Friday, February 20, 2009

Good riddance, cont.

Matt Yglesias has a great post today taking the Washington Post's editorial board to task for their latest example of professional malpractice, in this case a completely dishonest and disingenuous op-ed from George Will, conservative douchebag whom has been given far too much unjustified respect.

Matt frames the pushback against Will's "post of lies" smartly, and connects it to the slow demise of print journalism, which is because perhaps people no longer trust the big newspapers anymore. As Jason Linkins at HuffPo asks:
why should anyone on the Post's op-ed page even bother to tie their opinions to ANY real-world truths? Why can't everyone just MAKE SHIT UP?
Just look back to the inane reporting in the elections last year. Or look a little further back to the media's culpability in the run up to the Iraq War. Or go even further back to how the media helped decide that Bush was the real winner of the election in 2000. Then turn and look at Fox News, and all the crap that comes out of Rupert Murdoch's media outlets.

Why should people trust the media anymore? The problem is that the media outlets don't see their role in their own demise. As Matt says:

But it's [insulation from market competition] also bread [sic] this weird arrogance where nobody in the business seems to think that the deplorably low quality of the product plays any role whatsoever in the declining relevance of these institutions. But here’s a George Will column in my paper, lying to me about global warming. Here’s Will’s editor refusing to correct the record or say anything about why he decided it would be a good idea to run a column in which George Will lies about global warming. And now here’s the very same indifferent-to-the-truth editorial team writing about global warming. And I’m supposed to read the editorial why? What value to me, as a consumer of information, do inaccurate uncorrected George Will columns offer me?

What actually sheds a little more light on this topic is this:

How will the addition of Bill Kristol to the roster increase the value of the newspaper to me as a consumer of information?

Because Kristol did such a great job at the New York Times? The decision makers at WaPo seem to be lacking in the ability to think critically.

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