Media Discretion and Procecuturial Discretion same power same abuse

by Datechguy | January 25th, 2013

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Media Discretion and Procecuturial Discretion same power same abuse

James Tay­lor: I’ll make pub­lic opin­ion out there within five hours! I’ve done it all my life. I’ll blacken this punk so that he’ll — You leave pub­lic opin­ion to me.

Mr. Smith Goes to Wash­ing­ton 1939

I was read­ing Glenn Reynolds short paper HAM SAND­WICH NATION: DUE PROCESS WHEN EVERY­THING ISCRIME (you can down­load it here) when some­thing jumped out at me:

The most dan­ger­ous power of the prosecutor:that he will pick peo­ple he thinks he should get,rather than pick cases that need to be pros­e­cuted.” Pros­e­cu­tors could eas­ily fall prey to the temp­ta­tion of “pick­ing the man, and then search­ing the law books…to pin some offense on him.”

While Glenn Reynolds make his point (par­tic­u­larly when he ref­er­ences a pop­u­lar “game” in he US Attorney’s name a famous per­son and find a crime to jail them with) it hit me this is exactly the same prob­lem one faces with the MSM.

The great­est power of the MSM is the abil­ity to decide what is “news­wor­thy” and what is not. To decide say, the death of a Trayvon Mar­tin or a Matthew Shep­ard is a national out­rage wor­thy of uni­ver­sal con­dem­na­tion, marches and action while the mur­der of 13-​year-​old Jesse Dirkhis­ing or the killing of 15-​year-​old Por­she Fos­ter are local sto­ries of no sig­nif­i­cance out­side of their com­mu­ni­ties and cer­tainly not wor­thy of any kind of out­rage on a national level.

When the motive for a news orga­ni­za­tion is profit, the goal is to get the pub­lic to buy a mag­a­zine or paper, or to attract enough read­ers to a site or a pro­gram to attract high rates from advertisers.

If that was the case, all four of these sto­ries would have been reported nation­ally and all four of those names would be known at least tan­gen­tially known to any­one who reads a paper or watches news regularly

That this is not case.

Instead the Main­stream media chooses its sto­ries care­fully, when there is an agenda to be advanced, theirs or their allies agenda an issue. Take cam­paign finance reform, for years the media pushed it as a crit­i­cal issue, the most impor­tant thing for any Amer­i­can to con­sider. The actual impor­tance to the peo­ple they are sell­ing this issue is not rel­e­vant. In real­ity:

In a tape obtained by the New York Post, Mr. Treglia tells his USC audi­ence they are going to hear a story he can reveal only now that cam­paign finance reform has become law. “The tar­get audi­ence for all this [foun­da­tion] activ­ity was 535 peo­ple in [Con­gress],” Mr. Treglia says in his talk. “The idea was to cre­ate an impres­sion that a mass move­ment was afoot. That every­where [Con­gress] looked, in aca­d­e­mic insti­tu­tions, in the busi­ness com­mu­nity, in reli­gious groups, in eth­nic groups, every­where, peo­ple were talk­ing about reform.”

Mean­while as the big money of the “Democ­racy Insti­tute” launches what is described as:

a coor­di­nated effort by about 36 dif­fer­ent inter­est groups with reported rev­enues of no less than $1.69 bil­lion, pledg­ing mil­lions of dol­lars to work together to attack con­ser­v­a­tive sup­port­ers and orga­ni­za­tions, to inter­vene directly in Demo­c­ra­tic pol­i­tics, to push for fil­i­buster reform to bet­ter enable a push through their agenda with­out any input from the oppo­si­tion, and expand­ing “vot­ing rights” and fight­ing voter reg­is­tra­tion laws to fur­ther grease the skids for their leg­isla­tive agenda.

That story, gets no press, no atten­tion no pix­els in the main­stream media.

That’s why Mitt Romney’s words about Cario can be an out­rage but Barack Obama’s & Hillary Clinton’s actions/​inaction on Sept 11th is can be ignored. It’s why say­ing “what dif­fer­ence does it make” to the death of Amer­i­cans is an “unfair tac­tic” but unsub­stan­ci­ated affair Rumors con­cern­ing John McCain was part of all the news that’s fit to print at the NYT.

