Why the Mainstream Media is Doomed 40

Laziness. Sloth will kill the minstream media. All those well-paid journalists resting their fat bottoms on padded office chairs will become extinct as a breed, victims of their own inability to raise a sweat, just like the poor old dodo.

On Saturday, when I posted on Brevik’s links to Pamela Geller, a google advanced search for posts containing both Breivik and Pamela Geller brought up just two results.

Today, there are hundreds, mainly from the mainstream media, and including many comment articles. But all of the mainstream media articles are predicated solely on the endorsement of Geller’s website Atlas Shrugs in Breivik’s “manifesto”. Not one of these MSM pieces, not the New York Times or the Washington Post or the LA Times, picks up on the fact that Pamela Geller had posted a whole series of virulent specifically anti Norwegian-Muslim posts on her Atlas Shrugs website, that Breivik had posted comments on this website or – most importantly – that Geller had attended a hate rally in Oslo in 2009.

It took me half an hour on Saturday morning to discover all the above facts, but that is half an hour the mainstream media are not prepared to put in. One mainstream media outlet found the Geller references in Breivik’s manifesto – 24 hours after I posted – and the hundreds of other mainstream articles have been lazily based around that single fact.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

40 thoughts on “Why the Mainstream Media is Doomed

1 2
  • mary

    You do not appreciate that they are working to an agenda which prevents them exposing the likes of Geller.

  • Eddie-G

    Is it laziness?

    If you contrast how the media have reported the Geller links (i.e. slowly or not at all), with how the suspicion-it-was-islamists rumour was circulated, I don’t think laziness captures what’s going on.

    Here’s a nice summary of how the original islamist terrorism rumour spread:


    Sometimes journos, like all of us, are lazy; but as a rule, most mainstream outlets I think rightly say that they need to make their own inquiries before reprinting something “that they read on the internet”. What this episode shows however is that they apply this rule selectively. Whilst I’ve got my suspicions why, I’d still like to hear their own explanations.

  • Muslim

    As a Muslim, can I sue some maintsream media, including BBC, SkyNews, the Sun, for perpetrating hatred towards muslim population in the UK by promoting baseless and insane accusations against muslims and in connection with Oslo killings? I want to sue them and get their illegally made monies and give the monies to stuggling Palestinians? Are there any brave lawyers who can help me?

  • Paul Johnston

    It was only last week you were praising the “MSM” i.e. The Guardian for refusing to give up on the phone hacking saga.
    Do you think bloggers could have kept that up in the face of hostility from The Met?

  • larry Levin

    I get my news from subscriptions to various youtube channels, Perhaps the only way mainstream dies is if the non mainstream media can inform the public about issues that mainstream media does not or does with inform but with a corporate elite determined slant.

  • mary

    From the medialens message board

    The BBC News online asks a very intriguing question
    Posted by gabriele on July 26, 2011, 11:31 am
    Should the views of killers be publicised? asks the BBC News online on its front page. After a click, I read the full intriguing question:
    The publication of Norwegian suspected gunman Anders Behring Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto has caused controversy. So should the motives of a killer be publicised or is it just giving a platform to extremist views?
    Now, what stops the BBC and the other state-corporate media to ask the same question when the killing agent is our State and its allies?
    Being the killing of a far greater dimension (Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.), the question is even more important. So why (do) those same media give the killing agent’s propaganda a platform?
    I already hear the objections; it’s far more complicated than that. Why?
    Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14275321
    Re: The BBC News online asks a very intriguing question
    Posted by PublicReason on July 26, 2011, 12:37 pm, in reply to “The BBC News online asks a very intriguing question”
    A brilliant point. Another sub-clause to your own question might be to consider the ideology driving the killing machine. Breivik’s ideology of choice was a hybridised neoconservatism; very much of the type that is driving military intervention in ‘foreign’ lands. He sources from many well known conservative ideologues, yet he is consistently classed as psychopathic. Surely we can make the same claims against any solider who kills in the name of neoconservative ideology? But will this be discussed in the mainstream media? Not a bit of it.

