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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Access journalism and fake news

The Zman explains the link between the two:
It has been thrown down the memory hole, but Jordan decided the way to help black sports reporters was to give them exclusive access and deny access to honkies. Guys like Ahmad Rashad and Michael Wilbon were given special access. This made their careers, but it also ushered in the era of access journalism. Players granted access to reporters who were willing to sing their praises in their columns and on TV shows.

Something similar happened around the same time in Washington politics. The Clinton machine was ruthless in controlling the media. They would shutout reporters that did not play ball. There’s always been some of this, as people are naturally going to be nice to those who are nice to them and not so nice to people they see as adversaries. The difference was, the Clinton team turned this into a formal policy and the Washington press corp went along with it. They liked being treated like players so they acted accordingly.

The Bush people could not play the same game, as the Washington media is universally liberal, but they did a little bit of it with operations like Fox and the talk radio guys. Rich Lowry of National Review remodeled the magazine to be a GOP mouth piece for exactly this reason. It gave them access to Republicans. The Weekly Standard largely existed as a public relations vehicle for the Bush family. Much of what has gone wrong with Buckley Conservatism is due to the perils of access journalism.

This is why we see the explosion of fake news. The NBA guys want access or at least the illusion of access. To that end, they tweet out rumors and fake news in the hope of getting a reply from an agent or front office guy. That way they can then shoot down their own rumor or fake news with an actual quote from a real person. “After talking with person X, I can now report that the rumor I reported is false.” Fake news about rumors produces gossip that is eventually addressed by a real person in the news.

That seems to be what’s going on Washington with all the fake news. No one in the Washington media bothered to develop contacts in the Trump team. Instead, they mocked and harassed them through the campaign, figuring they were currying favor with the Clinton people. Now, they have no access so they create fake stories hoping to get a response from the Trump people. In lieu of real reporting, it is provocative fake reporting in the hope of gaining access to real people in the Trump White House.
This is all pretty much news to me, but it's as explanatory as anything else I've heard suggested. Personally, I find it a little strange that Fake News has exploded at the very time that it has never been easier for the average individual to do a little looking around the Internet to debunk it.

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48 Comments:

Blogger J A Baker June 25, 2017 8:01 AM  

So many headlines these days are click bait anyway, writers just trying to get views to generate ad revenue. Headlines shouldn't have question marks eatiher that's one tell its click bait or fake news.

Blogger Stilicho June 25, 2017 8:02 AM  

Zman's explanation could account for some of it. But access to information has made the Big Lie strategy more difficult for the left to continue since anyone with Internet access can disprove the lie for themselves within a few minutes usually. So, the left is moving towards the strategy of a. Million Little Lies: no one has time to disprove them all and it can therefore create some doubt and also serves the purpose of getting their opponents to chase multiple phantasms at once if they take the bait. As long as the little lies fit the Narrative, details and contradictions of other lies don't matter.

Blogger Cataline Sergius June 25, 2017 8:29 AM  

I think it predates the Clintons by quite a bit.

The press absolutely loved JFK. He was their rockstar and he treated them like they were his boys.

Consequently when rumors of JFK's sex addiction came up, they were swept under the carpet.


This bit Johnson in the ass because they didn't want to be "his boys".

And just as a reminder, Kennedy's team was very effective in shutting down the nascent 1960s rightwing media. Mostly by "fairness" requirements for local broadcasters.

Blogger Lovekraft June 25, 2017 8:32 AM  

Very important to monitor this considering the track record of marxists when given power. My inner skeptic, when hearing someone talk about fake news, looks for the underlying motivation.

Take this vid of Tim Pool interviewing Sargon about the Vidcon 2017 Sarkeesian insult. Tim is new to the scene but in the vid he mentions he was part of Occupy Wall St and throws jabs at 'white supremicists! oh noes!'.

There's a couple other similar vids of new so-called youtubers fighting sjws who are too young to keep their true motives hidden.

Sargon has my respect, but the new ones are showing a pro-BLM/jihad slant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNDQJhaaahc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS86Km65_tA&t=849s

Blogger Phillip George June 25, 2017 8:34 AM  

that's interesting 'teleology' - trying to explain the visible behaviour or an obvious characteristic in terms of some logical cost benefit analysis.

but, a Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama is more diabolical than that. They can't describe reality because they don't know it. You can get access, and once in the asylum what are you going to do?

