Suppressing the News

Editorials / Feb. 4, 2010 11:10am EST

OK, do your worst. Call us the (gasp!) Mainstream Media, or MSM for short.

MSM has, of course, become a term of derision used by partisans from far left and right to dismiss most newspapers, serious magazines, network news, cable news, and almost anybody else who has the temerity to distribute news to a wide following of readers or listeners. The MSM, you will be led to believe, is in somebody’s pocket and is dedicated to actually keeping the most important news FROM its audience.

Case in point: We of the Vermont MSM are are not making front page news of the fact that this year, there will be candidates for govenor, lieutenant governor, and at least seven state senate senate seats from a politicial party that wants Vermont to secede from the United States of America.

You’d think that this would be big news—actual SECESSIONISTS running for important offices under the flag of the Second Vermont Republic Party. But the reaction of MSM in Vermont was notably muted.

“What are you doing about the story?” we were asked by one television news director. “We’re not doing much,” The TV guy said, “but the blogosphere loves it.”

“The blogosphere loves it.” There you have it–either a ringing condemnation of the stodgy MSM in comparison to the universe of free-spirited bloggers—or else a pretty good reason to read newspapers first and to enter the blogosphere only when you have a lot of time on your hands.

* * *

Maybe you can tell which side we’re on. We think the political ambitions of the Second Vermont Party are not worth much time. Not for us as reporters, and not for our readers, who have better things to think about.

The Second Vermont Republic people are folks who apparently have never heard of the fact that the last time somebody tried to secede from the United States, there was a war that killed more Americans than have died in all its other wars since then. They seem to have never read the writings and speeches of the greatest policitician and philosopher America has ever produced, Abraham Lincoln.

Why should we, as a newspaper, pay attention to them? Why should we suggest to our readers that they spend their time wondering about them? We shouldn’t, and therefore we don’t. This is probably the last time you will hear anything in The Herald about the Second Vermont Republic, unless one of them does something REALLY newsworthy in the town square.

In the 2010 campaign, we hope to introduce our readers to the views and personalities of the serious candidates, who have serious things to say and a serious chance to get elected. But we won’t spend much if any time bringing you the fringe platforms of the wackos of the Second Vermont Republic.

We’re the MSM. So sue us!


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