You will notice the pre-supposition in my question - the unspoken assumption that the media has in fact sunk, and that it has sunk a long way - this low.
One of the ways that the media has sunk so low, is that there is rarely any attempt to 'own' its beliefs, motivations & assumptions. Rather, these are disguised as 'truth' & backed up by 'evidence'...which, when you dig around, frequently turn out to be what a lawyer might call 'fallacious', but which I prefer to call 'a load of bollox'.
Late on Sunday evening I turned on the TV to be met with 'news' that Russia had accused Jaysh al-Islam of staging a false flag in Douma, and suggested that the British Government was complicit with it. This didn't surprise me since I, and others, have been saying the same thing since before it happened...this is what the terrorists and their western backers have done before...each time the Syrian Arab Army is about to kick their sordid arses out of an area. What appalled me, however, was that the media's response was simply to repeat the lie...along with the warning, "what you are about to see are distressing images"...
They re-showed the Douma Hospital film of a guy hosing down a group of children. Kids who, if they did show any 'distress', was caused by being man-handled into position for the camera, and having water jetted up their nostrils. The tweet below was my response...I have taken to addressing my tweets to the BBC and the Prime Minister, in the hope that a young person with a brain and a conscience might read them before they are filed under 'Russian Apologist'...
There are a couple of other elements I'd like to address before I describe why and how the media has sunk so low. These are selection and demonisation.
Those who follow this blog will know that I value the work of a number of independent journalists in Syria who question and challenge the western narrative. One of these people is a lady called Vanessa Beeley, daughter of a former British Ambassador, and for the past few years a regular reporter on the ground in Syria. You will not have seen her on MSM because she does not tow the line. Her work is dismissed with lines like 'she's controlled by Assad', and 'she only reports from government controlled areas'. The latter statement is true... for one very simple reason:
If she travelled to terrorist held areas she would be killed, probably beheaded, and God knows what else
By contrast with this, the western media swallows 'hook, line and sinker', anything that comes from the 'White Helmets'. No amount of photographs of them with guns or cheering executions will shatter the claim that they are 'humanitarians'. Similarly the BBC frequently quote the 'Syrian Observatory for Human Rights'...a bloke living in Coventry who speaks to head-choppers on the phone. My point is that sources are carefully selected for compliance, and those that don't conform are dismissed - like Vanessa Beeley. Incidentally, when challenged on why they don't go to government held areas, reporters from outlets like The Guardian usually make the excuse that they 'can't get a visa'. What was that technical expression again...oh yes...a load of bollox. They could very easily get a visa if they wanted to go...and they would not be in any danger of being 'killed, probably beheaded, and God knows what else'.
CNN, however, did send Clarissa Ward to 'rebel' held territory. This was lauded by the media, with no worries about what CNN may have had to promise in order to get her in there, and no worries about her impartiality...and seemingly with no awareness of the fact that, unless she behaved exactly as instructed, she might find herself in a spot of trouble...
You will notice that I said that Vanessa would not be a 'target' in a society that values 'truth'. Target of what? Target of our media. They can't ignore her, because their narrative is falling apart - so they discredit her work, make personal attacks and generally behave much like the journalist puppets on the iconic satire 'Spitting Image'...remember them...they were pigs.
Just one more thing before I get to 'how' we got here - it is quite amazing how utterly dense the so-called 'progressive left' have become, both here and in the US. Looking at that photo, you'd think that human rights campaigners and feminists would be right behind Vanessa, or at least question the governmental narrative...would you not!? Nope, most of them swallow the Neo-Con narrative, demonise Assad, and cheer for the 'rebels'. Let's get something straight: if the terrorists 'win', all the women in Syria will be walking around dressed like Clarissa Ward, except for the Christians and the Alawites, who will be put in cages, paraded around and then killed. Got that Lefties? You're cheering the bad guys.
OK, rant over...how did the press sink this low? Like any society or organisation, it's a matter of 'culture':
Think about that...cultures develop over time through 'what's valued around here', & how that manifests through recruitment, promotion & retention. When the guys at the top are liars & sociopaths, the capacity for truth & empathy dies...
That's how, and that's why.
Postscript: Monday 23.17 BST: For those who would like more examples of the MSM backlash, I have just come across this from Haler Jaber, via Professor Tim Hayward:
Tuesday 00.39: And here's the latest from Tim Hayward: