Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Media: Why do they assert principles for themselves, that they question when others assert?

The media likes to banter around the notion of "rights to access" and "speaking on behalf of the public" to justify government responses to various media inquiries.

It is particularly noteworthy when the media actually files lawsuits to compel the government to act on the grounds that "the public needs to have input" to the government.

Brilliant. I'm all for getting government to do the right thing.

Yet, isn't it interesting that "if the public actually takes the media to task" on a similar issue/principle, suddenly the media plays stupid.

Demanding, "Why would anyone be interested in that"; or "what proof do you have that that happened".

Strange, the same "standard of evidence" available to the media to bring suit in court against the government suddenly "isn't good enough" for the media.

What's more amazing is when the media banters around principles "on behalf of the public" but then refuses to act to assert those same principles when a similar issue arises.

Worse, is when the media at the drop of a hat files a lawsuit, but then refuses to look into issues that are related to the same principles. It is the original problem of an "unresponsive government" that drives people to contact non-government institutions. It is truly amazing how the "other institutions" suffer from the same flaws in government: Unresponsiveness; stupidity; principles that are asserted but not actually practiced; operating in the name of "the people" in order to assert institutional power, but then berating "the people" when it comes time to create excuses to do nothing.

More troubling is when the "vast number of complaints" becomes the excuse for the media to do nothing. The is the same problem plaguing government: They refuse to act when the problem is 'small,'; and then when the problem continues, suddenly it becomes "too big to do anything about." Strange, the default decision is "do nothing." And we pay how much in taxes to get ineffective non-responses?

The idea behind paying taxes is so that when there is a problem, "those we pay taxes to" are there, not use the a new excuse to do nothing. If they are "doing nothing" why are they there, and why are we paying taxes?

Public institutions enjoy public confidence so long as they can advance constructive agendas. To the end that they act "in the name of the public" to advance agendas is fine, so long as they consistently, and actually act in the name of the public, not simply use "that banner of the week" to advance their own agendas while doing nothing to advance the agendas of "those whom they allegedly work on behalf."

Questions for the media to explain

  • Why does the media say it acts to advance the public's interest, but then treats the public like it is foolish?

  • Why does the media stonewall public inputs, ideas, comments on matters that the media has in-house asserted to be vital principles that the media needs to pursue on behalf of the public?

  • Why does the media dismiss and ridicule public inputs related to matters and principles the media has publicly asserted in court are vital interests that the media must advance on behalf of the public?

  • When media sues institutions "on behalf of the public", what consequences should those media outlets be subjected to by the public for refusing to act on other information, anecdotes and stores related to similar issues?

  • If the media sues public institutions over "the public's right to know," and "the public's right to provide inputs," what options exist to put pressure on the public's "right to know why the media is selectively advancing principles that are really in the media's interests, but then rebuffing information when the public advances these same principles?

  • How small of an issue is "too small"; and then "why must that issue become so large" that the media then says, "We can't do anything"?

  • Why does the media demand the public provide justification why an issue command public attention, even on issues where the media has stated in court filings that the issues are self-evidently in the public's interest to command media attention?

  • Why are media outlets rewarded for acting in the same manner as government?

  • If the media has stated in court filings that the principles are self-evidently public-interest items, why isn't the public allowed to similarly wave this court filing in the media's collective face and say, "You're being hypocritical" to the extent that such public disclosures command media response and discipline?

  • If the media believes that court filings against government institutions are sufficient basis to bring discipline to the system, why is there no similar system of checks and balances on similar media outlets to compel discipline to the same standards that media imposes on government?

  • Why is the public compelled to bring forward information, evidence, justification, and rational for "why issues are important," when the media has already asserted in court filings in similar matters that the "public interest" compels an action?

  • Are we to believe that the media only apply the "principles asserted in court filings" to apply to all but themselves?

  • Why does the media assert to advertisers that "we advance the public good," only to turn around onto the reader-eye-balls [who read advertisements] that the public must do the work of the media, and explain why the principle the media has asserted in court also applies in this similar situation?

  • Why is the media's customer compelled to do the background work for the media in order for the media to "work for the public"?

  • Why does the media assert for their own causes "the interests of the public," but then turn the issue back on the public and say, "We are not interested"?

  • Why does the media assert principles for themselves, but then demand the public do their investigative work for them?

  • If these principles are so compelling to warrant the media to expend funds on attorneys to file written complaints and motions, why does the media then complain to the customer-public that "they do not have the resources" to investigate a matter?