Report on "spirit cooking", disappeared Haitians, Pizza Parties. The Podesta's in Portugal. A shower scene.

Vox, is right. Evil actually is.
And having slept with it, people with access can no more expose, explore or explain it than they can an amoeba the motives of a squid. Or why a serial killer has to.

Christianity isn't only right. It's the only logical. And the news in absentia, well, the Washington Post might as well be doing a guide to 'spirit cooking'. It's all they have access to these days.

Blogger Lovekraft June 25, 2017 8:35 AM  

@3 Cataline Sergius: Canada had Trudeaumania in the 70s and is repeating it again, the difference being today's Shiny Pony adorers are feminists and jihad.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 25, 2017 8:39 AM  

It works because conservatives are too proud to discredit, they instead want to wallow about playing smarty to each individual lie in the off chance someone of some lefty bit of authority gives the the ultimate compliment "smart guy for a conservative."

Here is the line for the day, "Where in the fuck did you hear that?"

Blogger Benjamin Kraft June 25, 2017 8:39 AM  

Well, it's exploded now for a simple reason.

Whenever the truth becomes easily accessible, people who have an interest in promoting lies must attempt to obfuscate, hide it, and redirect eyes away from it.

Flooding the air with torrid torrents of bull**** is one of the easiest ways to attempt this. Get the lies out to the masses so fast that they don't even think to look for the truth, because "you've already given it to them".

Blogger Snidely Whiplash June 25, 2017 8:52 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore June 25, 2017 8:52 AM  

I do remember the times in which professional athletes expressed preferences for certain sports journalists. I can understand their disdain for the likes of Tim McCarver and Jim Gray. Chris Russo and Mike Francesa are viewed as fair journalists. Dan Shaughenssy is a poet!

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 25, 2017 8:53 AM  

And of course in the desire for a "smart badge" from any ol' lefty the great tactic for replying to what amounts to a shit test, agree & amplify is never used.

If conservative intellectuals take the average doofus libtard crackpot serious don't you think the normies will as well?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 25, 2017 8:57 AM  

Jordan's interviews with Rashad were a parody, the naked king being interviewed by GQ about his new fashy wardrobe.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore June 25, 2017 8:59 AM  

I forgot to mention Warner Wolf..."Let's go to the video tape:.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSMjYtlSRYk

Anonymous Looking Glass June 25, 2017 9:06 AM  

In any historic trend-shift topics, there's always the Big Picture and the Day-to-Day Grind aspects. I think Z-Man's take is more about the Day-to-Day aspect.

The Big Picture was the shift in media consumption. The 24-hour news cycle and the Internet happened within a few years of each other. Also during the 90s, you had actual shakedown attempts by the Feds. The DoJ's case against Microsoft changed D.C. Everyone took the lesson that it was much cheaper to just buy off the willing politicians rather than deal with a DoJ looking for a shakedown for the Left. By the time the Obama Administration came in, all of the big players were paying millions a year to keep politicians in line.

Anonymous Roundtine June 25, 2017 9:07 AM  

There's almost always a fundamental shift that underlies a political shift because it shakes up the old order and creates opportunity. The rise of the Alt-Right can be partially attributed to a generational shift (post Boomer), the Internet, rising diversity, etc.

Everything Zman discussed, plus the need to stay relevant in the social media age, the pressure of being in contracting industries suffering layoffs, Internet fracturing their audience, social mood making the audience angrier. I would guess part of the issue of not knowing Trump people is generational too. Boomers grew up with mass market, Boomer Dems and Repubs are all mostly white, had same experiences. A 35yo diversity hire at the NYTimes probably had much less interaction with right-wing whites at uni, lacks the contacts, and 8 years of Obama would have reinforced the idea that there's no need to talk with those losers.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore June 25, 2017 9:08 AM  

Please forgive but the mention of sports journalism requires that I post the final Mike and the Mad Dog show. There were no dry eyes for anyone who listened to their final show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHsf36n4xZ8

Blogger Mr.MantraMan June 25, 2017 9:11 AM  

When even Sailer mocks the SJW clickbaters you have lost the right wing intellectuals who take it all so very, very seriously.

Without right wing intellectuals to take the average hairball of a lefty seriously who will?

Anonymous SugarPi June 25, 2017 9:13 AM  

Just when the average person can research the internet for news coincides with the average person's plunge into the Idiocracy.

