Welcome to the discussion champ. I have a serious issue with what you're describing with the media. As far as I'm concerned, the only media outlet with a clear agenda is fox news. I don't think they lie, they just mislead. Others might have bias, but information presented is accurate.
Distrust in journalism and the news is really difficult to swallow. We depend on the media to keep us informed and keep politicians honest. By discrediting the media, the right wing has succeeded in forming the truth they want to a percentage of Americans.
There are really good journalists in our country. Polls and speculation are one thing, real journalism is another. They are not the same. A speculation being wrong does not mean an outlet is lying.
Thanks for the response Badsmerf. I think if you applied what Fox News does to right wing politics, how it seems to glorify it and be basically incapable of calling it out when there are abuses of power and double standards, and then applied that to every other source of mainstream news source and how they also give themselves passes, help out favored politicians and political parties, then we would be in full agreement. For now, at least we are in agreement about Fox. I will take it.
I think as we speak, what the "media" is to us, is being redefined. We have gotten used to a half hour or hour of news at noon, at 5, at 6, news at 10, etc for more than half a century. In just the last 10 years we have gone from that being the primary way Americans got their news to having a plethora of other options across the internet. Suddenly you don't have to be a billion dollar corporation anymore to have a valid news source, you can operate a website, have a blog, have a youtube channel, have a vimeo channel, and you have the option of putting hundreds of millions of dollars into any of these or barely putting a dime and everything in between. This has forced the major news corporations to compete with these other entities, and degradation of this institution has been in full effect for decades now, especially in the last 5-6 years because their product is poor. Just like Blockbuster home video and it's conqueror Netflix, they are quickly becoming obsolete, and superior forms in the same industry are taking its place.
You are right, we do need the media to stand up and expose truth, which is why this is such an important topic. They aren't doing their job right now, and haven't done it for some time. They are attacking the current president for the wrong reasons, and only holding him to to the fire for problems that benefit certain political parties, rather than benefiting the exposure of real corruption and abuse of constitutionally given power and giving this information to the people. I would argue the media not only misleads, but intentionally lies as well, regardless of political affiliation or bias, and has for many decades.
They often are more concerned with getting their viewers to think a certain way, or have the "sexy" story at the top of the hour, rather than to expose the truth. If the media can be so trustworthy, why did they all champion Bush's wars into the Middle East in 2002 and 2003? They were content to play and replay Colin Powell again and again and we now know this was all a lie. Every cable news station CNN and Fox News at the time, and network news, ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox covered this 24/7, as did the New York Times, they are all culpable. Also the only time the media has universally praised Trump on anything was when he committed a war act in April on Syria with those missiles. Are these really the institutions that we can rely on when they hate a man for everything he is, except when he sends missiles at a sovereign country? Why did the media wait until 2002 to start covering the priest abuse happening in Catholic churches all across the world? There were stories coming out in the mid-80's, yet they sat on these stories until the Boston Globe came forward with it. Who knows how many more children were abused because of withholding this information or investigating these matters further.
I also agree with you that there are good journalists and journalism in this country. You just won't find them on your television set or on their affiliated websites. You can find websites on both sides of the political spectrum that are not a part of this tradition of media distortion that are doing their due diligence with far less resources. What you will also get from this is far less fear mongering and distortion of the truth, and some level of actual investigation into the matters. Right now the AP(Associated Press) is the primary source of news for every major news corporation in the country. There is a reason regardless what source of news you watch, you are basically watching the same thing. Investigative reporting at the corporate level is a dead industry in this country right now. Efficiency, speediness, profits, and an agenda dictate what we see in the news now. Business or agenda first, truth somewhere at the end of the list. There may have been a time when they did a thorough job at filtering truth from fiction, that time has passed. They need efficiency to get their stories out there, get viewers tuning in, then onto the next story. They use the internet and online resources to quickly copy/paste information from the AP and cut down on the work needed to do real investigations. It's how they stay afloat with increasing competition and cut costs amid an influx of other media institutions coming into the fold.
I apologize for the lengthy response, but I wanted to do my best to address each of your points. I am a bit long winded at times. This would have been a nice bar chat with some beers, but the Twins Daily bar forum will have to suffice. Anyways, to sum it up, yes journalism is absolutely critical to having a working democracy in this country, but equating that with the media systems we have right now is not something I can agree with. We can agree to disagree I suppose. We need a good media, we do, and we should demand that if these media institutions want us to keep tuning in, we demand more truth, and less sensationalized divisiveness. Until then, we are only hurting ourselves by exposing our minds to their content, and continuing to give them reason to keep pumping out their mildly at most investigated stories.
My original comment in this thread was focused on people's reliance on the media and how it seems to dictate how we shape our everyday conversation about politics or the president. If we want to move anywhere new and make a better world, have a stronger media that can properly attack Trump on the real issues, the first step will be to drop the biggest part of the equation, the corporate media, and go from there. I think we would see better, more fruitful discussions in response to the news of the day at that point and not this pointing and screaming blame game.