"Experts" & The Decline of the American News Media
Probably nothing is more annoying to me than the plethora of "experts" who have infested the modern American news media in the last decade or so. It seems in fact that the corporate
GOP mainstream media has substituted talking-head in-studio "experts" for the honest professional investigative journalists who used to root-out of the truth and report it. Here's an
During one high-school-shooting-hostage crisis last year; both CNN and FOX News had "hostage negotiator experts" giving a live play-by-play account, with an accompanying live action-cam trained on the school and police. They speculated about every possible variance of outcomes and police strategy. The live-camera looked like a still-photograph, since nothing actually happened for hours, and the "experts" began to discuss the possible mental illness and mental state of the kidnapper shooter(s) not knowing if there was more than one, and what the police were thinking, their strategies etc., saying things like "This is what the police negotiator would be thinking.....this is what the hostage-taker would be thinking....., so the negotiator will want to calm the perpetrator by offering food and try to find out the condition of the hostages blah blah blah etc etc"......well I wasn't the hostage-taker or the police....or the "expert"....but as I listened with fascinated
dread I wondered: What if the kidnapper(s) had the TV on in there? Mightn't an "expert" speculate they could get really pissed at being called mentally ill and having their head shrunk on national TV and maybe lose it and shoot a few people, particularly if they were unbalanced? Could the "experts" be tipping them off to what police do and don't do? Was the
video more valuable to the kidnapper/killer than the viewer? The "experts", never mentioned or imagined, nor evidently did CNN and FOX, the possibility that such actions and words by
them could trigger further violence....Jeeeezus!!!
Dr Joyce Brothers, who was Johnny Carson's Tonight Show house head-shrinker for years,would rank up there among the first TV "experts". Of course she was an entertainment joke.
The modern media "experts" cult really got traction with Phil Donahue, Oprah and other such nonsensical made-for-TV mass therapy-gossip-tabloid programs. They taught Americans that
they are a country of dysfunctional families and manic-depressives, and to prove it, the list of
bullshit-artists, con-artists, "psycho-anal"ysts, moralists, evangelists and snake-oil salesmen, collectively called "experts", that these talk-shows stuffed down the gullet of the gullible public was endless. They're still trotting them out by the dozen today. Many "experts" who started out back then came to have TV and radio shows of their own, wrote books and/or
went to Congress. I found it absurd and perplexing that anybody could listen to their crap for more than two minutes without busting a gut laughing...but laughing is good therapy ...and
it's just entertainment after all...right? Right.
But is journalism/news just entertainment?
Little did I suspect those 15-20 years ago that before long all the heretofore serious news networks and press would increasingly rely on "experts" to report the "inside scoop" of
every news story, scandal and person that came over the news-wire. Incredible (or is it uncredible?) stuff!
No longer was the reporter out there in the field risking life and limb, digging for the truth, asking the tough questions and finding the real story. It was all right there in the studio.
Together with the "think-tank"( whatever in hell that is?) intellectuals, and the compliant stupid "newsreaders" these charlatans took control of the national dialogue.
What any of these people actually ever did to deserve the title of "expert" is rarely explained, except occasionally, as with the likes of FOX News "law-enforcement expert" Mark Ferman,
who helped blow the OJ murder case, or Tom Delay, an "expert" on Congressional corruption if ever there was one, their notorious experience automatically qualifies them.
The "experts" took deep root in the news-media with Clinton and the media/right-wing conspiracy to scandalize him over sexual trysts and other trivial nonsense. That marked the true beginning of tabloid politics and the "experts" came out of the woodwork. After all, everybody's an "expert" at gossip, otherwise known as talking-shit. They all marched through the networks, straight-faced, soberly speculating that Clinton's perjury, (a lie about a blojob in lawsuit without merit), would destroy the American justice system if he wasn't impeached and
Of course they were waaaaay off wrong as they mostly are. George W. Bush, his many lies, Guantanamo Bay, Constitutional abuses, the Patriot Act, habeas corpus, spying on Americans etc. destroyed the American justice system. It's funny how none of these same "experts" have ever made that simple observation these past seven years.
They're all still around. And some of the GOP hypocrite sexual deviants who voted to impeach Clinton and conducted his prosecution wound up being media heroes, professional "experts" or news network journalists themselves. What a pathetic testament to the state of today's mainstream news media.
