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Guest Post: Sequestration And The Death Of Mainstream Journalism

Tyler Durden's picture


Originally posted by Peter Klein at Organizations and Markets blog,

Much virtual ink has been spilled over the decline of the mainstream media, measured by circulation, advertising revenue, or a general sense of irrelevance. Usual explanations relate to the changing economics of news gathering and publication, the growth of social media, demographic and cultural shifts, and the like. These are all important but the main issue, I believe, is the characteristics of the product itself. Specifically, news consumers increasingly recognize that the mainstream media outlets are basically public relations services for government agencies, large companies, and other influential organizations.

Journalists do very little actual journalism — independent investigation, analysis, reporting. They are told what stories are “important” and, for each story, there is an official Narrative, explaining the key issues and acceptable opinions on these issues. Journalists’ primary sources are off-the-record, anonymous briefings by government officials or other insiders, who provide the Narrative.

A news outlet that deviates from the Narrative by doing its own investigation or offering its own interpretation risks being cut off from the flow of anonymous briefings (and, potentially, excluded from the White House Press Corps and similar groups), which means a loss of prestige and a lower status. Basically, the mainstream news outlets offer their readers a neatly packaged summary of the politically correct positions on various issues. In exchange for sticking to the Narrative, they get access to official sources. Give up one, you lose the other. Readers are beginning to recognize this, and they don’t want to pay.

Nowhere is this situation more apparent than the mainstream reporting on budget sequestration. The Narrative is that sequestration imposes large and dangerous cuts — $85 billion, a Really Big Number! — to essential government services, and that the public reaction should be outrage at the President and Congress (mostly Congressional Republicans) for failing to “cut a deal.” You can picture the reporters and editors grabbing their thesauruses to find the right words to describe the cuts — “sweeping,” “drastic,” “draconian,” “devastating.” In virtually none of these stories will you find any basic facts about the budget, which are easily found on the CBO’s website, e.g.:

  • Sequestration reduces the rate of increase in federal spending. It does not cut a penny of actual (nominal) spending. 
  • The CBO’s estimate of the reduction in increased spending between 2012 and 2013 is $43 billion, not $85 billion.
  • Total federal spending in 2012 was $3.53 trillion. The President’s budget request for 2013 was $3.59 trillion, an increase of $68 billion (about 2%). Under sequestration, total federal spending in 2013 will be $3.55 trillion, an increase of only $25 billion (a little less than 1%). 
  • Did you catch that? Under sequestration, total federal spending goes up, just by less than it would have gone up without sequestration. This is what the Narrative calls a “cut” in spending! It’s as if you asked your boss for a 10% raise, and got only a 5% raise, then told your friends you got a 5% pay cut.
  • Of course, these are nominal figures. In real terms, expenditures could go down, depending on the rate of inflation. Even so, the cuts would be tiny — 1 or 2%.
  • The news media also talk a lot about “debt reduction,” but what they mean is a reduction in the rate at which the debt increases. Even with sequestration, there is a projected budget deficit — the government will spend more than it takes in — during every year until 2023, the last year of the CBO estimates. The Narrative grudgingly admits that sequestration might be necessary to reduce the national debt, but sequestration doesn’t even do that. It’s as if you went on a “dramatic” weight-loss plan by gaining 5 pounds every year instead of 10.

This is all public information, easily accessible from the usual places. But mainstream news reporters can’t be bothered to look it up, and don’t feel any need to, because they have the Narrative, which tells them what to say. Seriously, have you read anything in the New York Times, Washington Post, or Wall Street Journal or heard anything on CNN or MSNBC clarifying that the “cuts” are reductions in the rate of increase? Even Wikipedia, much maligned by the establishment media, gets it right: “ sequestration refers to across the board reductions to the planned increases in federal spending that began on March 1, 2013.” If we have Wikipedia, why on earth would we pay for expensive government PR firms?


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Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:02 | Link to Comment Abraxas
Abraxas's picture

Mainstream journalism has been dead for years... at least in my books

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:10 | Link to Comment MrX
MrX's picture

here is some mainstream journalism:

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:40 | Link to Comment SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

The news media also talk a lot about “debt reduction,” but what they mean is a reduction in the rate at which the debt increases

the distinction probably doesn't matter if the debt is (proportional to) the rate of change of the debt

hey! wouldn't that mean debt(t) = C d/dt debt(t)?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:49 | Link to Comment imapopulistnow
imapopulistnow's picture

Journalists are not known for their math skills.  Neither is the President and his most trusted advisers apparently.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:21 | Link to Comment hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture




Here the "New American Journalism" workflow for economics...

