There has been a steady decline in objectively in the mainstream media for some time, but that decline has become remarkably steeper in recent years, particularly among cable TV news networks.
The current state of the media landscape just compelled a now-former MSNBC producer to publicly announce her resignation from the network in disgust over the “cancer” she claims is destroying the field of journalism as a whole, Fox News reported.
That unexpected announcement and takedown of the media came by way of Ariana Pekary, who described herself as an “integral member” of the production team on MSNBC’s primetime program The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” a job she’s held for several years.
Furthermore, while her public resignation served as a direct indictment of MSNBC, Pekary made it abundantly clear that her critique was applicable to all cable TV news networks, and, to an extent, the broadcast networks and even print outlets.
In a post to her personal website titled “Personal news: Why I’m now leaving MSNBC,” Pekary wrote, “July 24th was my last day at MSNBC. I don’t know what I’m going to do next exactly but I simply couldn’t stay there anymore.”
Praising her colleagues as “very smart people with good intentions,” she noted, “The problem is the job itself. It forces skilled journalists to make bad decisions on a daily basis.”
She harkened back to the early days of her journalistic career in radio where the way in which a story or topic might “rate” with listeners wasn’t a huge factor in whether it aired. She also decried the fact that at MSNBC, concern over ratings was “practically baked in to the editorial process — and those decisions affect news content every day.”
“Likewise, it’s taboo to discuss how the ratings scheme distorts content, or it’s simply taken for granted, because everyone in the commercial broadcast news industry is doing the exact same thing,” she added. “But behind closed doors, industry leaders will admit the damage that’s being done.”
“We are a cancer”
Pekary shared a quote from an unnamed “successful and insightful TV veteran” who once told her, “We are a cancer and there is no cure,” and added, “But if you could find a cure, it would change the world.”
The producer continued on with that “cancer” theme throughout the remainder of her piece and noted that it “stokes national division,” and “blocks diversity of thought and content because the networks have incentive to amplify fringe voices and events, at the expense of others … all because it pumps up the ratings.”
She noted that media outlets spend far too much time obsessing over President Donald Trump’s every word and deed, and she described the manner in which journalists dumb down every topic presented to viewers and stated that while there are occasionally exceptions to that general rule, they are few and far between.
Pekary concluded by noting that in order to effectuate actual change, the issues she raised must actually be confronted. This public resignation served as a first step in that direction, at least for her and anyone who shares her outlook, and though her career is now marked by uncertainty, she was nonetheless prepared to move forward with the courage and objectivity that is sorely lacking these days.