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Politics: Enough with the 'lamestream media' nonsense

Arnold There's been a lot of ink spilled this week about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not surprisingly, most of it hasn't been kind.

In The Times alone, you've found these headlines: 

"Arnold Schwarzenegger's lies have a familiar ring," Steve Lopez column.

"Arnold Schwarzenegger was unfaithful to Californians," George Skelton, Capitol Journal column.

"Arnold Schwarzenegger's failings," Times' editorial.

And even when he's been cut some slack, it's not exactly a compliment:

"Schwarzenegger mistress not named here, a rarity in media,"  Times media critic James Rainey.

There's really not much left to be said about our ex-governor. 

Palin But there's another element to this story. I'll call it the "Sarah Palin-Newt Gingrich lamestream media gambit."

On The Times' Politics Now blog, Michael A. Memoli reported Thursday:

Newt Gingrich's misstep this week was actually a double fault in Sarah Palin's eyes. Not only did he attack his own party's proposal to reshape Medicare, but he did so by appearing on the oh-so-dreaded "lamestream media."

Palin offered her diagnosis on a pair of Fox cable shows Wednesday and used Gingrich's latest woes as an example of why Republican presidential hopefuls should avoid the traditional media.

"There's got to be the preparation on all the candidates' parts for those gotchas. That's what the lamestream media is known for nowadays is the gotcha trip-up questions," she told Sean Hannity on his Fox News Channel show Wednesday.

So what, you say? Standard operating procedure for Palin and for others on Fox? Perhaps.   

But here's where it ties in with the Schwarzenegger story. 

By regularly demonizing major, reputable media outlets, some political leaders have taken us to a very dark place, a place where people don't believe anyone: not the media, not the government, not elected officials. And that's a bad place to be.

You'll recall that before the 2003 California election to recall Gov. Gray Davis that The Times famously reported on Schwarzenegger's womanizing, which media critic Rainey recounted recently in "On the Media: Schwarzenegger-Shriver split recalls earlier news reports":

The initial front page story and subsequent follow-ups seemed inherently newsworthy -- describing a public figure wielding his abundant power to abuse subordinates. Many Times readers were happy to see these secrets revealed.

But a lot of others reacted with a fury. Some accused the paper of a politically motivated attack, meant to hurt Schwarzenegger and prop up the struggling Davis. They complained with particular vehemence about the timing of the story, published five days before the recall vote. At least 10,000 subscribers canceled the paper, according to executives who were with the paper at the time.

Wonder what those 10,000 ex-subscribers are thinking now?  Do they feel a bit foolish?

Probably not. And that's the real problem, because that's what this "lamestream media" nonsense has done: Too many people see political motives in everything; too many people believe anything but the truth.

Someone should remind Palin and her ilk of what Thomas Jefferson said, that given a choice between government without newspapers and newspapers without a government, he'd choose the latter.

RELATED:

Sarah Palin: Newt Gingrich fell into 'lamestream media' trap

Schwarzenegger's 'incident' and the course of California history

-- Paul Whitefield

Photos, from top: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; Sarah Palin on Sean Hannity's Fox News show.    Credits: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times; Fox News

 

Comments () | Archives (38)

The comments to this entry are closed.

oldusedcop

Surely the Times,a lamestream poster child, isn't calling itself a "reputable media outlet" while implying in this same writing that 10 thousand readers who cancelled their subscriptions over the Schwarzenegger meanderings were somehow misguided and now repentant.

Hammer

What a complete joke. This newspaper, on a near-daily basis, is essentially a mouthpiece for liberals. Mr. Whitefield, are you really going to claim to your readers that the L.A. Times is not heavily slanted left, not only on the editorial page but in its news coverage? I don't even know what to say. It's so obvious that it's like trying to make the argument that the sun is hot. Between the daily attacks on Republicans, the flat-out cheerleading for illegal immigration and the complete ignoring of all the Obama-related issues we face (higher-than-promised unemployment, gas prices, unclear foreign policy, etc.), if you're truly going to call yourself "reputable" and thumb your nose at the 10,000 readers who canceled...well, sir, your arrogance and your departure from reality is quite troubling. Your readers would respect you much more if you simply admitted your bias. At least then we would have clarity.

truther

Most people are idiots. Sad but true.

afsdfaes

Can this airhead d-bag palin come up with some OTHER insult for the media to replace the tired "lamestream media" nonsense..

