It's the management, stupid...
John Emerson of Seeing the Forest writes this letter to Bob Somerby to clarify what is wrong with the current establishment media:
I've been arguing for some time now that the bylined reporters and commentators aren't agents. They just watch patterns of hiring and promotion and do what seems to work best. They're lackeys giving their bosses what they want.
Responsibility has to ascribed to faceless management and to the owners (Sulzberger [NYT] and Graham [WP], for example). For whatever reason, for the last ten years or more all of the media have swung consistently right.
My theory is that the reason is financial, and that the tax cuts and other goodies have caused financial management to interfere with operations. (Both Sulzberger and Graham are simultaneously business managers and operations managers of their respective publications).
This is bad news indeed. The media cannot be shamed into cleaning up their act, because bad reporting is a deliberate bottom-line policy, not an oversight or a mistake.
I have suggested that only new national media at every level (cable, TV, newspaper, radio) can improve the situation. Present players are incorrigible and inveterate. Air America was a good start, but not nearly enough. (I was horrified at the unenthusiastic reception AA got from many liberals and Democrats. Sometimes I think that Democrats are too stupid to live).