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I never actively pursued journalism in college. I was a theater major at first, then leaned toward English as a major. I seemed to back into publishing as a consequence of being my father’s son.

With the experience I had, a couple of things were obvious from the get-go. First, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS THE LIBERAL MEDIA. Anyone who’s spent more than a minute in a journalistic setting will be disabused of that notion immediately. Thus, anyone who subscribes to this myth is either being actively dishonest with themselves or with you, or is an idiot.

Or both. Fox News exists as a way of creating and maintaining a dull and credulous audience of mental deficients who are played Pavlov style with tropes that should have died with Reagan’s brain.

Also, and somewhat related: the phenomenon of “unbiased reporting” is not the default setting of journalism. It is what gets taught in school–the five Ws are as basic as the reverse pyramid of crafting a story. But it’s *what sells papers*, or *what gets eyeballs on your page* that is the true default setting.

In the American hegemony, “news” is a business–mainly because we know of no other way to operate. Consider how PBS finds constant difficulty getting and keeping funding for its often stellar reporting.

Raw data is culled and shaped first by the story’s author, no matter how objective that author thinks he or she is. Then, it’s passed by an editor who further refines (or dilutes, depending on whether it’s your words) the product into something that gets shoehorned between ads, the space for which is what pays the bills.  And if something about that story will piss off (or merely annoy) one of those paying customers, the story is further “refined” or deleted all together.

(04/19/2013)

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