Blogger Johnny June 25, 2017 9:18 AM  

I don't buy the argument that this is some sort of transitory expedient that has to do with access. There is a background culture shift. The most obvious thing is that journalism has gone hard left.

Virtue signaling may not be the correct terminology. It is more like a cult where in every presentation there is a need to display a gang affiliation. One way or another every presentation has to have a lie or some identifiable slant it it so as to identify the author as one of the group. My preference is when they flash their membership in the cult early on, thus clarifying things.

Anonymous view June 25, 2017 9:22 AM  

There is a certain personality type u see in people in the democratic party and other Americans that has to be purged. Its one that is selfish it makes demands it doeznt work it has no true knowledge or understanding it yeslls and sceams and thtows a fit to get its way. It conveniences the lives of those around them it is oblivious and ignorant of things people that work know. It has to be purged

Blogger Benjamin Kraft June 25, 2017 9:28 AM  

@18. SugarPi, no coincidence, that. When times get easy, people get soft, right up until the civilization takes a hard downturn.

Blogger seeingsights June 25, 2017 9:29 AM  

Another aspect of access journalism are reporters getting information from government officials. From reading histories of the CIA, it became clear to me that the CIA gave information to the major media. That helped the CIA in their objectives, while reporters gladly conveyed interesting stuff. Another example is Watergate: it was an Associate Director of the FBI who was the informant Deep Throat.
Today, employees of the intelligence agencies and other government departments are communicating with the main stream media in order to undermine Trump.

Anonymous Eduardo the Magnificent June 25, 2017 10:00 AM  

Stilicho wrote:So, the left is moving towards the strategy of a. Million Little Lies: no one has time to disprove them all and it can therefore create some doubt and also serves the purpose of getting their opponents to chase multiple phantasms at once if they take the bait.

What happens when people stop taking the bait? We're already seeing this happen. Does a child's tantrum get better or worse when you ignore it?

Anonymous BBGKB June 25, 2017 10:08 AM  

OT:car crashes into moslems in UK, cops respond 10years faster than little white girls being raped

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/westgate-road-crash-armed-police-10684417

OT2: If you signed up for moveon dot org shitlibs are having potluck/BBQ picnics in parks today.

OT3 Unrelated to OT2 "BGS's guide to growing Hemlock" ebook is now free for download.

Anonymous Millenium June 25, 2017 10:35 AM  

If you are asking why the term 'fake news' exploded it was because it was a planned meme pushed by the left to discredit damning facts about Hillary and co that (((they))) feared were going to come to light during the 2016 presidential race. The CIA did a similar thing in the 60s when they created the term 'conspiracy theory' and associated with kooks to preemptively discredit people exposing some of the CIA's darker activities. 'Fake news' was also embraced by the right as a rhetorical shiv to turn against its creators.

If you are asking why actual fake news is so common it is because the average person does not fact check news stories run by the MSM but assumes them to be true. The left is using fake news to tarnish Trump and the alt right.

Anonymous kfg June 25, 2017 10:45 AM  

David Walsh has written about this. It was obvious to the press that that Armstrong was doping long before the '99 Tour de France was over. Reporters in the "booth" were literally laughing at his performances, they were that unreal for an undoped rider, never mind one recovering from cancer.

But they were, as Walsh put it, not journalists, but "Fans With Typewriters." Giving Armstrong the chance to disclaim against the doping 'rumours' gave them access, access gave them special status, special status made them 'forget' that they knew he'd been doping from the beginning and they became complicit in helping Armstrong form the narrative.

Anonymous andon June 25, 2017 10:46 AM  

@ #24 - looks like cops in UK are the enemy

Anonymous andon June 25, 2017 10:49 AM  

btw, has even one reporter from the journ-o-list or the Wikileaks reveals of Clinton campaign collusion been fired?

how do they show their face?

Blogger Cail Corishev June 25, 2017 10:54 AM  

Nah, this makes it sound more innocent than it is. If they were just trying to get a response, you'd see them do a positive article once in a while. "The hit pieces aren't working for anyone; let's write a glowing article about Trump appointee so-and-so and see if that gets us in." That's how he says it worked for the last 20 years, after all. He's not wrong about Jordan and the way access has worked, but I don't think it supports his conclusion.

They're spreading false, negative rumors for a simpler reason, the same reason they did it during the campaign: to advance the anti-Trump narrative. They know that only a small fraction of the people who see the original hit piece will see the correction, even today.