I guess not.

Paolo

Thank you. The "gotcha" question, for Gingrich was something akin to, "what do you think of Paul Ryan's plan?" Pretty tricky, I must say. For Palin it was "what newspapers and magazines do you read?" Again very, very sneaky. Of course I am paraphrasing the exact question, but really that is very close? By the way, I don't have a problem with Gingrich's answer..he was honest in how he felt about the plan. You don't have to agree with him, just agree that it's worth discussing.

Bill

We should remember that Sarah Palin first used the "gotcha" excuse when she was asked which magazines she read, which is known as a "softball" question. As for the phrase "lamestream media," it only appeals to those who are impressed by schoolyard taunts. These people you will never reach on an intellectual level. And THAT is the real dark place.

DanO

Got to love that the first two comments only illustrate the article's point.

4th generation Ca native

Sorry LA times. You have lost all your credibility as an objective news source. You are a cheerleader for leftist causes and nothing else. The only people you are fooling with this "reputable media outlet" nonsense is yourself.

Carlton West

"Major, reputable, media outlets"? Yeah, right. You mean "outlets" that employ Andrew Sullivan, Katie Couric, & Chris Matthews? Sarah Palin's great legacy will be her heroic, tireless effort to make the old, mainstream media totally irrelevant to the political process. God bless her.

Janey

Carlton West, are you being ironic???

AimeeX

From a moderate who is way more liberal than conservative: Must admit The Times liberal bias is obvious. A wise person will NOT trust any media source or government--read, watch and listen with an open mind, do your own research and make a judgment as to the truth. MSNBC and Fox, for example, are just propaganda networks, and CNN is all about special interests, cutting and pasting video and inserting commentary to create their own news stories--not even as real as the reality shows. As for Arnold, the "lies have a familiar ring" column had a hostile tone--not objective or analytical--for what other reason than a liberal seizing the opportunity to denigrate a conservative...insults are fair if limited to political performance, flinging the hardball back and forth with invective about your opponent's personality and such; but remarking on steroids and big biceps etc, and expressing outrage over an extramarital affair? Who's angered by infidelity; wrong of course but happens every second of the day. The rancor stems from political bias, L.A. Times, so why not admit it.

KC

Thomas Jefferson? That communist?

RUJoking?!

The only people saying the LA Times is not a pro-Leftist paper...seem to work for the LA Times.

Any LA Times editors take a non-PC stand on: gay marriage, more taxes, illegal immigration, gun control, abortion, global warming, affirmative action, more gov't, Federal Reserve money printing, Obama, Dem's, low-flow toilets, fluorescent light bulbs or plastic shopping bags? Yeah, I don't see them either.

Apparently they'd rather go broke printing Lefty spin they want to write (& believe their neutral!) than honest reporting their vanishing readers want to see.

Denial, more than a river in Egypt.

jopsjennings

"By regularly demonizing major, reputable media outlets, some political leaders have taken us to a very dark place, a place where people don't believe anyone: not the media, not the government, not elected officials. And that's a bad place to be."

And that is exactly where most bonehead repubs are nowadays -- their head stuck in a very dark place that actually requires quite a bit of athletic talent for them to reach.

ANdy

Many people are pro-lifers who think no one should have an abortion. Well, this child was born. Pro-lifers should be happy. Affairs shouldn't happen. Women shouldn't involve themselves in others' relationships (and perhaps should be sued like the woman in North Carolina was who had an affair with a woman's husband. Maria should sue all women coming out of the woodwork). No one should toy with others, lie, dupe them. Life isn't perfect, though. How many famous people have had affairs, had babies with others other than their spouses, how many husbands think kids are their own, how many kids think their fathers are their father when they aren't (well, are later in a parent way), how many have had abortions. Dear pro-lifers: if any of you are denigrating Arnold, then perhaps you should be quiet because he got someone pregnant, she kept the baby, and now is now. If you want to be pro-life people with mouthy repercussions ongoing, then state that upfront with your beliefs - that all babies should be kept, but those creating children should be harassed forever, made to pay the price, never be allowed to move on. Re. the 16 yr old who had an affair later. She obviously wasn't traumatized - and hurt Maria on a universal level. Her behaviour toward Maria was awful, and now hiring Gloria just as revolting. Arnold's behaviour speaks for itself, but isn't unlike JFKs or Bobby's. America's divorce rate is high, affairs are rampant, and yet many still want things to be black and white and upright - never was with many famous, powerful people, never will be. People should be honorable, but most aren't. Just look at those vilifying Arnold when their lives are likely in the sewer. I don't know why Arnold was elected in the first place, but it wasn't because he was a saint.

