Eight years ago...
Jon Stewart stepped on a bug.
The bug was crushed. Thousands came to the funeral and stayed on, not just to perpetuate the carnage, but to expand it exponentially.
I don't think anyone can watch Stewart's brilliant skewering of Carlson and His Beluga and not cringe for them. So clueless; so sure of their own importance. After all Jon Stewart's a comedian. Hilarity must ensue...
Some might even consider that Crossfire's subsequent demise marked a turning point in the effort to make media more aware of its Public Trust responsibilities.
Anyone who thinks CNN's non-ceremonial, but fully superficially symbolic axing of Crossfire was a game changer would be correct. So long as they also understand that the game was changed to render such antics meaningless in the media newsfotainment batshit crazy belfry.
At the time of CNN "fixing the glitch" that was exposed, Media Consolidation was already firmly entrenched. The formula was codified as a proven winner. Clowns, Shills, Jugglers and Jesters posing as serious journalists will adequately fill the schedule. As long as they don't turn on each other, play the game and never, ever, ever fall for the Stewart gambit again, things will be fine.
The answer to superior intellectual guests was to minimize their access to the set. Find a "reasonable" facsimile instead, or if unavoidable, make sure to surround them with noisemakers to turn everything upside down, inside out and backwards.
In the new blacklist era there was no notice that the Quislings and Flatworms who ascended to the serious political roundtables were posers. Nobody mentioned or talked about the "experts" who were no longer there. You can book Ron Paul, but never Noam Chomsky, Sy Hersh or even Phil Donahue, (who INVENTED the format!). Nope, the rolodex represented the milquetoast, malleable, go along to get along center-left to the near-extreme Randian righties.
And the beat goes on without missing a beat. The new NORMAL for political fight club had only one overarching, all encompassing rule. You want to play, you play by OUR rules.
It can be fodder and sport for comedians, that's easy to drown out with consistency, hype and abject dismissal that anything is different. Cutting edge journalism is whatever we deign to air. No quarter for "outcasts" as long as we agree as the gatekeepers.
We are forever in their debt. They maintain the mantle of the Free Press; guardians of the newsfotainment branch of the corporate structure.
Their ivory towers well out of range. Impervious to meaningful challenge.
Open wide. BOHICA baby!
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Eight years ago...