Good-bye love

Journalism as those over 30 have known it might not be dead yet, but it is on its death bed.

Anyone who has any doubts needs to get out of his or her news bubble and spend an entire evening surfing the main cable news channels – Fox News, MSNBC and CNN – with maybe a dip into OAN and Newsmax just for fun.

Even when they are reporting the same story, it is sometimes hard to impossible to tell they are reporting the same story.

Admittedly the situation has been trending this way since 1996 when Britt Hume – a respected, 23-year veteran of then powerful ABC News – jumped ship for the newly created Fox , saying he wanted to work somewhere with a more “balanced” view of the political news. 

Over the course of the next decade, Fox went from an upstart challenger to CNN to number one in cable news, and though it sometimes spun its stories more conservative than the other more liberal networks, they all basically covered the same stories in much the same way.

Liberals viewers greeted Fox with complaints it was horribly biased – part of that “vast, rightwing conspiracy” that Hillary Clinton thought somehow had something to do with her husband, President Bill Clinton, having sex with a White House intern – but most of those viewers never watched enough Fox to know what it was or wasn’t.

What it was was the same news with a few more conservative voices and a few less liberal voices, which is pretty much what all news was to lesser or greater extents all across the country whether considered a conservative version or a liberal version.

No more.

The news is now radically different. Fox is covering what might best be described as a House of Representative’s attempt to thwart the will of the people and overthrow a duly elected President Donald Trump, and MSNBC is reporting on an attempt to rid the White House of the devil, said devil being Trump.

In online media, it is no different, and you can expect this to get worse before it gets better.


Two words: “Metrics” and “money.”

They see you watching

The New York Times has now turned left for the same reason Breitbart went right. There are audiences on both sides willing to pay for a product. And this fracturing of the middle is only going to increase as more and more of the old, mainstream news organizations install paywalls or tighten them up as the Anchorage Daily News (ADN) did recently.

No news organization was ever perfect at staying out of partisan ditches. That’s just about impossible. Journalists are human, and their good intentions coupled to their constant need for reward tend to push them toward the liberal camp if for no other reason than that the way to win big awards is to write stories that result in government action.

No one is ever going to win a Pulitzer for a series of stories on how the country would benefit from less government.  But despite these pressures, the old media generally made an effort to try to steer for the middle of the road.

Paywalls make that harder and harder for no other reason than that they inherently shift news coverage. This is where metrics come in. The news now knows what you are reading. News organizations monitor web traffic.

It tells them what their readers want. This knowledge creates a feedback loop sure to shift coverage over time in the partisan America of today. Some Alaska conservatives say they have already abandoned the ADN. That right there changes the metrics.

The numbers for the stories that might be read more by a conservative audience than a more liberal audience go down and vice versa. Coverage moves accordingly to provide the market what it wants.

And journalists themselves begin to fall victim to the bubble in which they live.

They’re doing what they think right for their readers, and the people who might disagree with them, well, they are simply wrong or wrongheaded or, God forbid in the moment, Trump supporters.

Trump appears to have become something of a litmus test for some news consumers, especially those who lean left. If you even suggest to them you’re not totally freaked out by the Trump presidency, you become suspect to having come under the influence of the devil.

Personally, I’m not a Trump fan. The late Charles Krauthammer pretty well summed my view: 

“Trump’s hypersensitivity and unedited, untempered Pavlovian responses are, shall we say, unusual in both ferocity and predictability.

“This is beyond narcissism….(It’s) an infantile hunger for approval and praise, a craving that can never be satisfied. He lives in a cocoon of solipsism where the world outside himself has value — indeed exists — only insofar as it sustains and inflates him.

“Most politicians seek approval. But Trump lives for the adoration. He doesn’t even try to hide it, boasting incessantly about his crowds, his standing ovations, his TV ratings, his poll numbers, his primary victories. The latter are most prized because they offer empirical evidence of how loved and admired he is.

“Prized also because, in our politics, success is self-validating. A candidacy that started out as a joke, as a self-aggrandizing exercise in xenophobia, struck a chord in a certain constituency and took off.”

Big flaws

The sitting president is a badly flawed individual, but he has got some things right. Mainly he is right about China which has been waging – with some help from corporate America – a subversive, economic war against this country for a long time, as foreign policy expert Leslie Gelb warned in a Foreign Affairs almost a decade ago.

