Why I’m Not Mourning the Sale of the Missoula Independent

by William Skink

Those of us still around writing posts have watched the media landscape change dramatically. The corporate takeover of the Missoula Independent is just the latest blow to an industry on the ropes and struggling for relevancy.

Corporate media is really its own worst enemy, and to provide an example of what I’m talking about, let’s take a look at Dan Brooks and his latest post.

Now, most people probably wouldn’t associate Brooks with corporate media, but give the guy credit: he’s been published in the New York Times. In that piece Brooks took an the artist Banksy, and in this post he’s mocking Alex Jones.

Personally, I could care less if Alex Jones is now claiming to be a performance artist for legal reasons. The more important story, imho, is how Alex Jones is used by corporate media, like the New York Times.

To get that perspective one must have the fortitude to explore non-establishment media, like the various sites slandered by this Washington Post hit piece.

One of those alleged “peddlers of Russian propaganda”, Consortium News, has a great post about the once credible New York Times and how it uses conspiracists like Alex Jones to ensure its narrative is the only one seriously considered by its oh-so-serious readers. From the link:

In the old days of journalism, we were taught that there were almost always two sides to a story, if not more sides than that. Indeed, part of the professional challenge of journalism was to sort out conflicting facts on a complicated topic. Often we found that the initial impression of a story was wrong once we understood the more nuanced reality.

Today, however, particularly on foreign policy issues, the major U.S. news outlets, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, apparently believe there is only one side to a story, the one espoused by the U.S. government or more generically the Establishment.

Yep, that’s what major U.S. news outlets do these days, and Alex Jones provides the ideal scapegoat to keep the American public consuming government/corporate propaganda. Here’s more:

A mocking article by the Times’ Jim Rutenberg on Monday displayed the Times’ rejection of any intellectual curiosity regarding the U.S. government’s claims that were cited by President Trump as justification for his April 6 missile strike against a Syrian military airbase. The attack killed several soldiers and nine civilians including four children, according to Syrian press reports.

Rutenberg traveled to Moscow with the clear intention of mocking the Russian news media for its “fake news” in contrast to The New York Times, which holds itself out as the world’s premier guardian of “the truth.” Rather than deal with the difficulty of assessing what happened in Khan Sheikhoun, which is controlled by Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate and where information therefore should be regarded as highly suspect, Rutenberg simply assessed that the conventional wisdom in the West must be correct.

To discredit any doubters, Rutenberg associated them with one of the wackier conspiracy theories of radio personality Alex Jones, another version of the Times’ recent troubling reliance on McCarthyistic logical fallacies, not only applying guilt by association but refuting reasonable skepticism by tying it to someone who in an entirely different context expressed unreasonable skepticism.

When it comes to impacting our daily lives, this Alex Jones story is significantly more important than whether or not Alex Jones believes the crap he peddles. The New York Times wants the American public to view any skepticism of its propaganda as being indistinguishable from the conspiratorial carnival barker known as Alex Jones.

Lines have been drawn, for years now, in this information war between corporate news and alternative news. I lost a lot of respect for the Indy after they jettisoned Ochenski’s column and wrote up this disingenuous assessment of Montana’s progressive blogosphere.

So I’m not going to mourn the selling out of the Missoula Independent. I think the sale to Lee Enterprises just makes official a process that has been ongoing for awhile now.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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2 Responses to Why I’m Not Mourning the Sale of the Missoula Independent

  1. 90% of the population safely graze the mainstream, but those of a little more Intelligence who bolt the pasture still have to be herded. So they are allowed to think they escaped, and are delivered to Alex Jones, Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Drudge, your local “independent” newspaper … the gatekeepers looking after the needs of free range sheep.

    I have seen “independent” newspapers all over the country. They all have one thing in common – fear of losing advertisers. That is enough to keep them in the groupthink paddock.

  2. steve kelly says:

    If I had to pick between reading Pulitzer Prize winning Thomas Friedman or listening to Alex Jones on am radio, it would be Jones hands down, every time. The NYT and WaPo cannot be topped for disgusting, deliverate lies that get many, many people killed for no good reason.

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