Thursday, June 29, 2017

I grew up in the 1960s and although there was inherent bias evinced in the press during that time in both print and television media particularly regarding race, there remained objectivity when it came to covering basic news events and stories. This was a time in which I can still remember the folks I read in the local newspapers in my hometown in Memphis and occasionally when I would read the Tennessean out of Nashville, Chicago Tribune or New York Times at the library. But mostly it was The Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Press-Scimitar and the Tri-State Defender. I can even still recall reading the writings of Seymour Hersh, Rheta Grimsley Johnson and Ted Knap as well as watching the evening news reports by Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and Ed Bradley - although there were only four TV channels then.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and what I was raised to consider journalism and objective reporting to service the need of the people and republic first has molded into the sinew of vile partisan collectivism practiced to serve and maintain a plutocratic status quo – something unheard of in the times of award winning journalist Ernie Pyle.

Now I am not as too well-versed on Pile as many maybe and first became acquainted with him as a child when I was collecting stamps (which I still do). It was beautiful brown and white 16 cent stamp that came out in 1971.  I remember my mother bringing me home a block of four freshly minted stamps which I still have this day. Next I began to find out more about him. The only book I found at my neighborhood library was a collection of his newspaper columns from World War II titled Brave men.

Just revisiting it now, makes me wonder what would so called journalist of this incessant 24 hour a day cable news generation think of Pyle’s work and skill and most importantly, his objectivity. One would never imagine or even picture a 21st century war reporter joining in battle with a platoon they were covering and embedded with during a firefight on the battlefield. Yet this is our reality – we have gone from Ernest Taylor Pyle to CNN and a bevy of leftist and selfish misfits parading as journalist with names like Bash, Acosta, Blitzer, Cooper, Cuomo, Tapper and Lemon. To be honest, I can say the same for other similar news outlets too numerous to name (The Guardian, MIC, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, New York Magazine, New York Times, Vanity Fair & Vox), however, CNN has managed to put themselves out in front of even the nearest competitors for lack of honest reporting, objectivity and being truthful about their ulterior motives – which if I may state in my opinion is to bias and slander all things Trump and prop up the democratic party by any means required (see Kathy Griffin). Then there is the recent real-life example that resulted in three of their news staff being forced to resign over what seems to be a continuous trail of contrived stories on Russia/Trump collusion based on a single anonymous source, which had to beretracted.

This was not the first time. Earlier this month right before CNN hyped-up former FBI
Director James Comey's opening testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Gloria Borger, Jake Tapper and several others published a story (based on anonymous sources) that Comey was expected to dispute President Trump's claims that he had been told on multiple occasions by then Director Comey he was not under investigation. To make a short story shorter, they issued a retraction (they were wrong).

From Trump threatening to invade Mexico and the made-up removal of MLK’s bust from the Oval office to the fabricated increase in suicide deaths of transgenders since his election to the fake Treasury Secretary SteveMnuchin foreclosing on an elderly woman over some pocket change story, the Ernie Pyle’s and Ed Bradley’s are few and between them are thousands of hack’s named Josh Rogin, Anne Applebaum, Dana Schwartz, Sarah Silverman, Keith Olbermann, Matthew Yglesias, Reza Aslan and Joy Ann Reid.

We may have to accept that what was once consider journalism has been thrown out of the window for ratings and partisan demagoguery.  Whether it is intentionally distorting the record or exact quotes to make a point as was in the case of Betsy DeVos (Slate & The Daily Beast) or fake news by omission as in the recent example of NBC’s Meet The Press Host Chuck Todd interviewing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders about the Republican health care bill but nothing about Sanders and his wifebeing under FBI investigation in relation to bank fraud. I am almost certain if it were trump or any of his associates this would have led the questioning and there would have likely been no mention of the health care bill. 

I hope we do not have to settle for the above as being reflective of the new standards of journalism.  But it may just be that in the future, we should expect CNN political correspondents and Democratic operative to be synonymous and expect them to give questions to their hand-picked political favorites as standard operating procedure in the future. Maybe this is where we have landed in this brave new world, in a place where intellectual dishonesty is preferred to accuracy and smearing individuals you do not agree with is paramount than honest and objective coverage for the well-being of the country and public good, even if it means making up fabricated single unnamed sources stories that are unverified about Russia collusion with the executive branch and contrived election interference.  Personally, I have not had cable or television on my farm since 2006.  I say cut off the idiot box but also recognize that such is difficult for individuals not mentally tough enough to move away from the group think of the heard. We have truly come a long way from Ernie Pyle.

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