  2. Ctrl-A
  3. Ctrl-C
  4. Alt/Tab
  5. Ctrl-V
  6. Ctrl-S
  7. Ctrl-P

And represented graphically....

...The "journalist" is in blue and we are the geese.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:24 | Link to Comment SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

lucky ducks.

maybe, one day, *I* can post a picture too.

you mean "lucky *goose*"


Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:26 | Link to Comment dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

As I've said before, refering to them as "mainstream" gives the credit they so desperately desire and really defeats the purpose of writing an article like this one. They are the legacy media. An old model for a bygone era. They do hold a piece in the new mainstream, but the new mainstream is a "frankensteined" pie which includes the legacy media, talk radio, and the various Internet media (which is by far the largest piece).

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:35 | Link to Comment TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Legacy Media is better than Main Stream Media, but I prefer Establishment Media or even Proxy Media.

Lest we forget, they're ALL (whether print- newspaper, magazine, etc.-, cable, network, radio) owned by 5 corporations (all having deep tentacles in the banking/financial complex, among others). What could possibly go wrong in terms of objectivity?

And the good news is that their base of consumers is less loyal and more fractured than ever, as evidenced in their ratings (here's looking at you CNN, NBC and anything printed).

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:21 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

"State Controlled Media" was a perjorative term, now simply the truth.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 18:44 | Link to Comment The Heart
The Heart's picture

"Lest we forget, they're ALL (whether print- newspaper, magazine, etc.-, cable, network, radio) owned by 5 corporations (all having deep tentacles in the banking/financial complex, among others)"

Long have many pronounced that the lame stream media IS the greatest weapon of mass distraction aligned against the people of the world. The evil truth killing media propaganda dis/mis-info machine has chugged down more lies and deceit than anything to mis/dis-lead the nations of gullible people into the mazes of lies and seducing mind controlling subliminal suggestive horse-wash, and overall pig excrement.

In the future, should there be one, they might say, yup, without the media propaganda weapons, they never could have pulled it all off. The babylonians own it all. They might say, had all the people of the world got their REAL NEWS AND INFORMATION from the REAL Main Stream Media like Zero Hedge, they might have made better choices in leadership, instead of electing the same old criminal corruption over and over and over again.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 14:02 | Link to Comment OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

"Legacy media' ????

Lets call it what it REALLY IS - Department of PROPAGANDA.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:06 | Link to Comment sgorem
sgorem's picture

no, i believe he meant, fuck-a-duck...............................

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 13:57 | Link to Comment Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



WTF is that!!

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 00:56 | Link to Comment tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

goose inflater (helps them fly).

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:24 | Link to Comment AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Intelligence has a normal distribution along the Bell curve. The majority of the people don't understand the distinction between between decline of rate of increases and actual budget cuts.

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 01:03 | Link to Comment tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

Here in the U.S., there is nothing like normal a bell curve for intelligence.  In reality it is a U curve where most of the population falls below the "dumb" designation.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 13:53 | Link to Comment DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

There are still real journalists in Peru.  They are often VERY bright, some of the smartest people I have met.  They are opinionated and speak for themselves.  Here´s an example, a gentleman and a scholar who gave me two hours of his time and expertise to learn about gold mining in Peru (among other things):

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 18:04 | Link to Comment JonNadler
JonNadler's picture

pero....donde esta la foto del senor Do Chen?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:30 | Link to Comment Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

"Journalists do very little actual journalism..."  which is why they're hired.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:38 | Link to Comment max2205
max2205's picture

It's 11:59 pm on the total blow up clock

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 19:13 | Link to Comment The Heart
Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:40 | Link to Comment Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Courtiers and courtesans. Liberal? Conservative? Left? Right?


Neo-feudalism on a global scale. This is the New World Order. The Enlightenment is long over, and no - we didn't keep our republic.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:42 | Link to Comment Translational Lift
Translational Lift's picture

MSM journalists are paid to look convincing while reading the garbage from their teleprompters..........

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:59 | Link to Comment Kobe Beef
Kobe Beef's picture

Funny, so is the President.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 13:26 | Link to Comment wee-weed up
wee-weed up's picture

The MSM had been dying for many years, but in about 2007 they finally commited suicide with self-inflicted Political Correctness.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:26 | Link to Comment centerline
centerline's picture

Talking heads.  Nothing more.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:21 | Link to Comment MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 13:59 | Link to Comment Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



That was a good post put into simple terms that even I could understand. 