“Because Beijing has been playing the new economic game at a maestro level–staying out of wars and political confrontations and zeroing in on business–its global influence far exceeds its existing economic strength,” he wrote then. “China gains extra power from others’ expectations of its future growth. The country has become a global economic giant without becoming a global military power. Nations do not fear China’s military might; they fear its ability to give or withhold trade and investments.

“The United States…must adjust its approach to recognize that economics is now at the center of geopolitics. Washington’s failure to do so has already cost it in blood, treasure, and influence. Now, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, leaders in Washington proclaim their awareness of the new economic order but lack any semblance of a new national security strategy to embrace it.”

Trump is the first president to seriously take note. One can argue with his methods. Tariffs are a crude tool, not a fine instrument. But at least he acted in the national interest and stood up against China despite our broad desire as Americans to buy cheap, knock-off products from that country.

I personally plead guilty. I’ve bought many dirt cheap but very serviceable LED headlamps and bike lights from China because it is dark in the winter in Alaska, and these lights produce a lot of lumens for a minimum amount of money. And they are so cheap that if they break, you can simply throw them away without a thought and buy another.

That is not the case with the $100 or $200 headlamps the Chinese copied, and that’s what the Chinese do. They copy. They copy very well.

“China…is perceived to be the country where technology mysteriously transfers from in-coming companies with know-how to companies which want to know how,” the BBC reported in 2011. “That, at least, is the pervasive view of influential German business leaders.

“Artur Fischer, for example, is the head of the Berlin stock-exchange who got his fingers burnt in China.

“‘We gave them our description of the product we wanted – all the photographs, everything we used in order to sell it over here in Germany,’ he says, recalling how a company he was involved with started making components in China.

“‘We asked them to manufacture it. They did that, but after half a year very, proudly they came back to us and showed us their own product, which they intended to sell in Germany.

“‘And it was a copy-cat of what we did, so they copied all our material. They took our photographs. They took our descriptions. Everything.'”


So I’m not a Trump fan, but I do like at least one of the things Trump has done. This has been my view on most politicians over time. I’m not anybody’s fanboy, though I can understand why others might be.

Personability as much or more than politics is what gets people elected in this country, and Trump has personality. As former Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly observes in “Commander in Cheat,” a book about Trump’s golf game, “three and a half hours later—sometimes less—the round will be over and you’ll have no idea what he shot or you shot, but it’ll be fun.”

Reilly is no Trump fan and believes Trump’s over-the-top cheating at golf says a lot about the man in general. It might also says he’s a perfect American politician. Nearly all of them are likable on a personal level, but few are trustworthy. They invariably follow politically expedient paths.

You can forget what they promise to do because if the politics, in their view, point in a different direction they will go that way. Fans of Bill Clinton, another golf cheat, called this pragmatism a virtue. Critics saw it differently.

“With the Clintons at the helm of the ‘New Democrats,’ their strident anti-crime policies, like their assault on welfare, reflected a cynical attempt to win back centrist white voters, especially those from Dixie and the South Central United States,” Donna Murch wrote in The New Republic.

“A true paradox lies at the heart of the Clinton legacy. Both Hillary and Bill continue to enjoy enormous popularity among African Americans despite the devastating legacy of a presidency that resulted in the impoverishment and incarceration of hundreds of thousands of poor and working-class black people. Most shockingly, the total numbers of state and federal inmates grew more rapidly under Bill Clinton than under any other president, including the notorious Republican drug warriors Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.”

Black lives didn’t matter.

Bill Clinton, still loved by many, was in some ways little more than a publicly polished, more liberal version of Trump. It’s not hard to imagine Bill thinking the kinds of thoughts Trump Tweets, but having the sense to keep them to himself. Bill spent his life in politics where every word is watched and weighed.

Trump spent his life as a crude talking, wheeler and dealer in a business world where flamboyance had value. I know some Trump supporters. Some of them think Trump is the most honest politician they’ve seen come along in their lifetimes.


Because despite his lying ways, what you see is what you get. Trump might say one thing today and do the opposite tomorrow, as he did with a planned retaliatory raid against Iran in June, but he’s not going to make public statements that leave you wondering what he said.

Americans, especially blue-collar Americans, tired of listening to mealymouthed politicians like this about Trump. That Trump’s behavior irritates the country’s ruling elite only makes them like Trump more. That they think the mainstream media is a tool of the ruling elite and has been out get Trump ever since he got elected, only further reinforces his base.

