.@CNN's @BrianStelter — whom I greatly admire for his steady (if a bit uneven) growth as one of the few TV journalists to even marginally criticize our cratering media megaplex—alerted me to the tweet storm below by Matthew Chapman. Matt and I have followed each other for quite some time. He's a programmer, contributor to Blue Nation Review, and generally a very wise and insightful young man with a helluva lot to say.
Below is a tweet collection I've curated of a recent rant, wherein Matt says some of those things with a rare clarity that I just had to capture for posterity. Things that every American needs to hear in order to even begin to understand how our media and journalism are failing us every day with a constant Gish-Galloping cavalcade of ridiculous conservative propagandists with their equally ridiculous agendas, ideas, memes, contrived tropes, and cynical lies. Not merely during this hideous 2016 election, but virtually all the time. We have been awash in media tripe for almost a generation now, and our country and culture are drowning in it.
A Clinton supporter's tweetstorm about coverage of HRC. I disagree with some of this, but def worth reading https://t.co/x8nzMrx35y
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 31, 2016
Accurate, dramatic, eloquent, and on-point, eh?
There just isn't that much to say. But there sure is a lot to talk about.
Naturally, and despite his best efforts, Brian Stelter is a made-man in the ecosystem of horrendous ethical fails that is @CNN, a network which Chapman is indirectly lambasting in his rant, so he felt compelled to tack on the "I disagree with some of it…" With apologies to him, who I really do like and admire, that was today's Twitter-sensitive journalist code-speak to set up the obligatory "of course, both sides share some of the blame…"
No, Brian, no they do not. And you know they don't. See Chapman's many sidebar tweets (within his storm) with the always manipulative and disingenuous propagandist, @ABC's @MatthewJDowd, one of the worst purveyors of "the big lie" that "both sides do it."
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) August 31, 2016
Please Brian Stelter…
…read Matt's storm again below, and discuss which exact remarks you disagree with on @reliablesources this coming Sunday. Be very specific, because it's hard for any regular observer or our media malaise to disagree with much of what he's said, or the examples he's given.
Then do a really unique thing: have some of the people who regularly address our ubiquitous media malpractice to discuss all of this. And not with the same old #bothsides bullshit artists from the @CNN bullpen. Use people who actually understand how the media (and right-wing propaganda) work. Get to the heart of the matter of why your colleagues in the media (and your complicit boss, Jeff Zucker) continually practice this ruinous ritual of propagating endless hours of vapid, calorie-free coverage of ginned-up, right-wing counter-factual nonsense. It's a toxic stew of preventable malfeasance that is steadily and efficiently eroding our nation's ability to address a manufactured and cynically nurtured state of affairs where polarization, rancor, and institutionalized dysfunction are almost all our media can discuss, while simultaneously generating more of it .
We are not addressing issues. We are not holding people accountable. We are not governing. We are not telling the truth. Not to anyone in America, nor the entire world. And media is, if not entirely to blame, certainly to be blamed for making it all worse and impeding any efforts to make anything better.
And rather than do this with one more banal round of the Hollywood Squares-type panel discussion, why not host a @CNN town-hall on "What's Wrong With The Media," and invite people like (off the top of my head), Matt Chapman himself (@fawfulfan), but also: @ericboehlert, @mr_electrico and @bluegal, @sarahkendzior, @jeffcot, @owillis, @docrocktex26, @rickperlstein, @mattgertz, @joestrupp, @gabrielSherman, @crampell, @peterdaou, @kimlacapria, @tommyxtopher, @normorenstein, @bobcesca_go, @chezPazienza, @queenofspain, @johnfugelsang, @frankSesno, @katrinaNation, @karoli, @greenfield64, @cshirky, @goAngelo, @davidbrockCNN, @electablog, @tvhilton, @tomwatson, @zeynep, @fmkaplan, @juddlegum, and of course, the leading media critics from @snopes, @pewresearch and @politifact.
I'd include some conservative media critcs, but there are no serious ones. There never have been. And since those people posited as being such always say precisely the same thing, what would be the point? And besides, the execrable fringers and bomb throwing fanatics like @newtGingrich, @HughHewitt, @RealJeffreyLord, @SECupp and @ScottieNhughes are on @CNN every day suggesting that their willful lying and conservative propaganda are "exactly the same" as what liberals are complaining about when they illustrate how the media has abdicated any interesting in real journalism or truth telling. It's what they are paid to do, as you know, and what all of you in the media have been complicit in enabling.
Please stop it, American media. Stop it before you've demolished whatever is still left of this once-proud country and its values and achievements that have led the world for so much of the past century. You have children. And they will have children. You own it to all of them, and to all of us, to just stop this feeding frenzy of ratings-driven political media fail.
You can still make money. You'll just sleep better. We all will.