Know-Nothing nuts that have hijacked the Grand Old Party.

jonas_opines 5 years, 7 months ago

"According to a Time Magazine online poll, back in July, 44% of Americans trust getting their news from the Daly Show. Jon Stewart rated higher than Katie Couric and John Gibson. - Just so you know.

Why don't you do a little fact checking yourself."

Rtwngr, without even getting into the efficacy of polls, why don't you start thinking about the "facts" yourself. No mention in that of "the left."

And for the record, I'd trust the Daily Show more than the other two (which is to say, not much versus not at all). One has the honesty to market itself as what it is, humor and entertainment. The others try to play themselves as legitimate sources of coverage.

Kirk Larson 5 years, 7 months ago

Even on a fake news show, Jon Stewart is one of the best interviewers on TV. I've seen guests of his do multiple pub, softball interviews on the cable and network news shows and been furious that they never ask deep, discerning questions. Jon Stewart gets them on his show and has the license to ask real questions that MSM/FOX talking heads would be fired for asking.

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

"Jon Stewart is one of the best interviewers on TV"

Just in these last few months we've seen documented liar Betsy McCaughey, earmarked health care bill in hand, totally eviscerated by a few simple questions seeking documentation. We've seen wingnut guru (and Fox Entertainment regular) Bill Kristol forced to admit that the government runs a great health care system for our military personnel and families (and even to further claim that civilian Americans "don't deserve" that type of first class care).

Watching someone like Lou Dobbs face Stewart provokes the same response as if Sarah Palin would consent (as if!!) to be interviewed by third graders -- cringing as the imminent wreck but yet unable to pull your eyes away for second from the God-awful spectacle of it all!!

somedude20 5 years, 7 months ago

O'Reilly???? give me a MF-ing break. Mr. Inside Edition tap dances around the truth then kicks the truth down a hole in Centralia, PA so that the truth burns up in a giant hell fire. Mr. Inside Edition should stick to what he does best and that is report on what Brad Pitt ate for lunch and Paris Hilton's fav color

Art 5 years, 7 months ago

When Fox News covers a pitiful little gathering of right wing loonies and shows video of a much bigger protest held months before, and Jon Stewart is the ONLY PERSON IN ANY KIND OF MEDIA who bothers to point out their deliberate fraud, then (as much as he denies it) his show becomes a genuine source of news. Many of the news stories he covers are not mentioned anywhere else. People who watch the Daily Show become informed while they're entertained. That's why people claim that they do, indeed, get real news from the show.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"Quite honestly, I just don't think he's funny. I really don't like the guy…….I can not really put my finger on it either."

Come on, Tom, you dislike him because he reveals your favorite rightwing idiots for exactly what they are-- idiots. He does the same to those on the left, but in your paranoid little world, that fact is lost on you.

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

"There is NO tougher interviewer than O'Reilly."

I caught him interviewing Sarah Palin a few weeks back. Was was the exact question you believe he asked

jonas_opines 5 years, 7 months ago

"still as untouchable as Mariano Rivera"

No, I have to disavow this. I've had any number of occasions over the years. Frankly, I consider my chief asset to be that I have the capability of recognizing it when it happens, and to be properly embarrassed by it.

Some, of course, don't.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

It really does remain difficult to believe that you are for real, Tom, and not just a parody of a "rightthinker." If you are just a parody, my only critique is that you're a bit over the top.

"I'm not paranoid, just realistic."

Sorry, but that just doesn't jive with your man crush on O'Reilly.

Jimo 5 years, 7 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says…

Why does Palin always enter into the discussion with the looney left?

Mind answering the question? What was the hard-edged, no holds barred, question Bill-o had for Sister Sarah that demonstrates his interviewing toughness? 'Cmon.

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