When people are sold a bill of goods over and over/ad nauseum , there are a certain amount of people that are going to buy into it after awhile.
"I keep hearing this, it must be true", may be a passing thought of many people, these days. The soccer mom, the little league dad, the busy career person that must absorb themselves into their jobs (in order to remain employed), and other people that have very little time to properly analyze news, all are vulnerable targets of the very subtle (and in some cases, not so subtle) manipulations of the mainstream news media.
But as Tom points out:
...nobody is blaming the media for the situation on the ground, only for largely failing to present a balanced picture of what's taking place in Iraq. There is also an implication, however, that by providing so much of a one-sided, negative picture of the war the media is buoying the hopes and spirits of the insurgents and making things harder on our troops, as well as depressing public opinion back here at home.
This is precisely why Fox News is killing both CNN and MSNBC, in the ratings. They (Fox)are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and are certainly worthy of criticism, from time to time. But on the whole, they have been much closer to what a news organization should be.
The lack of balance has not only been a catalyst in the rise of FNC, but the blogosphere, as well. When bloggers began harping on the pre-election fraud committed by both Dan Rather and CBS (the Guard paper forgeries), they established themselves as a force to be reckoned with.