Open Thread: Is the MSM Full of Yellow Journalists?

Over at Ace's place, Purple Avenger ponders whether today's journalists can really be deemed "yellow" in the late 19th-early 20th century sense. He(?) finds that "what we're seeing now is a somewhat different and more dangerous beast than traditional yellow journalism."

The one thing that clearly distinguished the early vanguard of yellow journalism from media today is the perspective it took. The Pulitzer and Hearst types were shameless self-promoters and didn't hide anonymously behind a corporate facade.

They also appear to have understood their markets rather well compared to today's media, hence their bent towards amorphous populist approaches, rather than hard political ideology in any particular direction. The targets of their political attacks and scandal reporting were all over the map. It would be hard to say they were clearly protecting any political party as a matter of corporate policy.

With the public's trust in the media today falling off a cliff, its hard to make a viable case that today's media actually understands its market as well as the early practicioners of yellow journalism did. As jingoistic and incredible as much of the Pulitzer and Hearst reportage was, the buying public bought into it. In Hearst's case, they bought in enough to push the nation into a war.

Today, we appear to have a somewhat different, and far more sinister, situation where media protection and promotion of particular political agendas seems to have supplanted the more benign populist angle of old style yellow journalism.

Read the whole thing - as well as Ace's fantastic take on the liberal media's approach to the Giffords shooting - then give us your thoughts below.

NB Staff
NB Staff