Asleep at the wheel? They're not even in the car.

A recent sobering post by John at Americablog has me infuriated at the may-as-well-not-exist American MSM, and brought to mind a thought that's been rattling around in my head the last few days.

Why the hell is the media not responding to all the criticism against it?

It's a basic "rule" if you are running a business, organization or group, when someone publicly criticizes you, you had best get off your ass and respond before public opinion is irreversibly turned against you. The only entity that seemed to be immune to this was the Bush administration. Thinking they could do no wrong, they have indulged in one insane scheme after another, assuming that wrapping themselves in the flag and shouting “9/11” over and over would be enough to placate the American people. However, even the seemingly bulletproof Bushies are beginning to feel the heat. (Energy dome tip to Francesca for the link.)

Half of all Americans, exactly 50%, now say the Bush administration deliberately misled Americans about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the Gallup Organization reported this morning.

"This is the highest percentage that Gallup has found on this measure since the question was first asked in late May 2003," the pollsters observed. "At that time, 31% said the administration deliberately misled Americans. This sentiment has gradually increased over time, to 39% in July 2003, 43% in January/February 2004, and 47% in October 2004."

Of course, the White House still feels no need to have to explain themselves to the likes of common Americans; serfs are not worthy of explanations or (heavens!) apologies from their leaders.

The spineless media, terrified of the Bush team, has allowed them to do this. And taking a cue from the monster they created, they are behaving in the same way.

The American Media has become a joke. The cash cow of Fox’s “news as entertainment” meme has corrupted this supposed informer and protector of the American people into a 24/7/365 infomercial. The deliberate killing, distorting, and dismissal of highly important news stories by the media in this country has done as much damage as the reckless, dangerous policies of the Bush Administration. They have helped keep Americans lazy, uninformed, ignorant, afraid, and complacent. "We're giving people what they want" and sucking up to your advertisers is not an excuse.

Time and again, bloggers and webmasters, writers and independent journalists, documentary filmmakers and independent news sources, and entire conventions have stood up, made their voices heard, and bashed the media for becoming the shameful laughingstock that it is today.

And the response from the media? Absolute silence.

It’s jaw-dropping. There is not one person out there in the media that is willing to stand up for their camp? Not one person that’s willing to refute all the charges against it?

Not one person that is willing to eat a little crow and say “Yes, we have been the tools of the Republican Extremists and Radical Right for too long. We have failed the American People, and we apologize. “

Ha! I crack myself up.

The American Media has finally arrived at the point where they cannot defend themselves, because their actions are 100% indefensible. They have been the puppets of a bully administration, and no amount of apology, wheedling, and backtracking will come close to repairing any of the damage they have done. The American Media has failed The American People. And not one person has the balls to stand up and try and explain him/herself.

I suppose I’m answering my own question, here. How in the world can they defend their “news reporting” at this point? It’s impossible.

Still, if someone came into my office and said I was doing a really shitty job, even if they had reasons to say this, I’d still get riled and try to defend myself.

Unless I’d been ignoring my work and playing Tetris online all day.

There’s really no excuse for that.

UPDATE: Some of these links are wonky. I think I've fixed them.

MORE UPDATE: Jeri pointed me to this cartoon that pretty much sums it up.

(If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some cross-posts in your hair...)

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