Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Business media ‘misses’ biggest story in 70 years to win the Media Putz award

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Originally published on on January 1, 2009

Business Media

The financial collapse that encompassed Wall Street and extended worldwide was one of the major stories of the year. Good thing we have a business media niche that covers these trends to give us clear and concise insight into this often mysterious world.

What, you mean the business media didn’t cover the events leading to the worldwide collapse?

The collapse had multiple parts over a period of time. The perspective at any point never showed up. It’s truly bad enough that the business media totally fell down on the events leading up to the worldwide collapse, but we still don’t have a good explanation for what is going on now.

There are plenty of opportunities to convey such information. CNBC and Fox Business are cable channels devoted to covering the business world. And even the failing newspapers still have business sections.

There is an old adage about having a business section in the newspaper but not a labor section. But in exchange for having that business section, that business coverage, shouldn’t we know what is happening in the business community.

Instead, we get devotees to every syllable coming from the top business people with no serious follow-up or analysis of the business world around them. There is no significant criticism of anything Wall Street ever does.

From Enron to Iceland to Bernie Madoff, each story is one big surprise after another. They present big stories as if they come out of nowhere when in fact there were elements building up to the sharp climax.

And for the most part, there haven’t be too many questions on why the business media didn’t see this coming or didn’t choose to tell us, the consumers of information. One exception was the IFC Media Project TV show on the Independent Film Channel.

But the major criticism is that they do have some idea of what was coming and what was going on, but kept feeding us commentators and interviews telling us things were in good shape — when they weren’t.

They are more worried about losing access to top business people, of losing the opportunity to kiss up to these top business people, and heartily endorse whatever the business people tell them.

For the ongoing neglect to inform us on the worst financial crisis in 70 years, we heartily award the business media as a whole the Media Putz of the week.


Written by democracysoup

January 1, 2009 at 6:00 am

Posted in media criticism, MSM

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