There is no “crack reporting” anymore – just nauseating theatrics. I haven’t turned on the TV in years and never will. My information comes from Zero Hedge and I always find some good links / info in the comments – got to weed through them though.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:24 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

Yep, the feminists got rid of that particularly useful term as well.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:01 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Where to journalists come from?  Oh, yeah.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:57 | Link to Comment Royal Fleming
Royal Fleming's picture

American Pravda...nothing less...Tyler..what happened with your Anonymous hack story..when are they to release encrypted files..was it also a fake news story????

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:45 | Link to Comment Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

oh, that?

what happened with your Anonymous hack story

didnt you hear?  it went away.  if you ignore it, it usually goes away

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:20 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Operation Mockingbird, a CIA effort to control news, was exposed in 1975:


Intelligent people have varying degrees of suspicion that the US government is in bed with the American mainstream media, and anyone who monitors the news media with discerning eyes can quite easily identify specific stories and strategies that are being used to persuade and intimidate the population.  For those who want “evidence” of such manipulation, one needs to look no further than the findings of a Senate Select Committee in 1975, which confirms and details this, has occurred for decades on a scale larger than most people could imagine. 

 Operation Mockingbird, as it was called, was exposed in 1975 during the Church Committee investigation, which then published its findings the following year.  The full name of the committee which investigated and uncovered such activities was called, “The United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities” which was chaired by Senator Frank Church (D-ID). 

 Through this investigation it became clear that such a program was developed in the 1950s for the purpose of persuading American and foreign media, as well as to use the media as gate-keepers to prevent certain information from being published and reaching the masses. 

The committee also concluded that the cost of the program was approximately $265 million a year, which when adjusted for inflation as of 2010 means that in today’s dollars the program costs an astounding one billion dollars a year.



Sun, 03/10/2013 - 16:47 | Link to Comment Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Crazy talk ... convince me otherwise ...

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 21:10 | Link to Comment rich_wicks
rich_wicks's picture

Crazy talk ... convince me otherwise ...

It would be a fool's errand.

If we had a functional media, one of the largest stories of the mid 2000's would be where the weapons of mass destruction story came from.  Also why wasn't anybody held accountable for the "errors" that led to that war.  There would have been heads rolling for dragging the nation into a war and exploiting 9/11 to do it, under false pretenses.

If we had a real media today, it would be pointing out that everything Bush did that the "left" complained about (Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping, war) are all still going on today.

Believe the media is independent.  People like to believe that all Russians knew Pravda was a load of malarky.  Well, they didn't.  Only a few did and that's the situation we are in today.  The media today has slipped entirely into propaganda and misinformation, becuase that's what keeps this going, and it's not going to stop until this entire system collapses.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:49 | Link to Comment Never One Roach
Never One Roach's picture

MSM is losing readers like crazy to blogs like ZH, Jesse's Cafe and so on.... I read.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 17:01 | Link to Comment tango
tango's picture

No, actually the vast majority are not switching to anything.  They are simply not trying to stay informed.  They get their news from Leno, MTV, the Morning Show, talk radio, the cooler and Aunt Sally.  The younger generation doesn't give a flip - they celebrate their ignorance. 

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 01:07 | Link to Comment tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

party on...dude!

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 05:21 | Link to Comment Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Journalism died on 9-11.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:04 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Who are the 'contestants' on this years MAIN STREET JOURNALISM?... [& why did I miss the casting call when it came to my city]?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:30 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

[& why did I miss the casting call when it came to my city]?

The messenger is coming by Pony Express and is now making his way through the bureaucratic maze of cubicles inhabited by paper shufflers and is being accosted from every side by all those janitors about to be furloughed.

Those mop handles hurt!...he'll be there about the time Obama offers up a budget ;-)


Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:53 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

 Obama offers up a budget...


That'll be January 2017... When he declares himself emperor...

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:53 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture


We've just identified another area to cut! The salaries, pensions, perks and services of the "employees" within the Office of Management & Budget obviously aren't needed because there is no sign of life in there.

No budget proposal means, no salary for work not done ;-) 

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:49 | Link to Comment Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

let me guess

why did I miss the casting call when it came to my city

umm ..hmm, you're subversive, critical of joos, everything to you is a conspiracy; there's more but that would do

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:25 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

should I take myself to the woodshed & beat the shit out of myself, or are your biting, stinging comments enough punishment?



sub·ver·sive(sb-vûrsv, -zv)

Intended or serving to subvert, especially intended to overthrow or undermine an established government: & "critical of joos" [in the same sentence] ~~~ Yes people ~ It is an 'ESTABLISHED' fact that all joos are selfless do-gooders who are trying to make YOUR life better by stealing Palestinian lands, counterfeitting money, influencing the political systems of foreign governments, stealing the fruit of your labor, telling you how to think, & taking away your guns... NEVER QUESTION AUTHORITY!
Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:05 | Link to Comment ifishivote
ifishivote's picture

Sports Illustrated named Obama the 44th most powerful man in sports...enough said.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:16 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Just thank your lucky stars that Chewbacca didn't make the swimsuit issue cover

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:33 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

He's got that hard pivot thingy goin on!!!

