04.22.2014 1

Cliven Bundy vs. Harry Reid: A ‘New Media’ production

Reid1By Tom Toth

It was a remarkable site from the days of the old west: heavily armed federal agents standing toe-to-toe opposite armed citizens over the rights of a family-owned ranch and their grazing cattle.

What’s ironic about this scene of old is that it would have never been a story in the 20th century.

In 1980, the Bundy Ranch situation would likely have been nothing more than page 11 news, given the story’s location — far-removed from any metropolitan influence or exotic glamour — and its anti-big government message. With the disdain the left controlled mainstream media holds for anyone who would dare stand up against their government leaders, it’s hard to imagine Cliven Bundy’s situation being given the light of day from the old media powerhouses.

But smart phones with high-definition video cameras superior to any news camera of the 1980s, and a free Internet that gives a voice to citizen journalists who see the Bundy Ranch situation as worthy of being reported, have irreversibly changed the news game.

Because the story gained the attention it deserved, dedicated research from new non-traditional media asking the same age-tested “who, what, when, where, and why” questions exposed the vast overreach by the Bureau of Land Management.

The story to date has seemingly resulted in a stalemate because citizen journalists thoroughly reported it and the worlds eyes were on the Bundy’s farm — although Reid continues to rave, like an old man shaking his cane at meddling kids running through his lawn, “this isn’t over.”

And given his influence, he may well be right. But what is over is a news media controlled by a powerful elite, willing to cover for their powerful, politically elite pals. Reid’s calling supporters of Bundy “domestic terrorists” would never have occurred because nobody would have ever asked him.

One need only look so far as ousted CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who’s sterling journalistic reputation wasn’t enough for CBS executives uninterested in pursuing stories that would damage their leftist allies, to see that the old media continues to refuse to evolve from a model that only worked when a select few controlled the flow of public information.

The Bundy Ranch situation flies in the face of every “sophisticated” person who believes that no modern man draws firearms and holds their ground on the basis of justice and honor. It disproves those who maintain that the best sources of information come from corporate media giants. And it shames those media giants of old who still believe that their huge budgets and ivy league journalism degrees matter one iota if they neglect to relentlessly pursue the truth for the sake of an informed American public.

Old media is dead, we killed it. It is now up to the next American generation to ensure the new press stays a free press.

Tom Toth is the social media director for Americans for Limited Government.

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