Glenn Greenwald has a post up on his Substack account about How Big Media Outlets So Often “Independently Confirm” Each Other’s Falsehoods. It’s long, but its review of how the Main Stream Media have cooperated in selling false narratives in service of The Narrative is worth the read. Here’s the TL/DR—
But all of this highlights the real crisis in journalism, the reason public faith and trust in media institutions is in free fall. With liberal media outlets deliberately embracing a profit model of speaking overwhelmingly to partisan Democrats who use them as their primary source of news, there is zero cost to publishing false claims about people and groups hated by that liberal audience.
That audience does not care if these media outlets publish false stories as long as it is done for the Greater Good of harming their political enemies, and this ethos has contaminated newsrooms as well. Given human fallibility, reporting errors are normal and inevitable, but when they are all geared toward advancing one political agenda or faction and undermining the other, they cease to be errors and become a deliberate strategy or, at best, systemic recklessness.
But whatever else is true, it is vital to understand what news outlets mean when they claim they have “independently verified” the uncorroborated reports of other similar outlets. It means nothing of consequence. In many if not most cases — enough to make this formulation totally unreliable — it signifies nothing more than their willingness to serve as stenographers for the same anonymous political operatives who fed their competitors similar propaganda.
Yes, the folks play-acting as journalists will keep working as propagandists for The Party until it becomes too costly for them.
Нет известия в «Правдa» и нет правда в «Известия».
There is no news [izvestia] in Pravda and no truth [pravda] in Izvestia.
We’re already beginning to see some cracks in the foundation supporting of the current media structure, and two forces are acting to further destabilize the system. First, Orange Man Bad is gone from the news cycle, and the story lines built on railing against Trump no longer have traction. Viewers aren’t tuning in as the did, and the revenue that underpins many of the media operations is shrinking. Layoffs are occurring.
Second, after years in attack mode, they’ve been unable to find good news to report to sell the new Narrative. For example, years of ranting about kids in cages has made it hard to put a positive spin on a sudden surge in minor children being detained at the border. Masks still required after vaccination, no Fourth of July, and renewed bombing in the Middle East are not an easy sell as good news. Reality keeps interfering with The Narrative, and the public is beginning to suspect that the warm fluid on our legs isn’t rain.
Alternatives to the Main Stream Media and Main Stream Social Media are popping up and some are getting traction because the compete with The Narrative rather than colluding with it. There’s a market for news and truth, and I suspect that many of the legacy media companies will be replaced by new organizations.
You can see signs of panic in the calls for censorship that are beginning appear, some from media outlets beginning to sense they are at a disadvantage competing with truthful reporting. Given the level of control The Party has over the House, Senate, White House, and corporate media/social media, the next few years probably will be stressful for the First Amendment.