Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Marty Kaplan on the Failure of the Mainstream Media in the Shirley Sherrod Debacle

Vis-a-vis the Shirley Sherrod debacle, more important takeaway, this time from Marty Kaplan at Huffington Post, focusing on the failure of the mainstream media to do its journalistic job (and the damage this  failure does to democracy):

Our free press has been so intimidated by right-wing pressure groups and their media enablers that the job of fact-finding has been replaced by the grotesque practice of "balancing" charges with countercharges. Are Sarah Palin's "death panels" fact or fiction? Our press says, here are both sides -- you're on your own, kid. Afraid of bad names like "lamestream" and "liberal," our news media, rather than treating Andrew Breitbart like Lee Atwater -- a partisan propagandist and smear-merchant -- instead amplified his lies about Shirley Sherrod and turned what should have been a story about how easily knaves can play the press for fools into a story about the Obama administration's fear of Glenn Beck.