There is an old poem, The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt.
The Spider and the Fly
Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,
‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;
The way into my parlour is up a winding stair,
And I’ve a many curious things to shew when you are there.”
Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “to ask me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne’er come down again.”
Have you watched the presidential debates. Did you see the last one?
Did you see the web the spider wove?
It’s over, I think. The main stream media is dead.
(Insert Ding Dong song from Wizard of Oz here.)
By 2003, the scourge of the Internet – these creatures known as “bloggers” – started appearing in large numbers.
By the 2006 election, there were a few news stories about how the Internet was having an impact. The dinosaurs at ABC, NBC and CBS were mumbling about “social media” though none of them knew what it was.
Between 2006 and 2009 the main stream media – called “MSM” by blogger types – was losing ground, and losing it fast. The term “Lame Stream Media” became a regular part of the vernacular. I forget who coined the term. Michelle Malkin? Bernie Goldberg? (continued here)
There is much merit in his post, but is Harry right? Are we seeing the end of the death of the main stream media? That depends upon us. We provide the market that revels in watching spiders eating flies.
We get what we vote for. When we go to the polls, when we vote for politicians, and when we spend our time and our money; we vote for goods and services, including news and entertainment. So will John King, that elite media spider, stop asking inappropriate questions? That depends upon us.
In 2006, I wrote a series, What is the proper business of our government? In the third part, we considered the constellation of special interests that works to keep us misinformed.
In a democracy, the primary function the People is to vote. This function requires that the People educate themselves about how their government works, the problems of the day, and the qualifications of the candidates for public office. If the People fail to vote properly, then the likely problem is that they have allowed themselves to become misinformed.
What would cause the People to be misinformed? Here is a list of what I think contributes to a misinformed American People.
- Public School System -The public school system is the primary institution that educates the People. This system is government owned and operated. Because politicians control the funding, the public school system is run for the benefit of the politicians, not the People.
- Commercial News Media – The commercial news media provides the People information on current events. This information is “free” to the People. Advertisers pay the cost. As a result, the focus of such media is gaining audience attention, not education.
- Public Television and Radio – PBS and NPR receive extensive government funding. Thus, much like the public school system, PBS and NPR operates for the benefit of politicians.
- Politicians – The typical politician seeks elected office by making promises to various organized political constituencies. The politician serves as an advocate. He or she gathers contributions and spends whatever it takes to get the People’s vote.
The Commercial News Media is only one institution within the constellation that seeks to dominate and control the information we receive. The Commercial News Media is not even the principal institution; it is only the most flamboyant. Because it indoctrinates us when we are young, instilling within us many of the assumptions we use in our daily lives, the Public School System provides the principal danger.
So long as we allow our children to be indoctrinated by a system run by politicians, politicians will use that system to help their special interests instill their values, their beliefs and their ideas within our nation’s children. So long as we allow children to be indoctrinated by a system run by politicians, as adults they will remain susceptible to the misinformation provided by the Commercial News Media.