By Mike Walsh
It wasn’t always like this. Newspapers were once omnipotent. Until recently media columnists were more powerful than Congress or Parliament.
The term “columnist” has its origins in Saint Simeon Stylites of Aleppo in Syria. During the 5th Century, the orator harangued the populace from the steps of his “column”.
Newspaper columnists were once a formidable force in the U.S. and UK.
Great names included Ambrose Bierce, Walter Winchell, and H. L Mencken (1880–1956). Britain had its drum beaters in Alastair Cooke (Letter from America), Cassandra (Daily Mirror), Eric Heffer (Daily Mail) and Peter Simple (Daily Telegraph).
Washington columnist Marquis Childs guessed that New York Times editorialist James Reston held roughly … the power of three Senators. Presidents and Prime Ministers tirelessly courted newspaper satirists. President Lyndon B. Johnson, a friend of Walter Lippmann, conceded that this columnist could make or break him while the electorate was still in bed.
Since the onset of the far-freer Internet — all such power has since evaporated. Betrayed readers have deserted mainstream media (MSM) in tens of millions. For the first time in history, the great national tabloids are shocked at the impact that foreign media is having on sales and readership valuation.
There are nuggets of humour to be found in the demise of the much-mocked Western conventional media-speculation posturing as “news”. Recently, the Press Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow decided to conduct a Twitter poll. The hapless fellow invited 1,600 followers to decide whether they believed (RT) Russia Today’s version of events … or those of The Economist.
As at 6 pm that day, 617 had ‘favorited’ the Russian English-language (RT) news broadcaster; only 43 had ‘retweeted’ for The Economist. Twitter diplomacy had become Twitter democracy … and Mr. Steven’s epic fail was apparent.
Virulently anti-Russian Lithuanian TV3 held a survey with the intention of discrediting Russia. The viewers of this CIA bullhorn-channel asked viewers, “Do you see a growth in Russian propaganda in Lithuania?”
One can imagine the TV channel’s hurt feelings when 82% of viewers replied, “It is not propaganda. Russia is telling the truth”. Only 12% of viewers agreed with the channel.
“Though I have spent a lifetime in journalism, I do NOT read a newspaper, NOT the New York Times, NOR the Washington Post, NOR the Wall Street Journal. NOR, do I have television service.
Why? Because, having worked in that ‘restaurant’, I know better than to ‘eat there’. The foregoing media are quasi-governmental organs, predictably predictable … and predictably dishonest. The truth is not in them.” >Source
- Turn IT Off!
Great media columnists — once stronger than government — are now used typewriter ribbon-spools scattered over the dirty floors of the past newspaper industries offices. Ironically the Syrian columnist 1,600 years (ago) had probably more clout and credibility than do today’s mainstream media (MSM) columnists.
The Daily Mail Online is now one of the most ridiculed newspapers in circulation. Readership of conventional and online newspapers is plummeting. Tens of millions — despairing of media spin and anti-White bias — are (now) turning to independent online media. Good riddance! >to Full Article (For added emphasis, underlined, bold, italicized words and links by ELN Editor)
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