I've been ruminating on the term "mainstream media." And I'm extremely bothered by it.
Dorothy Rabinowitz has penned a brilliant piece in the Wall Street Journal regarding the (so-called) MSM's always shameful but now open and shameless cheer leading for Obama (or perhaps more accurately, its cheer leading against Romney). A sample:
By the time the presidential campaign had ended four years ago, the media's role in driving the outcome had become a fact too obvious to dispute. The impact of the journalistic horde's devotion to the Democratic candidates was clear, the evidence vivid—especially in the case of reporters transported to a state of ecstasy over candidate Obama's speeches. One New York Times reporter wrote of being so moved he could barely keep from weeping. Not for nothing did the role of the press become a news story in itself—an embarrassing one that might, serious people thought, serve as a caution during future campaigns.
In 2012 Barack Obama is no longer delivering thrilling speeches, but an unembarrassed press corps is still available, in full prosecutorial mode when it comes to coverage of the Republican challenger. If you hadn't heard the story about Mitt Romney's bullying treatment of another student during his prep-school days—1965, that is—the Washington Post had a story for you, a lengthy investigative piece. On the matter of Mr. Obama's school records, locked away and secured against investigation, the press maintains a serene incuriosity.
We have grown accustomed to calling these people -- the ones who populate ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR, the New York Times and other moribund daily newspapers and newsweeklies -- the "mainstream media," or "MSM." But they are not mainstream. Generally speaking, they are hard left activists, and as such represent only a sliver of the American population. We flatter them and do a great disservice to the American people when we call these people and their dreadful work "mainstream."
So, I am proposing that Ricochet start the movement to rename these scoundrels. (By the way, I hope we can do better than Sarah Palin's "lamestream media" phrase, which in my opinion is itself lame).
I'm looking for a relentlessly accurate title that can stick. Because I am a literalist (but not particularly literary), the best I've been able to come up with is the "Liberal Activists Pretending to Do Objective Reporting" Media, which is not only cumbersome but doesn't even pull off the "LAPDOG" acronym I was shooting for.
Let's start a movement. How would you name them?