Saturday, May 13, 2017

How the mighty press has fallen

The New York Slimes


All the news that’s bullshit
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Back in the late 1980s when I started my career in mainstream media (after nearly two decades being involved in underground press,) I went back to college to brush up on my reporting skills and journalistic ethics.
My professor and old school journalist from Rochester turned off the spell-check on our classroom computers, telling us that reporters needed to know how to spell.
While I never completely got the hang of spelling, some of the ethics sank in – which is a lesson as lost to contemporary mainstream journalism as the ability to spell is with me.
Some news organizations are worse than others. National Propaganda Radio makes no pretense at being fair – which explains why President Obama gave them a medal for bushwhacking Nancy Reagan years ago.
Crap News Network is so distorted that it could easily service as one of those trick circus mirrors or a lyric for the Rolling Stones song in which cops are criminals and sinners are saints – almost everything it reports is largely the opposite of what it seems, with its news copy crafted by some low level intern from the National Democratic Party. Diogenes would have burned his lamp out long ago seeking anything honest in their broadcasts.
The Washington Puke is even worse, if only because its publishers are seeking to recover old glories they briefly found while investigating Watergate in the early 1970s. Their whole purpose in life is to search under every rock for some possible Republican scandal they can uncover the way they did in the pace, and so desperate are they, they are not above creating a conspiracy where none exists.
Many people have higher hopes for the New York Slimes, because it’s hype always painted it as “America’s newspaper” when most of us in the alternative press knew just how inaccurate a perception this is, and how opportunistic Slimes has been, much like the recently fired FBI director, who played all sides in an effort to retain a position of power, its editorial content leaning towards whatever power broker that promised to give them clout, a conservative paper in the 1960s when most of us were against the war, and now a proponent for giving President Obama sainthood while giving the GOP a much hotter place to reside in its slanted reporting. While Slimes still prints an occasional brilliant piece from time to time, you often need a magnifying glass to find it and a lot of toilet paper to deal with open prejudice behind its eloquent purples prose that quickly fades into yellow journalism.
Yellow journalism has always been with us. Even Ben Franklin has a touch of hepatitis. But these days, jaundice appears to be epidemic among mainstream media where in the past it was generally on the fringe or the invention of some ego maniac with ambitions to be so powerful he could start a war with a bottle of ink, though even then this was considered a shameful abuse of power in the eyes of his peers.
The big difference is that nearly all of mainstream media wants to become Citizen Kane, and there is nobody left to hold them accountable for their abuses.
President Donald Trump claimed media is biased and unfair.
He’s right. It is. Nearly every news outlet in the county has taken sides in what is largely political theater, creating conspiracies, spreading misinformation or innuendo with no shame or apologies. But it is not up to The President or any elected official to hold media accountable, it is up to media, and we are not doing it.
Press associations are so consumed with protecting the First Amendment they left these outrageous media outlets get away with murder, and still blame cops and others for their blue wall, when media has a wall many times thicker and more dangerous than any Trump could build along the Mexican border.
Part of the problem is the concept of The Fourth Estate, which lets loose on the world brainwashed college kids who have all the clout of elected officials but none of the safeguards, nor any checks and balances except for greedy publishers consumed with internet clicks and equally biased editors who learned to spell but learned nothing about ethics.
The high and low point of contemporary journalism came at the exact same moment in time: Watergate.
Two men along with a host of other brave and dedicated journalists stood up against one of the most oppressive and corrupt regimes in American history, and brought it to its knees, an act unparallel in contemporary journalist history – but one which came with unfortunate consequences, inflating the ego of the Fourth Estate so that we mistakenly believed we had a place on Mount Olympus along with the political gods actually elected by the people. Instead of being guardians and watchers over the public good, we came to assume that we were a political power ourselves, and so as a result of years of inflated ego, we have out of control media outlets such as CNN, The Washington Puke and the New York Slimes all seeing to repeat what honest hardworking journalists accomplished when they did their jobs the way they were supposed to in the 1970s.
Watergate also changed the rules of journalism. The reporters that investigated Nixon used relatively new tools that later – and continue to be today – became abused by reporters and editors with far fewer ethics and far less talent.
What made the Watergate investigation work were the internal rules set by a remarkable publisher and an outstanding editor of the Washington Puke at that time, which were designed to uphold ethical standards and to limit mistakes. While mistakes were made, and innocent people’s careers suffered as collateral damager, on the whole, those reporters performed admirably.
But the Washington Puke has since resorted to all the bad habits typical of yellow journalism, not seeking truth so much as a repeat of its former glory, looking for dirt first, not objectivity.
Worse can be said of Crap National Network which has set itself up as some kind of moral barometer and truth-sayer when it lacks morality or truth or even the basic ethics my old professor expected from the most novice student reporter. It is difficult to know if CNN is deluded or corrupt, but its reporting certainly implies both.
Since National Propaganda Radio has little credibility when it comes to objectivity, I am not surprised or disappointed at its continued bias. Whereas the New York Slimes like the Washington Puke, demonstrates just how far our noble profession has fallen, and since they are both arrogant and unabashed in their prejudice, I can’t see their recovery any time soon – especially because we all know power corrupts and absolute unregulated power corrupts absolutely – because there is nothing for them to be accountable to except a sales chart.




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