Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media is attempting to regain what little relevance it had and maybe create some buzz by railing against the idea of treating the media like every other business in America that is eligible for coronavirus relief money. Of course, AIM simply wants the non-conservative media to die any way it can. The latest step in this is a May 22 op-ed by AIM president Adam Guillette pubished by the Washington Examiner.
Since Guillette, like most right-wing media critics, has never worked a day in the media he attacks -- he came to AIM from the discredited right-wing provocateurs at Project Veritas -- he doesn't understand how the media busienss works; he's too caught up in his biases. He began by ranting:
If Lenin said that capitalists “will sell us the rope we use to hang them,” newspapers are saying that conservatives will fund the ink they use to smear them.
Bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress have now signed on for a proposed media bailout. This isn’t a bailout for smaller newspapers and television stations. Those businesses were already eligible for the Payroll Protection Program, and many of them took advantage of it — in a big way.
The Seattle Times took $9.9 million tax dollars, and the Tampa Bay Times bagged $8.5 million. Two of the most hard-left newspapers in America didn’t even hesitate before grabbing their Trump Bucks.
Needless to say, Guillette offers no evidence that either of those newspapers is "hard left" -- he simply assumes so because they don't have a right-wing bias.
Guillette then attacked the newspaper chain McClatchy for filing for bankruptcy. He continued to whine:
For years, conservatives bemoaned how far left their local newspapers shifted. Little by little, the editorial boards of nearly every local newspaper were taken over by progressives. Then the editorializing started spreading to each article. In response to their complaints, conservatives were always told, “It’s a private company, they can do what they want!”
But now we’ve learned that alienating a large portion of your marketplace isn’t a winning business strategy. Why, then, should customers be forced to pay for a product they’ve already rejected?
Of course, the newspapers claim their bias isn’t the problem. They blame the internet. Countless business models have been upended by the internet; should we bail out each of them? Should we have bailed out stone tablet makers after the invention of the printing press?
If Guillette is going to complain that newspapers' purported liberal bias are not a "winning business strategy" then he must also admit that explicitly conservative newspapers were never a "winning business strategy." As we've documented, newspapers like the Washington Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and New York Post have always been failures in the market and kept alive only because they were owned by deep-pocketed right-wing owners -- even in the pre-internet years when mainstream newspaper reliably turned profits. Even the publication where Guillette's op-ed appears, the Washington Examiner, is the remnant of a daily newspaper that failed after a new owner, Philip Anschutz, infused it with right-wing bias.
In order to be an effective critic, one must understand what he is criticizing. Guillette clearly doesn't.