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The End of News?
November 14, 2005 10:27 AM   Subscribe

The End of News? From the New York Review of Books. Michael Massing, a contributing editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, discusses the decline of the mainstream media and the ideal of objectivity: Accuracy in Media (1969), the Center for Media and Public Affairs (1985), the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine (1987), Rush Limbaugh (1988), Fox News (1996), weblogs, cost-cutting at newspapers. Of course, the newspaper business has always been a difficult one, as Walter Lippmann noted in his book Public Opinion (1921): [more inside]
posted by russilwvong (43 comments total)

 
This insistent and ancient belief that truth is not earned, but inspired, revealed, supplied gratis, comes out very plainly in our economic prejudices as readers of newspapers. We expect the newspaper to serve us with truth however unprofitable the truth may be. For this difficult and often dangerous service, which we recognize as fundamental, we expected to pay until recently the smallest coin turned out by the mint. We have accustomed ourselves now to paying two and even three cents on weekdays, and on Sundays, for an illustrated encyclopedia and vaudeville entertainment attached, we have screwed ourselves up to paying a nickel or even a dime.

Nobody thinks for a moment that he ought to pay for his newspaper. He expects the fountains of truth to bubble, but he enters into no contract, legal or moral, involving any risk, cost or trouble to himself. He will pay a nominal price when it suits him, will stop paying whenever it suits him, will turn to another paper when! that suits him. Somebody has said quite aptly that the newspaper editor has to be re-elected every day.

This casual and one-sided relationship between readers and press is an anomaly of our civilization. There is nothing else quite like it, and it is, therefore, hard to compare the press with any other business or institution. It is not a business pure and simple, partly because the product is regularly sold below cost, but chiefly because the community applies one ethical measure to the press and another to trade or manufacture.

posted by russilwvong at 10:28 AM on November 14, 2005


Thought-provoking. Thanks.

It's always interested me how newspapers are on the one hand considered something of a public service, and on the other, expected to operate asa functional business.
posted by Miko at 10:46 AM on November 14, 2005


Good stuff. It's really telling how immediately the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine lead to Rush Limbaugh (it's gone in '87, he's on air in '88, in '90-'92 I'm selling this idiot's books to many, many customers in a bookstore. By the mid-'90s AM radio is almost synonymous with empty, fact-free conservative invective).

It's also fascinating how thoroughly Democrats and others on the left missed the sea change in the media milieu. Indeed, it wasn't until after 9/11 that those on the left really started to notice they were getting hammered, repeatedly, by a vast conservative media empire. It's a truly amazing oversight.

But it is sad that there should need to be any reaction to the rise of right wing media. Actual fair and balanced reporting, as opposed to the stuff Fox gives its viewers, should be valuable to Americans. Sadly, it's not. My Dad is still convinced that Fox is a "little bit to the right," but not as far to the right as CNN is far to the left. Such an idea is completely absurd -- and believed by millions.
posted by teece at 10:56 AM on November 14, 2005


Walter Lippmann was a media visionary. Though he ranged from a rebellious communist to an establishment power holder, his books (especially public opinion) should be required reading.
posted by torregrassa at 10:58 AM on November 14, 2005


Everything goes in cycles. A hundred or so years ago, Yellow Journalism threatened the news industry. Now this. This too, shall pass.
posted by Doohickie at 11:07 AM on November 14, 2005


teece
I'm one of those who grew into adulthood transitioning from the Carter administration into the dark days of Reaganism that this country has yet to emerge from. Clintonism? Just a speed bump in conservative politics.
This country has been bombarded with propaganda since the day 'Bedtime for Bonzo' ambled into the Oval office and hasn't looked back since.
Threat from the left? Liberal media? Yeah, and there are monsters under the bed and the Loch Ness monster really lives.
posted by mk1gti at 11:12 AM on November 14, 2005


It is also very interesting to read about the problems facing newspapers today. It seems to amount to a loss of monopoly, and with that loss, a reduction (but by no means elimination) of profit margins. The shareholder response, however, seems to be to cut off their nose to spite their face. Cut newsrooms and do whatever it takes to get profit margins back up to monopoly levels, and in so doing, eliminate the only thing that might have brought readers (ie, good reporting).

