September 19 2012
Whenever I read about the decline of newspaper ad revenue, I suspect that there must be a lot of people out there like me. In my case, it’s not that I am lured away from the newspapers by the proliferation of online sources. The crinkle of a newspaper with morning coffee is still very appealing.
Nevertheless, I am often filled with dread at the very prospect of picking up the newspaper in the morning. This is not because I can't stand bad news. It's because, on all too many important issues, there is very little news and lots of commentary masquerading as news. On days like today, when there is a fresh Romney "gaffe" to explore, I am particularly loath to read the newspaper. It will be a kick in the gut.
Don't get me wrong: the Romney "gaffe" is a legitimate story. It should be covered. No doubt about that. But the media is out for Romney's blood. This affects their judgment on how to cover and play the story. Since I am desperate to keep up with what is clearly the collpase of our policy in the Middle East--a topic the MSM seems--um--strangely lethargic about covering--I know in advance that the prominence accorded to Romney's new "gaffe" will prove disconcerting.
But the Washington Times’ Charles Hurt does a better job of critiquing the media than I could ever hope to do:
Four years after promising to cut the deficit in half, President Obama has exploded the debt to a record $16 trillion. Welfare rolls have ballooned to levels once unimaginable in America and you are actually paying for campaigns to recruit more people onto welfare.
Then last week, the Obama administration finally acknowledged that the $50 billion in defense cuts it prefers over trimming back welfare programs and cutting wasteful government spending will be “deeply destructive to national security, domestic investments and core government functions.”
Oh, and then our credit rating got downgraded. Again. Both humiliating firsts.
So, what flings our national newshounds into a full-blown choking frenzy? An apparent cover-up over the terrorist attack in Libya? The nationwide squalor under the Obama economy? Exposes into all the wasteful spending that should be cut before we junk our national defense?
Nope. Some stupid comment Mitt Romney made four months ago at a fundraiser lamenting that a record-low number of Americans are making enough money anymore to actually pay income taxes.
Is it really a news flash to these people that Mr. Romney can say incredibly idiotic things in the goofiest of ways? Even Mr. Romney himself would probably concede that he doesn’t quite have the silver tongue of President Obama. But, hopefully, it is not forked, either.
How such a minor and long-ago statement could blot out coverage of a disastrous foreign policy, crushing debt and total economic malaise is more than most rational people can comprehend. Which is why most rational people do not become national political reporters.
For the record, I don’t think what Romney said was idiotic in the least. But I haven't had the fortitude to read the paper today. I know that the MSM will be in full cry over this latest “gaffe.”
But Hurt doesn’t end on a bleak note. He shows the mainstream media can still ask the tough questions:
Earlier this week, a White House spokesman and an Obama campaign official answered questions from reporters during a flight on Air Force One. A reporter grilled the White House — and I am not making this up — about what the president thought of the impersonation of him on the previous “Saturday Night Live” episode.
Upon the conclusion of the reporters’ questions, according to the pool report, the campaign official rewarded the drooling lap dogs by offering them “home-baked cookies.”
But, standing tall, uncompromising and fearless, the press declined the campaign’s sweets.
If a high percentage of formerly loytal customers (like me) absolutely dread your product, revenue problems are inevitable.
Breitbart also has an analysis of well-deserved ad revenue disaster for the MSM.