You know you’re in for some fair and balanced analysis when an editorialist in a major newspaper begins his column with this:
“In less than a week the free world might be ruled by an orange-skinned Bond villain. If that happens, voters will have only themselves to blame. But it’s also as good an excuse as any to lash out at the media and the role it’s played in this tunnel-of-terrors election campaign we’ve all been forced to endure.”
Scott Reid is about as mainstream media establishment as you can get in Canada. Besides running a big league PR company called Feschuk Reid, he was Senior Advisor and Director of Communications to Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin and has served in senior communication capacities on national, provincial and municipal election campaigns. He is the co-anchor of National Affairs on the CTV News Channel in Canada. Reid is also a regular contributor on politics, current affairs and communications to several Canadian print publications including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, and Maclean’s magazine.
If anyone should have ‘Mainstream Media Dude’ as a vanity licence plate, it’s this guy.
And guess what? Reid isn’t so keen on the alternative media. In fact, he’s feeling a bit underappreciated.
And it’s YOUR fault!
Why? Well, isn’t it obvious? It’s because you’re too thick to understand that only people in the mainstream media are worth paying attention to!
In his recent column for the Ottawa Citizen, Reid has offered an exceptional example of a mainstream media insider whining about how the population is too stupid to appreciate what a fantastic job the MSM is doing.
It’s a Canadian example that is indicative of the hubris of mainstream media elites throughout the Western world. And it is precisely why their industry is dying.
Reid opines: “If people are threatened for doing their job — especially when their job is to provide challenge to those who seek power — then that represents a real attack on institutions and norms that we rely upon to help order our democracies”.
Reid conveniently bypasses the obvious issue that applies to any industry: If people perceive that you are not providing the service you claim to provide, they are entitled to reject you.
Clearly, many people have discerned that the mainstream media is conspicuously selective in the degree to which they “provide challenge to those who seek power”. But rather than recognising their own failure to convince the electorate of their objectivity, the MSM has increasingly adopted the attitude of an enlightened class that the masses are obliged to appreciate for their superior insight and wisdom.
I suppose the sheer ignorance of everyone not dependant on traditional media for their living could be one explanation for why people are abandoning those sources of information in droves. The other possibility is that the MSN has become just another institution that has calcified into a culture constricted by very conventional thinking and which therefore only hires people who are capable of generating content that reflects very conventional thinking. This means that when smart people turn to mainstream media, they find themselves confronted with insights that strike them as mediocre and predictable at best.
The dreaded alternative media may be something of a Wild West of ideas and viewpoints…. but unlike Reid and others wedded to convention, thinking people find this intellectual environment stimulating, challenging and refreshing. Reid and his colleagues apparently find it distasteful and threatening.