Many including yours-truly have been ranting about the mainstream media allowing lying politicians airtime. Many times they give their arguments plausibility by merely placing them in contrast with real policy in discussions. The Affordable Care Act debate demonstrated that on steroids.
The reality is that there are specific reasons why old-style journalism in the current construct of the mainstream media cannot work in our current debacle.
A few months ago MSNBC’s Heidi Przybyla interviewed Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH). They were discussing the debt and the tax cut scam. I wrote the following then.
Old Journalism gives lying politicians a platform to lie and misinform (VIDEO)
Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) appeared on Morning Joe. His interview illustrates why old-style journalism is responsible for an American population that is misinformed. This type of polite journalism where the politician lies through his teeth and the journalist simply reiterates a question without giving the audience the truth hurts America.
The last word on the topic Americans heard was an unrefuted diatribe by a lying politician. Paul Krugman proved what Heidi was saying definitively, and that is the last word Americans should have heard. Unfortunately, the mainstream media seem content in leaving these liars unchallenged. And that is why alternative media like “Politics Done Right,” I am self-serving here, is a must. We tell it like it is.
I began with that example because even today we continue to see that kind of interview more often than not. Recently Marvin Kalb, the former foreign correspondent with CBS News, wrote the piece titled “In This Dark Hour It’s Important to Remember that Good Journalism Has Triumphed Before,” parts reprinted from his book “ENEMY of the PEOPLE: Trump’s War on the Press, the New McCarthyism, and the Threat to American Democracy.”
In the context of the press’s struggle to cover the world of Trump and beyond, it’s important to recall that Murrow, in his memorable 1954 See It Now broadcast about Senator McCarthy, helped bring an end to a political crusade that was frightening the American people and undermining American democracy. He exposed McCarthy as a lying charlatan who deserved the Senate censure he was to suffer a few months later. Though many other reporters covered the same story, only Murrow will likely be remembered as the one who had the courage to take on a senator widely considered to be a danger to the republic. In American history, few other reporters have played so prominent a role in ending a national nightmare.
He also gave CBS’ Walter Cronkite kudos for his Vietnam War altering report.
Walter Cronkite, another of CBS’s twinkling stars, whose even- handed anchoring of the CBS Evening News won him the title “the most trusted man in America,” did a commentary about the Vietnam War in February 1968 that helped persuade a president not to run for reelection and a nation to change its war policy and, ultimately, begin to withdraw.
He also acknowledged Woodward and Bernstein’s role in bringing down Nixon.
On June 17, 1972, a team of burglars was arrested for breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex in Washington. Two young reporters at the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, soon began covering the story that led, in August 1974, to the first resignation of an American president and to profound changes in the nation’s politics. Would Richard Nixon have resigned anyway, even if Woodward and Bernstein had not applied their considerable investigative skills to breaking the Watergate story? I doubt it. Their remarkable run of one exclusive story after another kept a steady spotlight on the puzzling break- in: Who were the burglars? Who paid them? Why the Democratic headquarters? Was the Nixon White House involved? What was Nixon’s role? These questions framed the Watergate scandal, which will always be associated with the reporting of Woodward and Bernstein.
Marvin Kalb continued his piece acknowledging social media, the internet, and social media’s impact on today’s news. He points out that established papers like the Washington Post and the New York Times still have very competent investigative reporters.
He however still maintains a fundamental disconnect between old-time journalism and the state of the intersectionality between news, politics, and business. I wrote the piece “Today’s journalism is incompatible with today’s Right Wing politics. We need a new paradigm” where I pointed out the following.
The current form of journalism is incapable of saving America from the likes of Trump and the misinforming institutions funded by the Plutocracy. Think tanks like the Heritage Foundation are tools the Plutocracy uses to maintain their power even as their supported policies decimate all else. They present seemingly legitimate studies and talking points the media is enticed to cover.
So today’s journalism is driven by the sheer volume of material released by the right that seems to necessitate coverage irrespective of value. Secondly, the white papers and data from Right Wing think tanks with their air of plausibility is always available to a hungry media with an increasing need for content.
Worse, however, today’s journalism continues the X said while Y said orthodoxy that no longer works because it is a system the Right gamed.
But who says we must continue the techniques learned in the Schools of Journalism. A dynamic society requires change when realities change. The Plutocracy and the Right have gamed the current form of journalism. As such, it is essential that journalists adopt a new paradigm.
Only Independent Media can and are disseminating the full work of the investigative journalists to their segmented mass audiences. Why? Sometimes the work of these journalists conflicts with the interests of those who advertise with the mainstream media outlets. Additionally, independent media like we did above with the Congressman’s interview are here to deconstruct and correct the misinformation the mainstream media is to polite to address or cannot discuss for political or financial reasons.