First, let me say most measurements of change are relative; we naturally compare “what is” to “what was.” Therefore, a disclaimer: when noting a few relatively minor instances of fairness, they must be viewed in the context of the MSM’s usual 100 percent support of the leftist agenda.
The day after the attack at the Family Research Council (FRC), ABC actually reported the attacker’s political and social leanings; it turns out Floyd Corkins harbored beliefs contrary to those of the FRC’s Christian advocacy stance. CBS even acknowledged the FRC spokesperson’s accusation that the Southern Poverty Law Center was complicit in the attack by virtue of its designation of the FRC as a ‘hate group.’
Of course, other MSM outlets ignored the story or failed to mention Corkins’ background.
Also, after being skewered earlier in the week for using leftist blog site talking points during an interview, CNN’s Soledad O’Brien pressed Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Cleaver casually dismissed Joe Biden’s ‘chains’ comment, but O’Brien strongly challenged Cleaver’s position.
Yes, it actually happened.
NBC’s Brian Williams appeared on Jon Stewart’s show. Amidst the frivolous discussion about Paul Ryan’s physique and teenage employment, Stewart asked the ever pompous Williams if/when more substantive issues would be addressed by the media. Williams replied with an flippant comment about Ryan driving the Wiener Mobile.
At least Stewart tried.
ABC News’s Jake Tapper took a shot at Obama, noting the president’s two month avoidance of the national press corps. Apparently piqued at Obama’s evasiveness, Tapper pointed out the president did find time to give interviews to People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight.
Would Tapper have posted this blog two years ago?
Okay, I know it’s not much; a stretch at best. But, recall my disclaimer, change is relative. More important than the number of defections are the reasons for them.
Of course, the individual explanations may tell all. ABC wanted to get the jump on its competition with the FRC story. O’Brien needed to rebuild her creds after the blog talking points embarrassment. Stewart believed he needed to get serious for a moment. Tapper’s ego was bruised.
But, could there be more to it?
I’m not predicting the MSM will have epiphanies exceeding biblical proportions. The MSM will not undergo an Ebenezer Scrooge-like awakening.
However, for purely selfish reasons, personal, professional and financial, we may see some in the MSM throw in a few more instances of real, fair journalism.
Some in the MSM will soon face a decision. Although they created the Obama train now running off the tracks, will they ride the train to oblivion? The hardcore ideologues, of course, will happily do so. However, are there some in the MSM who recognize an impending train wreck and jump off? Is there a point where professional credibility trumps ideology?
More likely, however, financial pressure will drive change, even if the changes appears tiny.
Excepting NPR, of course, the MSM eventually must ‘follow the money.’ CNN is dying. The broadcast networks’ news divisions are less than shadows of their former selves. Major newspapers, most notably the New York Times, are hurting. MSNBC’s core viewers are a small and not particularly affluent demographic.
Eventually, the boards of directors and shareholders lose patience.
As an eternal optimist, perhaps I am engaging in delusional wishful thinking. Then, again, perhaps not.