Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yesterday's Tea Parties and poor excuse for news coverage

As a retired journalist who practiced his craft for nearly 25 years - I was mortified and embarrassed by the shallow and highly biased degree of advocacy journalism that was displayed by the - as Rush Limbaugh has - I now think justifiably, termed them "drive-by" media, wire, and the print media coverage of yesterday's nationwide tea parties.
To even detail the trash that attempted to pass itself off for "news coverage" would elevate it to a level of legitimacy that this bilge doesn't deserve.
After I retired, I taught journalism for nearly 12 years - at one of the universities were I taught, they asked that I stressed "ethics" in reporting - I had always avoided this task - one reason being NONE of my students, IN ALL the years I taught would EVER stoop to the level of reporting and writing I witnessed and have read to this point.
The other reason was that to me "ethics" and practicing of one's profession - and ethics and the conduct of one's life were NEVER inseparable . Finally when pressed to cover that topic in class - rather than waste MY time and their's for the three hour session - I simply told them this regarding the ethical conduct of their profession;
"With regard to ethical conduct of your craft ---- ALWAYS remember this - after you leave here, I know where each of you are going - and I will ALWAYS know where each of you are --- and IF EVER, ANY of you cross that line - I will come right to where you are, and I will reach down your throats and RIP YOUR GUTS OUT!!!!!
I can only say with some degree of satisfaction that - to my knowledge - NONE of my former students were covering the event.
I can remember something said by the great columnist, Jimmy Breslin - There are no "journalists" today - they are nothing more than PR Agents - sitting in their little cubical, waiting for the news to come to them - usually in the form of a press release, which they take and regurgitate into what they pass off as a news story ... They need to get off their "lard" asses and actually go out and cover the news!
What we see and read today in the media, is what we see in Washington with regard to our governance - professions without substance - and what has become most ominous for the fate of our nation, a separation and blatant disregard for the interest of those they purportedly serve. In the case of the elected representatives, the public whom they were elected to represent - or with the news media, the public who they contend that they inform and protect. They (the politicians and media) have become the ruling elite ... and worse, they have come to think of themselves as infallible! This self-bestowed infallibility is nothing more than ARROGANCE. It is this arrogance that potentially bodes, in my opinion, catastrophic consequences for this nation.

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