Media Pro Shop

The Media Pro Shop section of POLITICAL PROPHET® is dedicated to the improvement of professional journalism including news reporting, analysis and commentary. 

Our objective is to assist ethical professionals in the news media.

Our goals are to upgrade the quality of news made available to America’s voters and to enhance their ability to recognize good journalism.

In addition, we are striving to help ethical journalists to be professionally successful in their chosen career.

To accomplish our goals, we provide exclusive insights into the real world and workings of professional politics to help journalists do their jobs better.

In addition, we publicly acknowledge good journalism to encourage excellence.

We are also critical when professionalism falls short with either private contact or public notice in this space as appropriate.  At the conclusion of each election cycle we provide contact information to journalists interested in seeking new opportunities and to organizations seeking to hire qualified professional journalists.

We define “Professional Journalists” as those whose primary source of income is derived from the reporting of news presented as fact, analysis or opinion via print or electronic/digital media.

We do not give professional recognition to “Opinion or Advocacy Journalism” that is disguised as straight news reporting.  We consider such deceptions to be outside the realm of ethical journalism practice and damaging to the profession and the public.

Unlike the other sections of POLITICAL PROPHET®, the Media Pro Shop attempts to treat Republican, Democrat, Conservative and Liberal journalists and news outlets somewhat equally.  We say “somewhat” because equal time or word count is not even measured much less attempted.  Our goal in this context is to give deserved credit or criticism to journalists without regard to political consideration.

While most people have the information they need to distinguish between the various athletic endeavors at the top professional level (MLB, NBA, NFL, etc.), public understanding of different forms of journalism is not as widespread. 

To further complicate the distinctions there is a “cottage industry” of those who, to one degree or another, look like journalists but are not. For example, Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher are entertainers, not journalists or quotable political leaders.  Television’s Saturday Night Live, Jon Stewart’s show and Steven Colbert’s show are entertainment programs not outlets for the work product of professional journalists.

Somewhat more nuanced, people like Chris Mathews and George Stephanopoulos are professional political operatives who now work in television instead of directly on campaigns.  Both are still dependable Democrats whose broadcasts are designed to curry favor with their partisan colleagues.  They have both ideological and commercial motives for what they say.  They gladly promote President Obama and other Democrats and in return they get leaks, interviews, guest shots to promo their rating and an occasional chance to “break” a story.

Some organizations have their news operations as well as their opinion/editorial operations tilted in a partisan or philosophical direction. MSNBC television, the NPR/PBS broadcast empire, the New York Times, some of the “news magazines” and many of the digital outlets push “advocacy journalism” without clearly identifying it as such. 

In other words, they serve interests other than their readers/viewers/listeners and sometimes they work at the expense of the public including those who mistakenly depend on those sources for factual information presented in an ethical manor.

 

For decades, we have taught political professionals that it is dangerous to publicly speculate about “motive” when discussing an opponent in a political campaign.

 

Interests, relationships, methods and motives that are inherent in the news business should, however, be fair game.  For example, the liberal bias of the New York Times is historically the product of their readership demographic and the personal whims of those who have controlled the paper’s content.  Their bias is motivated by the opinions of those in power as well as by what they perceive to be their business interests.

The massive and embarrassing liberal spillover into reporting that was once reserved for hard news but is now an amateurish blend of opinion and less-than-stellar reporting has destroyed the NYT’s once vaunted reputation as a mecca for good journalism. 

Actions, as they say, have consequences. MSNBC television was struggling to survive when they decided to bend very hard to the philosophical left to claim a counterbalance to Fox News.  We believe their motive was strictly business.  Their audience share has remained quite small and most of their on- air personalities have no credibility as journalists or even legitimate “opinionators”.

With caricatures like “Ed”, “Al”, and “Rachael” anchoring daily shows and token “guests” like a discredited RNC Chair and a similarly regarded “kiss and tell” campaign consultant for one of the most mismanaged Presidential campaigns in recent years, knowledgeable people still ignore MSNBC as a source of either hard news or informed opinion.  CNN, which has moved more into the offering of opinion instead of just hard news, is experiencing similar ratings erosion according to published data. News consumers are becoming increasingly savvy.

While the casually informed reader/viewer/listener may notice no difference between a bias that originates from an actual point of view vs. one that has its origins in an opportunistic business decision, the pros in the political and media professions usually know the difference.

In fact, when you continue to visit the PREDICTIONS (“HOME”) portion of this site you will find some bold projections about future actions we anticipate from certain media personalities and organizations as the 2012 election draws closer.  We see some high profile news and entertainment personalities leaving sinking ships before the election. We anticipate some shocking “conversations” of political faith that will clarify some of these questions about media motives and Machiavellian moves.  As the pros know, sometimes the practiced sincerity that appears so real on camera and the reverberating rhetoric that rolls off the printed page is no more permanent than some actor’s last line.

Keep yourself and your readers/audience/clients/friends current by checking in with the Media Pro Shop.