This morning I did my usual routine - helped my son get ready for school and then I sat down to read newspapers and my RSS feeds while my daughter watched Sesame Street (BTW - I like the Mr Noodle version that was eaten by a dinosaur in Jurassic Park 3). Anyway buried on page 6 of the Newark Star Ledger in a page with snips of Associated Press articles was this title White House board clears surveillance, which I of course read. The small article with little fanfare wrote about how the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board setup to investigate the White House's electronic eavesdropping and financial tracking found that the White House did not violate citizen's civil liberties. Now whether this board did a thorough job or not, I can't tell from this article, but what I can see is that this wasn't featured on the front pages of newspapers. Hmmm?
Not to hold the Star Ledger up as a pillar of fair news reporting, I looked in the WSJ and found nothing. How about the NY Times? Well, I did find an article with a little more meat in it called Privacy Board Clears US Spy Programs, but that was only after I searched for it. It had no link from the main US News page. How about the USA Today that was involved in reporting of the wiretapping story? Nothing but the AP article and once again only after I searched for it. Am I missing something here? Maybe because this wasn't a scientific experiment and just a casual browsing of news sites.
People, the news world has one mission in life - to sell more advertising by upping circulation numbers and only articles that can do that get your attention. There must be so much pressure to go after falling circulation numbers and advertising revenues that perhaps the news you are reading is not as perfect as you once thought it was.
Just like the blogging world where one of your best tools to get an audience is to be controversial, the MSM has to do the same. Call it the J.Jonah Jameson of Spider-man fame (hyphen included as that was the original version of the name) strategy. Jonah would only print articles or photos that he thought would describe Spider-man as a menace, whether he really believed it or not. Why? Because he was solely focused on selling newspapers.
Am I writing that you should ignore main stream media (MSM)? No. What I am writing is to not stay so focused on reading only one source of information. To really be involved in a subject try reading multiple media sources in a day including blogs and other online news sites. Perhaps with enough versions of the same article, you'll actually get a better view of what is the truth. Reading multiple views of the same subject (liberal and conservative) will only help you understand and see the only truth which is that All The News That's Fit Print Are The Ones That Are Fit to Sell.
BTW - on the front page of the Star Ledger is an article about a pretty wife's trial for murder and dismemberment of her husband. Very interesting article and one that I've been personally following. The title of the article is No one saw her chop him up, state admits - nicely done.