Friday, May 12, 2017

Report from the front:how the press fails us

The New York Slimes

All the news that bullshit

Right wing media is filled with paranoia over how slanted the so-called mainstream media has become – possibly because with outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN slanted their news coverage, Fox can no longer take credit as the “bad boys” of Journalism, and by comparison, Fox even looks and sounds reasonable. This is a remarkable accomplishment that should be mainstream media some comfort since they have ranted and raved for years about how slanted Fox was.
Perhaps we ought to award the mainstream media a Pulitzer Prize for this, except in accomplishing this feat, mainstream media has completed gutted journalistic integrity and violated every possible principle of journalistic ethics.
News reporters working for these organizations should go back to college and get their money back. They obviously learned nothing while at school, except out to use a thesaurus to help manipulate the general public into believing a skewed point of view. Any weekend edition of The New York Times becomes a lesson in how not to be an objective journalist.
You can’t blame NPR or any of its affiliates since they never pretended to be objective, and has also been something of a minor league of news where second rate reporters go to earn a living or washed up mainstream reporters go to die. NPR has been so unobjective over the years, some of its reporters even earned citizenship medals from President Obama for slanting their news to the left – such as the medal awarded to the host of Fresh Air, whose claim to fame was bushwhacking Mrs. Reagan in the 1980s.
NPR hasn’t improved; mainstream media, envious of NPR’s ability to slant stories, has moved to the left as well, largely becoming the propaganda arm for the Democratic Party.
Why is this happening, you might ask?
There are a number of theories, among which is that media has become full of itself, believing its role is not to merely report the news (well or not) but to influence public opinion, elevating itself as the Fourth Estate to a role that historically required an election and oversight, and a balance of power among those who govern.
Media has no oversight. It operates on its own rules. Attack it, and it bands together like a pack of rats, much the way the American Medical Association does anytime anyone criticizes a bad doctor or the way members of a mob family might when one of its own is threatened.
Editors no longer demand objectivity. In fact, they seemed determine to interject personal opinion into news pages, making frequent use of yellow prose that will not-so-subtly force readers to accept as truth their opinions. Any accurate study of a Sunday Times will show this abuse as the purple prose proliferates every section from real estate to entertainment in a non-stop attack on the current administration. Since The New York Times is considered the bible of journalism by many, far lesser news organizations such as CNN and The Washington Post become poster children of outrageous violations of journalistic ethics – partly as a Harpers Magazine article recently noted – the reporters and editors see themselves on social par with the people they are covering – a ludicrous idea at best, and a dangerous one at worst.
Corrupt reporters have always been a fact of life, reporters that are on the take from one party or even the mob (as made clear in the movie The Godfather), but in the past, there were internal checks and balances, responsible editors and publishers, some who still remembered the ethical boundaries that keep the news industry honest.
This is the big change – partly due to the sometimes brilliant and yet clearly flawed reporting that brought down President Nixon in the aftermath of Watergate.
Now, every news agency thinks it has the power to bring down a government it does not like – and so leaps into each edition with both feet.
Even that would not be horrible if it was done innocently and fairly, attacking all leaders regardless of party affiliation.
Some right wing radio hosts believe the real cause of this shift to the left comes from how news organization recruits journalists. New journalists do not learn their craft in the newsroom so much as in a class room, and so some people feel, they get indoctrinated by a largely left corps of left wing professors long before they actually put pen to paper (a lost concept) in a news room.
There may be some truth to this since we see a similar left wing propaganda infecting other graduates such as the proliferation of those with Masters of Fine Arts that parade the world without any real vision of reality and no sense of social purpose other than the one injected into their naïve heads while in the classroom.
But empty-headed artists are far less dangerous than a similar breed of journalist who comes into the newsroom with preconceived notions and no notion of objectivity. This would not be as serious even were the newsrooms occupied with a better breed of editor, whose world experience might temper these misguided newbies. The problem is that editors are of the same ethic-illiterate breed, and publishers – seeking to supply fodder for a particular audience – allow news to be distorted to fit the preconceived opinions of their target audience.
So we get an invasion of gonzo journalists, combined with unethical editors and unscrupulous publishers in a perfect storm of bad journalism – paving the way for a kind of propaganda even Stalin might have envied, unchecked by any other real power, attacking anybody who dares call their journalism unfair.
On top of all this is the idea that media organizations believe it is their duty to take political positions – outside the editorial pages – blurring the line between fact and opinion in an effort to steer the public in a particular direction – checked by nobody, not even journalism organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists who should be but won’t criticize their own or hold them accountable for the gross misconduct that we now see as main stream media news.
And God help anyone who is not a journalist who dares to tell these news dilatants that they are wrong.
Never mess with anybody who buys ink by the barrel.

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