The Summer of the Shill: 2016 won’t just have lasting implications for American politics, it’s obliterated what was left of our news media

The Summer of the Shill: 2016 won’t just have lasting implications for American politics, it’s obliterated what was left of our news media. By Matt Taibbi.

Years ago, when I was an exchange student in the Soviet Union, a Russian friend explained how he got his news.

“For news about Russia, Radio Liberty,” he said. “For news about America, Soviet newspapers.” He smiled. “Countries lie about themselves, tell truth about others.”

American media consumers are fast approaching the same absurd binary reality. We now have one set of news outlets that gives us the bad news about Democrats, and another set of news outlets bravely dedicated to reporting the whole truth about Republicans. …

In terms of political media, there’s basically nothing left on the air except Trump-bashing or Hillary-bashing.

Wow. This in a left-leaning publication by an author I’d previously pegged as PC and irredeemably leftist. The mainstream media must be really overdoing it to squeeze this admission out of him.

Thanks Joanne!

There’s a huge difference between advocacy journalism and electoral advocacy. Not just occasionally but all the time now, private news organizations are doing the work that political parties used to have to pay for in the form of ads.

In the same way that Fox used to (and probably still does) save on reporting and research costs by simply regurgitating talking points from the RNC, blue-leaning cable channels are running segments and online reports that are increasingly indistinguishable from Democratic Party messaging.

Trump really sent this problem into overdrive. He is considered so dangerous that many journalists are beginning to be concerned that admitting the truth of negative reports of any kind about the Democrats might make them complicit in the election of the American Hitler. …

Fox’s coverage has been so overwhelmingly one-sided that it has lost forever the ability to convince non-conservatives of anything. Rupert Murdoch has turned into the Slime Who Cried Wolf. Even when Murdoch gets hold of a real story, he usually can’t reach more than an inch outside his own dumbed-down audience. …

Certainly that won’t change if the “MSM” devolves completely into a McDonald’s/Burger King situation where the major media splits into Trump Sucks or Hillary Sucks outlets. Forget about the fact that it’s boring. From now on, how will we know if a real scandal hits? …

[S]tories usually must be picked up by outlets across the spectrum to have an impact. That happens less and less in the partisan age.

An example of a Clinton corruption scandal that became “not newsworthy” because the pro-Democrat media didn’t cover it:

Last year, the New York Times dipped a toe into the “Clinton Cash” material and did its potentially damaging “Uranium One” story about a series of suspicious donations to the Clinton Foundation. The story was soundly reported and forced the Clinton campaign to admit to “mistakes” in its disclosures.

But the response of other non-conservative outlets was mostly silence and/or damage control. That left it to mostly circulate in the Washington Times and Breitbart and the Daily Caller, rendering it automatically illegitimate with most blue-state audiences.

Some people will say that is because the Uranium One/Clinton Foundation matter simply isn’t newsworthy. Maybe not. But if it isn’t, are we sure we would know?