Until there is a price for this type of men­dac­ity the MSM will con­tinue to do it, just like until there is a price for the same con­duct by pros­e­cu­tors things will not change.

Update: Great Exam­ple of this on Morn­ing Joe today, all the hits on the GOP were on pol­i­tics while the praise of Mrs. Clin­ton was on style (one “Journo­list actu­ally called Hillary Clin­ton “GEN­UINE” lucky for me I wasn’t drink­ing any­thing at the time) while the cri­tiques of Mrs. Clin­ton (such that there was) were on substance.

That my dear read­ers is the whole thing in a nutshell.

James Taylor: I’ll make public opinion out there within five hours! I’ve done it all my life. I’ll blacken this punk so that he’ll – You leave public opinion to me.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington 1939

I was reading Glenn Reynolds short paper HAM SANDWICH NATION: DUE PROCESS WHEN EVERYTHING IS A CRIME (you can download it here) when something jumped out at me:

“The most dangerous power of the prosecutor:that he will pick people he thinks he should get,rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted.” Prosecutors could easily fall prey to the temptation of “picking the man, and then searching the law books…to pin some offense on him.”

While Glenn Reynolds make his point (particularly when he references a popular “game” in he US Attorney’s name a famous person and find a crime to jail them with) it hit me this is exactly the same problem one faces with  the MSM.

The greatest power of the MSM is the ability to decide what is “newsworthy” and what is not. To decide say, the death of a Trayvon Martin or a Matthew Shepard is a national outrage worthy of universal condemnation, marches and action while the murder of 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising or the killing of 15-year-old Porshe Foster are local stories of no significance outside of their communities and certainly not worthy of any kind of outrage on a national level.

When the motive for a news organization is profit, the goal is to get the public to buy a magazine or paper, or to attract enough readers to a site or a program to attract high rates from advertisers.

If that was the case, all four of these stories would have been reported nationally and all four of those names would be known at least tangentially known to anyone who reads a paper or watches news regularly

That this is not case.

Instead the Mainstream media chooses its stories carefully, when there is an agenda to be advanced, theirs or their allies agenda an issue.  Take campaign finance reform, for years the media pushed it as a critical issue, the most important thing for any American to consider. The actual importance to the people they are selling this issue is not relevant.  In reality:

In a tape obtained by the New York Post, Mr. Treglia tells his USC audience they are going to hear a story he can reveal only now that campaign finance reform has become law. “The target audience for all this [foundation] activity was 535 people in [Congress],” Mr. Treglia says in his talk. “The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot. That everywhere [Congress] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform.”

Meanwhile as the big money of the “Democracy Institute” launches what is described as:

a coordinated effort by about 36 different interest groups with reported revenues of no less than $1.69 billion, pledging millions of dollars to work together to attack conservative supporters and organizations, to intervene directly in Democratic politics, to push for filibuster reform to better enable a push through their agenda without any input from the opposition, and expanding “voting rights” and fighting voter registration laws to further grease the skids for their legislative agenda.

That story, gets no press, no attention no pixels in the mainstream media.

That’s why Mitt Romney’s words about Cario can be an outrage but Barack Obama’s & Hillary Clinton’s actions/inaction on Sept 11th is can be ignored. It’s why saying “what difference does it make” to the death of Americans is an “unfair tactic” but unsubstanciated affair Rumors concerning John McCain was part of all the news that’s fit to print at the NYT.

Until there is a price for this type of mendacity the MSM will continue to do it, just like until there is a price for the same conduct by prosecutors things will not change.

Update: Great Example of this on Morning Joe today, all the hits on the GOP were on politics while the praise of Mrs. Clinton was on style (one “Journolist actually called Hillary Clinton “GENUINE” lucky for me I wasn’t drinking anything at the time) while the critiques of Mrs. Clinton (such that there was) were on substance.

That my dear readers is the whole thing in a nutshell.

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