When my most trusted source for news is a jagoff nightclub comedian, the mainstream news media has a problem
By Kent R. Kroeger (April 23. 2018)
CNN is engaged in a smear campaign against YouTube podcaster Jimmy Dore, host of the self-titled The Jimmy Dore Show.
The question is, why?
The Jimmy Dore Show on YouTube has 350,000 subscribers. Without access to the audience metrics, I’m guessing Dore pulls in 40 thousand viewers a day.
Not a huge audience by cable network TV standards, but nothing to sniff at either. Particularly if you are CNN whose prime time shows attract around 900,000 viewers in a typical prime time hour and regularly finish third behind MSNBC and Fox News. When you finish third in a three person race, that means you finished last.
By comparison, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow attracts the biggest cable news audience at around two and a half million viewers every night.
To be accurate, most of these YouTube podcasts engage in news analysis and media criticism, not original news reporting. Dore stands out from other podcasts, however, due to his sharp comedic timing and effective use of long pauses. Unlike most other podcast hosts, Dore doesn’t ramble and keeps the conversational fillers like ‘uh’ and ‘um’ to a minimum. His thoughts are concise and often prosaic. And when he goes into a passionate rant, and he does like to rant, he modulates his voice and mixes volume levels in ways necessary to keep an audience’s attention. Dore is a professional entertainer which is what makes his podocasts the most watchable in his genre.
So what did Jimmy Dore do to deserve CNN’s wrath?
Here are the first and last paragraphs in an April 19th CNN.com story titled Exclusive: YouTube ran ads from hundreds of brands on extremist channels and authored by Paul P. Murphy, Kaya Yurieff and Gianluca Mezzofiore:
Ads from over 300 companies and organizations — including tech giants, major retailers, newspapers and government agencies — ran on YouTube channels promoting white nationalists, Nazis, pedophilia, conspiracy theories and North Korean propaganda, a CNN investigation has found.
(further down in the story)
Ads also appeard on The Jimmy Dore Show channel, a far-left YouTube channel that peddles conspiracy theories, such as the idea that Syrian chemical weapons attacks are hoaxes.
Nice touch CNN, throwing in a little false-equivalency at the end there to co-mingle Jimmy Dore’s name with Nazis, pedophiliacs, and Kim Jong Un.
I hope Mr. Dore has a lawyer. He may want to take a closer look at this baseless smear job.
Furthermore, isn’t it a little self-serving for CNN to publish an attack meant to undercut YouTube, a real and growing threat to CNN’s financial bottom line. If Sean Hannity is supposed to inform his audience of his conflicts of interest, shouldn’t CNN be required to do the same?
Dore, himself, was quick to reply to CNN’s attack…
“CNN is not there to inform you, they are there to make money,” Jimmy Dore told his audience the day after the CNN story was published.
He went on…
“Apparently, no one at CNN has ever read (Noam) Chomsky because if they did they couldn’t look themselves in the mirror…they’d know what they’re doing is being a cog in an evil wheel of disinformation about war,” said Dore. “What Chomsky taught us is that they (corporate media) don’t want you to think other people think like you, so your opinion is never reflected back in the media.”
While politically progressive podcasts like Dore’s are growing in number and audience, even Dore’s competitors had to agree CNN’s story bordered on being…well… ‘fake news.’ At a minimum, what the story said about Dore’s show was patently false.
“People think I have an issue with Jimmy Dore…and I do,” The Majority Report’s Sam Seder told his audience regarding the CNN story. “But this is a sad attempt to create some kind of false-equivalency. This is just a cheap shot taken by CNN to discredit the Left, broadly speaking.”
According to Dore, “Even people who hate my guts don’t call me far-left. You know why? Because I advocate for things that are popular with the majority of the country: Medicare-for-All, free college, ending the wars, bans on fracking, taxing Wall Street, breaking up the big banks, a jobs program.”
“But CNN, because they need to smear me, so they can get me de-advertised, because they don’t have anybody under 68 watching their goddamn bullshit news shows,” continued Dore.
Dore is not against swearing during his podcasts and the part of the CNN story that truly rankled him was its suggestion that Dore’s skepticism about the culpability behind the Douma, Syria chemical attacks amounted to peddling ‘conspiracy theories.’
