I’ve long held the opinion that the media cares about itself far more than the public cares about it. This isn’t surprising in and of itself, but what is surprising is that editors cannot recognize this bias and correct for it.
Thus Drudge’s headline today: PEACOCK AT SLAUGHTER; NEW ROUND OF JOB CUTS HITS NETWORK with a humongous NBC logo in the center. Not only was this the lead story for most of the day, but it was emphasized more than many of Drudge’s lead stories are. And Google News indicated that by 2 p.m. Eastern there were already 365 articles about it (Bush making an Iraq-Vietnam comparison had a paltry 120 at the same time, though Google News counts are probably not too scientific). There’s little indication that anyone outside the media cares.
The network is eliminating 700 jobs, amounting to 5 percent of its workforce. This is a blow to those families, of course, but other layoffs involving poorer people don’t get nearly as much attention. In August 2006 alone there were 1,193 mass layoffs in America, each knocking at least 50 people out of jobs. 127,944 people lost their jobs this way in that month alone, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Of course this isn’t the first story the media has inflated the importance of. Any time a news anchor quits or switches shows, it gets not the mention it deserves but the full-blown coverage only a stalker could be interested in.
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.