Wednesday, December 28, 2016

What is "Mainstream" news media?


http://www.alternet.org/files/styles/story_image/public/story_images/sewage.jpg

Introduction:

A friend of mine, who lists to the Left (he should see a chiropractor about that), often responds like a spring coil when the term mainstream news media trips glibly from my lips.  He objects to the term on the grounds that, according to him, it doesn't exist.  Well, it would be one of the broadest of non-existent phenomena ever recorded.  

Of course, for something to exist it has to have properties.  Let us argue the properties of this mainstream news media.

There is the most obvious cluster of characteristics: that it is dominant on the public airwaves through success, prestige, and money, enabling it to disseminate broadly, and by a kind of cultural feedback loop, enjoying the perception that it is to be broadly trusted -- which perception loops back to bolster its prevalence.  

The mainstream news media is also a broad and seemingly diverse constellation or veritable galaxy of myriad forms -- NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, BBC, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, National Review, LIFE Magazine, TIME Magazine, etc., etc. -- all competing with one another, yet their competition on certain issues (most glaringly, the issue of Islam) being in lock-step with the dictates of Politically Correct Multiculturalism (PC MC).

This reminds us of perhaps the most important feature of the mainstream news media -- the “PC MC litmus test”.  Perhaps my friend doesn't get the underlying point here:  by its very nature, political correctness is broadly assumed, broadly held, broadly propagated throughout society.  And this broad prevalence is mainly what is meant by mainstream.  And one major way it is propagated is through the news & entertainment media. 

Again, a cultural feedback loop is at play here, in that the propagation of PC MC through these media creates a sense of "this is how reality is", and the relatively uncritical acceptance of this cultural climate by the majority of the People reinforces that same cultural climate.  In this ongoing context, demurrers and critical thinkers who color outside the lines tend to be demeaned and derided in various ways (and of course, some of them should be), depending on how far they stray from the Givens of the Age.  It seems, however, that there may be a "climate change" afoot in this regard, in a backhanded way hastened by the behaviors of Muslims over the past 15 years, which have motivated the dominantly fashionable PC MCs to redouble their PC MC in increasingly surreal ways; which in turn has slowly (even glacially) triggered an amorphous demographic of freer thinkers to recoil and over time think for themselves about the problem of Islam, rather than swallow the whitewashing propaganda about Islam which our mainstream regularly churns out.

Examples:

Consider the following perspective based upon actual data and arguably sound interpretation of that data, from a medium that is not, by the above definition, mainstream -- Jihad Watch:

Robert Spencer aptly notes:

“Lynch doesn’t seem to have addressed the fact that, according to FBI statistics, anti-Semitic hate crimes are twice more common than anti-Muslim hate crimes. Nor did she discuss the high number of alleged anti-Muslim hate crimes that turned out to have been faked by Muslims in order to portray the Muslim community in the U.S. as victimized, when it isn’t.”

Thus, the evidence Spencer provides in that linked phrase “hate crimes that turned out to have been faked by Muslims” leads to a story of one such incident, and that report has further links of other such faked “hate crimes”.  But those are only the tip of the iceberg over the years.  One would have to dig around to find them, spending hours online.   This should be the job of our journalists. Case in point: a recent example of the exposure of a formerly assumed "hate crime" from December of 2015: 

Houston: Muslim pleads guilty to mosque arson that CAIR called "hate incident"
 
When Spencer reported it this week, he provided additional useful information for the public in his editorial introduction to the story reported by the Houston Chronicle -- which, naturally, did not take the trouble to properly inform the public as did Spencer, the non-mainstream reporter.

The added element of definition of “Mainstream” news media is that when they report the new evidence of the factual clarification, their report has none of the useful facts which Spencer, for example, provides -- most acutely two facts: the Muslim Brotherhood connection of CAIR, the American organization of Muslims which made the original allegation, insinuating this was an anti-Muslim "hate crime"; and the frequency over the years of such "hate crimes" that turned out later to be faked by Muslims.  

And so, guess what NBC News reported about that mosque arson when it broke?  Insinuations that it was a “hate crime” against Muslims, like useful idiots, relaying to the public what CAIR tells them to report.  

Has NBC News reported a clarification that makes clear that they were wrong about their insinuation – dead wrong, 180 degrees wrong?  (Furiously rhetorical questions, knowing the answer.)  Well, this week, they  did publish a report of the arson arrest.  This is how NBC News opens their report:

“The suspect in a “suspicious” fire is an adherent who attended services there”

Notice the conspicuous quotes around “suspicious”.  That is an odd insinuation for a news report about a fire that, a year ago, the same damned NBC news service characterized this way:

“Investigators in Houston have determined that a fire at a mosque that broke out Friday was intentionally set.”

Then we have that odd circumlocution of calling the perpetrator an “adherent”.  Did the reporter, Elizabeth Chuck, scour her Roget’s Thesaurus looking for the vaguest term possible to distance the reader from “Muslim” without completely abdicating her journalistic integrity altogether by a sin of omission (the Orwellian option short of outright lying)…?