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:03 | Link to Comment BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

He's pivoted to jobs so many times, he's worn the paint off the hardwood under his toe.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:53 | Link to Comment TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

 "Sports Illustrated named Obama the 44th most powerful man in sports...enough said."

And Kim Jong-il regularly nailed holes in one as reported by North Korea's state...I mean Main Stream Media.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:55 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its good to be King Mulligan for Life ;-)

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:52 | Link to Comment NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Have you seen Obama play? He has a great head fake and cross over dribble that leaves Boehner and McConnell in the dust!

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:56 | Link to Comment francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I hear the WASHINGTON GENERALS offered him a phat contract to help keep their losing streak intact... [Don't drone me bro ~ it's only a comedy act]...

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 13:59 | Link to Comment DOT
DOT's picture

Who in hell would try and stop Obama as he charges in for a lay-up when the "defencemen" are standing nearby with MAC's?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:07 | Link to Comment Bad Attitude
Bad Attitude's picture

The Main Stream Media died years ago. It is just now so obvious that only the willfully blind ignore it.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:32 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

It never lived and it never will.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:09 | Link to Comment Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

Every time I listen to one of the MSM's special reports or back stories I ask myself, "What are they selling now?". The sad part is, it's usually very easy to come up with the answer.


Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:11 | Link to Comment negative rates
negative rates's picture

People believe what they want to believe, and the MSM is no different. If they want you to believe the economy is good, they first must believe it. And for them it is, that's the portrait they want you to trust in and they won't change their ways either.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:17 | Link to Comment Stanley Lord
Stanley Lord's picture

For us older people, in the past, it was always sad to see a paper close down.

My local newspaper is left of the lunatic fringe, I am now happy to see the paper collapse.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:17 | Link to Comment Rustysilver
Rustysilver's picture

Last time that anyone in media ask a tough question was during Nixon time. After that nothing counts.

I try to get my information as many websites as I can in US and Europe. But, it's hard.  Even on ZH you get Tyler's articles and two days later a guest poster restates the obvious and wants you to buy his Newsletter.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:26 | Link to Comment andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

The MSM is now a full partner in the coalition between the Democratic Party and the Banksters. They don't even try to hide it anymore.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:32 | Link to Comment XitSam
XitSam's picture

Which is why they have been able to hang on this long in spite of a failing business model. This is not the death of mainstream journalism, nor is it another nail in the coffin, as much as I'd like to think so.  When did Pravda go out of business?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:44 | Link to Comment Peterus
Peterus's picture

Internet news sources need rigid listing of all sources with back-links. Right now you can get stuff like hoax news presented as honest ones by hundreds of blogs/services with most of them only linking to last repost or none at all... while on the end of the chain there is a humour blog with fake news. It also deteriorates like a gossip with each iteration of rewriting keeping most flashy parts, while missing more and more of a context. Like some story of a cancer cure, that in fact is only on rodent tests and cures only one type of cancer and it doesn't really cure it but slows it down. When listing all sources will become common practice all of this stuff will be much easier to weed out.

It would be also great if people kept internet news services to a higher standard. If you just glance over a fact that your service just got duped and posted falsehoods without even elementary check - they don't care either.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:28 | Link to Comment BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Many "professional news outlets" can't even be bothered to make a hyperlink when they mention another website, or even another story on their own site.

Besides, linking sources would show that they aren't doing all original reporting. And you can't leak the off-the-record, our-sources-say, an-official-speaking-on-condition-of-anonymity that is their real stock in trade.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:34 | Link to Comment MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture


take a is a big internet...your ability to discern will increase naturally over time...

