I suppose we’ve gotten used to the mainstream media acting as a megaphone for left wing hit pieces. Like a well-trained relay team, site after site reprint, refer and link to an original story, trying to create a storm out of a raindrop with all-too frequent success.
Do a Google search and the hits pop up from scores of locations. Now, not content with “flooding the zone” with blogs and news sites, it appears the same technique is being applied to Facebook and tweeting. Not an organic “hey-look-at-this” kind of reaction, but a systematic attempt to Astroturf a meme into existence through a network of operatives using social media. Yeah, we laughed when they endlessly circulated absurd stories trying to discredit the Right as heartless haters. However, after an election where the deciding votes seemed to be cast by low-information voters convinced not by policy but by character assassination, the utility of their destructive efforts ought not to amuse us but cause us great alarm.
The strategy used by the Left is to control the media. They are determined to have their version be the only one seen by the public. To make matters worse, journalists don’t bother researching or writing new material any more, they simply check the Twitter stream and churn out old stories creating a unified meme.
You have seen coverage of Bob Woodward on Roger Ailes trying to get General Petreaus to run for President. This isn’t new. It isn’t news. In fact, it is really just old news. Gabriel Sherman wrote about this in May of 2011 in New York Magazine. What is going on here? Can’t journalists find fresh stories? Is there so much going on in the world they get overwhelmed and just retweet/rewrite old stuff? Or is it possible that our left-wing controlled news media has stopped presenting actual journalism; replacing it with an effort to coordinate an attack to discredit the media voice from the right?
Gabriel Sherman seems to be leading the charge with this effort. Gabriel seems intent–almost obsessed–with discrediting other journalists, commentators and politicians on the right. Check out his Twitter stream. Gabriel was delighted to hail the demise of Karl Rove after Election Night. His piece on Rove’s departure from Fox News was picked up by several blogs. Okay, everyone expects blogs to recycle, but these are “tail-wagging-the-dog” blogs like MediaMatters, Chicaboomer, Poynter and Gawker. Lacking any ability to find news, many mainstream news outlets simply mouthed Gabriel’s story, even blatantly confirming it was his story. Major news outlets like Slate, Yahoo, Business Insider and Politico just passed on doing the journalist’s work of investigating, researching, interviewing and presenting the facts; they just repeated his attack.
From there the story is tweeted and posted on Facebook by what can only be described as a network of operatives, whose job it is to use the exponential reach of social media to place the attack in front of as many people as possible.
Why should anyone care? Maybe I’m hopelessly old-fashioned, but we need a media that presents both sides of issues. Our current news media is complicit in the effort to discredit and destroy personnel and outlets on the right. This is about more than simply regurgitating the voice of an obsessed magazine writer. The real story here is a lot bigger than just lazy journalism.