Emerson Prof. Bemoans Lack of March Coverage
by Memekiller, Wed Oct 31, 2007 at 05:50:32 AM EDT
This professor recently wrote an Op-Ed for the Christian Science Monitor about the MSM blackout on the huge anti-war protests. CBS PubliEye just Interviewed the Professor, who had some interesting things to say.
Matthew Felling: It's a point of conjecture, to be sure. But why do you think the media failed to cover these rallies, beforehand or afterwards?
Jerry Lanson: I wish I knew the answer to that. It perplexes me to a large extent. We can all come up with theories or guesses having to do with the economics of newspapers today, that their staffs are smaller; they're doing the safe thing; they're piling on the big celebrity story; they're piling on the big sports story. But by doing so, they're running away from their responsibility as I see it - which is to inform the public.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, if that's where you're pushing me. I don't believe that there's a mainstream press that's owned by large corporate giants and therefore they won't go anywhere near an anti-war rally. I think that it's subtler than that and I think it's subversive.
I do think the news media today are pulling their punches. And if you compare that to the Vietnam period, and the Pentagon Papers, there's really no comparison.
I was on the desk at the San Jose Mercury News when we decided to run a photo of an American soldier getting dragged through the street in Somalia. That day, we lost several hundred subscriptions to the newspaper.
How can the traditional newsmedia complain and whine that they're losing their readership and viewership if they're not covering news that (A) affects a lot of people and (B) a lot of people are participating in.
I was marching this weekend with my cousin who reads the New Yorker -- which covered this weekend's rally -- and he'd never heard of Jena Six until I told him about it. That's a pretty interesting story about race relations in this country, and it came and left in a day...
But when I got back from France, I had a week of Paris Hilton and how much time she was going to have to spend in jail. I don't give a damn. That's the easy story. It's something that TV can cover cheaply that gets ratings. But it's not something that informs the public dialogue. And it ends up with a public that's not very well-informed.</block>