It's suicide for the daily, it seems. But the dailies can't die, because without them the majority of all original reporting in this country dies. So what's going to happen? The likes of Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and Hugh Hewitt have a plan: don't listen to the "liberally biased" newspapers: listen to us. We'll tell you all you need to know. That's a plan of which a propaganda minister might be proud, but civic-minded Americans sure shouldn't like it.

mk1gti: I don't think I'll ever be convinced it's a good idea to elect actors as politicians. The jobs are just too damn antithetical in the core mission. Would anyone be surprised that a Reagan administration headed up by a second rate, empty-headed actor would end up being heavy on the propaganda? Hell no. Somebody had Reagan's ear, as Reagan sure as hell didn't do it on his own, and it's pretty obvious that somebody knew the value of a pretty front man that could act the part of a serious politician.

[And my how quickly the right wing folks got the troublesome "liberal media" changed to MSM. Geez. They mean the exact same thing, but the MSM adds a bit of an air of credence that the obviously tin-foil-hat "liberal media" does not.]
posted by teece at 11:29 AM on November 14, 2005


As far as Reagan's white house goes, it was said widely at the time that the white house staff ran the presidency, not Reagan himself, and remember who was the Vice Prez? Daddy Bush himself. Perhaps we've had 3 terms of a Bush 1 presidency, speed bump of Clinton (ran ragged by a vengeful right during his term) followed by 2 terms of Bush II. The way I see it, this country's had a heavily right-wing government from 1980 to the present. 26 years worth, with more yet to follow?
posted by mk1gti at 11:39 AM on November 14, 2005


You think George H.W. Bush ran the Reagan presidency? Fairly preposterous. He and Reagan didn't even get along.
posted by grouse at 11:45 AM on November 14, 2005


...That's a plan of which a propaganda minister might be proud, but civic-minded Americans sure shouldn't like it.

You kidding? Americans love to be told what to think. The lack of any sort of training to be critical thinkers (thanks to an eviscerated public school system) has made them far too easy to direct.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:19 PM on November 14, 2005


Bemoaning the rise of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News as a decline in media makes the author's political bias plainly clear. So in other words the author is really lamenting sharing the airwaves with non-liberal points of view.
posted by StarForce5 at 12:22 PM on November 14, 2005


So in other words the author is really lamenting sharing the airwaves with non-liberal points of view.

You're reading comprehension isn't very good, is it?
posted by teece at 12:37 PM on November 14, 2005


... the author is really lamenting sharing the airwaves with non-liberal points of view.

It's not just that. The distinction between news and opinion appears to be vanishing; it's as though partisanship is determining what facts people will accept, or even pay attention to. As Juan Cole puts it, it seems like the US doesn't just have a two-party political system, it has a two-party epistemology.

That said, the reaction to Katrina, and Bush's current approval ratings, show that this isn't an absolute rule.
posted by russilwvong at 12:38 PM on November 14, 2005


Damn, I didn't mean to hit 'Post', and of course that should be 'your' in my last post.

But look at what you just said, StarForce5. The author criticizes the role that Limbaugh and Fox play. What is your very first reaction? That the author is liberally biased. And that therefore, you don't even have to think about what he says. You take no issue with any of the author's points (hell, you don't even make it clear you've read the piece). All you do is find some dubious way to show the author "liberally biased," and then use that "evidence" as justification to ignore everything he says.

That's the whole "liberal bias" canard in a nutshell. It almost never involves critical analysis. Rather, it's usually sophistry such as this, which is then used as a support for completely ignoring a given viewpoint or set of facts.

I bet you your finding of bias stems from a bias just as bad as the bias you claim the author has. So that means you have to ignore yourself, too, right, as your conservatively biased? There's a reason they teach this as a logical fallacy.

That's cult-like behavior. It's certainly not critical thinking.
posted by teece at 12:57 PM on November 14, 2005


Everything goes in cycles. A hundred or so years ago, Yellow Journalism threatened the news industry. Now this. This too, shall pass.