Anonymous Just another commenter June 25, 2017 10:55 AM  

I have no personal evidence to corroborate the theory, but it certainly fits the facts present. Or it could just be the media are Dems with a byline, pushing their messed up and self-contradictory world-view, hoping to sell advertising for their corporate owners.

Anonymous kfg June 25, 2017 11:00 AM  

"If they were just trying to get a response, you'd see them do a positive article once in a while."

They have already become Fans With Typewriters supporting the Narrative. They've been at it for some time now and are agin Trump in the same way that cycling 'journalists' were against anyone who tried to tell the truth about doping in the cycling peloton.

Blogger DeploraBard June 25, 2017 11:05 AM  

It is an interesting idea. Political theatre/entertainment/drama to stay relevant is more likely. They are NOT news reporters.

Blogger DeploraBard June 25, 2017 11:06 AM  

Not sure why that was spaced out. Unintentional.

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd June 25, 2017 11:09 AM  

``Personally, I find it a little strange that Fake News has exploded at the very time that it has never been easier for the average individual to do a little looking around the Internet to debunk it.''

Did it explode? Or was it always this bad, and now we can notice how bad it is, and always has been?

Blogger Cail Corishev June 25, 2017 11:19 AM  

Fake News has exploded at the very time that it has never been easier for the average individual to do a little looking around the Internet to debunk it.

I think that's exactly why they've upped the ante. They can't rely on one big attack piece on the evening news anymore, because Trump supporters would flood social media with the truth and everyone would see it within hours. So they run a dozen hit pieces at a time on disparate topics, some based on a misleading presentation of the facts while others are just pulled out of their asses, dumping them on social media as well as their traditional outlets, figuring they won't all be effectively countered. Then normal people who aren't paying close attention will take away, "Where there's smoke, there's fire; some of this must be true even if some is false."

During the election, there were days when you didn't know where to start. There would be breathless stories -- "Trump about to drop out," "Trump picking Christie for VP," "Trump University scandal about to explode," "Woman says Trump sexually assaulted her," "Trump down by 10 points," etc. -- all gleefully and uncritically passed around by NeverTrumpers and leftists alike, and you wouldn't know which one to research and shoot down first. Which was the point: to make us feel defeated so we wouldn't try.

They still control most of the megaphones, so while one carefully constructed hit piece doesn't work anymore, they can still try to overwhelm us so people can't keep up with it all.

Blogger lowercaseb June 25, 2017 11:23 AM  

it has never been easier for the average individual to do a little looking around the Internet to debunk it.

That's very true, but the US is focused on convenience today. Half just accept what is thrown in their ear by default, and the other 3/4 that actually dig usually stop when they get the story they WANT to hear.

This is why Infogalactic is going to boom in phase 2. People want their perspective filters.

I've gotten lazy myself...I remember in 2000 devoting hours a day reading different newspapers trying to get that mythical "balanced" perspective.

Blogger rcocean June 25, 2017 11:31 AM  

If it was simply a desire for access, FAKE NEWS would be both positive and negative. However, all the FAKE NEWS is almost entirely anti-Trump. Some people never want an ideological explanation,but are always looking for "pragmatic" reasons for Leftist behavior. No doubt because they aren't ideological themselves.

Blogger Johnny June 25, 2017 11:48 AM  

Ominous Cowherd wrote:Did it explode? Or was it always this bad, and now we can notice how bad it is, and always has been?

It is worse now than it used to be. I remember way back when watching CBS News with Dan Rather. Every half hour broadcast had maybe five or six little segments and one of them would be the slant piece. The rest, usually, pretty much straight news. Now it is fake news 24-7.

Blogger Johnny June 25, 2017 11:50 AM  

>>it has never been easier for the average individual to do a little looking around the Internet to debunk it.

Propaganda is best aimed at the least well informed. People who check stuff are not in that category.

Blogger Cherie Beck June 25, 2017 2:06 PM  

Straight from Nancy Pelosi's mouth-- a favorite tactic: the wrap-up smear. A diversionary tactic so we don't see contrast ( which is compulsory for human discernment/understanding), instead we get the smear of "demonization, falsehoods and all that" which the main stream media 'validates by reporting it'. Then the Ms. Pelosi (and others) wraps it up by "merchandising" the smear. Which the public buys hook, line and sinker. Locking it up in the collective consciousness (my add).

