RUSH: Former NBC News reporter Lisa Myers has done a Sharyl Attkisson of sorts. “In an interview published Wednesday, a former longtime member of the mainstream media took some shots at the mainstream media, contending they do not hold ‘the White House or any other part of government accountable.’ Lisa Myers, a former investigative correspondent for NBC News who left the network last year to work on ‘[her] golf game’…” I’ve played golf with Lisa Myers; she’s good.
She did a profile of me for one of the shows that was on, NBC Dateline or whatever, and part of the shoot was we played four or five holes. And she’s good. She a great golfer. But that’s the joke. She took time off “to work on ‘[her] golf game,’ [and] gave an interview to The Des Moines Register to promote a talk she is giving in Iowa Thursday discussing her career as a political journalist. ‘I think the primary mission of journalism is to hold the powerful accountable, be they in government or corporate America,’ asserted Myers.
“‘There is less and less interest in network television today holding the White House or any other part of government accountable.'” Now, she didn’t say it, but what she means is when the Democrats run the show, because they clearly move into gear when Bush or another Republican’s in the White House, they will hold them accountable and then some. She then said, “I fear there is a calculation that the audiences they are trying to reach donÂ’t care that much about the serious news.
“I think most of the political coverage these days has all the depth of Twitter,” and I think she’s got a point. Have you noticed, folks, say, if you read the Drive-By Media on websites on if you happen to still read the newspaper…? Even if you’re watching TV. Do you know how often Twitter is cited as a source for something somebody said? It’s happening more and more. It’s always been that journalists are lazy, that they don’t actually do any reporting.
They wait for somebody to send ’em a fax telling them what the news is or what the story is or what have you. This phenomenon of trolling Twitter is because a lot of newsmakers post little thoughts on Twitter, and they make the news. Twitter has actually become a source, if not a source authority, for many Drive-By Media — and, of course, Twitter has become a cesspool. Twitter is a literal cesspool. Twitter is the place… The question is raised about our culture frequently: Is it really rotting?
Is it really deteriorating this fast, or has it always been the way it is, there just was never an Internet where these people could display themselves? In other words: Have we always had a certain percentage of the population that are reprobates and absolute losers — mean-spirited, trolling, foul mouth jerks — or has Twitter created them? Has the Internet and the anonymity that accompany it created this kind of behavior? It’s a question that nobody really knows the answer to.
Has it always been there? Have people who think this way and act this way always been there, but nobody knew because it was never reported and because there was no outlet for them, but now with Twitter (and to a lesser extent Facebook and any other number of places you go in social media) anybody can go on and say or do anything? They do. It has become a cesspool. Twitter is a repository for some of the… It’s an endless parade of human debris, in many cases.
There are some good things, too, don’t misunderstand. But it’s also the home of the absolute worst examples of our culture. Despite that, it has become — Lisa Myers is right — a source for much news coverage. As a result of that, the coverage has gotten simpler in a simpleton kind of way, not a clarifying way. It’s become less insightful, less incisive, less thought provoking. It’s dumbing everybody down, is essentially what she’s saying. Even the news media is dumbing itself down by relying on Twitter so much.
I think most of the political coverage these days has the depth of Twitter because Twitter is the source for much of it. “‘I also worry that journalists today appear to have chosen sides when it comes to political coverage,’ Myers added. ‘We’ve seen trust in the media hit its lowest level ever in 2013 or 2014 surveys and I think the lack of depth and the feeling that too many journalists have chosen sides has caused viewers to question whether we are giving it to them straight and whether we are making a politically balanced presentation.’
“Myers also lamented the deterioration of ‘in-depth substantive policy pieces’ in favor or smaller, more pithy articles. ‘Look, there is a place for celebrity news, for feel good stories, all those things have a legitimate place in various newscasts, but it should not always be at the expense of the more-in-depth stories or investigations that networks used to,’ she lamented. ‘ I am speaking industry-wide, not speaking about any specific network.'” She’s right. There’s no question there’s been a deterioration.
I actually think that it’s an aspect of self-consciousness, too. I think the media has less respect for itself. Maybe it’s unrealized. But there’s no question she’s right. It’s biased; it’s chosen sides. I mean, that’s been the case I think since, oh, about 1988. I think 1988 seems to be the year when all of this expressed and no longer hidden partisanship began to surface. Yeah, 1988, ’89, ’90 is when the media began competing as players in the advancement of agenda rather than just reporting on those advancing the agenda.
They became part of agenda advancement.
RUSH: Somebody just told me that Twitter is like graffiti, and graffiti has always been around, and if you don’t clean off the graffiti the moment it pollutes your park, then it’s just gonna overrun your park. I understand that, but some of the stuff on Twitter, graffiti has never seen the content of some of the absolute sewage that is on Twitter. I mean, some graffiti you could even say is artistic. There’s nothing artistic about the human debris content of much of Twitter.
Not all of it. I’m not indicting all of Twitter, suggesting anything be done about it. That’s not me, folks. I’m a big First Amendment, free speech guy, whatever. I’m just telling you it’s a cesspool and a lot of people who are genuine human debris have credibility. They’re able to do great damage to people and businesses and enterprises, and they’re nothing about sickos. Graffiti doesn’t even approach it.