No news is bad news, not good news

October 3, 2006 | By | Reply More

If the past few weeks have proven anything at all they have proven to us that no news is not good news. In the absence of a steady stream of vigorous reporting to convince us that things are actually going well, we should never assume that things are okay.

We now have evidence that Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice were advised of an imminent Al Qaeda attack in July, 2001, but that they did nothing to protect us. 

We now have evidence that an alleged stalwart protector of children, Mark Foley, is actually a brash and despicable Internet predator.  We know also that several high-ranking Republicans covered up the conduct of Mark Foley for months instead of protecting the teenage boys on the receiving end of Foley’s horny advances.

We now know from the recent NIE report directed to the President that the war in Iraq is inflaming the Middle East and that producing a new generation of Islamic radicals.  This contradicts the constant and ludicrous assertions by the President that attacking Iraq would make Americans safer from acts of terrorism.  In other words, the President’s claim that he was protecting us by attacking Iraq was utterly false and it should have been vigorously questioned by the press for years.

All of this recently revealed information makes me ask “what else don’t we know?” 

For instance, I have heard it from a reliable-seeming source that yet another high-ranking and sanctimonious (and married) Republican who holds national office has been privately flaunting his extramarital conquests. I suspect that the stories I’ve heard about that person (I will not repeat any specifics unless I can confirm this information) will never see the light of day, even though this same person has (like many Republicans) spent a lot of his energy proclaiming the moral superiority of the Republican Party. 

Likewise, I suspect that there are numerous stories out there that have been stricken by editors for political reasons.  If you doubt this claim and if you want to hear a good unpublished story, simply make small talk with any newspaper reporter for any major newspaper.  You’ll hear all kinds of things in private that the general public will never hear. Why would this be?  Well, what if a newspaper generally followed the facts where they led and reported them aggressively?  Could it be that this such stories might aggravate many readers who might cancel their subscriptions which, in turn, might cause a loss of the ad revenue?  Who actually ever believed that we should expect any real news from corporations who are motivated to make the most money possible by selling advertisements?  Whenever we see aggressive reporting, we should consider it to be icing on the cake–an unexpected bonus.  If the media again clams up (which it is likely to do after the mid-term elections), we need to remember that no news is not good news.

The past few weeks have powerfully demonstrated that we are largely at the mercy of the mainstream “corporate” news media.  The past few weeks have also shown us that the mainstream media has generally been failing miserably in that it has not aggressively questioned the party in power for the past five years.  On the other hand, the reporting of a relatively simple story involving a pedophile Congressman demonstrates the power of a mainstream media that actually goes out and does its job with some enthusiasm.

I will end by recommending the terrific media criticism organizations listed on the home page of this blog.


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Category: Corruption, Current Events, Media, Politics, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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