Mediacracy: Why the Media is the Greatest Threat to the Integrity of the Political Process

Candy Crowley’s deeply unethical behavior in yesterday’s debate was yet another reminder that the media no longer feels bound by any ethical standards and that their involvement in the political process is not informative, but conformative. They are not interested in creating a forum for a national conversation, but in controlling the conversation in order to control its outcome.

We have three branches of government in the United States. The Fourth Estate is not one of them. Journalists are human beings and they have opinions. So do people in all professions. Professionalism means doing your job, no matter what your opinions are, not turning your opinions into the goal of your job.

The media is no longer interested in reporting on government, it wants to be the government. In a debate between two candidates running for political office, biased commentators like Candy Crowley attempt to insert themselves as third candidates. And Candy Crowley’s behavior was not just the ethical lapse of one woman, it’s the symptom of a profession where “ethical” means doing whatever it takes to help the side that they favor win.

We are no longer dealing with media bias, but the end of the media’s role as reporters and the beginning of their attempt to act as arbiters.

In a society fed by information, the media is exploiting its corporate control over the airwaves and its deep pockets to consolidate control over the national conversation in order to control the political process. This is a blow aimed at the very heart of democracy and if it is allowed to continue, it will lead to a Mediacracy where major media corporations act as the Praetorian Guard for the country.

The media’s attempt to impose its Mediacracy has completely destroyed its credibility with the public. Very few people trust the media anymore. Viewership ratings have dropped badly. Newspapers are going out of business and newscasts are going unwatched… but that hasn’t halted the Mediacracy’s power grab. The media is destroying its own business model and its traditional role in American life in the hopes of carving out the Mediacracy.

A free society with open elections is most vulnerable at the interface between the voting public and the political candidates. That is where the Mediacracy has attempted to cut democracy’s throat by controlling that interface. The internet has lessened its power, but it still has the inside track and it no longer has even the pretense of professional ethics.

Journalism is dead. Mediacracy is the new model. Mediacracy is not interested in truth or facts, only in power. It is not interested in providing a service to readers, but in controlling them. Mediacracy is strangling democracy and restoring a healthy democracy and the integrity of the political process requires confronting the threat of Mediacracy head on.

  • mags

    I usually agree with your posts. Just wondering: in this case, I saw one for sure incident with Candy fighting for a side (Obama's side) when she defended him saying he said "terrorist " was there more?

    • flameofjudah

      Does there need to be more?

  • Anne Lieberman

    Agreed, absolutely. But the question is what can be done about it? As long as I've been observing it, any pressure brought to bear is simply ignored.

    • Anon

      Canceling your cable is a good first step. Whether you watch CNN, MSN. ABC, etc. or not, if you are paying for cable, they get a cut of what you pay every month. It makes no sense to even complain about what David calls mediacracy, if we can't bring ourselves to stop supporting it financially. Did I cancel mine? Absolutely. Earlier this year and entirely in reaction to the lack of media ethics surrounding the doctoring of the Zimmerman 911 call. There is no other way to hold them accountable.

  • Mark Carroll

    I have made the same observations over the last 2 decades or longer. The media is vying to become part of the Power Elite, rather than report and inform the public on the actions of the banks, corporations, IMF and others that would prefer we all be chipped and controlled. There is no honor in the journalistic process any more. Eroded by self-interest and diluted by the Internet and instant, unconfirmed information streams – today there is no bastion of truth that might lead to justice. Unfortunately, most normal citizens have been brainwashed to actually believe the media tells the truth.

  • Becky

    Professionalism means doing your job, no matter what your opinions are, not turning your opinions into the goal of your job.

    It would be useful to ask a debate moderator, "tell me what role your personal view on the role of government has played in your reporting.”

    And then she could say, a la Biden, "My personal view on the role of government defines who I am. And I've been a practicing socialist my whole life. And it has particularly informed my reporting…
    With regard to — with regard to the size of government, I accept my party's position on government as a — what we call de fide doctrine. Government should be large and in charge. That's the party's judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on free-marketeers and libertarians and capitalists — I just refuse to impose that on other citizens of this great country."

    Or she could say, a la Ryan, "I don't see how a reporter can separate her reporting from her private life or from her faith in big government. My faith in government informs me in everything I do. My faith informs me about how to report on any topic: jobs, debt, defense, healthcare, immigration."

  • Constitution Gal

    With the knowledge that the major media stations are owned by very left wing politically active individuals that insist upon "controlling" what news is reported, it shoud be no surprise to anyone that they are merely being propagandized by those stations. Why on earth would ANYONE who believes in collecting FACTS and TRUTH to make their own decisions upon even listen to/watch them when the obvious conclusion is that you are their sheep with which they'll tell you what to think?
    It's past time to NEVER watch them whereby eventually it'll be impossible for the to sell ad space and go out of business. Fair minded people (for the few that remain) need to buy out stations or create new ones and hire ONLY something called JOURNALISTS who are able to report facts as they happen and know HOW TO dig for truth when it's not obvious. Glenn Beck was the ONLY person that did just that and he was ostracized, even by Fox! Yet, as we see before us, HE WAS RIGHT!

  • tagalog

    The reason why the mainstream media confuse ethical behavior with supporting the left is that for four decades or even more, our entire culture has steeped itself in the delusion that collectivism is good and individualism is bad. Therefore, any political or cultural trend toward individualism is not just not collectivist, it's bad. It therefore follows that any effort to stop the bad is a good effort, no matter how much such action might involve misconduct or unethical behavior. A lie told to counter the bad is good. A punch to the belly of a (bad) individualist is a blow for righteousness.

    It doesn't matter that much of American individualism encompasses helping those less fortunate, or rooting for the underdog, common American traits; the model for collective good is Soviet Communism. Accordingly, systems must be like Soviet Communism in order to approach the ideal of good.

  • Joseph E

    When media-ctators control the political process, it is a sign that the airwaves are controled by sharia compliant dhimmicrats . May as well called them muezzin.