In the context of the history of all things, even all human things, the history of journalism--at least in the sense that this author is considering it--is very short indeed. There really isn't much reason to think that something so comparatively recent will survive such an onslaught. Contrary to popular opinion, change does happen sometimes...for better or for worse.
posted by voltairemodern at 1:00 PM on November 14, 2005


teece, I read the piece and it's left-leaning stance is blatant throughout, all examples of its leftside bias are too numerous for me to waste my time listing here but here's a few key phrases "this White House is against the press" ... "supported by the Christian right" ... "the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry" .... "questions were raised about the 60 Minutes broadcast on Bush's record in the National Guard" ["questions were raised"??? The report was flat out FALSE and laughingly later admitted to be "fake but accurate"] Gimme a break.

The producers of mass media products are overwhelmingly liberal and their personal opinions and world view often seeps into their work in the most subtle ways. Their bias is in what topics they choose to report on, how they report, who they choose to interview on those topics, the tone of the report, the subtel language used in the report, and which direction they most often point the finger of blame toward. Rush Limbaugh and Fox News are biased but at least they make it obvious.
posted by StarForce5 at 1:34 PM on November 14, 2005


this White House is against the press" ... "supported by the Christian right" ... "the Swift Boat campaign against John Kerry" .... "questions were raised about the 60 Minutes broadcast on Bush's record in the National Guard" ["questions were raised"??? The report was flat out FALSE and laughingly later admitted to be "fake but accurate"

Does a White House which has had fewer press availabilities than any other administration in history strike you as being a lover of the press?

Is it biased to say something is supported by the Christian right, if it is a fact that it is supported by the Christian right?

Was the Swift Boat Veterans campaign not self-described to be "against John Kerry?"

The statements you list are statements of fact. I'll give you the 60 minutes thing - "questions raised" does not properly characterize the poor reporting at work there, although it was the document that was false, not the charge that Bush was AWOL, which he demonstrably was.
But facts don't have an agenda. They just are.
posted by Miko at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2005


Ideological bias (conservative or liberal) is tangential to the central problem of the American media, which is their concentration in the hands of an ever-shrinking number of large corporations and the corresponding lack of major viewpoints being propagated that are not generally compatible with these corporations' interests. The first loyalty of the media is not to journalism or even ideology but to the needs and demands of the corporate parent.
posted by graymouser at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2005


StarForce5
Perhaps you can give real examples of an equal amount of alternatives to FOX news and right-wing AM radio, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the dittoheads out there.
You cannot because there are none. The 'liberal media' is nothing more than a myth, and you are nothing but a dupe.
In the days of the old west you would have been first in line to purchase a bottle of snake-oil.
posted by mk1gti at 1:53 PM on November 14, 2005


The liberal media that bent over backwards to endorse a war based on false premises? Wow, it's so hard to be a Republican these days. They control the WH, Congress, and SCOTUS, but it's Christiane Amanpour who's ruining Iraq. Damn her pretentious accent.
posted by bardic at 2:07 PM on November 14, 2005


Miko, you're correct, the facts don't have an agenda but editors choose which facts they broadcast and the tone they use to describe those facts and also select which commentators they most often use to give their analysis/opinion of those facts.

graymouser, I agree, the bigger problem is big business using the public airwaves as their marketing department and almost completely ignoring public service.

In my area we had a major road accident that stopped traffic dead for several hours for several miles.... and not one of the local TV stations bothered to mention it or break into regular programming to warn people, or to explain what was happenning. People were stranded on the highways for hours and local TV stations continued on with their daytime shit broadcasts as if nothing happened. So much for public service.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:13 PM on November 14, 2005


StarForce5, you find bias in the exact same way my Dad does: you listen for certain phrases, and then ignore the piece once you hear them. It's an odd approach, and one that won't work. You'd have to actually examine the factual claims, and find how they were skewed to unfairly advantage a liberal viewpoint. In most cases, if you take the time, you won't be able to do it in most straight news. And that's even if the catch-phrases that you look for were actually an indicator of bias, which is a very dubious proposition. Indeed, I could just as easily make up my own set of conservative phrases and use those to "discredit" many of the same sources as being biased the other way.

Your "bias counter" is very, very, very flawed.

But this statment: "Rush Limbaugh and Fox News are biased but at least they make it obvious" is false, flatly so.

Limbuaugh is certainly a pompous blowhard, and I think he makes it clear that he has no plan to give opposing viewpoints any credence. Fox news, on the other hand, claims to be giving straight news. They're "Fair and Balanced" after all. Either Fox news is not biased right of center, or Fox news is not straightforward about their bias.