FOX News Network, the love-child of Tabloid King Rupert Murdoch has led the way. If you think I'm full of it just flip on FOX News and wait a couple minutes....an "expert" is guaranteed
to show up before you can get the pop-corn popped. I swear, last year, there must have been at least 2,000 "experts" who appeared on FOX News network (that's 5 a day so maybe I'm
being too conservative? What!!?....me?...conservative?!....good heavens!!..look what they've done!!) ...and that's besides their resident "experts" like "the judge". Jeeezus!! FOX has a
goddamned mercenary army of "experts" rivaling Bush's private security army in Iraq !
For example, Bill O-Reilly's "body-language expert" Tonya Reiman asserted that Hillary Clinton exhibited "evil laughter" during her recent Fox News Sunday interview with Chris Wallace. This is an "expert" paid by FOX News to "take out of context", by their physical movements, what people who are speaking (or even laughing) are actually saying....serious people like Presidential candidates and Senators. And BTW, the victims of this "body- language expert's" observations(?) are always, always.. liberal Democrats, feminists etc.; people toward whom FOX News is hostile. And Reiman's conclusions are always negative.
Needless to say, the number of "experts" who pontificated about every phony, dreamed-up threat from Iraq in the lead-up to the invasion is practically uncountable and certainly remain.... un-accountable. Depending on each other's drivel, and the actual testimony of a few Bush-supplied anonymous-sources, (exiles who hadn't been in Iraq for years, and had personal vendetta against Saddam), and because they never dig up any facts or see anything for themselves, this huge gang of "expert" sock-puppets built a case for war that convinced
even the most skeptical Americans (Not me I'm proud to say!) that Iraq had to be invaded. They wrote dozens of books and got paid big money for op/eds,TV appearances etc.
I'm no expert like them, but it was perfectly obvious to me that Hans Blix and the UN inspectors (true experts) were doing a fine thorough job, and Saddam, who couldn't fly a frigging airplane off the ground, if he'd had one, was a threat to nobody.
One commonly hired "expert" is Steve Emmerson, an "expert on terrorism"; firstname.lastname@example.org. He wrote an article in the NY Post about the upcoming visit of Iran's President..saying he
had "chutzbah" and is a "monster"...well here's my email to this turd which explains things.
Read your interesting NY Post article on Ahmadinejad's proposal to visit "ground zero".
Do you imagine that using a derogatory Jewish phrase and the word "monster" to describe a violent delusional Islamic extremist who probably does have some WMDs, is somehow
helpful to the tense situation with Iran? In what way?
Why don't you friggin "terrorism experts" who want to "stop terror" address things like:
Junior Bush has armed Islamic Pakistan, birthplace of the Taliban and Islamic Jihad, to the teeth, with billion$ in state-of-the-art weapons including jets capable of delivering "nucular" weapons which they already count in their arsenal. Only the tenuous regime of Masharraf stands between those weapons and this fantastic arsenal falling into Islamic Jihad's hands And his relationship with Bush/USA is growing more strained and uncertain daily besides.
Is it because you "experts" forgot that Ronald Reagan, Bush Sr, Ollie North and the GOP corporate oil/arms cartel aided, financed and armed the "terrorist states" of Iran, Afghanistan
Did you forget that Reagan/Bush handed the Mujahadeen victory in Afghanistan?
Did you forget that Reagan/Bush traded arms for hostages to Iran?
Did you forget that Bush Sr. supplied WMDs to Saddam Hussein, including the gas he used
on the Kurds?
Aiding Islamic extremist states has been a cornerstone and hallmark of Republican foreign
policy for 25 years.
Besides all that Junior Bush himself allowed plane-loads of Saudi Arabians to leave America, without question, on 9/12/2001. And the hijackers were Saudi Arabians.
So what will you shit-for-brains "experts" say when these things come back and bite America on the ass?
I'll tell you Steve, with experts like you and Bush around America really is in trouble.
Now I'm no "expert" but just a day later I had to send him another email thus:
When I wrote you earlier, I didn't even know about Bin laden's new tape and the fatwah of Jihad against Musharraf.
You experts would do well to pay attention to your betters."
These "experts" are a menace to the truth in reporting and a blight on news-journalism and what it used to be.
And they are abusers of the 1st Amendment and the special rights accorded the free press.
But worse they are a scourge to "the people" who rely on the news networks, newspapers and magazines for the in-depth truth about what's really going and the people involved.
Why the media and the American people keep buying into this mass of ignorant, lazy and mostly wrong (am I being too kind?) loudmouth idiots after their record of overwhelming failure is beyond me.
The next time I see a make-up-wearing-$1000-hair-cut -"expert" expound on how a politician's make-up and $1000 haircut reveal his true hidden agenda...and what that agenda is..... I'm