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:12 | Link to Comment insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

All you need to know is that the National Enquirer broke the John Edwards scandal.  That piece of shit used his dying wife to get sympathy votes, cheats on her, and forces his piece of shit right hand man to take the heat.  I mean, genuine, dyed in the wool, world class, piece of shit, yet no one in the MSM has ever condemned the man.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:25 | Link to Comment Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

They simply want to avoid appearing judgemental, as opposed to appearing ideological. Ideology demands that you dismiss behavior of your supporters, while using those same behaviors in your ideological oppostion to destroy them. Its not hypocracy if it ultimately supports your goals. Ends justify the means?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:23 | Link to Comment andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

The sequestration cuts do not cut overall government spending, but the cuts to the DOD budget are very real. The reason is simple - the big ticket items (entitlements) are not cut at all, and increase on autopilot without annual appropriations.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:24 | Link to Comment Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

The sheeple can't handle the truth anyway so they get propaganda and

feel all the better because of it.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:26 | Link to Comment The Invisible Foot
The Invisible Foot's picture

Doesn't help when your "news" has a ticker on the exchange and is being threatened by the White House. DP

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:16 | Link to Comment insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Agree!!!  Medical device manufacturers have had to walk back press releases about layoffs due to the Obamacare taxes.  The taxes are 2.5% of sales and cost these companies millions of dollars per month but it was made known to them that the FDA might do a few more audits if the whining continues.  Only the government and government workers can whine.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:31 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

My life would be so much easier if ZH would just cover the Kardashians....

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:57 | Link to Comment toady
toady's picture

That thought popped into my head the other day...

Maybe I would be happier if I had never stumbled upon survivalblog or ZH. The rubes who watch the MSM, or watch no news at all, appear to be happy in their ignorance.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:32 | Link to Comment Peterus
Peterus's picture

I've just read 10th sob story on sequester - this time it were researchers that worked on government grants lamenting how the granst will dry out and they'll have to lay people off.

Right now these piranhas are vicious. Every little and large special interests flex his muscles and claws at the "public" funds. More, more, more to me - is only ethical choice as my field is soooo important! But what will happen when the pond actually starts drying up? When there will be real cuts coming from collapse of this political-economic Keynsian nonsense ? This pond will turn red.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:35 | Link to Comment Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

It gives me solace to know that they are screaming, even though I know most of it is just bullshit. Their screams tell me that we are at least pointed in the right direction. The real test will be to see what the response is. If we capitulate and reinstate the previous spending plan then it is the end. If not and we can push for even more cuts, real cuts, even at the cost of higher taxes, I would see it as a positive. Right now though I do think it is a long shot. I really don't think we are anymore prepared for hardship than the Greeks or Italians or French or anyone else.


Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:36 | Link to Comment toady
toady's picture

If we capitulate...

This 'sequestration' is a capitulation. This whole debate is going nowhere.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:38 | Link to Comment Oldwood
Oldwood's picture



Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:38 | Link to Comment Rainman
Rainman's picture

The news media is neither as smart or as stupid as some people think they are. They have simply divided up their viewership into intelligence categories and structured their news and opinion offerings accordingly. The low information, low IQ citizens are obviously a customer base they compete heavily for due to their massive over-representation in the population. Unfortunately, many in this customer base are asset challenged. 

Media ....It's just another big business < and the BIGS run everything now >.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:37 | Link to Comment Long-John-Silver
Long-John-Silver's picture

The Internet is killing the MSM and their Cable Networks with them. There are many devices on the market now that allow anyone with a high speed internet connection to cut their TV Cable and go to Internet Video/Audio Streaming. This makes it impossible for Cable to compete with it's current business model of Bundling Channels as a package that the consumer is forced to purchase even if they only watch 4 or 5 out of the 100+ channels in that package. Today anyone that wants to put up a "Channel" available on ROKU Streaming devices may do so with the only limitation being server capacity requirements. Even that limit can be bypassed via the Private Channel option. Your Channel would not be listed in the ROKU Channel Store but it would be available via the Private Channel website and adding that private channel is almost as easy as adding one from the channel store. One of the best channels available for ROKU devices is TheNoWhereMan only available as a private channel. Currently over 600 Channels are available in the ROKU Channel Store with many of those channels having sub-channels. Cable simply can't compete. It's like switching from a horse to a modern automobile. There are no subscription fees tied to a ROKU Box. If you want to subscribe to a channel such as Netflix or HULU Plus or purchase a Movie from one of the Premium Channels such as VuDu or Amazon that is the only cost associated with a ROKU Box. If you only want free channels there is more available content than you could ever watch in a life time and it's paid for via commercial advertisement (which you can opt-out of for a small charge).


Already there are many Channels competing directly with the MSM via Internet Streaming and they have a future. The MSM and it's Cable has become obsolete. It's just a matter of time as people start switching from horses to model T's. 