But in any event, it seems that you use bias as a sort of talisman to ward off viewpoints you don't want to hear. It's not surprising -- right wing folks have been building the infrastructure to let people do that for decades. But it's not smart, and it's not healthy. Beating the media into submission, only listening to friendly sources, and all that right wing media management entails may help win elections -- it does not make America a better place. Indeed, all the bias meme does on the right is give conservatives a convenient way to ignore facts they don't like, making the conservative movement, and America, worse off as a result.

An example: the war in Iraq is a very real problem in America right now. Yet, 9 out of 10 die-hard Republicans tend to dismiss anything critical reported about the war (I made that statistic up). If a news outlet dares to report facts that are unpleasant about the war, that outlet must be biased. Again, that's the thinking of cult members, not citizens taking their job seriously.
posted by teece at 2:15 PM on November 14, 2005


mk1gti, sorry child, I've worked many years with people in the media biz, and they are hardcore liberal and they make editorial decisions accordingly. That is the truth. I have seen it. I have lived it.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:15 PM on November 14, 2005


StarForce5
You write:
The producers of mass media products are overwhelmingly liberal and their personal opinions and world view often seeps into their work in the most subtle ways.

I'm going to need some examples.

Very often these 'world views' are nothing more than being open minded to other cultures and ideas or life styles. For instance, ABC News might do a report on gay rights. To someone who is far right this would not be considered news but instead some form of indoctrination.

Or it's often just reporting the news. NBC News might include a story that criticizes the White House [which is currently Republican run] on any number of subjects and to someone who is far right this would be outrageous and obviously displaying a liberal bias.

Conversely, when the media went ape about Clinton's sexual encounters was that because the media was showing a conservative bias?
posted by Rashomon at 2:18 PM on November 14, 2005


teece, you say "the war in Iraq is a very real problem in America right now" Really? Are you sure? If you lived in a mountain community in Nevada with no TV or radio would you even know there was a war going on? You percieve the Iraq war as being whatever the media tells you it is.

teece, the news media on all channels makes editorial decisions with a bias. Whether the report is factual is only part of it. You have to which facts are being reported and what is the tone of the reporting.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:23 PM on November 14, 2005


Rashomon, when you go to a convention with media people, people who work in television news, and at the open bar reception they down a few all-expense-paid martinis and begin to say how much they "fucking hate George Bush and fucking republicans" and the next evening they deliver a sober new broadcast as if they are prefectly neutral. It's a joke. It's fun to watch.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:27 PM on November 14, 2005


As someone not living in the USA, I think I can accurately state that you wouldn't know real left politics if it leapt up and bit you in the ass.

The USA has a right-wing party, the Democrats, and a far-right-wing part, the Republicans.

Liberal media my hairy ass. That's a beast that basically doesn't exist in the Western world. All we have is corporate media.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:30 PM on November 14, 2005


If you lived in a mountain community in Nevada with no TV or radio would you even know there was a war going on?

If you enlisted and got shipped over, yeah. If your friend/lover/sister/brother/father/mother/etc. got injured? Yeah. If they got killed, yeah. If you knew some of these people, yeah. What the heck is your point?

And quoting people you drink with doesn't lend much to your larger argument.

I happen to like media outlets that make their biases well-known--even Fox's "fair and balanced" seems to be with a wink and a nod that most people can, and should, read right through. But what other's have said already--have you watched CNN recently? They're so desperate to go right that they're hiring former FOX "talent" (who's the blond who sounds like a three-pack-a-day smoker?).

1) Blame Clinton, Kerry, MSMedia
2) ???
3) Profit
posted by bardic at 2:33 PM on November 14, 2005


five frsh fish, good point. I guess I should not accuse media as being liberal so much as being plain biased either way while pretending to be neutral.

All I'm saying is all media, left or right, factual or not, is biased.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:35 PM on November 14, 2005


The producers of mass media products are overwhelmingly liberal and their personal opinions and world view often seeps into their work in the most subtle ways.

Absolutely untrue. Don't buy that bullshit.