  • mary

    ‘Today, there are hundreds, mainly from the mainstream media, and including many comment articles’
    Nothing mainstream about it. It should be called corporate media.

  • MJ

    Independent research and the concomitant joining of the dots will, unless it’s within strictly prescribed areas, most likely lead to you being labelled a conspiracy theorist, which is professional suicide for a corporate media journalist.

    It’s sobering to consider that, had Breivik only perpetrated the Oslo explosion and had omitted the massacre, the incident would already be firmly established as the work of a shadowy Muslim terror network.

  • wendy

    EDL Financer Is Breivik’s (alleged) “Perfect Knight”
    The “perfect knight” Norwegian terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik said he met at a 2002 London initiation ceremony of the Knights Templar is English Defence League financier and political controller Alan Lake, according to a self-proclaimed “founding father” of the group.

    “Now the penny has finally dropped on who the most likely person is, who ‘Richard’ the English mentor of Anders Breivik is,” writes English Defence League founder Paul Ray, on his blog Lionheart UK. “EDL’s financier and political controller Alan Lake.”

    Ray lays out a full indictment of Alan Lake on his blog, posting video links to a speech the right-winger gave in Norway back in October 2009, and an interview he gave “for a documentary there which puts him clearly at the scene of the crime.”

    “Not only that, his [Lake’s] murderous ideals are there for all to see when he says that he would execute those who believe in sharia law,” Ray writes, providing linkage to prove his accusation.

    “All arrows point towards Alan Lake, and all circumstantial evidence points towards Alan Lake,” Ray claims.

  • Andy

    It isn’t laziness. The narrative has to be madman acting alone perhaps influenced a little bit by groups like the EDL, who deny being racists of course.
    If Geller and friends were to be brought into the picture then things might start looking ugly as first and foremost these people exist to support Israel.
    I have noticed on the Guardian’s cif some posters are suggesting the young people who were slaughtered could be sort of to blame. Being left and supporting the Palestinians.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Funny you should mention this, but I was immediately struck by the speed at which your posts identified key issues, such as the Geller connection. You seem to have a considerable talent in that direction, a kind of prescience, i suppose it might be called. In journalistic terms it is a ‘nose’ for the story.

    To you, the failure of the MSM may seem like sloth but in truth, after reading your posts I realized I would have almost certainly fallen into the same (predictable) traps as the mainstream.

    I doubt if they (the msm) are actually working to some dominating ideology, they are just ‘limited’ and look for the path of least resistance and that ‘path’ is to push l the well tried and tested formulaic buttons that seem to have worked previously.

    I suspect that the journalism trade has simply dropped in status, and poorer and poorer individuals with poorer and poorer education have entreated (and prospered) in the business, in the same way that i the past many trades demanded great skills and experience. Technology has made it possible to ‘get around’ many of the obstacles but it still takes brains t analyze.
    Which reminds me of the car I had, which was breaking down. Main dealer Mechanics wanted me to replace the ‘computer’-(at 2000 + costs.( not an attractive opt in a car worth about 4000.
    i took it to my pal, a retired ship’s engineer, who sat down and did some basic research and diagnostic tests and identified the problem as a blocked filter in the fuel tank, caused by algae/bacteria that can live in diesel. He corrected the problem by blowing compressed air backwards through the fuel line.

    I suspect that ‘technology dependency’ is having a damaging and unpredictable effect on our capacity to understand how the world works.

    It may even be that the perpetrator has been drive to a state of madness by his brooding over some of the asinine nonsense that the internet gives a much more instant vehicle for.

    In the past the vehicle was printed material which has a much higher cost and quality ‘bar’ than internet commentary.

    I just went past a hideous and dishonest anti abortion demonstration outside a Planned Parenthood Clinic near here. The rhetoric employed is very disturbingly inaccurate, and amplified to irrational level and drowns out rational thought on the issue.

