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From the Editor: “Mediacracy”

By Mike Rosso

I’m a full-time news junkie and part-time political junkie. You’d think this election season has been manna for a person like myself.

Instead, I’m repulsed by the notion that I am even remotely associated with the formerly respected fourth estate. Not satisfied with their roles as reporters, the major media has abrogated that role to become advocates for whatever shiny object brings the most revenue. Whether it’s a reality TV star who was born with a silver spoon up his “whatever,” or a group of charlatans running for the highest office in the nation who wouldn’t know the truth if it was smacked across their faces like a dead fish, the mainstream media – especially television – is doing a tremendous disservice to its viewers.

Leslie Moonves, the executive chairman and CEO of CBS, actually had this to say about the ad money Trump and his competitors are bringing to the network:

“It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”

And this is just one of the big muckety-mucks who oversees our ever-consolidating news media who actually spoke his mind out loud. We can only imagine what the rest of these media moguls dream about at night. “Could we somehow make the 2020 election a reality TV show? Imagine the ratings!” Well, they already have. And, to top that off, they are the ones who reap the billions of ad dollars by making it appear to be a horse race, no matter what the actual polling numbers suggest.

With such blatant opportunism on the teevee, it’s no wonder that younger folks are turning to Facebook and comedy shows like Last Week Tonight With John Oliver to get their news fix.


I confess, I get most of my news off the internet, for free. I subscribe to only one magazine (besides this fine publication), so I’m not necessarily doing my part to help pay the salaries of journalists. Recently I read – online, of course – that 105 newspapers closed in 2009 alone. And then this: In 2007, there were 55,000 full-time journalists at nearly 1,400 daily papers; in 2015, there were 32,900.

Efforts by the larger papers to offer digital subscriptions or populate their websites with ads have not proven to make up the difference. (Take a look at The Denver Post’s website to see a worst-case scenario.)

The impact of this dumbing down of the news media is becoming apparent. The term “low-information voters” seems more a reality, and the actual election is becoming more unreal by the day, what with candidates bragging about their manhood or the appearance of a rival’s wife.

I miss Walter Cronkite. I miss the Fairness Doctrine. Most of all, I miss the media that used to hold politicians’ feet to the fire, not fan the flames of intolerance and hate just to feed their bottom lines.