The producers of mass media products are some of the richest people in the United States. All they care about is consolidating their power. That seems awfully "conservative" to me (though that term means as little as "liberal" does.)
posted by mrgrimm at 2:35 PM on November 14, 2005


mrgrimm, yes the media owners are rich, but the folks working in the bowels of the newsroom, the ones who really decide what is reported on the evening news or makes the print of the front page, very few of those people vote republican and feel stongly about that. They may not be "liberal" by your standards but they have a political stance and they report accordingly.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:40 PM on November 14, 2005


Rashomon, when you go to a convention with media people, people who work in television news, and at the open bar reception they down a few all-expense-paid martinis and begin to say how much they "fucking hate George Bush and fucking republicans" and the next evening they deliver a sober new broadcast as if they are prefectly neutral. It's a joke. It's fun to watch.

See, I think that's a good thing, not a bad thing. They may hate Bush personally, but it's important to try to maintain their objectivity as journalists. That includes not ranting and raving about Bush on the air. (Obviously, it's even more important for them to select and report stories objectively as well.)
posted by russilwvong at 2:46 PM on November 14, 2005


Starforce5, look up the word 'bias:' you're misusing it. No, not all media channels present information in such a way as to skew it unfairly towards one viewpoint or another. You don't know didly squat about what journalists learn at J-school if you believe that. Everyone has their own slant on things, it is not the same thing as having bias. Limbaugh or his ilk have bias. Newsroom writers and editors have it much, much more rarely.

And as for this:
teece, you say "the war in Iraq is a very real problem in America right now" Really? Are you sure? If you lived in a mountain community in Nevada with no TV or radio would you even know there was a war going on? You percieve the Iraq war as being whatever the media tells you it is.

Remember what I was saying about the bias game being unhealthy? Let's not pretend objective reality does not exist.
posted by teece at 2:52 PM on November 14, 2005


bardic, that's exactly my point, most Americans have not been directly affected by the Iraq war. I'm not saying the war is therefore good and acceptable, but rather disagreeing that the war is a "very real problem in America" ... it's not for the vast majority of Americans who are not affected by it, which incidentally is why the war is allowed to continue, unfortunately.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:54 PM on November 14, 2005


teece, "not all media channels present information in such a way as to skew it unfairly towards one viewpoint or another"


Oh dear, you are extremely naive. What journalists are taught and what they practice in the competitive news business are two different things. The facts are neutral. The person reading the facts is not.
posted by StarForce5 at 3:01 PM on November 14, 2005


Oh dear, you are extremely naive.

Oh golly, am I? Oh nos!

Again, go look up the term bias, to see how it is used in modern English. Here, I'll do it for you:
bias, noun, 1) prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair
[from whatever publisher it is that supplies Apple with their dictionary].

Now, you said news media on all channels make decisions with a bias. That is a crock of shit. While every reporter, editor, and owner has their own foibles (and may be biased on some issues), they most certainly do NOT all have a bias on all things. In any of these cases of a minor slant or an actual bias, the intelligent reader can probably spot this, especially if they don't get their news from once source exclusively. Further, in most things and on most issues, a reporter can minimize or eliminate any problems that might result from having their own notion of things. Indeed, that is how facts work.

But the idea that each channel, as a whole, has a bias (again an unfair prejudice in some direction) is just paranoid, conspiracy theory nonsense. I've worked with journalists -- I've sat through some of the classes they take in college. They take their job very seriously, and try very hard to be fair (even when they fail), in most cases. The majority of newsrooms are NOT straight up biased (again, use the term as it is used today. Biased means unfair). And any slants they do have all align in random directions and tend to average themselves out.

Don't lecture me about being naive when your tin-foil hat is firmly on your head.
posted by teece at 3:18 PM on November 14, 2005


StarForce5
Firstly, I don't believe for a moment you've worked in any kind of media organization, except perhaps as the bathroom attendant, next you completly ignored my question regarding any organizations and facts proving a decided liberal bias. As everyone on this thread has been telling you, the issue is not non-existent liberal media, it is very biased corporate media. As far as editors deciding what goes in and doesn't, they take their lead from their corporate masters, hardly pot-smoking hippies. Get a grip.
posted by mk1gti at 3:44 PM on November 14, 2005


SF5, you aren't making any sense. AIDS doesn't affect most people. So it isn't a problem?
posted by bardic at 3:50 PM on November 14, 2005


StarForce5
I've never been to a [media?] convention where they drink martinis and cuss out George W.
Sounds kind of fun. Where can I go to one of these?

