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Netflix Singlehandedly Sucking the Life Out of Journalism

Stocks in this article: NFLX DIS CBS TWX AMZN

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The other day I noticed that one of Netflix's (NFLX) lawyers viewed my LinkedIn profile:

For a minute, I was slightly concerned; is Netflix considering filing suit?

But then I reconsidered. What would Netflix charge?

Conspiracy to commit journalism (thanks, Jake Tapper). Would they prosecute because I predicted their stock's 2011 implosion months before it happened? Or maybe they would litigate because I said their stock would rise from the dead, hit $100, hit $200 and, alongside continued business-related skepticism, hold to my prediction of $300? (Yes, I think the stock could hit $300).

If you only pay attention to the prevailing media headlines on Netflix, you get an incredibly skewed version of reality.

It's as if media outlets such as The New York Times are state-owned and Reed Hastings controls the information.

In and of itself, the poor Netflix coverage we receive, by and large, day in and day out, is not that big of a deal. However, it does reflect a bigger picture problem: Journalism is dead. And it's not because of inflammatory headlines or the quest for pageviews. It's because journalists -- and, within the financial sphere, Wall Street analysts -- have become unconscionably lazy.

Consider David Carr's flat-out absurd piece in the online version of Sunday's NYT: TV Foresees Its Future. Netflix Is There. If there was ever an out-of-touch, poorly-researched story published by an otherwise respectable publication, this was it. To prove his shallow point that Netflix is visionary and the old guard media is not, Carr asks a leading question:

... what were the traditional television players up to?

He then locks and loads with an answer designed to prop up his thesis:

Squabbling yet again over retransmission fees, with a standoff between CBS and Time Warner Cable that could set off a blackout, driving audiences to other ways of viewing.

Carr's entire argument comes down to this: It now seems obvious that an industry ripe for disruption would eventually be transformed from the outside.

That's a popular opinion; however, it has very little basis in fact. Throughout his piece, Carr answers his own questions with responses that take him where he wants to go. That's counter to good journalism, where writers seek information that helps piece together the truth, not craft some flavor of fairy tale.

He ignores reality or, at the very least, refuses to paint a complete and accurate picture for his readers.

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