    I am not sure how this issue can be dealt with, but the principle of ‘free speech’ and the propagation of ideas has descended into the sophistry that Socrates predicted for it. Free speech and “rhetoric’ and information management / advertising has surely become the defining issue of these times.

    Robin McKie of the Guardian put in a robust defense of the scientific method of peer evaluation at the weekend essentially calling for a return of the respect for the method, and a rejection of the views of people who cast doubts-climate denilaists etc. However just yesterday I was reading the (internal) email exchanges about a medical paper published in the 80’s in Science (a prestige outlet). The results have been used to great monetary advantage by the author in his relationship with pharmaceutical companies, and it has been cited thousands of times as a foundation piece of ‘science’ in the field of brain chemistry.

    However despite numerous attempts (and huge costs) to try to replicate the results, there has not been a single successful replication-and yet the paper’s findings have persisted, and continue to be used misleadingly as a key ‘fact’ . It has taken a determined campaign and extended argument, to have this paper publicly withdrawn despite the fact that virtually no-one accepts the original results and a widespread suspicion that the original paper was fraudulent. No-one f course dares say anything as it may lead to litigation.

    Reasoning through this minefield is difficult and , contrary to Robin McKie’s article, we ARE certainly in a difficult position with respect to how we manage information, with established standards and methods not proving to be adequate to the circumstances.

    The academic world currently has a real and parallel problem to that of the popular media and journalism, as internal system pressures dictate that publication, as a measure of ‘success’ has meant that a great deal that is now published is repetitious, re-hashed, “aderal enhanced” and fraudulent or pointless nonsense, although it always conforms to the internal logic that has emerged within the particular field. i have known people who have successfully spun 15 papers out of a single set of results and simply game the system with re-writes.

    In my own experience I know with absolute certainty of a ‘respected’ scientist who went to his work at night, ‘doctored’ some samples which were due to be tested the following day by someone else, and the results of which were key to his achieving a successful grant.

    If I dared to openly name the person who did it, it would be me that would be attacked.

  • mary

    Breivik used some of Mad Mel’s pieces. This is a thread on Media Lens (who often link to Craig by the way) about Melanie Phillips. She rants as usual on her blog today – A Wider Pathology. She was given a let off in the Guardian incidentally.
    btw thanks Anon for that poster photo. Edward Bernays would have been proud of it.

  • mary

    I like the last sentence. Covers all omissions and errors!
    This list sets out the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s meetings with senior media executives for the period May 2010-July 2011. This includes all meetings with proprietors, senior executives and editors of media organisations for both newspapers and broadcast media. It does not include those meetings with journalists that ended up in interviews that appeared in the public domain, either in newspapers and magazines. It may also exclude some larger social events at which senior media executives may have been present.
    This is the fullest possible list assembled from the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Parliamentary diary, his departmental diary, personal diary and memory. Every effort has been taken to ensure that this is as accurate as possible but the nature of such an extensive exercise means something may have inadvertently got missed.

  • wendy

    watched stephen lennon interview on newsnight last night — whats interesting he appears stephen lennon has been to media training school ..

    someone certainly wants the edl to succeed in its fascistic aims.

    something very sinister about this organisations backers.

  • Michael Culver

    Geller should be invited to smoke packets of Galt’s fags,the ones with the dollar printed on them, until she contracts lung cancer as her heroine Myn Rand did.

  • FrankFisher

    Well Craig, it’s simply that ‘journalists’ have fallen out of the habit of going to original sources – if they read his manifesto, they’d have all the hooks they needed for a year’s writing, but they prefer to rehash what others have written, and top and tail press releases instead.

    The past couple of days on the Telegraph site I’ve been pulling them up on ‘revelations’ drawn from the foreign press, referring to the manifesto – hell it’s only 1500 pages, how hard is it to hack through that?