The Trump supporters I know are not at all like Trump. Some of them are among the most honest and upright people I’ve ever met. They lack the arrogance of some of my old liberal friends, and they’d never even think about engaging in Trumpesque behavior.

And yet….

The media problem

All of this creates a problem for old-school journalists who consider simple honesty the ultimate virtue and are thus infuriated by Trump. Witness all those “fact-checking” websites that appear largely a waste of time.

Journalists can’t help themselves. All true journalists detest liars even if there are more than a few liars in journalism.

That a politician lies, is fact-checked, is proven wrong and keeps on lying drives them nuts. That a politician’s life becomes a pattern of lies could, in the view of endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig, make them chemically imbalanced.

 “Trump confabulates, and America conflagrates,” Lustig wrote at Medpage Today in July of last year. His take on what is called Trump Derangement Syndrome is intriguing.

  “Many have remarked that Trump operates out of his ‘lizard brain’.  Rather, I would argue that Trump has turned our brains reptilian,” Lustig writes. “The two emotions that belie this effect — greed and fear — are the same two emotions that govern Wall Street’s behavior. No surprise.”

Lustig argues that “Trump jacks up our dopamine (levels) the same way a roller coaster does,” and the “chronic overstimulation drives severe irritability, as chronic cocaine users can attest to.”

At the same time, “fear activates the amygdala, which sends corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) signals throughout the central nervous system. CRH drives cortisol, which stymies our prefrontal cortex (PFC) the executive function center….which sits just above the eyes and serves as our internal compass.”

“The cortisol/PFC response on dopaminergic activity is enough to alter human behavior in predictable, if socially undesirable, ways. Witness the episode of ‘The View’ last week when Whoopi Goldberg popped off at Judge Jeanine Pirro.

“In other words, many of us have now become Trump. The more dopamine and cortisol, the more we lose our ability to discern truth from post-truth, the more irritable we become, and the more we abandon our cognitive control and with little regard for the consequences.”

Think about that, a whole country full of Trumps.

The natural result? America’s old, partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans has escalated into a partisan war with the old media caught in the middle. The middle is a hard position to hold in a situation like this.

From the looks of the media landscape at the moment, it might well be an impossible position to hold on the national level, and what’s happening nationally is trickling down into almost everything.

Compromise has become a dirty word. Alaska polebrity Sarah Palin’s old admonishment “Don’t retreat, reload!” has become the battle cry of politicians (and too many Americans) on both sides of the aisle on the national, state and local levels.

Politics is becoming a street fight between the momma grizzlies and the pitbulls in lipstick to steal a couple more of the favorite phrases of Alaska’s former, half-term governor and one-time candidate for vice president.

We are now in a situation where gay, liberal celebrity Ellen Degeneres is Twitter shamed for being friendly with conservative former President George W. Bush. We have become so tribal that those with whom we disagree are to be viewed not as people with different views but as enemies.

Trump can take some of the credit for this as can Palin, who sort of built the model. But a lot of politicians and too many average Americans have now joined the shitshow. It has become a minefield for old media while much of the new media has feasted on the carnage.

Increasingly, the response of once rich and now financially struggling mainstream journalism has been to become more like the new media, and they are becoming more and more like the new media every day. It’s hard to blame them. The old media is fighting to survive and partisanship is where the money is.

It is radically changing “journalism” as older Americans have known it all their lives. Where it all ends up is anyone’s guess but this much is clear:

The journalism of tomorrow is not going to be the journalism you once knew. The country appears clearly headed back toward the days of the penny press of more than 100 years ago. 

If you don’t believe me, go surf those cable news channels. Do the experiment and see what you find. There is no longer a common journalistic reality. There are separate realities.






28 replies »

  1. let me top this string off by saying:
    Why would you trust Walter Cronkite?
    He was the original Deep State.
    Huntley – Brinkley just read what was handed to them.

    • There is quite a bit of attention to the, um, non-journalistic aspects of the Huntley-Brinkley ‘performance’, in the Wikipedia article, which is likely the source of Craig’s ‘Texaco’ photo of the duo, leading this post.

      Chris Nyman is right: they read their lines; and they filtered what would be News, and they massaged the Message. Now although H&B were not really ‘just’ voice-actors (they were real newsmen, and played meaningful roles in Production), the new NBC program they would anchor was overtly & expressly about competing with the then-dominant CBS product. They HAD to make it competitive – whatever that took – or NBC pulls the plug.

