FACT CHECK: She’s right. – Ariana Pekary, a producer at the evil, Goebbels-style fake news operation MSNBC who resigned last month, has written a parting letter in which she classifies MSNBC and other TV news operations as “a cancer” on our country.
It’s pretty hard to argue with that.
The letter, posted on her blog, accuses the network’s producers of exactly what you’d expect – choosing stories and panel guests not based on their newsworthiness but on how they might help with the ratings:
It’s possible that I’m more sensitive to the editorial process due to my background in public radio, where no decision I ever witnessed was predicated on how a topic or guest would “rate.” The longer I was at MSNBC, the more I saw such choices — it’s practically baked in to the editorial process – and those decisions affect news content every day. Likewise, it’s taboo to discuss how the ratings scheme distorts content, or it’s simply taken for granted, because everyone in the commercial broadcast news industry is doing the exact same thing.
But behind closed doors, industry leaders will admit the damage that’s being done.
“We are a cancer and there is no cure,” a successful and insightful TV veteran said to me. “But if you could find a cure, it would change the world.”
As it is, this cancer stokes national division, even in the middle of a civil rights crisis. The model blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentive to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others… all because it pumps up the ratings.
This cancer risks human lives, even in the middle of a pandemic. The primary focus quickly became what Donald Trump was doing (poorly) to address the crisis, rather than the science itself. As new details have become available about antibodies, a vaccine, or how COVID actually spreads, producers still want to focus on the politics. Important facts or studies get buried.
This cancer risks our democracy, even in the middle of a presidential election. Any discussion about the election usually focuses on Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, a repeat offense from 2016 (Trump smothers out all other coverage). Also important is to ensure citizens can vote by mail this year, but I’ve watched that topic get ignored or “killed” numerous times.
Again, hard to argue with any of that.
She goes on to add that, “I’ve even heard producers deny their role as journalists. A very capable senior producer once said: ‘Our viewers don’t really consider us the news. They come to us for comfort.'”
Naturally, being a raging leftist herself, Ms. Pekary lacks the personal introspection to go even further and admit the obvious fact that the producers also choose stories and guests based on political bias, both their own and that of their guests. That dynamic is obvious, not just at MSNBC, but at all TV news operations at the national level. It is just as much of a cancer on our society, as is the refusal of leftists like Ms. Pekary to even acknowledge that it exists.
But hey, at least she managed to get half of the problem right, which is far more than any of her colleagues manage to do.
That is all.
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