Journalism and Politics

Written by The Annoyed Man on . Posted in Politics/Law

I believe that the "honest reporter" still exists out there in the American hinterland.... "flyover country".... but too many of them lose sight of what it means to "report" (or they never had it to begin with) when they get to Washington DC. At some point, "getting access", which is necessary to their profession, becomes "getting cozy".

The problem begins in the nation's more prestigious journalism schools. Thousands of young people, looking for an easier way to "change the world" than running for office or joining the military or Peace Corps, go to journalism school or law school with the idea that they can turn their post-graduation positions into advocacy platforms. But TRUE journalists should ask only the "who, why, what, and when" questions, and then report factually and without bias on the responses to those questions—leaving the "nuance" (which is a newspeak word for "spin") to their readership. Fundamentally, like any party apparatchik, they do not trust their readership to be smart enough to take the bare bones facts as reported, and then to form their own opinions about what those facts mean. They have come to believe that they must tell their readers the MEANING of those facts.......and that is when they enter into the realm of editorial commentary; and THAT is NOT journalism. THAT is not reportage. THAT is advocacy.

Journalism schools have aided and abetted this advocacy. They turn out new generations of advocates by refusing to pound home the idea that advocacy is journalistic malpractice. Instead, they replicate their own biases, over and over in each new class of students, thereby ensuring a continuous dominance and control over the message drummed into the public's head. This is further compounded by the natural human instinct to point out where everyone else's poo stinks, while conveniently neglecting to look inward and take a sniff of one's own intellectual diapers.

Very few elected people go to DC to "serve". They go to "rule". They..... including the republicans and their tired mantra of small government ("tired", because they manifestly do not believe in it).... have forgotten the proper relationship between government and the governed, as outlined in our Constitution of the United States. That document defines a truly limited government. However, the human thirst for power is endless. I have my own perceptions as to why that is— having to do with a belief by people in either government as god, or their refusal to believe in and trust God's sovereignty (note the small "g" and capital "G")—but whatever the cause, the net result is that people thirst for power.... and once they have it, they will do almost anything to hold onto it, including violating the principles and promises they swore to uphold, defend, and protect, in order to get elected.

Consequently, those in power will not trust their "reputations" (read that as "hagiographies") to people whom they do not trust to spray more rosewater onto their auras. They tend to deny interviews to those they know will challenge them, and they cozy up to those hagiographers whom they know will further their reputational goals. Consequently, there are more of the latter type than the former type.

In the end, what we, the news consumers get is one of two products, NEITHER of which is true reportage:

  1. The confrontational interview in which the reporter is an advocate for the policies opposed by the object of the interview (absolutely the case in the Ramos interview);

  2. The cozy interview in which the reporter is an advocate for the object of the interview and his/her policies.

Since any honest broker will confess (as many in the liberal media have done themselves) that the news media are overwhelmingly populated by people whose personal politics are left of center, and since the national media have pretty much abandoned any sense of objectivity, it is a given that reportage about liberal politicians/policies will be vastly more positive than reportage about conservative politicians/policies. And NEITHER of them will devote many words at all—positive OR negative—to libertarian politicians/policies.

But out here in the hinterlands of flyover country, the vast majority of Americans already realize that political reporting (by virtually anybody) isn't worth a cup of warm spit. We know that we're not being given reporting; we're being given  opinions, and then we are expected the swallow those opinions and shut the hell up. That runs SO counter to the fundamental character of American culture that most of this "reportage" coming out of DC is being resigned to the dustbin of irrelevancy by its consumers. The words of these preening peacocks on the staffs of the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Sun Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Herald, Boston Globe, CNN, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, and yes, even FOXNEWS, mean almost nothing to the life of Joe Sixpack as he wipes the motor-oil off his hands and tries to figure out how he's going to make the tax bill for his small auto-repair business. He's too damned busy to "have an opinion", and all he knows is that politicians from time immemorial have been screwing him out of his income, making it HARDER for him to hire help, and that both Jorge Ramos (powerful leftist "journalist") AND John Boehner (powerful "conservative" congressman) are proposing legislation that will flood the job market with cheap labor and cost him more in taxes. Just try to imagine how little regard Joe Sixpack gives for either of those parasites.

Fire all Washington DC journalists. All of them. Fire any journalist whose reportage crosses over into advocacy. Fire all federal politicians and start over....most especially those who cannot even be true to their campaign rhetoric. Fire 'em all.

The rest of us are too busy. We ignore their crapulence because we have real jobs, real families, and real lives to deal with, and those things are too important to be trusted to the preening, strutting, chicken manure strewn floors of either the nation's capitol, or the floors of the capitol's newsrooms.

This cannot remain upright forever. it will collapse some day because the foundation it is built on—which has strayed so far from the rock of the Constitution—is made of sticks and bubblegum. I hope to see that happen before I die.


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