In this analysis of her body language while illuminating the audience to how wrap smear works, Ms. Pelosi really lights up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_4Gmpbkmos&t=51s

Blogger kh123 June 25, 2017 2:39 PM  

"Then normal people who aren't paying close attention will take away, "Where there's smoke, there's fire; some of this must be true even if some is false.""

Well, if it worked for Duranty's heroes in the Soviet Union.

To paraphrase: And the people finally had to throw up their hands after pages of (ineptly reported) technical details that were printed daily in the papers, "Why would the courts and all the press accuse so many miners and engineers of orchestrating these shortages, if at least some of it wasn't...?"

The story should be updated to: The Legions who cried wolf.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club June 25, 2017 3:54 PM  

black sports reporters . . . like Ahmad Rashad

The word for Rashad, and most of the anti-Trump shriekers, is sycophant.

Blogger markmclay18 June 25, 2017 4:33 PM  

This is called succulent lamb journalism in Scotland. One of the big Football teams was in the midst of a big scandal and they invited a few select, sycophantic journalists to discuss the matter over plates of 'succulent lamb' and 'fine reds'. Of course in such a congenial atmosphere, awkward questions go unasked.

Anonymous Carbon blob June 25, 2017 4:55 PM  

@1

"So many headlines these days are click bait anyway, writers just trying to get views to generate ad revenue. Headlines shouldn't have question marks eatiher that's one tell its click bait or fake news"

Is it the actual number of page views that generate the lion's share of revenues, or overall impressions (which might count Twitter/FB/other social media impressions)? You're absolutely right that with a little bit of training one can tell which Twitter/FB headlines are likely to be unsupported by the actual text of the article. I have to think that advertisers should be concerned about this.

Blogger seeingsights June 25, 2017 5:56 PM  

Here is an example I think illustrates access journalism. This example comes from sport journalism, like from the article.

Back in the 1990s, the Chicago Sun Times had a sports writer who covered the Chicago Bears. That writer's articles were not critical of the Bears coaching nor its management. The writer also gave a positive slant on what the coaches and management were doing.
The Chicago Bears definitely deserved criticism during that time--one season they finished with 4 wins and 12 losses, and the next season they finished with 4 wins and 12 losses.
The only reason I can come up with for that sport writer's positive slant is that by going soft on the coaches and management, he retained access to them. The sport writer therefore got information for his articles from the coaches and management.

Blogger Cail Corishev June 25, 2017 6:15 PM  

Incidentally, this "throw out there whatever you can think of that might wear them down" approach to anti-Trump reporting was one reason that groups like /pol/ and r/The_Donald were critical during the campaign. The_Donald's top posts each day were like a smorgasbord of the latest Fake News stories and refutations of them. Those young guys were tireless at running all that stuff down and providing the facts to counter the nonsense for those who would never read such sites themselves.

Anonymous SciVo de Plorable June 25, 2017 8:33 PM  

J A Baker wrote:So many headlines these days are click bait anyway, writers just trying to get views to generate ad revenue. Headlines shouldn't have question marks eatiher that's one tell its click bait or fake news.

If the headline is a question then the answer is 'no'.

Johnny wrote:Virtue signaling may not be the correct terminology. It is more like a cult where in every presentation there is a need to display a gang affiliation. One way or another every presentation has to have a lie or some identifiable slant it it so as to identify the author as one of the group. My preference is when they flash their membership in the cult early on, thus clarifying things.

Virtue-signaling as gang signs for a mind-control cult.

Blogger Stephen St. Onge June 25, 2017 8:41 PM  

        I agree with most of the points made, and some I intended to make myself, so I see no need to repeat them.

        Let’s add a bit of history.  Go back to the 18th and 19th Centuries, and newspapers were openly partisan.  And at that time, getting into the news business was mostly a matter of persistence.  See e.g. "Newspaper Days" by H. L. Mencken.

        Journalism schools started during the progressive era, which is more or less defined by the notion that people need to be led by experts, who know what the right thing to do was because they are experts.

        So from the beginning, professional journalism was “objective” in its own eyes, while unabashedly advocating that which they “knew” as “experts” to be good for the nation and the world.  From there, Robert Conquest's second law took over (‘any organization that is not explicitly right wing will become left wing’.)

        The rise of alternative media has fed off the left-wing bias of the press.  National Review, Reason, and other magazines were all symptoms of people looking for news and opinion that wasn't biased against their political views.  The web just made access much easier.  The result looks a lot like the newspaper scene of the 1850s.

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