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.