Death of the Mainstream Media

They are far more servants to political power than adversarial watchdogs over it, and what provokes their rage most is not corruption on the part of those in power (they don’t care about that) but rather those who expose that corruption, especially when the ones bringing transparency are outside of, even hostile to, their incestuous media circles.

– Glenn Greenwald

Everywhere you turn, when the mainstream media is examined in terms of audience, we see a precipitous decline in the size of the audience. Newspapers, news magazines, cable news, broadcast news… you name it.

One wonders how the MSM is staying in business; it is not unreasonable to suggest that it is being secretly subsidized by the government. Advertising is not paying the bills – at least my understanding suggests that is the case.

But why would the government subsidize the MSM?

The answer leads us down the rabbit hole. The MSM serves those in power; Chris Hedges called the MSM “courtiers of power.” For an example, look at how the NSA story is being handled.

Rather than really digging in on the substance of the NSA snooping/spying/violations (and collusion with the private sector), the story that is covered endlessly is whether Snowden is a whistleblower or traitor. The real story has been diverted.

As long as the MSM serves political and economic powers, it will be subsidized. It is charged with framing the acceptable boundaries of discourse. Its function is to divert attention and define what we are supposed to talk about at the water cooler. But, by and large, it is not working!

A year ago, I wrote about how the MSM continues to decline. The pabulum served by the MSM is not sustainable. The NSA scandal and how the MSM – from Fox to MSNBC and everything in between – handles it insists on making Snowden the story. The real issues concerning the NSA are left to online, alternative media sources. And while they may not be subsidized and have questionable business models, alternative media is covering the real story unabated.

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