Posts Tagged ‘Julie Carr Smyth’

How Sausage Is Made

August 11, 2018

As Analysis has repeatedly revealed, news media and journalism are for the most part fueled by ads. True, true, true, some news sources have various other means of financing their operations – religious affiliation (Christian Science monitor), grants (NPR and PBS) or hefty subscriber funding. Still, source advertising stains the news, from whatever source. A hefty source of revenue in election years are political ads, something the outlets try to disown on the Zuckerberg model of “we’re only a platform.” So the news becomes the news unwittingly and inadvertently. There appears to be no “outside” this Catch 22 pact with the devil. Yet there is good journalism that pervades this environment of easily dismissed bias. Julie Carr Smyth’s recent AP report (Democrat Richard Cordray says GOP ads in governor race false, 8-10-18) performs the balancing act marvelously. “Lawyers for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray demanded on Friday that Ohio television stations pull a Republican Governors Association ad alleging a consumer agency Cordray led secretly collected and left vulnerable Americans’ personal financial data.” “Spokesman [for the RGA] Jon Thompson said, “We stand by the ad.”” Just another example of the alt right’s victimization by a conspiracy assault on the 1stamendment? Long time news junkies will recall an analogous situation with the John Kerry swift boat ads (recent junkies ought to Google/Wiki this). Veracity of the claims hinged on the opinion of the witnesses, something implicated by time, money and political leanings. He said, she said? Older junkies will recall the sinking of the John McCain challenge to George W’s anointment as GOP presidential standard bearer. Innuendo that McCain was the biological father of a child of color spread throughout South Carolina before the 2000 primary. DNA takes time. The existence/non-existence of truth becomes irrelevant in the short span of a primary. The racist damage left a stench. Guilt by association? Classically, this is referred to as “My opponent’s sister is a thespian.” political smear from the 19thcentury. Thespian “sounds” like lesbian. And the beat goes on, damage done, when accompanied by rhythmic bible thumping. The new and improved digitalized 21stcentury version is called “fake news.” News or “fake news”? Carr Smyth is careful to point this out without actually calling it that. “The ads, paid for by the RGA Right Direction PAC, say Cordray “secretly collected personal information from hundreds of millions of accounts” and didn’t protect it. They also claim the consumer bureau was “hacked over 200 times,” presumably under Cordray’s watch though that’s not directly stated. Cordray’s lawyers wrote station managers that the claims are not true.” “The letter [from Cordray’s lawyers to the stations] notes that Cordray’s successor, Mick Mulvaney, ordered a review of the bureau’s “externally facing” systems when he took over in May and concluded they were well secured and ordered data collection to continue. The letter says the bureau was never “hacked.” Cordray’s lawyers further argue that the bureau’s collection of consumer information was not a secret but extensively debated, including at a public hearing. Cordray also wrote about it in the American Banker, noting in a 2013 op-ed that much of the data the bureau collects was already publicly available.” Carr Smyth is an excellent journalist. In our “everything is up to date in Kansas City” age, data collection and hacking go together like a horse and carriage. “Fake news”, news, or just a reminder of how sausage is made?

 

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