Anyway, I think the media is what we make it out to be. I'm a liberal and I don't have to work too hard to find the media biased toward a Conservative viewpoint a lot of the time - especially cable news.
However, I can still get coverage of events and various themes in the news from various news outlets and get an idea of what's happening and why. And something tells me most people can do this.

Or can they? I guess Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken is the news for some people.
posted by Rashomon at 4:48 PM on November 14, 2005


As far as newspapers go, I have long proposed a major change in their paradigm, to replace the collapsing business model in use today.

First of all, many newspapers are ultimately reliant on the newswires, the AP, UPI, Reuters, and the rest, for all of their international and national news stories. The newswires have become vitiated over time, their writing bland and empty. Their news pre-spun to be both inoffensive and conformist, and has been collected on the Internet for two or more days before it appears in print.

The way around this problem is to set up new, Internet-based wire services that are not a collective of newspapers, but of alternative news sources. Local news gatherers from around the world, information websites and blogs. Contributors would get a credibility rating from members much like an Ebay rating. Rating each article and their author for such things as content quality, accuracy, writing style, objectivity, and member interest. Credibility is earned from the other members, not based in self-promotion or salacious content. It could be managed much like other open source content providers.

The timeliness problem is overcome, because while someone might get all the information offered by surfing the web, it would take them several hours every day. Instead, the newspaper consolidates the news, making for easy reading.

In this way, the high costs of international news are avoided, as are bottlenecks and censorship by a small group of journalists or editors beholden to advertisers or special interests. With many times the number of reporters of any typical wire service.

Local news is handled in a microcosm of these Internet wire services. Anyone and everyone, ordinary people, provide (similarly rated) news reports for a nominal sum, say 50 cents to five dollars, based on how interesting their local news is. Call it a "grandmother brigade" of stringer reporters, all feeding original local news items to their local paper for a small remittance to their PayPal account.

A staff of professional reporters verifies these reports, and does follow-ups as needed, mostly by phone. For a fraction of the cost of how they do things now, the newpaper gets 10 times as much quality local copy. It would be as if they had a staff of 100 reporters, able to spend endless amounts of time on a given story line.

This model for getting local news also feeds into the Internet wire service model. A metropolitan newspaper could tailor-make its daily to fit the demographics of their city. If there is a Greek community, there could be a significant Greek news and comment section that was originally produced in Greek newssites, blogs, and was otherwise produced in Greece. In exchange, it provides all sorts of local metropolitan news to the service, for anyone who is interested.

Lastly, by using far more news sources around the world, the newspaper with this paradigm needs far less information "fill", eliminating a lot of the fluff often put into news stories to flush out copy inches on the page. In other words, putting three brief stories into the space normally occupied by one.

The overall concept is that the newspaper thrives by providing more and better news faster than either broadcast or the Internet.
posted by kablam at 7:18 PM on November 14, 2005


Excellent post. Good reads.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:18 PM on November 15, 2005


More information indicating that editors at news organizations aren't pot smoking liberal hippies
posted by mk1gti at 1:00 PM on November 15, 2005


The latest NYRB has a second article by Massing, discussing the press's internal problems.

All of the problems affecting newspapers appear in even more acute form when it comes to TV. The loss of all three of the famous anchors of the broadcast networks has led to much anxiety about the future, and CBS's decision to name Sean McManus, the president of its sports division, as its new news chief has done little to allay it. Yet even under Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather, the network news divisions had become stale and predictable. After September 11, there was much talk about how the networks had to recover their traditional mission and educate Americans about the rest of the world, yet one need only watch the evening news for a night or two to see how absurd were such expectations. On November 4, for instance, CBS's Bob Schieffer spent a few fleeting moments commenting on some footage of the recent rioting by young Muslims in France before introducing a much longer segment on stolen cell phones and the anxiety they cause their owners. ABC's World News Tonight's most frequent feature, "Medicine on the Cutting Edge," seems directed mainly at offering tips to its aging viewers about how they might hold out for a few more years—and at providing the drug companies a regular ad platform. In 2004, the three networks together devoted 1,174 minutes —nearly twenty full hours—to missing women, all of them white.
posted by russilwvong at 4:48 PM on November 22, 2005


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