Chuck Kopsho

Remember folks, it's natural to be hostile toward government power in this country, we got fed up with George III. Don't think it won't happen again. The media and government are hand-in-hand in their nefarious endeavors.

ANdy

Perhaps Schwarzenegger comment should have been elsewhere or nowhere! but re. media outlets - there are so many newsfeeds resulting in the same info everywhere, it is nice to read anything that is different. Many read alternative news just to get away from the exhausting over and over again of CNN reporting and papers with the same info reported over and over again. News venues aren't static, though, reporters, managers, etc. come and go and over time things change - not always depending on where money comes from, though. What exactly did happen re. no one wanting to pick up The Kennedys, the miniseries finally aired by the History Channel. Money is in the background far too often. It is scary to think that religious fanatics try to control the news - something Palin and those of her religious ilk (love that word ilk!) would love to do, but often can't, so they look elsewhere. I can't believe Americans would even entertain the thought of electing a religious fanatic like her, or her or those much like her at all. Religion should be dispensed with and spirituality only encouraged. Life would be so much better without the dogma, brainwashing, and all the them versus us - with spirituality there wouldn't be any of that, or would there. Regardless, the news is exhausting now because there has to always be more. Tsunamis are boring after awhile to many, tornadoes - more of the same, an affair - not really that exciting to many - but now Arnold - there are affairS, there are maybe babies - but then what after? How is the insatiable appetite for MORE ever going to be filled after a certain point. Maybe people will get sick of the all of it, the over the top drama, the exhausting need for more and more. Worldwide info is becoming overwhelming as it is with each story ongoing til the next comes along.

jleeee

I love how the comment sections of op-eds always have some (usually right-wing) wackjob complaining about how the article is biased and opinionated.

jleeee

And conservatives, whenever you feel that the media, or even the world, seems to be against your views, it's probably because they are.

Conservatism is inherently regressive and reactive. It's all about holding onto imagined past ideals and nostalgia. Liberalism is about moving forward and progress. Smart people like progress. Smart people tend to have more intellectual jobs like editing newspapers and writing and teaching.

So when you guys whine about college professors and newspapers and scientists all exhibiting liberal tendencies... well, it's because they are.

Bob Olive

The level of paranoia in a few of these comments is alarming.

Hammer

It's so instructive to read the comments section. Look at every comment from a liberal. No ideas, no refutation, just insults to conservatives. Liberals love tolerance, unless they're being asked to tolerate people they disagree with. Then they feel free to spew the most vile hate their fingers can put forth.

mansterEZ

The Retugs are running out of material to cover up their lies, distortions and misrepresentations. When will their purposefully ignorant followers wake up to rational reason? One needs look no farther in SoCal than Costa Mesa to see their future. Privatize all government services to line the pockets of elected officials is a BIG non winner, but does anyone think this will stop their maddness? The current Republican Party is bent on self-destruction having already embraced the Teabillies.

vincent joy

Who wrote this stupid Op-Ed piece? No doubt someone from the Lame-Stream Media. Well here's a clue: Stop being the PR arm for Left-Wing politicians and we'll stop calling you the Lame-Stream media. I much prefer Left-Wing Media myself.

Omar Torrez

Hammer,

It is commonly known that reality has a liberal bias. Fortunately you and your ilk can sequester yourselves in the thick, fuzzy haze of conservative double-speak and neo-con misinformation. This allows you to evade the wretched light of rational criticism in social and political discourse.

chuen

I agree with this opinion piece. The Times publishes several blogs and opinion pieces--some liberal, some not, some somewhere in between. I even read the Jonah Goldberg pieces and take them for what their worth. I agreed with his criticism on Trump. It's unfortunate that we seem to be living in such a polarizing environment, and that we seem to believe that people/organizations are either "for you" or "against you." That's a very simple-minded mentality. The world is far more complex. Economics is complex. Society changes at a rate faster than most can comprehend, yet we make snap judgments using our inherently flawed lens. Can we learn to take a deep breath on certain issues? In a day and age when information is so easily and quickly accessible, can we take that extra time to take a more independent approach to issues? I hope so.

