Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Media Changes and Media Matters

At Slate, Dave Weigel analyzes the changing focus of Media Matters, which he says is a response to attacks from conservative groups:

Conservatives had always claimed that Media Matters was an attack-dog group, not an accuracy group—so it became an attack group. Conservatives claimed that the group was funded by George Soros when it wasn’t, so in October 2010 it accepted $1 million from Soros, who asked that Media Matters “hold Fox News accountable.” Slowly, Media Matters became what the right claimed it had always been. It was like watching Bruce Banner get picked on until his eyes turned green and he started smashing things.

Maybe. But the majority of the blame can’t fall on conservatives. The changing media environment has made many of the old media watchdog tactics irrelevant. These organizations were created to point out bias or misinformation on the networks and in major newspapers, but now it’s the outrageous comments from left-wing (or right-wing) opinion shows that get the most attention.

Peddling in outrage is what Media Matters has done best – most of its coverage is devoted to catching right-wing pundits and radio hosts saying the sort of things that get liberals incensed. And what’s that anger necessarily channeled toward? Not toward writing a letter to Rush Limbaugh’s producer, or asking Glenn Beck to issue a correction, or lobbying Fox News to provide more balance to its nightly line-up. These things would all be pretty pointless anyway, and liberals can already get news coverage more to their liking from MSNBC or the Huffington Post.

The anger is channeled toward getting Beck fired or taking down Fox News. Because even though Media Matters readers don’t watch these shows, others still do – and that’s unacceptable.

Not to mention, announcing “guerilla warfare” and commercial “sabotage” against Fox News is the kind of thing that pulls in donors. And opposition research – at least if it dredges up anything of interest – leads to the sort of stories that pull in the web traffic. So while the Media Matters campaign against Fox is far from noble, it’s not a surprise that it’s going in that direction.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.