But report ignores the elephant in the living room
Paul Joseph Watson
May 15, 2014
A leaked New York Times memo admits that the newspaper, a bastion of the mainstream press, is being made redundant by new media, but the report ignores the elephant in the living room – that trust in the establishment media is collapsing because of its refusal to act in an adversarial role against the state.
The 96-page internal New York Times report, obtained by Buzzfeed, bemoans the fact that the newspaper “is hampered primarily by its own storied culture” because it is staffed by “a cadre of editors who remain unfamiliar with the web” and social media.
Although the report lists a number of organizational failures at the Times which have left it trailing new media startups, the memo completely fails to mention the primary factor why establishment outlets like the NYT are losing their audience – because of a complete collapse in trust on behalf of the public.
From infamous lies about weapons of mass destruction before the invasion of Iraq to more recent embarrassments regarding fabricated anti-Russian propaganda, the newspaper is emblematic of a widespread perception that the mainstream press has become de facto state media.
As former New York Times correspondent Daniel Simpson revealed after he resigned in 2012, the newspaper is a “propaganda megaphone” for the ruling elite.
“It seemed pretty glaringly obvious to me that the ‘news fit to print’ was pretty much the news that’s fit to serve the powerful,” Simpson remarked, adding, “The way that the paper’s senior staff think is exactly like those in power — in fact, it’s their job to become their friends.”
The new memo isn’t the only indication that the New York Times, and by extension the dinosaur media as a whole, is on the ropes.
Back in February the New York Observer interviewed more than two dozen current and former NY Times writers, virtually all of whom were unanimous in acknowledging that the Old Gray Lady is becoming increasingly insignificant.
“I think the editorials are viewed by most reporters as largely irrelevant, and there’s not a lot of respect for the editorial page,” one source told the newspaper. “The editorials are dull, and that’s a cardinal sin.”
The NY Times’ editorial content is increasingly seen as “utterly predictable, usually poorly written and totally ineffectual,” according to another source.
On the whole, faith in the accuracy of mainstream media is rapidly on the decline, with a recent Gallup poll finding that just 23 per cent of Americans trust the institution of television news.
From November 2012 to November 2013, MSNBC lost almost half its viewers over the course of just 12 months, shedding 45 per cent of its audience. CNN also lost 48 per cent of its viewers over the same time period.
The figures make bad reading not just for the networks and newspapers, but also for the White House given that large portions of the establishment media now serve as little more than regurgitators of the official narrative, routinely failing to challenge the Washington consensus.
As Glenn Greenwald outlined in a recent interview, the mass media is increasingly becoming “neutered,” “impotent” and “obsolete” because most reporters only seek to “amplify mindlessly claims of the government,” which is why the corporate press is losing its audience to new media outlets that are more dynamic and at least attempt to get to the truth of an issue while taking an adversarial stance against authority in the public interest.