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:19 | Link to Comment IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

You just made my day.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:43 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Everybody reading this needs to cancel their cable or satellite tv service IMMEDIATELY.

Starve the BEAST by cutting off its life blood.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 19:39 | Link to Comment The Heart
The Heart's picture

What is a cable or satellite tv service?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:39 | Link to Comment moneybots
moneybots's picture

It is called fraud, which is something that is running rampant in this country.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:40 | Link to Comment BlueCheeseBandit
BlueCheeseBandit's picture

The mainstream media is where the slaves go to get programmed.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:42 | Link to Comment Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

"Readers are beginning to recognize this, and they don’t want to pay"

I see no evidence for this assertion. You wish.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:21 | Link to Comment insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

I hope you are being sarcastic.  The Boston Globe which is the liberal newspaper of record in the very liberal Peoples Republic of Massachusetts is in financial trouble and has been for years.  Even liberal sheeple realize it is not worth paying to read "fictional news."  

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:50 | Link to Comment Jack Sheet
Jack Sheet's picture

Point taken. I was hoping the author would give more details. One has also to distinguish between print and online versions, whether comments are allowed at all or censored etc.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 14:10 | Link to Comment DOT
Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:43 | Link to Comment hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

its a new world...MSM doesnt analysts don't matter, governments don't matter..what matters is taking care of yourself and beleiving no-one who hasn't had to work hard for a living doing something that know...real work that feeds, clothes, healths or educates you..

i am spartacus

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:47 | Link to Comment NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

The news today is to pass along what they are told to say and to wrap it in a liberal shell. An investigative reporter does not check the facts, but rather accepts them, then goes out looking for someplace or someone that is affected so that they can interview their personal and touching story about someone losing their job or being denied free benefits because of the mean Republicans.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:55 | Link to Comment Mark123
Mark123's picture

You should forget about the Republican/Democrat thing....they are one and the same.  This is the biggest control that the crooks have over Americans (and most other nations).


That's not to say that people who vote Republican tend to be more fiscally conservative and want a smaller govt etc....but they won't get it. 

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:50 | Link to Comment IridiumRebel
IridiumRebel's picture

...all I know is that soon I'll be out of my house and onto a farm that's been paid off for decades. 3 acres and well water that backs up to a Resevoir. Starve the Beast! Fuck the media. I used to watch CNN but after Sandy Hook and the ZH truthiness, I'm out. I get major stuff from radio and the rest from here and other blogs.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:50 | Link to Comment Mark123
Mark123's picture

Just keep in mind you don't really own that farm....the govt can levy property tax as they see fit, and if you don't pay they take your farm.  When the money lenders have well and truly stripped all financial assets they will be coming after your real property.


I'll bet they could even come up with a tax on your water supply!!!

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 10:55 | Link to Comment stant
stant's picture

the 4th estate was forclosed on yrs ago. what we have now is a product, sorta drive thru news with cheeze on it

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:43 | Link to Comment MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

well put

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:03 | Link to Comment digalert
digalert's picture

Twas early 2009, Barack Barry Hussein Soetoro Obama what's his name was newly crowned. Road to recovery, we're saved, green shoots everywhere. I realized CNBC was lying. In search of some truth I stumbled upon ZH. Where there was an opinion, but more important, facts, charts, graphs, real numbers.

Goodby MSM, you've dug your own grave. Long live ZH!

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:40 | Link to Comment BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

What really makes ZH a killer website is that for every quality article, there are at least three quality comments with further analysis, links to supporting (or refuting) analysis, enlightening graphs, etc..

Contrast with the NYT, where they either close off comments when they post something false or easily disproven, or have 900 comments full of "you're a bigot/racist/heartless/idiot"/"I know you are but what am I" exchanges.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:20 | Link to Comment IrritableBowels
IrritableBowels's picture

" where they either close off comments when they post something false or easily disproven"

See also LA Times coverage of anything Dorner.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:16 | Link to Comment bugs_
bugs_'s picture

One month of QE3 > Sequestration cuts.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:19 | Link to Comment DavidC
DavidC's picture

$85 billion IS a Really Big Number.

It's just not as big a Really Big number as $16.7 trillion.


Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:44 | Link to Comment MedTechEntrepreneur
MedTechEntrepreneur's picture

And 16.7 Trillion sounds like a big number too...until compared to the real debt of 211 trillion.

"Druckenmiller, 59, said the mushrooming costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with unfunded liabilities as high as $211 trillion, will bankrupt the nation's youth and pose a much greater danger than the country's $16 trillion of debt currently being debated in Congress..."

