The big story with the least MSM coverage? (Guess again.)

by Brad Jacobson

What critical news story received less overall mainstream media coverage than Dennis Kucinich’s introduction of 35 articles of impeachment against President Bush? What same news, with immense impact on our First Amendment rights, got even shorter shrift than last week’s Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report confirming that the Bush administration “led the nation to war on false premises”?

Give up?

Here’s a hint: Fox News, if inadvertently and riddled with falsehoods, devoted more attention to this story than almost any other news outlet.

The answer? The National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR).

You know, where all those “fascists” and “loons,” who “live in an alternative universe,” come together to revivify freedom of the press even though “about 50% of the liberals say [the media] is unbiased.” (Please click on that link to see video of Bill O’Reilly, “journalist” Juan Williams – who officially forfeits any remaining semblance of journalistic credibility – and “political analyst” Mary Katherine Ham discuss the conference; it’s a cartoonish example of what inspired the media reform movement to begin with.)

But “We’ll Do It Live!” O’Reilly also sent his Factor producer-turned-“reporter” to ambush journalism legend Bill Moyers at the conference, with not quite the desired outcome. This, in turn, resulted in the only other coverage the NCMR received on TV, courtesy of O’Reilly nemesis Keith Olbermann.

Aside from O’Reilly’s ludicrous Orwellian attacks on the NCMR and Olbermann’s skewering of them, along with O’Reilly’s little capo, news of the conference was blacked out on air, in print and online by big media outlets.

With one interesting exception.

Four of our nation’s largest sources for business news – CNBC, CNN Money, BusinessWeek and Forbes all reprinted an online variation of an Associated Press dispatch about the media reform conference.

And this makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

Even with massive losses in viewers and readers, big media conglomerates have no desire or intention to improve journalism. They fear a truly vigorous press, which is why their only interest in the National Conference for Media Reform is how such efforts might one day impact their bottom line.

Cross-posted from MediaBloodhound.

6 replies »

  1. Why the dislike of Juan Williams? I’ve heard him on NPR for years, and while I don’t have any reason to like or dislike his stuff, it has always seemed reasonable to me.

  2. It’s nothing personal. To paraphrase Obama, Juan seems likable enough. But he loses all credibility when he becomes an apologist for Bill O’Reilly. Please, if you haven’t already, check out that video which is linked in the post. He not only goes to bat for O’Reilly, castigating his critics, but piles on about the National Conference for Media Reform being some kind of gathering of radical “fascists.” Of course O’Reilly doesn’t show Rather’s keynote or Moyers’ keynote, or Amy Goodman’s, etc. Only snippets of lesser known people, out of context, who sound “angry.” Please, Brian, ck out the vid; you’ll know what I’m talking about. Until recently, I felt the same way you do about Williams. And while I’ve heard him say stuff I disagree with on NPR – usually because he’s just a kind of a sloppy hack who mindlessly spews received notions – what he says in this video is pure unadulterated Kool-Aid-guzzling gibberish.

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  4. Thanks, Brad, would never have known about that otherwise. My wife and I watch a lot of MSNBC. It doesn’t have as many hacks as Fox or the network Sunday morning shows. But one gets tired of the same faces with the same mediocre commentaries.

    The less said about Pat Buchanan the better. The one who currently sticks in my craw is the New York Times’s John Harwood, who also appears on CNBC.

  5. Yeah, I thought Harwood was fair-minded when he first started showing up regularly on MSNBC. Then, just the other day, he delivered the received “John McCain is a maverick” line, which elicited an “Are you kidding me?”

  6. I remember neocons hammering the “liberal media” in the ’80s and early ’90s using the same arguments O’Reilly characterizes as loony and radical in that segment.

    It’s amazing how comfortable they’ve become with the status quo. Beneath all their strident ridicule–but still distinct from their normal paranoid undertone–do I detect a note of fear? Perhaps the fear that their little party is about to come to an end?