In the segment above, it’s fascinating to watch Howard Kurtz and his two guests, Glynis MacNicol and Paul Farhi, agree 100% with one another. This, of course, is how the MSM creates their own reality, how they intentionally create an atmosphere where if you’re watching and disagree with them you’re the weirdo, you’re the odd man out. Judging from the James O’Keefe undercover video in question, this sinister ability to create this false reality is something Kurtz and company learned at J-school.
Watch O’Keefe’s video and see if you catch my meaning:
In the eyes of Kurtz and the two “Reliable Sources” guests he brought on so they could all dutifully agree 100% with one another, O’Keefe’s “sting” is much ado about nothing because it was filmed at a seminar that recently took place at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, taught by professors Jay Rosen and Clay Shirky. Which begs the question…
Isn’t that… worse?
I’m not saying Kurtz and company are correct in their coordinated wrist-flicking of O’Keefe’s larger point, but even if they were, the fact that they and the rest of their MSM counterparts dismiss this troubling video betrays another kind of bias.
I would actually be more comfortable with O’Keefe’s video if it had been shot in the boardroom of the New York Times as opposed to a college seminar. The Times is at the very least a private business. A university, on the other hand, is where you expect to see an environment open to all ideas, and yet what I see Rosen and Shirky (mostly Shirky) doing is what I saw Kurtz and company do in the clip above–creating their own false reality.
University professors enjoy a captive audience, and it’s just fact that if you want a job in the “elite” (Shirky’s word, not mine) media you have to attend a J-school like the one that held this particular seminar. And what do we see going on in this environment? Two professors abusing their captive audience by pretending there’s only one valid belief system. This is especially obvious at the 6:10 mark where Shirky says (as though it’s a settled fact) that Rep. Michele Bachmann is “unelectable,” incapable of governing, and that mainstream Midwesterners won’t vote for her.
From my vantage point, Shirk is abusing his position in four ways (and I’m likely missing a few):
- Justifying the Times’ biased coverage of Bachmann
- Pretending the media elite understand mainstream Midwesterners
- Creating a false reality where what he says is settled fact
- Bullying his class
Let’s take these one at a time:
1. Essentially, we have a famous and renowned J-school professor not only admitting that the Times skews their coverage according to their own personal biases, but he’s apparently passing on this information in a way that tells a future generation of journalists that this is somehow acceptable. In other words, if you don’t think a candidate is electable, don’t cover them. Isn’t the real agenda here to create a self-fulfilling prophecy?
2. Not only does self-proclaimed elitist Clay Shirky pretend he knows how Midwesterners think, but he doesn’t even stop to wonder if Bachmann winning the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa doesn’t contradict that thinking. Furthermore, the fact that Bachmann’s resume makes her better “prepared to govern” than the current failure occupying the Oval Office is an irony not at all lost on this former Midwesterner.
3. Like Howard Kurtz bringing on two guests to agree with him, Shirky creates a false reality that he’s right about Bachmann’s electability by abusing his position of authority, stating to his captive audience that she’s “unelectable” as settled fact. Which brings me to the bullying…
4. If you were a conservative sitting in that seminar, how would you feel? Is Shirky creating an open atmosphere of discussion, ideas, and free thought? Obviously not. Shirky is a bright guy who knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s well aware he enjoys a captive audience and therefore nothing could be more abusive than to spout his highly partisan opinions in a way that makes anyone who might disagree feel like an outsider and immediately puts them on the defensive.
It appears as though Kurtz, his two guests, and their many MSM counterparts who dismissed the O’Keefe video as “just a J-school class” saw anything out of the ordinary.
And that is the most revealing comment of all.