A couple of very thoughtful friends have chided me occasionally because I have had the temerity to post partisan pieces to social media. But despite my professional communications background, I do regard much of mainstream media with profound ambivalence. My personal view is superbly expressed by libertarian-conservative Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson in a recent Business Insider interview.
As I see it, there arguably is very little news that should be regarded as nonpartisan and unbiased. Borrowing from techie parlance, this is because the filters of even so-called elite news entities are as badly contaminated as others.
I, for one, subscribe to the digital editions of The New York Times and Washington Post and read those papers faithfully. I’ll even concede that I find much of this reading deeply enlightening and informative. But I take much of it with a grain of salt and balance it with other sources regarded as partisan, most of which I garner from RealClearPolitics.com, an excellent source of political news.
As I see it, this sort of eclectic reading is required of all of us in a digital media age that more closely resembles the freewheeling reportage in the Age of Andrew Jackson than the slow, methodical, even plodding reporting associated with the age of Walter Cronkite.
Why? Because I think that Carlson and other media observers make the strong case that so-called mainstream media are largely unreliable because they reflect the opinions of elites who operate with their own badly damaged filters. They believe nothing “unless it comes from The New Yorker, [The] New York Times editorial page, or The Washington Post.” And to add an extra layer of complication to all of this, many of our elites operate with a profound contempt for many for many of us, namely the ones who occupy the deep-dyed red American heartland.
Yes, plenty of red state Americans despise the Establishment, but this animus is more than compensated by the contempt in which our elites hold us, as Carlson stresses in this interview.
Quoting Carlson: “What bothers me is the lack of self-awareness. I don’t know if I have ever met a group less self-aware than political reporters. They honestly don’t believe that there are legitimate alternative views of anything. And like most small-minded and dumb people they are very, very quick to dismiss anything they don’t understand as crazy.”