VOLUME 30: The Mother of All Social Problems: A Corrupt 4th Estate
THE NEWS MEDIA
America in 2015 faces enormous social problems. Throughout our history, America has always faced enormous social problems. Today’s problems are not any more challenging than those we faced in days gone by. There has never been a time where America experienced a period of unimpeded bliss. Every decade in each generation presented its own challenges to our constitutional guarantees.
THE CHALLENGE OF THIS GENERATION
We live in a period of pervasive institutional corruption. Corruption seems present in every direction we look. This too, is not new. Corruption is what leads to reformation movements. America has had plenty of those. In fact, the great strength of the United States of America, is our ability to renew ourselves and our commitment to the principles of our founding. Nevertheless, what is unique about the corruption we see today is how that corruption has now affected the news media. Media corruption is not new or unique to this generation, but the pervasiveness of that corruption is new.
HOW HAS THE MEDIA BEEN CORRUPTED
In a word, the media has been politicized. Journalists are human and as such are subject to the flaws and frailties everyone experiences. Journalists, reporters, and editorial boards of newspapers have always had their biases. In the past, it was taboo for that bias to bleed into what was supposed to be straight and unbiased news reporting. It still happened, though. Walter Duranty of the New York Times is probably the best example of how journalists can compromise their own credibility when influenced by political leaders they favor. Duranty was the Moscow Bureau Chief for the New York Times during the years Joseph Stalin was deliberately starving 7 million Kulaks to death in 1931-32. All during that time, Duranty was aware of the plight of the Kulaks, but continued to report on the Soviet Union under Stalin in glowing terms. Duranty’s reports were accepted enthusiastically by the left wing progressives in the US, looking for FDR to recognize the USSR. His work has long been discredited. But Duranty was just one man and not indicative of a systemic problem.
Everything began to change after it became acceptable for political operatives to become journalists. In years past, it was acceptable for a newsman to switch careers into politics, but not for anyone involved in a political career to become a newsman. On the surface, this may appear unfair. But it’s precisely about appearances that the news media was concerned. Even the appearance of being less than neutral was enough to be excluded from the ranks of journalists. Clearly, someone who worked in partisan political organizations lost the appearance of impartiality. Once the veil of impartiality has been pierced, it is pierced permanently.
But that standard is no longer held. Today, there are a great many former party apparatchiks posing as unbiased newsmen in critical positions in the news media, both on air and behind the cameras. Although it is possible for these people to come from any political party, they are almost universally Democrats. It should be made clear here that this refers to newsmen, reporters, journalists and anchormen whose job it is to report the news without bias and impartially. News commentary and opinion pundits are not subject to the same standard. In those cases, they only need to fully disclose their former or present political connections.
The media corruption today runs deeper than most Americans may realize. There are also numerous cases of elite media news people with close relatives or spouses also in high positions within the government, which they are supposedly holding accountable. Here again, we seen another ethical violation where the appearance of compromised professional integrity is ignored as if it doesn’t matter at all. see The Incestuous Relationship Between Media and Democrats
THE DEMOCRATIC DEBATE: THE SHILL AND THE PITCHMAN
The behavior of the media in Republican debates is nothing short of appalling. Particularly when contrasted with the same media’s behavior in Democratic debates. Debate moderators should ask tough questions. The character of the questions reflects a striking level of bias. Questions posed to Democrats are not hostile. Media questions to Democrats don’t pit them against each other. If one examines the CNN Democratic debate, there wasn’t a single question designed to bring any of the candidates in conflict with each other. The result was, it wasn’t really a debate. A debate is supposed to compare and contrast the differing views of candidates, where each can have their ideas challenged by other candidates. That isn’t what happened at the CNN Democratic debate. It amounts to something resembling a 2 hour infomercial, where the shill and the pitchman pretend to be conducting legitimate interview. Unfortunately, the media behavior in the Democratic debates have made it transparently obvious they’re all playing on the same team.
CONSEQUENCES FOR AMERICA
Conservatives have legitimate and workable solutions to every problem facing the country but they will never be given a fair hearing as long as the news media remains corrupted. Americans should demand reimposition of ethical standards long abandoned by professional journalists. No one with a previous political career should ever anchor a news program like Meet the Press (eg., Chuck Todd, former staffer for Democrat Senator, Tom Harkin). No one should have editorial control over news programming when they have close family members in a Presidential administration (eg., David Rhodes, CBS News and Ben Rhodes, Obama National Security Adviser). No former Presidential spokesmen should pretend to be unbiased news anchors (eg., George Stephanopoulos, ABC This Week and former Clinton Press Secretary). All of these and many more should be considered violations of journalistic ethics and strictly prohibited. The media must be held to the highest standards or we will lose this republic.