      At first they were zilch. Then they started picking up some audience. Then they started being able to sell some bits of advertising. Yee-Haw! Then Texaco came forward and bought the whole show. That’s Big Oil, baby, sole source of income.

      Behind the production studio & staff, who were behind the duo, was the broadcast corporation per se, and their existence was dependent on good relations with the government agencies who licensed them – and their competitors – to use precious slices of the limited TV broadcast spectrum.

      This particular message-influence arrangement began to unravel, as new technological means of ‘broadcasting’ weakened the spectrum-licensing system. UHF, cable, satellite … the 100, then 500, now limitless Channel Universe.

      It will be interesting to watch, see if we find out or can infer why, really, Shepard Smith left Fox News. Does he show up somewhere else? Move into Management … somewhere? Disappear? Write a tell-all book? Hmm.

  2. You know, over at The Alaska Landmine actual jurnalism is happening what with the ongoing piece about Campbell Lake. Pretty much Medred’s journalism days are over and we thus have thinly veiled opinion pieces, which, the likes of which he rails against. Opinions with a lot of cut and pastes…

    • Congressman Don Young tours Alaska’s budding marijuana joints

      Journalism depositories, like landmines in the yard, are where you find them.

      Before Craig gets too far along frantically flushing his burgeoning backlog of bogus bloviation … it’s SEO.

      Repeat thyself. If saying it once was sufficient, someone else already took care of it. Repeat thyself.

      Change-up your story. Or at least go back and update that 2 yo post on journalism-history. Google gets a rush off it.

      If there is a more-functional comment-gallery (a quest up there with real Journalism), send them back into the archive. Give extra Points, for contributions on older posts.

      No one is an island. It might be nicer if some of us were, but never mind. Citation, reference & quotation … show that you noticed, there are others … or at least that you attended class through 8th grade. Candy bud to Goog.

      Chasing the ambulance, cop car, firetruck, any congress people seeking media exposure … checking at the hospital, morgue, union hall … has kept many an otherwise perfectly pointless little rag in business. There may be a relationship between reporting and journalism, but there’s obviously no slavishly adhered requirement.

      Thanks! Always good to see refs to outposts of Alaskan literacy. Where’s your blogroll Craig?

      • Ted,
        Although we do not always agree,
        I welcome your responses and think you make some very good points.
        “No one is an island. It might be nicer if some of us were, but never mind.”
        So much Truth in those few words.
        In today’s bi partisan “bi polar” world of politics it seems you are either “with us or against us”.
        Tupac once said:
        “You either ride with us or you collide with us?”
        This incidentally is why we are still bogged down in the middle East.
        Respecting different ways of life (be that religious, economical, or cultural) is what brings about peace….not insisting it is my way or else.
        I feel Craig’s site has worked so well because of his “free willy” comment section that sometimes seems going no where and fast.
        Usually when all intelligence seems lost, someone will step up to the plate and “move things along”.
        Maybe instead of a constant flow of “news” everyday, that citizens really need more debate which we can only hope may move to an understanding and acceptance of different ways of life?

      • Steve, I am glad you brought this up: “This incidentally is why we are still bogged down in the middle East.
        Respecting different ways of life (be that religious, economical, or cultural) is what brings about peace….not insisting it is my way or else.”
        Maybe you can go over this list. I mean, humor me again why we are bogged down in the Middle East with the Religion of “Peace”?

      • “Respecting different ways of life (be that religious, economical, or cultural) is what brings about peace….not insisting it is my way or else.” Says the guy who has been on an antisemitic tear here lately, including calling Israel apartheid which is demonstrably false.

        We should all be more tolerant, as long as what you are doing fits what I decide is tolerable huh Steve? Maybe we should be more tolerant of the people who wish to wipe ALL JEWS off the face of the earth huh Steve?

