My wife and I are reversing our previous decision to cancel the New York Times Sunday edition because of an article this morning. After reading it, I had the profound realization that we, the people, need a strong, independent counter to mis-information, spin or positioning that any Administration might push on the American people…
…and bloggers aren’t it.
The gist of the article is that the Bush Administration and the Pentagon were architects of a coordinated, orchestrated campaign to position retired military leaders as spokes-puppets for the Administration, going on network news as “military analysts” with either veiled or overt obfuscation of their ties and that they’d been spoon-fed “messaging” about Iraq to carry forward.
According to this article, many of these “analysts” have close ties and affiliations with the defense industry so their livelihoods and incentives are directly aligned with the military industrial complex and the trillions of expenditures on defense and the ‘war’ on Iraq and nebulous terror.
One paragraph leapt out at me and at that moment realized there isn’t a snowballs-chance-in-Hades bloggers could or would perform this type of investigative journalism…or even afford to do what the Times can do, take the time necessary to investigate and then write a report like this article, or even have the power to stand up to coordinated message manipulation by the government (my bolding):
Five years into the Iraq war, most details of the architecture and execution of the PentagonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s campaign have never been disclosed. But The Times successfully sued the Defense Department to gain access to 8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records describing years of private briefings, trips to Iraq and GuantÃƒ¡namo and an extensive Pentagon talking points operation.
I’ve not yet seen any shift in media power from ‘old’ to ‘new’ media that could rival the pulpit a major news daily wields, mainly because of the fracturing of information distribution (and the attention we pay to any given source) today’s Internet is driving. Are you? If so, point out to me the trusted, non-opinion but fact-based investigative blogs or blog networks — ones that are ‘new’ media vs. extensions of ‘old’, traditional media like a New York Times blog — and I’ll take it into consideration though I’ll wager there aren’t any.
If the downtrending of news business models continues to deteriorate and more of us get our news from comedy shows like The Daily Show or Colbert Report — or from lightweight, opinion-driven news sites like Huffington Post or Slate — true investigative journalism is what suffers as does our ability to learn counterpoints and balanced or alternative viewpoints (though ironically, one of my favorite “News 2.0″ articles is here from Huffington Post but is still opinion).
What do you think?