KURT SCHLICHTER: The Mainstream Media Doesn’t Deserve Our Respect or Our Trust. “The mainstream liberal media is primarily composed of stumblebum leftist jerks who want all the glory and respect due a caste of objective, moral truth-seekers, yet who don’t want to do the hard work of actually being objective or moral or seeking the truth. . . . You have Matt Lauer, probably America’s most highly-paid journalist, who “everyone” knew was a skeevy weirdo who’d probably creep out Woody Allen. Well, everyone did know, except us, the media’s audience. Our media overlords didn’t think we needed to know that little bit of information. Some obscure Texas congressmen sends texts of his ancient junk to a girlfriend and, after he dumps her, she gets mad and puts them up on the web? Oh, that’s news – America must know that vital info. But when the flagship anchor of the flagship show on the flagship broadcast network uses his powers to basically build a sex dungeon in 30 Rock – nope, not news.”
Journalists, like intellectuals, write about things they know virtually nothing about pretending to be experts. But fools are people who take the opinions they read in the papers as if they actually represent anything more than the views of the shallowest of partisan hacks.
Speaking of which, this is from the Instapundit comments:
If there is irony and exaggeration found in any of it, it has gone by me completely. And then there was this, also in the comments.
Media carries with it a credibility that is totally undeserved. You have all experienced this, in what I call the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. (I call it by this name because I once discussed it with Murray Gell-Mann, and by dropping a famous name I imply greater importance to myself, and to the effect, than it would otherwise have.)
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all.
But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.
Which leads to this final comment which makes no end of sense: “My new policy is to vote for people who have the right enemies.” Everything then becomes crystal clear as long as they also have the right friends.