Much as the dinosaurs of earth’s past died out to due to changes in their environment, the old media of TV, newspapers and reports are finding it hard to adapt to the changes in the environment of the new media.
One of the true dinosaurs of the old media, Helen Thomas, recently lashed out at the new media and the fact that a majority of Americans now get their news, information and opinions from the new media, which happens to include talk radio, the internet, bloggers and video from camera cell-phones. Ms. Thomas also seems upset by the fact that a White House she strongly supports no longer looks to the White House press corps to get its message out as this White House uses Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to advise its supporters and friendly pundits.
Ms. Thomas has been on the White House beat since the days of Jack Kennedy and, like the dinosaurs, Ms. Thomas refuses to adapt to the changes in the American public’s taste for information, news and opinion. Ms. Thomas complains that there is no accountability in the new media, that “everyone with a laptop thinks that he/she is a reporter, those with cell-phones believe they are photographers and that the opinions of these people can ruin the lives of public and political figures.”
Well Ms. Thomas, your anger is understandable as the old media has always been the gatekeepers on reporting stories and shaping public opinion. The old media spin artists like Ms. Thomas feels it is their job to promote Big Government socialism, while smearing its detractors and those political figures who refuse to conform to their thinking. Helen Thomas simply longs for the days when reporters and pundits could report spin, lies and opinion as fact and were never held accountable outside of page A-16 retractions.
The new media’s finest moment came when in 2004 CBS’s Dan Rather attempted to influence a national election (much like his predecessor Walter Cronkite did with the Vietnam War after the Tet Offensive), but unlike then, now there is a new media filled with grassroots activists who were going to hold the old media accountable and one of those activists on the Conservative Site Free-Republic under the handle “Buckhead,” was able to expose Rather’s “official documents” concerning Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard as forgeries. Rather eventually lost his job as a result.
In 2010, we have the new media that can get the real truth behind a story no matter how the old media tries to spin the story or inflate their opinions of an incident. A good example of this was the Great N-Word Controversy that never was, during the recent health care debate on Capitol Hill. The best that the old media operatives could produce was video of Congressional Black Caucus Members walking among Tea Party Activists with no audio because the New Media had posted the complete video with audio that contradicted the old media’s claim of a racial incident.
It seems as the new media rises the old media sinks further in to tar pits of their own making. If the old media did the job that media was suppose to do then the new media would not have to do their job.