Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ted Kopple

I subscribe to a internet news blog called: Newsblues. It's a compendium of things happening in my chosen profession. This was in Monday's post. I thought you might like to see what a true journalist thinks of today's alleged story tellers.

New viewers, news readers and even those who only glance at the headlines can change this if we want too.


"We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of [Keith]Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity andBill O'Reilly," writes Ted Koppel in a Sunday op-ed piece for The Washington Post, "individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable.

"The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic. It is, though, the natural outcome of a growing sense of national entitlement. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's oft-quoted observation that 'everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts,' seems almost quaint in anenvironment that flaunts opinions as though they were facts.

"And so, among the many benefits we have come to believe the founding fathers intended for us, the latest is news we can choose. Beginning, perhaps, from the reasonable perspective that absolute objectivity is unattainable, Fox News and MSNBC no longer even attempt it. They show us the world not as it is, but as partisans (and loyal viewers) at either end of the political spectrum would like it to be. This is to journalism what Bernie Madoff was to investment: He told his customers what they wanted to hear, and by the time they learned the truth, their money was gone."


Topher08 said...

I agree with both you and Kopple on this subject. Society, in general, is now responding to these "Cable News Outlets" like they have responded to Churches, Grocery Stores, or Barber Shops, if you will. They search and search for one that caters to their own opinions, morays, and social conditioning, discarding pertinent fact and logic in the process. When people find an outlet that accentuates and affirms their own ideology, they commit to it and remain loyal to a fault, refusing to listen to both sides of an idea or story, no matter what. Now, mind you, this type of brand loyalty is wonderful for a Grocery Store, Barber Shop, or Car Dealer. However, this trend does not bode well for News Outlets, where we as a society should be able to look for fair, unbiased, FACTUAL reporting on the news and events of the day. It has become hard to find such outlets, as our own local news providers are starting to trend toward the delivery of "news" as those mentioned in your blog, catering to the opinions and feelings of the viewers in that market in order to garnish higher ratings. It is a shame that society now treats news media outlets like a grocery store. This will continue to happen unless more people start to question the way and manner that “news” is delivered.

Thank you, as always, for your blog. Have a great week.

Anonymous said...

A longer version of Koppel's view appeared in the Washington Post today.
Here's my favorite clip:

"I recall a Washington meeting many years later at which Michael Eisner, then the chief executive of Disney, ABC's parent company, took questions from a group of ABC News correspondents and compared our status in the corporate structure to that of the Disney artists who create the company's world-famous cartoons. (He clearly and sincerely intended the analogy to flatter us.) Even they, Eisner pointed out, were expected to make budget cuts; we would have to do the same.

I mentioned several names to Eisner and asked if he recognized any. He did not. They were, I said, ABC correspondents and cameramen who had been killed or wounded while on assignment. While appreciating the enormous talent of the corporation's cartoonists, I pointed out that working on a television crew, covering wars, revolutions and natural disasters, was different. The suggestion was not well received."

I don't think the jobs are equal, but I'm less certain about the "status" issue he is whining about. What is the importance of his status in his argument? And why drag my team into it? This sort of comment just leads us cartoonists to want to make funny and inappropriate drawings of people like Koppel. Do NOT provoke the cartoonists.
hmmm LOL
ps. I've already done a funny drawing of you years ago, so feel free to carry on. xoxo

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