I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Don't call it journalism

I discussed the sorry state of the 4th estate here yesterday. On the very same day we had an example. When the TV "news" is not playing stenographer for the Bush administration they specialize in the tabloid journalism. There has been a shortage of missing white girls of late but the untimely death of Anna Nicole Smith gave the tabloids an excuse to avoid the news. Think Progress documents how they took full advantage of the opportunity.
The death of Anna Nicole Smith yesterday was a feeding frenzy for the national media, and coverage of the war was drowned out: NBC’s Nightly News devoted 14 seconds to Iraq compared to 3 minutes and 13 seconds to Anna Nicole. CNN referenced Anna Nicole 522% more frequently than it did Iraq. MSNBC was even worse — 708% more references to Anna Nicole than Iraq.

The lop-sided coverage largely ignored many key developments in Iraq, including the sixth downing of a U.S. helicopter in the past three weeks, the allegations that a deputy Iraqi health minister was aiding a Shiite militia in its attacks against U.S. troops, and the death of four Marines.
NBC was the worst offender. After 3PM MSNBC had 170 references to Smith and 24 to Iraq; the Nightly News devoted 3 minutes and 13 seconds to Smith and 14 seconds to Iraq.

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