Dore shared with his audience a dialogue between Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Wolf Blitzer on CNN the day after the US. and allies bombed Syrian targets in response to the Douma attacks:
Rand Paul: What evidence is there that the Russians are complicit in this attack. In fact, for that matter, I still look at the attack and say, Assad must either be the dumbest dictator on the planet or maybe he didn’t do it. I have yet to see evidence that he did do it. The intelligence agencies claim they have that evidence. But think about it, does it make any sense since he’s been winning the war for the last couple of years, the only thing that would galvanize the world to attack Assad directly is a chemical attack. It killed relatively few people compared to what can be killed with traditional bombs. And so you wonder what logic would there be for Assad to be using chemical weapons. So, before we get to the Russians, we must first determine that Syria was implicated
Wolf Blitzer: As you know, its not just the U.S., but France and U.K. participated in the bombing of these chemical sites in Syria. Are you saying, Senator, that the president had bad intelligence?
Rand Paul: I don’t know. I haven’t seen the intelligence…The difficulty is these things are not a slam-dunk. This was back in 2013, President Obama looked at that chemical attack and that point in time the generals were saying this is not a slam-dunk. You can detect there were Syrian planes. That the Syrians dropped bombs. But sometimes it is difficult to know if they bombed an existing depot of weapons, and the rebels have been known to use chemical weapons, or whether the Syrians did it.
“They (CNN) call me an extremist and a conspiracy-theorist for saying exactly what they just let Rand Paul say on their station,” said Dore. “Do they call Rand Paul a conspiracy-theorist? No, because he doesn’t have a YouTube channel that competes with them. Guess who does? I do. Guess who takes millions of viewers away from CNN? My show does every month.”
Dore also references other journalists and military experts that have raised questions about the Douma chemical attack, including Robert Fisk, a freelance journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, and Lord West, a former U.K. Chief of Naval Staff and Chief of Defense Intelligence. Lord West, in particular, cannot be called an Assad apologist or Russian stooge.
In fairness, intelligence officials from the U.S., U.K., and France disagree with Robert Fisk and Lord West regrading the Douma attack. But for CNN or any mainstream news outlet to label Dore and other skeptics about the nature and cause of the Douma attack as conspiracy-theorists is inaccurate and reckless. Moreover, by doing so, CNN effectively delegitimizes their point-of-view and narrows the range of acceptable debate.
On the question of America’s proper role in Syria, we are talking about the potential prelude to a major war. Now is not the time to narrow the debate.
Labels like ‘conspiracy-peddler’ ‘Russian stooge,’ or ‘Assad apologist’ are readily broadcast by the mainstream media these days for anyone that doesn’t get in line with settled opinions: Donald Trump colluded with the Russians. Assad used chemical weapons in Douma. Global warming is an existential threat. In order to rollback Iran’s influence, the U.S. is justified in materially supporting Saudi Arabia’s deadly military intervention in Yemen.
All may be true. Or not.
But don’t assume what you read and hear in the mainstream media offers the right answers. They care more about selling eyeballs than facts. And, subsequently, they get the facts wrong far too often.
Former New York Times journalist Judith Miller’s inaccurate reporting on Iraq WMDs prior to the U.S. invading Iraq remains a textbook case on how wrong even the elite media outlets can be on topics as important as how the U.S. justifies going to war. A couple of years ago The Washington Post offered a nice re-telling of Miller’s lousy reporting during the run-up to the 2003 Iraq War. Read it and you won’t take for granted anything you read or hear in the mainstream media ever again.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald describes the mainstream news media as ‘glorified stenographers’ for the government. The past year’s news reporting on the Trump-Russia collusion story only reinforces that opinion.
The mainstream media peddles corporate-approved narratives. Sometimes those narratives are well-aligned with reality, and sometimes not. The problem is, they won’t tell you when its not.
So, CNN (and the rest of the mainstream media) can keep pushing out the Russian election meddling and Stormy Daniels stories and I’ll continue to watch The Jimmy Dore Show, Tim Black, The David Pakman Show, The Young Turks, The Humanist Report, The Majority Report with Sam Seder, Democracy Now!, The Sane Progressive, and many, many more. And, hell, I won’t lie. In doses, I find InfoWars’ Alex Jones entertaining too.
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