One of the common misperceptions many Americans have about Hollywood and the entertainment industry, in general, is that it is uniformly inhabited by Left-wing extremists.
And, of course, we feel that way because those are the only entertainers, actors, and actresses we hear from.
There are conservatives in Hollywood and throughout the entertainment biz, however, but we don’t hear them speak publicly because, if they’re actors, they’ll get banned like James Woods by ‘woke’ intolerant libtard producers. There are exceptions of course; they include actor Mel Gibson (though his career is pretty much on hiatus at this point), sometime-libertarian Clint Eastwood, and a few others.
The same is true for the news industry; there actually are journalists and producers who may not be ‘conservative,’ per se, but clearly respect their profession enough to have the desire to portray the news in a fair, balanced way, as it was meant to be.
Former MSNBC producer Ariana Pekary appears to be one of those journalists.
In a post at her blog site, she notes that she’s leaving the network because the culture there is like a “cancer with no cure” (frankly, we’ve known that for some time but…).
After detailing various words of advice given to her over the past couple of years by colleagues, she wrote:
July 24th was my last day at MSNBC. I don’t know what I’m going to do next exactly but I simply couldn’t stay there anymore. My colleagues are very smart people with good intentions. The problem is the job itself. It forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.
You may not watch MSNBC but just know that this problem still affects you, too. All the commercial networks function the same – and no doubt that content seeps into your social media feed, one way or the other.
It’s possible that I’m more sensitive to the editorial process due to my background in public radio, where no decision I ever witnessed was predicated on how a topic or guest would “rate.” The longer I was at MSNBC, the more I saw such choices — it’s practically baked in to the editorial process – and those decisions affect news content every day. Likewise, it’s taboo to discuss how the ratings scheme distorts content, or it’s simply taken for granted, because everyone in the commercial broadcast news industry is doing the exact same thing.
She went on to note that, behind closed doors, industry insiders acknowledge what harm they’re doing to the news industry.
“We are a cancer and there is no cure,” a successful and insightful TV veteran said to me. “But if you could find a cure, it would change the world.”
As it is, this cancer stokes national division, even in the middle of a civil rights crisis. The model blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentive to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others… all because it pumps up the ratings.
This cancer risks human lives, even in the middle of a pandemic. The primary focus quickly became what Donald Trump was doing (poorly) to address the crisis, rather than the science itself. As new details have become available about antibodies, a vaccine, or how COVID actually spreads, producers still want to focus on the politics. Important facts or studies get buried.
This cancer risks our democracy, even in the middle of a presidential election. Any discussion about the election usually focuses on Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, a repeat offense from 2016 (Trump smothers out all other coverage). Also important is to ensure citizens can vote by mail this year, but I’ve watched that topic get ignored or “killed” numerous times.
Context and factual data are often considered too cumbersome for the audience. There may be some truth to that (our education system really should improve the critical thinking skills of Americans) – but another hard truth is that it is the job of journalists to teach and inform, which means they might need to figure out a better way to do that. They could contemplate more creative methods for captivating an audience. Just about anything would improve the current process, which can be pretty rudimentary (think basing today’s content on whatever rated well yesterday, or look to see what’s trending online today).
“Through this pandemic and the surreal, alienating lockdown, I’ve witnessed many people question their lives and what they’re doing with their time on this planet. I reckon I’m one of those people, looking for greater meaning and truth. As much as I love my life in New York City and really don’t want to leave, I feel fortunate to be able to return to Virginia in the near term to reconnect with family, friends, and a community of independent journalists,” she added.
“I’m both nervous and excited about this change. Thanks to COVID-19, I’m learning to live with uncertainty.”
Pekary then notes she will be reconnecting with journalists who feel as she does, and hinted that some new media venture may be in the offing.
Let’s hope so; the Left-wing garbage that passes for ‘cable news’ is horrific, divisive, and phony.
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