    We saw where this kind of laziness leads of course: the press reprinted the lies for Kosovo (which may have been the key trigger for ABB), the lies for Iraq, because they couldn’t be arsed digging and comparing, and thinking…

  • andy

    ”it’s simply that ‘journalists’ have fallen out of the habit of going to original sources – if they read his manifesto, they’d have all the hooks they needed for a year’s writing, but they prefer to rehash what others have written”
    What is a ‘journalist’.

  • Larry

    What’s struck me is that in the British mainstream newspapers there’s hardly any mention of the fact that the man’s a freemason.
    Wonder why?

  • craig Post author


    Yes. it took me a couple of hours recently to read through the government’s new Prevent strategy. it was carried in pretty well all mainstream media as a crackdown on non-violent extremism, front page in some of the srious papers. But it became blindingly obvious to me that not a single mainstream journalist had read anything but the press release.

  • Andy

    Chris Hedges writes:
    ”Fundamentalists have no interest in history, culture or social or linguistic differences. They are a remarkably uncurious, self-satisfied group. Anything outside their own narrow bourgeois life, petty concerns and physical comforts bores them. They are provincials. They do not investigate or seek to understand the endemic flaws in human nature. The only thing that matters is the coming salvation of humanity, or at least that segment of humanity they deem worthy of salvation. They peddle a route to assured collective deliverance. And they sanction violence and the physical extermination of other human beings to get there. ”

  • evgueni

    I had a very similar experience with a main dealer garage. Behind the facade of middle-aged well-spoken men and women in suits, there was a work-shop staffed largely with young boys straight out of school. All that these boy-mechanics could do was to plug in their computer and look for fault codes. When that produced a code that was inconsistent with the symptoms, they were lost (but still insisted an expensive replacement part was my best shot). When that didn’t work, a trip to the local reference library was the only thing left to do. There I found a couple of general texts on modern combustion engines that proved a fascinating read as well as useful in solving the mystery. Turned out to be an intermittent connection on the LV side of the coil, fixed with a bit of conductive paste…
    I am convinced that part of the problem with MSM is commercial pressure to keep costs down whilst ensuring that something/anything gets printed to attract advertising audiences. There is little to add to the standard Propaganda Model that Chomsky and Herman advanced in Manufacturing Consent. One of the inevitable outcomes is the lowering of journalistic standards. Conviction journos are rare beasts, like conviction politicos. Jobsworths are the norm.
    The corruption of science is a large problem. The peer review process was always vulnerable to some degree but the problem is no better system has been devised yet. Take this quote from the early days in the history of science when it was mostly conducted by men of independent means who did not need to apply for grants: “The educated man and the scientist is as prone as any other to become the victim…of his prejudices….He will in defence thereof make shipwreck of both the facts of science and the methods of science…by perpetrating every form of fallacy, inaccuracy and distortion” – John H. Noyes, fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, Essay on Scientific Propagation, 1872
    The dangers are amplified now, with scientists required to compete for citations and grants. When politics (read money in whatever form) is in the mix, the peer review has proven inadequate as a defence against corruption. The deconstruction of the ClimatGate emails exposed this clearly. The solution must lie in complete transparency – forcing the open publication of all studies and their methods, including the ones that produce ‘nil’ results. All appeals to ‘scientific consensus’ must be understood as political, not scientific discourse.

  • Paul

    That’s rather hard on the dodo, don’t you think.
    But there is a deeper truth in the analogy. The dodo was superbly well adapted to its environment; which didn’t until the very end include sailors with clubs. The dodo had no way to adapt to that.
    The current media likewise has been well adapted to its environment, which includes a largely uninformed audience, short historical memory, pandering (and pandered to) politicians and weak monopoly laws. Hopefully, the environment has changed for the media. And hopefully, like the dodo, the current media will not be able to adapt quickly and will be displaced by something else, and – unlike the dodo – something better.
    We all need to keep hold of our metaphorical clubs, though, to try and shape that ‘something better’.

1 2

Comments are closed.