Why Partisans Are Not Allies In The Information War

by William Skink

When thinking about the very serious problems with media in this country I think in terms of information warfare. When a Montana partisan thinks about problems with media it’s more about perceived disparities between how his party’s candidates are covered as compared to the other party.

After a Twitter tantrum that resulted in at least one Montana journalist blocked, Don Pogreba penned this polemic. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m not a journalist, but if we expect the public to be informed about the issues, we need to abandon the idea that it’s objective, accurate reporting merely to convey competing quotes from two sides on an issue and let the readers sort out what’s actually true. While newspapers do not shoulder the majority of the blame for the fact that Americans seem to live in two distinct realities depending on their political affiliation, the practice of letting dueling quotes pass as objectivity certainly doesn’t do anything to help bridge those gaps.

I’d love to live in a world where blogs weren’t necessary to complete the picture when it comes to local and state governance, politics, and education. But we don’t live in that world. As appreciative as I am of the excellent journalism that is being practiced every day in this country, every story about “adventure cats” is another story that needs to be tackled by someone else, and I’m thankful for the bloggers out there who try to fill that void just a little bit and readers who are passionate enough to spend a little bit of their day reading the work they produce.

What makes this whole polemic so disingenuous is that Pogreba is not a defender of blogs, and I’m not just talking about this blog and 4&20 Blackbirds, which was shuttered NOT because of web traffic but because Jay Stevens didn’t like how I criticized Democrats.

With the election of Donald Trump, the information war has greatly escalated. Was Pogreba worried about the state of blogging when the Washington Post used an anonymous website to attack “useful idiots” like Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges? No, Pogreba doesn’t seem to have a problem with the new McCarthyism that has sprung up to tar and feather anyone who doesn’t go along with the narrative meant to discredit the president.

How about NPR’s hit piece on Lee Camp? Of course not, Camp’s Redacted Tonight is featured on RT America, and thanks to the new McCarthyism, RT has been effectively demonized along with Russia.

The corporate media consolidation that’s been going on for decades is why there is a need for blogs and alternative news sites. But this corporate media landscape can’t be full explained by a partisan because the truth includes Democrat complicity, like the Telecommunication Act Bill Clinton pushed through under his neoliberal regime in the 90’s.

Even destroying Net Neutrality can’t be wholly placed at the feet of the GOP. Despite Democrats gnashing their teeth, it took a few Democrats like Jon Tester to confirm the former Verizon lawyer to the FCC. What did Tester expect this guy to do? Either Tester was ignorant of what would happen, or complicit. Either way, you won’t hear the Montana Post (rebranded to sound like an official news site) make any noise about this vote because re-electing Tester is more important than pointing out Tester’s role in making the media landscape even more compromised and inaccessible to people who won’t be able to afford the profits that will be extracted for access.

Partisan bloggers like Don Pogreba are not interested in how far gone corporate media has become. If they were, the outrage wouldn’t be relegated to things like how Tom Lutey was a meanie reporter to Rob Quist.

The range of voices expressing criticism will continue to shorten as more corporate control is exerted over how information is disseminated. To truly be an ally in this fight, partisans need to put aside their partisanship and acknowledge that the new McCarthyism is a threat to anyone who values truth and understanding in a world rife with deception and corporate control.

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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4 Responses to Why Partisans Are Not Allies In The Information War

  1. dpogreba says:

    Thanks for reading!

  2. *Eric says:

    I’m left to wonder why you bother going to ID at all. There hasn’t been anything interesting over there since forever.

    I chalk it up to Trump Derangement Syndrome – that POGIE went off the deep end at about 8:00pm on election night in 2016 and hasn’t recovered.

  3. Djinn&Tonic says:

    You can’t print that! The truth behind the news, 1918-1928, by George Seldes.

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