If that isn’t bad enough, the reporter manages to achieve the audacity of replicating the original CAIR allegation that it was an anti-Muslim “hate crime” without a shred of an indication that CAIR (and NBC News) were a year ago irresponsibly insinuating an incendiary (pun intended) accusation -- one that moreover keeps the flame alive (pun intended) of the notion that Muslims in our society are constantly vulnerable to being victims of “bigotry” and “hatred”, thus reinforcing our white Western guilt to feel we ought not to be too suspicious of Muslims, lest we succumb to our natural, innate racism that only white Westerners cultivate.  And after respectfully quoting CAIR’s former allegation, the reporter ends with a quote from the head of the “Islamic Society of Greater Houston” saying the usual pro forma stuff:

Khan, the head of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, thanked officials for making a swift arrest Wednesday and called on Muslims to go to prayer services like they normally would.
"This case has come to a point where now the court system can take care of it. Please go about your business," he said. "Attend the daily prayers."

(Notice, by the way, the veiled implication conveyed by this quote of Poor Muslims huddling back together for their humble daily prayers as they try to recover from an unfortunate episode -- with the implication still lurking in between the lines of a "hate crime"...) Meanwhile, does the reporter bother to mention that the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH) is officially connected to ISNA -- the Islamic Society of North America, which in turn is directly connected with CAIR -- both of them proven to be affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood?  The same CAIR that after the arson happened, bruited about allegations of an anti-Muslim hate crime.  And speaking of the Muslim Brotherhood, have we ever seen in any mainstream news publication or broadcast a report on the "explanatory memorandum" discovered during the Holy Land Foundation trial, written by Mohammed Akram, a member of the Board of Directors of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America back in the 1991 --

“The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

--?  Have they even done their journalistic duty to report about that Holy Land Foundation trial at all?

One definition, thus, of “Mainstream” news media is that they are not doing their job informing the public of a metastasizing danger to the public (the global revival of Islam); and in fact, and worse than negligence, they are subtly obfuscating the problem by adding whitewash to it. 

Afterword:

As my 17.5 readers know, I have in recent months taken the Counter-Jihad to task for developing its own "mainstream" that, by definition, tends to inculcate and perpetuate memes of softness about the problem of Islam (indeed, my immediately preceding post discusses one example of that).  But that is not to say that the Counter-Jihad Mainstream is exactly as bad as the broader Western Mainstream; in many ways, of course, it is a superior source for analysis on the problem if Islam.  It is only to point out areas of the former needing correction, in the spirit of quality control, so that, over time, it may, in turn, more efficiently exert quality control on the broader Western Mainstream's ongoing myopia and wrongheaded analysis of the problem of Islam.

6 comments:

Richard James said...

This is tangential to your post, Hesp, but "my 17.5 readers" - is this true or just droll self-deprecation? If true it's a shocking indication of how few people fully perceive the problems of and surrounding Islam and Muslims. :(

Hesperado said...

Yes, just drollery. I have vague indications that more than that read it (most who read blogs probably don't comment).

Richard James said...

Phew! (mops brow)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Voegy:

"I have vague indications that more than that read it (most who read blogs probably don't comment)."

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Keep telling yourself that, Bobby. Sites like JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna get HUNDREDS of comments each day. After accounting for web crawlers and your own pageviews, '17.5' is what you get in a year, if you're lucky.

Hesperado said...

Blogspot provides its bloggers with monthly graphs of traffic to their blog(s), as well as a number count for each post. This post here to date has had 75 visits (I've visited it about 3 times. Unless one of my 17.5 readers is visiting the same post like 70 times, this reasonably implies more than 17.5 readers (meanwhile, for example, my recent essay on Debbie Schlussel from late November, shows 407 visits).

As usual, "Anonymous" above (aka "Philip Jihadski") is wielding his logic like a gap-toothed, tongue-lolling idiot with a hammer; implying that if other blogs have thousands of readers, then I must not have even 17.5 in a year (and also providing no evidence for his claims about web-crawlers).

More amusingly, his repeated belligerent attacks on me over the months here (and over the years at Jihad Watch) belie his claims that I am negligible. If I were actually negligible, there would be no need to even notice me, let alone expend as much frothingly hateful spittle & saliva on me, as Philip Jihadski has done over the years.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jackass:

"As usual, "Anonymous" above (aka "Philip Jihadski") is wielding his logic like a gap-toothed, tongue-lolling idiot with a hammer; implying that if other blogs have thousands of readers, then I must not have even 17.5 in a year"

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And here he goes again, the Pompous Imam of the Counterjhad, attempting to place words, experiences, ideas in my mouth that are not there at all. You continue to do this, and I’m sick of it. Stop the lying! Get a grip, man. You are absolutely ridiculous – a whining little baby donkey.


Now listen, punk. I have never said such a thing, nor have I implied, and I defy you to prove otherwise. Now come up with the citation or cut the crap. Got it? And you wonder why I call you a jackass?! This is precisely why.

JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna get HUNDREDS of comments each day. That's a FACT, jackass. They, unlike you, get HUNDREDS of visitors each day.

Now, come up with the citation where I said those things you claim I did, or retract it, or continue to suffer my wrath.