Both Side-ism

One of the major criticisms of contemporary corporate media is its use of and reliance on both side-ism. The emphasis and priority has shifted from the journalism school’s basic of cross checked facts to one of ostensibly scrupulous fairness. The Washington Post has kept a running tab of Dear Leader’s lies, misinformation and fabrications, currently at over 16,000, in the past three years. But when he continues to, some spokesperson like Kellyanne Conway will soberly back up the lie and continue its trajectory with a sincere straight face. The corporate media (NY Times, Washington Post, all the BC’s plus Fox, etc.) choose to cover the statements as news, rather than point out the lack of truth, factuality of the event, etc. In the name of fairness they will get “the other side’s” take on the lie or misinformation, hence the name “both side-ism.” Critics say this normalizes corruption, since, well, corruption is just the news and is given fair coverage from both sides (remarkable as it seems). Some of the media, like AP, will assuage their lack by running a separate fact check column, with no immediate link or connection to the lie. This has raised great consternation in the midst of a national election year where, well, things matter. The practice insinuates that the electorate is more interested in reality show celebrity likes/dislikes than real competence, experience or just downright honesty. In Newark Ohio the opposite seems to be the case, along with simply not covering the news at all. In the past week The Advocate headlined the basketball accomplishments of Newark’s Jordan Dartis at Ohio University without bothering to report the large spontaneous demonstration that welcomed the “gun girl” at the same school, same week. In Newark this past week The Advocate presented its bizarro world rendition of corporate both side-ism; that is, just a one side-ism. Kent Mallett’s “Syringe exchange program supporters take case to Licking County health board” (2-19-20) extensively covered the recent demonstration and public input appeal at the Licking County Board of Health monthly meeting. Most of those involved advocating for the sense and need of a needle exchange program were given ample column space to present their reasons and point of view. The only thing missing was any interview or reasons for keeping the county wide ban by the board members themselves. Maybe Kent was pressed for time and couldn’t be bothered to ask the public officials to speak on the matter. Curious, in many ways the corporate media coverage by The Advocate differed little with that evening’s NBC Nevada Democratic debate coverage. Along with Michael Bloomberg’s speaking on camera, on stage during the debate, he also appeared in the ads during the commercial break. Mallett’s online report likewise appeared next to a Licking County Board of Health advertisement listing its various services, location, etc. Analysis finds this spares The Advocate the embarrassment of any both sides culpability.

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