Tim Skubick: Who believes the media is too critical of America? - KMSP-TV

Tim Skubick: Who believes the media is too critical of America?

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -- The phrase "don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up," applies to what you are about to read.

About four out of ten Americans believe the media is "too critical of America."

And most of those are Republicans.

Now there's a real shocker.

Not only is the country sliced up in blue and red political colors, but the view of the media is, too.  And there is nothing the media can say or do to get those folks to change their opinion.

The Pew Research Center runs these numbers back to the year 1985 when 30% thought the media uttered too many nasty things about the country and in 2009 the number clocked in at 44%.

In 1985, 34% of the R's, 25% of the D's and 32% of the Independents didn't like all the negative coverage and fast forward to 2009, it's a whopping 60% of the Republicans, 33% of the Democrats (the same as 14 years ago) and 41% of the Independents.

Here's the harsh reality from this side of the screen.  The media is not an automatic cheerleader for the country and in fact every time it has gone there, it has failed to fulfill its watch-dog function.

Best recent example was the post-9-11 hysteria when America needed to pull together and the news media joined right in with the flag waving.  So when Washington talked about bending the line on spying on citizens, most everyone agreed.  When the Bush White House dragged the nation into war to even the score you found little dissent in the media.  Think weapons of mass destruction.

There's no way to prove it, but betya some news outlets privately didn't agree but were afraid to say so publicly. No one wanted to be labeled anti-American. That could have resulted in a lost in readership, viewers, and listeners.  Principle vs. profit and profit won.  Think dereliction of duty.

The notion that the media should be more complimentary comes in part from the politicians who love good news, cause it makes them look good and they are loathed to read bad news for the opposite reason.

And a good chunk of the general public, as reflected by the polling, prefer positive stuff and think the media should join in the happy talk.  If the world was perfect that would work.

The good news is that at least 56% of the citizenry is not complaining about the press being too critical.

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