Mark J. Graski

I believe it is the job of the media to ask unbiased relevent questions of political candidates. They should expose the experience, political views, and character of the candidate. This allows voters to make informed decisions about who they should vote for. This is not lame.

It is the job of political candidates to be prepared to answer questions about their experience, political views, and character. If the candidate fails to answers these questions it indicates that they are unprepared or lack the necessary experience to hold office. It is not the fault of the media if a candidate is unprepared to give an interview. It is the candidate who is lame and is not worthy of our votes.

Shawn P

"...Palin and her ilk..."

And there you go. You could have chosen to make your point in a professional manner. There is some substance in what you were attempting to say.

But then you commit the very act you are decrying.

And by doing so only underscore and make more valid what Palin had said.

Ken

Boy, for not being a political threat, you guys at the LA Times sure talk about Sarah Palin a LOT! If people didn't listen to her once in a while, you folks wouldn't have anything to write about. I vote Independent, so I listen to everyone. The LA Times leans so far left, it is hard to find a piece in the paper with thoughts pro and con on any issues. You might consider that even in California people want to hear both sides of an issue.

maandrews

Doubt the Lamestream Media label ?.....Ha!
The LAT might as well say the sky is falling and tell readers not to believe their lying eyes as it does daily on issues of open borders and illegal immigration, etc.

Kurt Eckhardt

Get a clue, Whitefield. Webster's defines Lamestream Media with the logo of the Los Angeles Times.
To wit: The last L.A. love child sired by a politician was from leftwing pretty boy, John Edwards. Did the LAT, NYT or CBS break the story? No, it was a tabloid that reported to Americans that the ambulance chasing lawyer who came within a few hundred thousand votes of becoming VICE PRESIDENT was a lying adulterer.

This newspaper (that's lost over HALF of it's readership in the past decade) has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the Democrats. To claim even an iota of balance, fairness or objectivity from the LAT
is more perverse than the Arnold sexploitation that you relish covering.

zaglossus

What's the last book you read, Palin. Gotcha!

Wadsworth

Sarah Palin is merely echoing the labels that are routinely applied to a number of left leaning news and opinion sources. Everybody knows that Fox News slants to the right. That doesn't mean that they can't occasionally perform good news reporting. What many people think is dishonest is that the LA Times won't admit that it slants left. Again, that doesn't mean that they can't occasionally perform good news reporting. What is damaging the mainstream media is that both the left and right wing blogosphere sometimes do a better reporting than they do.

BigRez

So Whitefield's contention is that namecalling not content has convinced a sizeable portion of our population that the LA Times has a liberal bias? That is appareantly the gist of this opinion piece. Good job rolling a Schwarzenegger/Palin hit piece together with a we're not biased piece though. Extra points from the editor for that, I'm sure.

Tim Bowman

The solution: skip the blather in the papers and change the channel on the television!

truther

Yesterday I wrote that most people are idiots. Reading the subsequent comments, a few bright spots notwithstanding, has done nothing to change my opinion.

Steve McKee

Let's be clear, essentially 100% of those who consider themselves conservatives of some sort see the "mainstream media" as severely biased in favor of the Left.

Strange how the so-called "inclusive" proclamations of left -liberals never includes half the population. They quite simply ignore what is obvious.

I would suggest actually listening to those on the right and perhaps shaping your news and opinion, as you surely do, to consider what might be important to all. At that point you will in fact be a reputable media outlet.

me.yahoo.com/a/OdYMp9d2q5dlq9G1Lkg_U1KFd0xTr9edV9Lt

Unfortunately for your advice to tell Ms. Palin what Thomas Jefferson said, she mnay not have heard of Thomas Jefferson. If she has, she only cares about those of his sayings that can be exerpted to support her nonsense.

Jim

It seems that some of the comments make the case for the article.

The comment by "Hammer" is as good an example as you can find. Don't believe anything that's not in a right wing approved source, because everything else is not to be believed, no matter what turns out to be true later on.

Only someone who does not read thinks being asked what they read is a "gotcha" question. Only an outright liar could say that quoting him isn't being truthful.

What are you people thinking supporting that?


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