I was turning off the TV this morning after exercising to a video when I notice a SPECIAL REPORT flag on the screen. I paused long enough to find out that the report was about our current “ECONOMIC CRISIS” and then proceeded to hit the off button.
Why did I turn off the “talking heads”? Am I not concerned about our economic health, don’t I care about our country? Yes I’m concerned. Yes I care. No I don’t give a rats whisker about what Charlie, Diane, Katie or the rest think. I am done with the media and have been for years. I’m glad the rest of the country is starting to get their collected head out of their collected (insert your own location) and have begun to, at least admit there might be a problem.
I vividly remember September 11, 2001. I was glued to the TV. I remember March 30, 1981 when I was pregnant with my second child, watching the drama, as the attempted assignation of Pres. Reagan unfolded. I would watch, go throw up and come back and watch some more. I remember my mother watching the events of November 22, 1963 unfold. I was quite young but I remember the pall more than any specifics. Over the years I’ve watched more than my share of TV. As an only child in a neighborhood of mostly adults I spent a lot of time in front of the tube, watching old movies, sitcoms, cartoons and sports programs. Today however my TV is a conduit through which I watch movies. I NEVER turn on any news program, EVER. I get my news from the internet and radio. I like classical music so occasionally I listen to NPR, but just as long as it takes me to stop what I’m doing and change the channel.
My spouse has spent the last, about 30, years in print media and I can tell you what’s wrong with journalism today. There are three endemic problems as I see it, some of them were also covered in the book by former CBS newsman Bernie Goldberg entitled “Bias”.
- Journalism is peopled with individuals with the same kind of attitudes. They come from the same social class, they live in the same kinds of neighborhoods, they go to the same schools, are taught by the same professors, they work with the same people and they have the same view on religion (it’s bad), socialism and wealth distribution (it’s good) and the average Joe (six-pack). Not only is he stupid but he’s dangerous as well. You may find a conservative now and again but they don’t last long or they keep their heads down. There are other more lucrative ways to make a living, without swimming with the piranhas every day.
- Old hippies are in charge. In the past it used to be that to get ahead in journalism you had to start at the bottom, Copy Person for instance or Cub Reporter. No more, young skulls full of mush, taught in the majority by radical left wing professors are hired right out of college and put on the payroll as reporters. The more rabidly liberal and anti-establishment they are the faster they rise. One does not have to find out the facts before they write the story. One never has to worry about whether or not the reporters bias is screaming from the pages. One has only to manipulate the facts to the agenda and off we go. Real journalism has died from lack of use and tabloid journalism has emerged as the new model. Reporters go with their “feelings”, not the facts. They report on the impact they think something will have on the community, not on what actually happens. Since they have no guiding moral compass they see no danger to those things which tear down and destroy the fabric of civilization and see history as only the articles of yesterday and consign them to the recycle bins just as they do yesterdays papers.
- Bean counters rule all. It isn’t quality that runs newspapers, it’s isn’t journalistic ethics (an oxy moron if ever there was one) that dive the news, it’s the bottom line. Newspapers are bleeding red ink. Why one might ask? Well let’s see, more people are getting their news free on line, they are tired of the outright bias they see daily in papers. Papers have continually tried to cover more and more news with less and less people. So the coverage of local events in your community, if covered at all are on page C 4 at the bottom, in one inch blurbs. Advertisers are going directly to the people using direct mail and emails. Newspapers have stopped being community centered (no more sponsorships of community events) and become simply cash cows to provide income to stock portfolios of investors. True they aren’t doing very well any more but one of the papers in our area, up until the last five years was making a 30% profit for their company. Gee I’d like to have a 30% profit in my budget.
There is so much more that can be said about this issue but not here and not by me. All I can say is that the Foundering Fathers of this country felt impressed to include a “free press” in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Would that the members of all media live up to their Sacred Honor and this most important component of Democracy. Oh right, very few even know what Sacred Honor is (see previous post).
Sorry I forgot. My bad.