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Wednesday, July 07, 2010

"The Insider" Insights

This weekend, we watched the movie "The Insider" for the first time and yes, it was an amazing movie.  The dramatic depiction of what took place with big tobacco and the subsequent media onslaught was both delightful to watch as well as horrific.  And it certainly explains the demise of CBS news and the downfall of 60 Minutes as a credible news source.

Unfortunately, it has become the norm rather than the exception.

During tough economic times, the mainstream media finds itself struggling right along with the rest of corporate America for revenue.  Ever dollar counts and advertisers know this.  Advertising agencies that have vested interests in what would otherwise be newsworthy have an edge in this process and it makes it difficult and creates conflict for reporters and news directors. 

The loser, in the end, is the general public. 

The movie sparked all kinds of dialog in my home, including staying up until 3am talking with the kids about the 10th Amendment, the founding fathers' ideas about a truly free press, freedom of religious expression and how far we've come in the last couple hundred years.

We talked about how advertising agencies are, in many cases, creating their own "news" departments and feeding material to the general public and making it appear as though it is legitimate news.  My son was shocked and amazed, but his eyes were opened a little more. 

Bloggers have taken up much of the slack to be sure, but admittedly, it's often hard discern what is news and what is opinion.  Visitors to this site know without a doubt that they are going to get a bit of both.  When I provide news, I provide attribution and of course, there's always my color commentary.

If you haven't seen it yet, go rent or buy the DVD.  It's worth it.