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A Bold, Lonely Herd

March 15th, 2005 · 6 Comments

Jon Stewart’s interviewing Tom Fenton, author of Bad News. Fenton confirms that he thinks the news media’s hit an “all time low” and Stewart, apparently totally seriously, says “you don’t often hear people in the industry standing up to say so that boldly.” Right.

  • Breaking The News : How the Media Undermine American Democracy
  • Out of Order : An incisive and boldly original critique of the news media’s domination ofAmerica’s political process by THOMAS E. PATTERSON
  • What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News by Eric Alterman
  • The News About the News : American Journalism in Peril
  • Media Circus : The Trouble with America’s Newspapers
  • Spin Cycle: How the White House and the Media Manipulate the News by Howard Kurtz
  • Bias: A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distorts the News by Bernard Goldberg
  • Is Anyone Responsible? : How Television Frames Political Issues
    by Shanto Iyengar
  • Democracy Without Citizens: Media and the Decay of American Politics by Robert M. Entman
  • Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times by Robert W. McChesney
  • The New Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian
  • All the News That’s Fit to Sell : How the Market Transforms Information into News by James T. Hamilton

That took about 5 minutes on Amazon. I could’ve generated a list ten times as long; that didn’t even include many of the books in the genre I’ve seen just scanning bookshelves in the last year. Merits of the various arguments to one side, does anyone seriously imagine this is some rare voice-in-the-wilderness position?

Tags: Journalism & the Media



6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brian Moore // Mar 16, 2005 at 1:14 pm

    Yeah, that did seem to be a little weird. Especially since Jon Stewart’s show basically exists to mock the the media in the same way, you’d think he would notice when everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

  • 2 Jason // Mar 16, 2005 at 1:17 pm

    Depends where you get your news. The argument that the mass media is actually conservative, nay reactionary, might seem strange to those who get their news from the major network/cable news sevices (which is most if memory serves me). Despite the plethora of literature on the subject, they’ve been effectively marginalized. This stuff isn’t new. Adorno was one of the first, and that was quite a while ago. How many people have heard of him?

  • 3 fling93 // Mar 16, 2005 at 1:47 pm

    Stewart’s entertaining and usually insightful — but he’s a godawful interviewer.

  • 4 Bellman // Mar 16, 2005 at 2:37 pm

    I love the Daily Show, but it’s pretty clear to me that Stewart is willing to reward folks with whom he agrees with his particular form of adulation.

  • 5 Brian Moore // Mar 16, 2005 at 3:29 pm

    I love the Daily Show, but it’s pretty clear to me that Stewart is willing to reward folks with whom he agrees with his particular form of adulation.

    I agree, and despite disagreeing with him on many things, I figure: it’s his show.

    He did surprise that one lady he had on awhile back with the “American Empire” book. I don’t think she expected that. 🙂

    As long as they keep running Lewis Black and “This Week In God,” I’ll keep watching. 🙂

  • 6 alkali // Mar 16, 2005 at 7:16 pm

    I would note that Fenton’s thesis appears to be pretty different from the bias claim that so many media critics make. To spell it out, the critic of bias assumes that the fact-gathering apparatus is in place and laments how the powers that be twist the facts to make their political points. Fenton seems to be arguing that the fact-gathering apparatus isn’t even in place. National news organizations have shuttered foreign bureaus and even their regional desks.