February 10, 2005

Well, It IS Only One Word

"Mainstream," I mean--as the author of a piece both defending and critiquing the news media points out, "MSM" is a poor choice of acronym when you mean to say "mainstream media." Three cheers for that; I don't feel so alone anymore, knowing I'm not the only one who thinks it's stupid.

As for the rest, I'm still reading it. Keep in mind before you comment that I think some of the best bloggers are also journalists and, more importantly, one of my best friends works in the field.

If I finish the article and still feel like talking about it, I ask only that you all pray I manage something more intelligent than, say, 75% of Michael J. Totten's commenters here did. Tell me, how does Totten not have a drinking problem? If I had that much sheer dumbness pouring into my comments on a daily basis, I'd be on heroin by now. And yeah, that's a roundabout way of saying I love you, my readers; all three of you (although two of you are on probation).

Posted by Ilyka at February 10, 2005 01:41 AM in hell is other people

Yes, but if you say MM, then some folks will think Mickey Mouse and others will think Marilyn Manson and even some others will think Marilyn Monroe.

Two outta three ain't bad, though, is it?

And with that, I gotta go call my P.O.


Posted by: Margi at February 10, 2005 03:24 AM

To the Department of Public Health, "MSM" is an acronym for "men who have [relations] with men." (I tried to use the S word but I was blocked.) I find it amusing when I see MSM applied to Mainstream Media, but maybe that's just Dr. Evil showing up again.

Posted by: Dr. Alice at February 10, 2005 04:01 AM

Margi - First name I thought of was Michael Moore. Heh.

Posted by: Jim at February 10, 2005 11:14 AM

Almost missed that about probation. Yikes. Seeing as I'm one of the three, the odds of me being one of the two in trouble are about 98.7%. ;-)

Posted by: Jim at February 10, 2005 01:27 PM

"MSM" just makes my head ache every time I see it. It's the visual equivalent of nails on a blackboard. I have tried to come up with other terms -- "leftoid pro-news media", "Our Betters™ in the Media" -- something that attempts to slam the jerks and hustlers while leaving those journalists we know to be actual professional professionals uninsulted. However, nothing really seems to fill the bill.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 10, 2005 03:03 PM

(raises hand) guess I'm one of the two, then.

my comment was contentless enough, but the thread as a whole seems actually fairly civilized given the length and subject matter. A few trolls and headcases on either side, of course, but....well, I've been around here and around other blogs for a long while, and...um.... it is possible that....you dislike comment-thread bar-fights much less strongly, when you're one of the people throwing the chairs.

and frankly, jbp rocked the house. no, it's not entirely fair, and he doesn't directly address the author's points. but mr. silver is guilty of every single fallacy jbp throws his way, and in turn he also does not address the assertions made by those disagree with him.

the entire piece is a naked appeal to emotion toward "reasonable people". ("come on now, do I really sound so biased to you?") and it's unsuprising that those who disagree with him would be thus moved emotionally to leave a comment to that effect. we've all seen plenty worse, surely.

Posted by: joe at February 11, 2005 01:39 AM

The whole debate is tiresome. We gladly let the MSM (Tiresome term number one) lead us to a conclusion sometimes. Who doesn’t think Scott Peterson murdered his wife? Did the trial really matter in the court of public opinion? What about Michael Jackson? Does anyone believe his version of events? No one questions the POV of the news outlet when it leads us to the conclusion we agree with.

I’m going to now step off of the reservation a bit. I think the “liberal media” is somewhat true but entirely overblown by the politicos from the right. This is their game and they’re very good at it. Discredit them when it makes you look bad. Use them when it makes you look good. When the story is damaging to the right, it’s because the media doesn’t like the right. When the story is damaging to the left, the story must be true, and you start every news byte and speech with “Even the liberal mainstream media..........”.

This notion that the blogoverse (Tiresome term number two) is a bunch of heroic crusaders out to save the universe from evil is, well, ridiculous. I wrote a short three paragraph letter to the sports editor of the New Orleans Times Picayune many years ago. He left one paragraph out, “fisked” it to make himself look good, and published it. Still livid about that. Bloggers do that all of the time. Yes, I’ve been guilty of that, too. It is only borderline ethical and it is surely unfair. We could stand a good look inward ourselves.

Posted by: Rob at February 12, 2005 02:43 AM

MSM is a fine noun all by itself. forget that it is an acronym or what it abbreviates. It has three letters in upper case, just like most of the companies that make it up (e.g. CBS, NYT, ABC, PBS, NPR, CNN, NBC, WSJ). further it starts with that worst of all letter pairs, MS, so it must be bad. do you really worry about the etymology of a word like news anyway? don't sweat the etymology of MSM either.

Posted by: rammer at February 14, 2005 03:54 AM

(although two of you are on probation).

Only in Kentucky.

Posted by: Hubris at February 15, 2005 10:00 PM