The fun is just beginning.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 13:06 | Link to Comment Accounting101
Accounting101's picture

Stop with the unfunded liabilities nonsense! Social Security is not an unfunded liability. It has a dedicated funding source and the moment the system brings in less revenue than it pays out, there is an automatic benefit cut. According to the SS actuaries, this will happen in 2036. Of course it was 2043 before the financial collapse of 2008. Again, the benefits will be automatically reduce because its the law! Just like its the law that the $2.8 trillion surplus in the SS Trust Fund can't just sit there compounding interest. It must be lent to the federal government, by law.

For Christ sakes! You are doing the bidding of the Wall Street hacks and the rest of the Oligarchs when you parrot this tripe. They need the social contract destroyed because when these financial terrorists finally destroy the economy completely, they will need trillions upon trillions of our money to bail them out again.

Stop enabling them. Our democracy deserves better.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 14:17 | Link to Comment DOT
DOT's picture

The government collects a tax and "lends" it to itself. You are the bigger fool everyone on Wall St. counts on.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 14:56 | Link to Comment Accounting101
Accounting101's picture

Keep up the good work comrade! Your quest to socialize all the Oligarchs private debt is greatly appreciated by your overlords.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:29 | Link to Comment slackrabbit
slackrabbit's picture

Soon there will be a Howard Beale moment when some presenter runs out of bullshit and decides to tell it like is ...



Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:27 | Link to Comment Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

I'm with you SR, but these days Howard Beale would never make it to air.  Soon as anyone is off-script it's cut to a commercial or black & cut the mike.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 11:45 | Link to Comment wkwillis
wkwillis's picture

If you look at the military sequestrations, you notice that they are delays in spending, not actual cuts. We will delay refueling an aircraft carrier, not scrap one.

Sort of like saving an extra 50$ every month by skipping paying a bill.

When next month comes, we still won't have the money.

The problem is, we have in effect laid off a carrier group. No carrrier, no group.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:16 | Link to Comment taketheredpill
taketheredpill's picture

Unless there is a BIG headline with an important story, people won't read the newspaper, and if people don't read newspapers they won't see the advertisements between the "news".


You can go to the Financials for any newspaper and determine fairly quickly that revenues from subscriptions is only about 20%.  So corporate advertisers pay 80% revenues and should be considered the "real" customers.  The physical newspaper is not the product they are buying, just media, used to transmit the real product (your eyeballs).


Young people get this, and as more of us dinosaurs drop off the planet, newspapers will go too.  Unless the Internet is changed to get rid of level playing field, with ISPs allowed to charge for higher bandwidth.  That way advertisers will be able to cover transmission costs in exchange for display, and be able to transfer their revenue model online.  I think that there will be a big push by TPTB to allow this at some point.  If this happens then sites like Zerohedge will drop off as people get bored waiting for pages to refresh.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:46 | Link to Comment BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

I access ZH on the crappiest DSL connection AT&T offers, transmitted over an old wifi router. I think the site would still be useable over dial-up.

As long as we can spread the digital equivalent of handbills, the MSM will continue to die.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 12:43 | Link to Comment Mark123
Mark123's picture

Video is powerful....and so easy now with cell phones and the internet.  Why has nobody videoed someone going to apply for a car loan and mortgage with no proof of citizenship or income?  We all know that the govt and banks (and realtors etc) are back to their old tricks, with a massive increase in subprime lending. 


Where is 60 Minutes?  Obviously ignoring all of this....but surely some independant media somewhere?



Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:26 | Link to Comment Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

Since you mentioned "60 Minutes" please remember what happened when Dan Rather was reporting on the story of "W" and his "awol" status with the Air Natl Guard.  Instead of standing up for Rather (who along with his producer were later proven right), CBS bowed to pressure from the admin and his career was essentially over.  THAT'S why you don't see the fear of "Mike Wallace is outside with a film crew and he'd like to talk with you" that used to run deep with miscreants across the nation.  The only investigative journalism these days is on small business people or fuck-ups in local government.  The news outlets all have interlocking board members with companies they "might" do a story on, and so any "investigation" is thwarted at the outset.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 16:25 | Link to Comment Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

Please provide a link to "along with his producer were later proven right". Never heard that, only that Rather forged documents, got caught, and was disgraced as a liar (by Internet bloggers, no less!.

But the real reason no "Mike Wallace is outside with a film crew" ambush journalism goes on now is twofold:

1) People saw through the tactic of grabbing someone unprepared for a hostile tape interview edited to make them look as bad as possible - you could edit (or invent) tape bad enough to make Mother Teresa look hateful, and

2) 60 minutes almost never ambushed government types - only business, small-time operators, and so forth. The real fuck-ups are either in government, or TBTF now - can't go pissing off the advertisers, can we?