    • So monk , I’ll do my best to ignore your nasty 🤢 sarcasm. You bring good information. Craig could use to apply his anylitical investigative skills to the articles in the landmine or rather the issues brought to light by it . Perhaps he hasn’t because he is smart to stay focused in areas of information he feels well informed on . It’s dangerous to go outside areas of expertise. If he did choose to. , Alaska would benefit. First example is land mines article about pot sales . It’s a feel good piece but doesn’t delve into hard questions within the buisness. Though it’s informative as shows proof don young works for us and that Alaska has quality entourprenours . Beyond that there is little substance. Some provocative questions could used to be asked or at least show other sides of the issue. The second example is about the company QAP and local hire . QAP has over 150,000$ in incremental fines . Roughly 70 local hire documentation violations. QAP is inaccurate in its application of constitution law and is trying to force the state to drop local hire requirements. It’s convinced Dunleavy attny General that it’s unconstitutional. Which is very bad for Alaska . QAP thinks article 4 section 2 says all laws throughout the nation must be even and conform with all states so each states citizens have the exact same privileges in all states . A total inaccurate application of the constitution. That clearly alows for states to decide their own internal laws / states rights . QAP would have our attny General negate states rights and so far he has irrationally agreed . If that was applied uniformly throughout our nation the feds would have complete control. There would be absolute uniformity on all subjects of law . What QAP doesn’t understand is the constitution is primarily concerned with regulating the actions of the feds and is saying the feds can’t make laws that favor one state over another. Not one state can favor itself over another. ( except in very specific instances) Craig could use his ability to bring light to the many sides of this subject much more aptly than the somewhat bland uneducated landmine . The problem is monk – how can 1 man cover all state and national issues . I know – you could volunteer to collect information and report for him . Please offer your services asap! So yes monk you make a good point Craig may be neglecting the the billions of world issues.

      • One of first things I would ask – what are state attny General Kevin clarkson ‘s ties to the QAP attorney . Any financial transaction in last 10 years ? This is about a lot more than 170 k in fines . If QAP wins , they can bring potential workers from any state that will work for pennies on the dollar and ( there are many ways to achieve this including but not limit to yearly or monthly salaried employees versus hourly possibly bringing in immigrants from California which has very loose residency/ citizenship laws) totally undermines Ak economic situation. It could save QAP billions of dollars and cost Alaskans jobs and totally screw our economy. QAP and other commercial companies stands to earn enough from this law change it would be be well worth buying an attny General even if it cost many many millions . An attny General should be fighting for our state not arguing why our laws shouldn’t be enforced. If QAP pushes this through it throws our economy into disarray as any company can take advantage of it . If they do push it through I say Ak should say only companies owned by permanent Alaskan residents may do buisness in this state and only residents may work here . With a rider that says any American across the board is welcome to become an Alaskan resident and do buisness and work in this state thus everyone is now treated equally – we would in turn any other state that expected the same – we are an equal opportunity state . ( thus satisfies their twisted interpretation of article 4 section two . ) and fixes many tax related issues and would be incentive to make a state income tax functional .

      • Obviously waivers would be allowed on a case by case allowance, for individuals and companies for a large fee ; )

  3. In the heyday of distinguish Huntley-Brinkley and reliable Walter Cronkite journalism, the product was also distinguished by extraordinary market saturation and vanishing levels of competition. These conditions were the result of tightly limited TV broadcast spectrum, and tight government regulation of broadcasters to whom government deigned to sell licenses, which operated a lot like licenses to print money – as noted.

    As Craig also notes here, and much more extensively in his Journalism History post of a couple years back, linked at the bottom, this in not the normal, and we argue, healthy state of affairs for the Press. A HB or WC stood out so well, not because they were fundamentally more-gifted or cognizant than say a Mr. Medred, but that they were elevated upon & shielded by the ramparts of a galactic Media-Government Complex.

    The highly artificial serenity & dignity of this Era, ca 1960-1980 is the root of our impression that disorderly processes are now increasing in the Media. They are, it is true, but that is by contrast with the Pax Hegemon of the early broadcast days.

    As we got out of the Psychiatric Hospital business so that we could more-effectively criticize the Soviets for their use of it, our government wisely chose to back out of the spectrum license control of the Press … and we just yesterday saw news of a Chinese-Russian pact to openly censor their domestic Internet.

    Don’t bother them while they’re digging such an impressive hole. But if you still prefer your Media tidy, clean & serene, save up for a ticket back to the ’70s.

