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December 22, 2010

William Greider on Why the Media Hates You

This is from a must-read interview with William Greider, mostly about elite reporting on Social Security:

GREIDER: Reporters and editors are disturbed to learn that growing sectors of the public do not trust their reporting. But this is the natural result of one-sided reporting. It reflects the unconscious class bias of the media—looking up to selected expertise that’s in power and looking down on the everyday citizens...lots of citizens are finding their own ways to inform themselves, putting their faith in the bloggers or other renegade sources. Who can blame them?

Here's how I put it a little while ago:

Michael Kinsley Furious At Americans For Believing The Wrong Lies

There is nothing funnier than corporate liberals getting angry when lots of Americans believe the right-wing's lies.

For instance: Michael Kinsley is really mad at everyone for falling for all the lies told by McCain!

Why Do Lies Prevail? by Michael Kinsley

[T]he routine acceptance of obvious lies now corrodes our politics...

In a democracy, obvious lies and obvious liars should be self-defeating. Why aren’t they?

Of course, it IS terrifying how many people believe the right's craziest lies. But it's a little hard to take from Kinsley, who's spent his entire life trying to make Americans believe his own, preferred lies.

The rest of my wisdom is available here.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at December 22, 2010 03:23 PM

Greider says reporters "don’t go to people who might be unsafe sources, like

labor leaders
who know how changes will affect workers, or to

old liberals who are out of favor but
who know the origins of Social Security and why it was set up in the first place, or to

neutral experts like actuaries
who actually understand how it works and what the trust funds are all about."

It's not just reporters working for the misinformation branch of the MICFiC who don't talk to old out-of-favor liberals who know the origins of Social Security and why it was set up in the first place. Obomber is, himself, apparently negligently ignorant and/or maliciously mendacious on this issue:

Obama Again Says Social Security Originally for Widows and Orphans Only

Posted by: mistah 'MICFiC' charley, ph.d. at December 22, 2010 04:50 PM

Just now I felt tempted to engage in macro-level sociological wankery in this comment, but then decided to refrain.

Good article, thanks.

Posted by: Cloud at December 22, 2010 04:51 PM

SAVE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY, call Pelosi @1-202-225-0100. Negotiate with Congress directly.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 22, 2010 09:05 PM

Good old FDR--it's time to rebuild populism.

Greider is right, but the lying about social security isn't much different from the lying about almost everything else. Deception and self deception are more powerful and inescapable than gravity.

Posted by: N E at December 22, 2010 11:53 PM

IF one were to LOOK at a dollar bill, one would see printed at the tippy top that it is a Federal Reserve Note. The Federal Reserve is a BANK. They get to print ALLLLLL they want.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 23, 2010 05:08 PM

That's the whole question isn't? MONEY? Not gold or silver, Just money?

Posted by: Mike Meyer at December 23, 2010 05:16 PM

"I start with the conviction that people in every station of life are not stupid"

Really? What are they then? What are the middle class people who actually believe that giving tax breaks to rich individuals and corporations mean they will "create" jobs? This is manifest stupidity on it's face - and yet it is repeated over and over and over and *never* challenged, ever.

And what about the upper class that believes they can impoverish an entire nation of people, destroying a middle and lower class that created the incredible wealth they take advantage of? How stupid are America's rich who can't see what it might be like to live in a nation of people so poor that it is unsafe to walk their own streets?

If this isn't stupidity, what is it?

Posted by: Jimbo at December 23, 2010 08:59 PM

Jimbo: it is imperception.

We are a tribal nation that does not share a single tribe. Practically speaking, we do not share an "Americaness" that we all generally feel puts us on the same page.

Does that mean the middle class people you mention aren't stupid? No, they're fucking morons. But the people around them who are not stupid do not feel a connection between themselves, those idiots, and each other. Thus, the stupids get disproportionate power, merely because they hang together.

The more wealthy are simply reveling in the myopia that selfishness brings; it seems pointless to not indulge in stupidity when previous stupidity doesn't kill you. When Daddy or his money solves all your problems as a child, you'll expect similar treatment in all of your actions for the rest of your life -- hence the unrighteous indignation of the rich whenever the hammer does indeed fall.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at December 27, 2010 11:00 PM