A View From the Cheap Seats

January 22, 2010

Big, Front Page News

Filed under: Media — trzupek @ 10:28 pm


By Rich Trzupek

I’m going to hold off on my traditional year-end wrap up column for a week or two because I’ve got some other news that just won’t wait. Besides, having just lived through glorious year 1 O.E. (Obama Era) what could I possibly poke fun at?

As many of you know, I have long been a critic of the way the mainstream media covers science in general and environmental topics in particular. The laziness and almost criminal stupidity of some journalists when technical topics are at issue disgusts me and many of my fellow scientists.

Climategate was the straw that broke this particular Polish camel’s back. After personally reviewing the leaked e-mails and data files from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, I was disgusted by the slipshod coverage of the scandal in the mainstream media, as outlet after outlet tried desperately to sweep the issue under the rug. But for the internet and Fox, it is very likely that the vast majority of Americans would still be in the dark.

Enough is enough. The parable of the talents is one of my favorites and, in my case, I happen to be a scientist who was blessed with the gift of being able to express myself with the written word. And so, over the Christmas break, I decided to go national.

You will now find my clever opinions (or right wing rants, if you are so inclined) at Front Page Magazine (www.frontpagemag.com) and at Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism site (www.bigjournalism.com). I hereby invite you to drop by and say hello every once in a while.

Front Page is David Horowitz’s site. Horowitz was, as you may know, a 60’s era radical who was once close with Tom Hayden and other famous far lefties. Like many of us, he abandoned the seducing, dangerous promises of a liberal utopia, once he put a little age and experience under his belt. Today, Horowitz is one the foremost libertarian thinkers in America, an unapologetic advocate for free markets and liberty.

Breitbart’s most famous coup was exposing the corruption within ACORN, the organization that played such a large part in getting Barack Obama elected president. His websites, including Big Government and Big Hollywood, are among the most popular for conservative and libertarian readers. Big Journalism is the latest Breitbart project and, based on his track record, we fully expect it to be the latest sensation among the “Big” sites. It’s going to be fun to be a part of it.

Now I know what those readers who despise the Cheap Seats (but for some unfathomable reason continue to read it) are thinking: does this mean that I won’t have to put up with Trzupek’s crazy opinions in The Examiner any longer? Sorry to disappoint. I am far too fond of The Examiner and the people who work there to willingly sever my relationship with this charming publication. The Cheap Seats will live on.

I like to think that, in this larger role, I am part of a revolution in journalism that has been brewing for quite a while and that is long overdue. Of the traditional media outlets, only Fox – in my view – has the integrity to consistently cover all sides of an issue. The fact that Fox consistently trounces its competition at CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC and CBS demonstrates that more and more people are hungry for a different kind of media.

The internet is playing a bigger and bigger role in this revolution too, on every side of the political spectrum. Sites like the Huffington Post on the left, and the Drudge Report on the right, frequently break stories long before anyone in the mainstream media gets their hands on them. The game is changing and the rules are changing.

Old guard journalists turn up their noses at internet outlets, claiming that the new breed often gets the story wrong in their efforts to break a story quickly. To that, most internet purveyors of information reply: so what? We put the information out there and, once we do, we can get the facts nailed down through our readers faster than you ever can.

The old guard is fading away. The only reason that the New York Times is still in business is that Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú floated the paper a $250 million loan a year ago. Big, bloated media outlets everywhere are scrambling to plug holes in their sinking ships.

I maintain that this particular version of change is a good thing indeed. And, more to the point, it’s going to be a lot of fun being part of a revolution that America desperately needs.


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