  4. Re: China, you are exactly right. About 15 years ago, I spent a month with a fellow from Pennsylvania whose father invented and patented all the heating elements used in small appliances in the early ’70s. Remember the first Mr. Coffee machines? A couple of inventors figured out how to heat the water and get it to run down through the grounds but it was my buddy’s dad who developed the heating coil in the base that kept the pot warm without overcooking it. In addition to Mr Coffee, all the big appliance makers were customers – Hamilton-Beach, GE, Sunbeam, all of them. They expanded into toaster ovens, all manner of heating devices. Then the Chinese got in the game and flat copied them. Buddy’s dad filed suit while simultaneously changing and improving the product. And again. And again. Did not matter, the Chinese just kept copying and the suits were never heard. Finally sold off what should have been a billion dollar company for nickels.

    • Jame’s, I bought some ChiComm “Rage” knockoff broadheads for $1 each on Amazon. That is right, $12/dozen. From Rage they are $50 for 3. The dollar knockoffs are just as lethal. Crazy. So, I can imagine your buddies dad.

  5. When you say Trump is “infantile hunger for approval and praise”, maybe the reality is he is SICK of a corrupt, criminal government and a lying, complicit, Pravda “news” media? If anybody had thin skin it was Obama who used the IRS, CIA, FISA Courts and FBI to go after his opponents. Not to mention the “news” media’s partisan lying during the Kavenaugh charade, or the now phony Democrat invented Ukrainian coup. Trump has resorted to Twitter because the “reporters” of today aren’t reporters after all. They are partisan hacks. So, who can blame Trump? Not I. Trump has created the lowest unemployment in 60yrs, yet people long for that bozo Obama who did everything possible to hurt America. Pathetic sissies.
    I say good on Trump, telling the Dems, lying media, ANTIFA, BLM, RINO’s, and select World Leaders ro kiss his arse. About time someone exposed that smelly cancer.

  6. Lots of intriguing thought. Would like to add that I believe much of the ‘tribalness’ we are seeing is resultant of the loss of face to face relationship that fosters empathy and connectedness in people. When one sits behind a screen and most or all communication is filtered through that screen, an element of humanity falls through the cracks. Without connectedness and human empathy, cultivated through face to face relationship, the other person, or people, on the other side of the screen, chance to simply become objects and this definitely skews conscience and communication. Easy to draw the line in the sand, sling the mud, shoot the fiery arrows when there is no relational connection to the object of ire.

  7. Craig,
    Many of your generation like to think of the good old days of journalism but fail to include how news reporters once covered the on going wars with reporters sent in the field with U.S. soldiers.
    Robert Scheer was just starting his career during the Vietnam Conflict and was embedded with U.S. GI’s…
    Gone are the old days of watching the dead soldiers caskets return on TV and this has “disenfranchised” us from the wars as we enter our 19th year of fighting in Afghanistan.
    “US mainstream media and the public’s willful ignorance is to blame for lack of knowledge about true cost of wars…
    What about the bodies?
    During the 1960s and early 1970s television viewers and newspaper readers in the US were regularly treated to images from the front that prompted even the most fervent proponents of the war to question themselves. 
    The global war on terror, which under Obama has expanded from Afghanistan and Iraq to include Libya, an expanded secret drone war in Pakistan, as well semi-covert wars in Yemen and Somalia, obviously includes countless similar images “on the ground”, in the parlance of US television analysts.”

    • Steve Stein,

      The first reason for doing away with the casket displays, is that it works strongly against the wishes & sensibilities of families, who are the priority.

      A second notable consideration, as alluded here in Craig’s post, is that News has become more & more an entertainment product.

      But NPR takes up your questions pretty directly, and I’ll them say it in their words.

      Hey, Media: Where’s The Afghanistan Coverage?

      There are three factors worth remembering about the challenges in reporting on Afghanistan. First, it’s complicated.

      “It’s dozens, if not hundreds, of small countries, essentially, that you’re trying to cover,” says former CNN and NBC reporter Jane Arraf, who was last there in 2002. She is now the Iraq correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and is planning to return to Afghanistan this fall. “In Afghanistan, there’s so much below the surface that I think most of us, myself included, probably, aren’t even aware of how little we know about it.”

      Second, it’s dangerous. New York Times reporter David Rhode was kidnapped by the Taliban and held for more than seven months. A photographer for The Associated Press lost his foot this month after being badly wounded by a roadside bomb.

      Third: It’s expensive.

      “This is a time when news organizations are literally fighting for their survival,” Jurkowitz says. “They’re in bankruptcy. They’re being sold for pennies on the dollar.

      “In that kind of environment, the idea of being able to spend money to send journalists — in a smaller newsroom — overseas becomes not just a luxury, but almost an impossibility,” Jurkowitz says.

      • Ted,
        I strongly disagree.
        Somehow we can send a few thousand more soldiers to Saudi Arabia but not one American Reporter to bring us the “news” on the ground?
        I guess after the Khashoggi incident no one from Fox News was willing to step up to the plate.
        I just finished reading “Papa Bravo Romeo” by Wynn Goldsmith and he believed that the graphic reporting and front page pictures were instrumental in ending the American involvement in Vietnam.
        Without Americans seeing the effects of the bullets and bombs through embedded journalists then there is no chance of Empathy. ALL of the journalists who were captured and killed in the middle East were working Independent and not under the protection of U.S. forces on land.
        Chris Hedges was one of the last guys to work with the military in Iraq, but the administration was not happy with the picture he painted..
        Hence he was fired from the New York Times.
        Today the only reporters near the front lines are foreign correspondents or independents and they are few are far in between.

    • Steve: It’s not about the bodies; it’s about the elimination of the draft.

      The draft – not the media – is really what connected most of America to Vietnam. America has no connection to Afghanistan. The war is waged by a professional army largely insulated from average Americans.

  8. Trump has the personality to do what he does, but it’s critical for him to blast out the way he does. It’s the only way to get his message out with most of the mainstream media against him. A good example is how they aren’t doing a real impeachment, for the first time in history they are doing an impeachment inquiry, which bypasses all rules of due process. So the mainstream media now has a story with no depth they can use to hammer on Trump.

  9. A couple of things happened.

    The congressional hyper-partisanship was caused by elimination of earmarks. Now, what is the incentive to cultivate relationships?

    As for the POTUS, Trump was a correction. Like Carter was an overcorrection to Watergate and Obama was an overcorrection to Bush. Obama was the least qualified POTUS in US history, Mitt Romney was perhaps as qualified a candidate ever. But the MSM, was totally infatuated with the Messiah and Romney lost to what should have been a one term fluke. The disequilibrium grew and the 2016 correction was massive. Trump understands media better than any candidate in history and disrupted – obliterated the status quo in so many ways starting with weaponizing Twitter. Ironically, his opportunity was created by the Democrats and their MSM allies.

  10. I have four children and two sons in law and none of them read the newspaper or watch any “news” channels. They get their “news” from social media. And these are smart kids!
    There may soon come the day when one of my very young grand kids will ask: “ what was a newspaper Dad?”
    Funny thing is that with today’s newspaper’s obvious bias in reporting, the kids are probably getting more balanced information through social media sites.
    It is a shame that today’s news outlets find themselves pandering to their “base” instead of to their advertisers. They are losing circulation ( readers) because of their bias and more so because by the time the print version is finally in the hands of a reader, it is old news. In the case of Anchorage’s ADN, recently, there has not been a piece of news I have read that I had not already read in some alternative format a day or more earlier.
    Better get ready to say “bye bye” to print news.

    • A.F.
      I agree with you statement:
      “It is a shame that today’s news outlets find themselves pandering to their “base” instead of to their advertisers.”
      We can partially blame the new Citizens United political environment where a GOP candidate for governor gets to spend over a million of national (possibly international) super pac money on advertising for their campaigns.
      I am not sure your children’s sources of social media offer any more investigative journalism to the reader…especially as A.I. generated and foreign outsourcing of news is starting to make head way across the U.S.
      “Two years later, MediaNews Group, better known by its trade name Digital First Media, has decided that shutting down pressrooms, eliminating jobs, and concentrating design and printing into regional hubs hasn’t cut costs enough.
      Now it’s outsourcing California news design to the Philippines, paying pennies on the dollar for work that once employed professionals who lived in the communities they served.”

      • Steve, good lord. You are so gullible.. Democrats call their flock “useful idiots”. How many “Citizen’s United” do/did the Democrats have before Citizen’s United came along? I mean, you ALWAYS paint half the picture or just one side. I get it you went to a liberal college and received a Liberal Arts degree but sheesh. Lose the brainwashing. You’re old enough now to think for yourself.

      • Bryan,
        I also get your profile…
        State school and probably a veteran…
        All respect bro, but “out sourcing” our news to the Philippines and paying various blogs and online PR firms to spread lies is not how journalism once worked in America.

Leave a Reply