Comedian Jimmy Dore explains why today’s mainstream media is so bad

Jimmy Dore

The Jimmy Dore Show has almost 870.000 YouTube subscribers. Phoenix Media Co-op asked its host, Jimmy Dore, what made his political comedy so successful. And he said, in large part, that’s down to the terrible state of today’s mainstream media.

‘Deregulation breeds bad media’

Dore insisted that his show became popular because:

it turned out that it was way easier to do better reporting on news events than the corporate news.

He attributed this to media deregulation, stressing the role in the US of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. As he explained:

In 1996, [then-president] Bill Clinton helped usher through the Telecommunications Act, which deregulated our media in the United States. We used to have 50 giant media companies. And now we only have about five or six – depending on how you count. And so everybody works for basically the same company, and it’s only a handful of people who control the flow of information.

He added:

And so the news now is seen for the propaganda that it is. Before, they used to hide it better; it used to get more truth through. And now, it’s almost never. So I think that’s what’s led to the popularity of my show… basically, it’s just what a shit job the corporate news does.

A dangerous mix of big money and few jobs

Dore then spoke about money and jobs in journalism, saying:

I’m an outsider. … The reason why I’m able to come into this news space and do way better ‘journalism’ than 99% of the journalists in the United States is because I’m not beholden to anybody. I’m not looking for a job inside the field.

And talking about how many mainstream outlets include little nuance and independence in their coverage of certain events, he blamed the influence of money:

It’s because they’re bought to not tell you the truth. You read Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky – and… he wrote that book right before there was this amazing media consolidation. So what he said then is even more true now today.

In their 1988 book, Chomsky and Edward Herman said there were certain ‘filters‘ that shape the content of mainstream media outlets. One key point here was that anyone straying away too much from the political consensus would face serious consequences. And that’s why there’s a “spectrum of permissible debate” in establishment media. The other filters shaping content are advertising, ownership, the power and influence of establishment forces, and the concept of ‘the enemy’. In this environment, it’s tough for journalists to maintain true integrity and independence. As Dore added:

All the journalists… they all are looking over their shoulder like ‘Where am I gonna get my next job?’ because there are not that many jobs in journalism anymore, which is why journalism sucks.

Because he succeeded in the comedy world before focusing more on politics, Dore said he’s not as worried about the impact of speaking out. As he clarified:

I have had corporations offer to give me a television show, and I said no.

Main article image via Wikimedia

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