Journalists are just as much in bed with powerful interests as their secretaries - no more truth to power, only compliments. Besides, our man Barry is in charge, and you don't want to make him look bad, do you?

There is no Fourth Estate anymore, just propaganda.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 17:01 | Link to Comment Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

That is why the National Inquirer didn't get a Pulitzer it had earned.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 18:05 | Link to Comment Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

In fact, Rather was found to have relied upon a mentally unstable source. He was not proven right.

Nice try on your infiltration efforts however. 

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 14:16 | Link to Comment bardot63
bardot63's picture

Peter Klein describes a recognized but long forgotten journalistic ill called 'trading truth for access."  CNN traded truth for access in Iraq with Saddam.  CBS practiced it in the Soviet Union with Stalin.  There are lots of examples long before Stalin and CBS.  Trading truth for access used to be taught as a dishonorable practice in journalism classes, but I doubt it is now.  The entire main stream lapdog media has been trading truth for access with His Imamship's campaigns and administration since the git-go.  So, the practice is nothing new, but I'm pleased someone is talking about it again.  There's nothing these media whores have to say that you can trust.  Nothing.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:25 | Link to Comment exartizo
exartizo's picture

Some MSM's are much worse than others in the degree of "spin" they do.

...imho the "Top Ten Worst Internet Spin Offenders" are in order of "worst to least worst"

1. Reuters
2. The Wall Street Journal
4. MarketWatch
5. Washington Post
6. LA Times
7. NY Times
8. Bloomberg
9. Fox Business
10. CNNMoney

Other points of view encouraged to respond.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:38 | Link to Comment cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

Why I do not have a television. There is nothing on worth watching, bunch of paid advertisement and little else. Why bother?

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 15:44 | Link to Comment bart12
bart12's picture

We even have news report Democrat congresswomen Maxine Waters saying: '170 million jobs could be lost' to sequester! LOL... You just can't fix stupid in this country

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 16:29 | Link to Comment Money 4 Nothing
Money 4 Nothing's picture

I believe this Bill finnaly passed and was inserted as a rider in the defense Bill.

Another mention.


So basically, the MSM's can bald face lie to us without consequesnces, allowed to broadcast pre packaged story segments not written by them, fake news stories and straight up propaganda out of the think tanks.

Like this for example.. There was the MSM story then you have the Prosecutor and Federal Judges story, you choose.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 16:59 | Link to Comment Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

The mainstream media was dissappointed the sky didn't cave in and then they couldn't add another round of republican bashing.

Catch Barry in a lie and confront him about it?

Un-heard of to these pussies.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 18:19 | Link to Comment hazek
hazek's picture

Hence why I stopped lending it legitimacy by calling it mainstream and instead ALWAYS call it the corporate media propaganda machine.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 18:35 | Link to Comment jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Don't you love it when news sources report the stories of other news sources?



Sun, 03/10/2013 - 19:06 | Link to Comment robnume
robnume's picture

My 77 y.o. mother still watches lamestream media, but she recently stated to me, "You don't think that I actually believe what they say, do you"? Well, I was pleased to hear that. I turned off the idiot box, radio, etc. years ago, with the exception of the news channel "RT". Mother Jones does still do investigative reporting, as does the Washington Spectator and, of course, Matt Taibi at Rolling Stone. If you have a discriminating mind, you can still receive real and pertinent info. The internet is great and blogs like ZH, Of Two Minds, Implode - o - Meter, Naked Capitalism, etc.

Sun, 03/10/2013 - 23:38 | Link to Comment The Heart
The Heart's picture

Round and round we go, where this insanity stops, will we ever know?

There is plenty to go around too!

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 03:04 | Link to Comment modest_proposal
modest_proposal's picture

Can someone please, please demonstrate for me where the idea that sequestration reduces an annual spending increase comes from? 


We are currently (and for the last several years) operating under a continuing resolution (CR). The CR is set at particular levels. The current CR, to the best of my information, is set at 2012 levels. As far as I know there is no escalation (e.g. inflation) or other baseline increase built into the FY13 CRs so far.


So where is this persistant information coming from? Somewhat ironic, in an article actually dedicated to the proposition of jorunalism-by-press-release...

Mon, 03/11/2013 - 13:07 | Link to Comment dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

Someone's been watching House of Cards...and if the reporters aren't hot like Zoe they don't get any of the Narrative

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