I just got an email from my friend Peter Mokover on the Jersey Shore. “If I had a blog” he began, He doesn’t have a blog. Actually today he does–mine.
Over the past several months I´ve read or heard interviews of several leading broadcast journalists in which they expressed their concern about how more and more people are getting their “news” from bloggers on the Internet and late night comedy shows. I share that concern. The majority of bloggers have limited journalistic skill. Late night hosts are comedians not journalists. None of them are The New York Times, NBC or CNN.
Then I watched John Stewart interview Jim Cramer tonight (and several other pieces Stewart has done recently) and I wondered: why didn´t one of the network news shows do this? Why didn´t CNN do this? Stewart put them to shame. So much for their journalistic skill.
Peter has a point… and then again he doesn’t. Though Stewart takes on the media, he does it on the cheap. In fact it’s The New York Times, NBC, CNN and the rest that pay for The Daily Show’s coverage. They send reporters to the field and buy cameras and satellite trucks.
And, of course, The Daily Show isn’t answerable, so they can call someone a douche (or other term). I’m not sure how that would play in news.
Where Peter is totally correct is that mainstream media often take those in power at their word. That is a shame. I suspect it might get worse with newspapers dying and TV stations retrenching.