Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The Emperor's New Clothes

Remember that story from childhood? An emperor from a faraway land was so vain that, when an unscrupulous "tailor" told him that he would weave for the emperor a magical suit that could only be seen by {you pick the group: the noble, the erudite, the cool, whatever ...}, the emperor believed it. When the tailor "wove" the (non-existent) suit, the emperor, of course, could not see it. He was so embarrassed that he -- the emperor! -- was not part of the privileged group that could actually see the suit that he pretended to do so nonetheless and proceeded to march out into town to show it off. It finally took an innocent little child to declare what everyone could plainly see -- the emperor had no clothes! The emperor then realized his folly and repented of his vanity.

While emperors have gone out of style, vanity clearly has not. Witness the various righteous screeds issued by the Mainstream Media over the past couple of days. Mary Mapes, for instance, reacted to the release of the Thornburgh report on Monday by continuing to maintain in the face of mountains of evidence to the contraray that the Burkett Memos are authentic. In USA Today today, writer Jill Lawrence led off her piece in Tuesday's edition with the following, which can only be described as incredible:
"Imagine a Democratic presidential candidate and his allies assailing the character of the Republican nominee in ads and speeches every day for eight months.Having trouble? That's because Democrats generally don't have the stomach or the discipline to do it. Often they don't even effectively fight back when under attack themselves.”"
Huh? Ms. Lawrence must have an ancestor by the name of Rip Van Winkle, since the only way she missed the 10 months of demagoguery otherwise known as the Democratic Presidential primaries is by sleeping through the whole thing.

These journalists (and I am being very generous here...) can only be in a state of complete and utter denial -- much like our mythical emperor. The MSM seems to labor under the misimpression that we don't know: "Shhhh -- don't tell anyone that we're biased; they'll never figure it out!" What THEY have not figured out is that we all know their dirty little secret and we have known it for some time; its just that there hasn't been an effective medium for the thousands of points of light to make their voices heard...until now. The blogosphere has taken on the role of the innocent child crying out that the emperor has no clothes. Only this time, the "emperor" -- the MSM -- does not repent of its folly. Rather (and I just love using that word in sentences on this topic!), it continues onward, towards its own potential destruction.

We've heard a lot of criticism over the last few days -- of CBS, of the individual journalists and of the Thornburgh report. What's needed now, though, is action. The Mainstream Media needs to understand that the game is up and that it is now time to enact positive reform of the industry, if it is to survive. The American people have a lot more choices now from which to get their news; if the Mainstream Media doesn't look itself in the face and resolve to correct itself, it will be no more.

Frankly, I doubt they will be able to do it.

[Posted with hblogger 2.0]

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