The End of Journalism
by Tom Donelson on July 26, 2010 at 9:47 AM
For those who always believed that the media is biased toward the left, they now have all the evidence they ever needed to prove the point. The recent exposures of emails and texts of JournoLists detailed a group of reporters who gathered together to not just to discuss the news but to twist the news coverage to their objectives.
The heart of the scandal is not that these reporters discussed the issues of the day, but that these reporters plotted strategies to aid the Obama campaign and the Obama administration agenda after the election. As one pundit observed, “The scandal has revealed again – as if more evidence was need – that the American media is liberal. But the deeper tragedy involves the self-termination of conscience evident in the JournoList’s boosterism. The real sorrow is the total absence of conscience, and of honor.”
Leaving aside the cruel comments about conservatives, and on a few occasions, reading reporters wishing conservatives opponents such as Rush Limbaugh dead, the reality we witnessed was journalism professors, bloggers, pundits and reporters from mainstream media outlets essentially planning how to report the news or pervert the news.
The JournoList scandal is hastening the death of journalism in America. While much of America distrusted the media, the release of the JournoList emails shows not just a liberal media but a media essentially angry with half of America. The closeness of the Media with the Obama campaign at a time when the media should have been doing its job in vetting Obama.. Stories like Jeremiah Wright were ignored and even today, many major stories are also ignored. We are left to outlets like Andrew Breibart and Fox News while much of the mainstream media simply view stories through a prism, do they affect Obama’s image and their own? The real tragedy is that school of journalism is no longer about producing journalists, reporters who report the news, tell the stories but left the editorials to the editorial page. It is about advocacy for the left.
I remember a Kansas City Reporter who I knew to be a liberal in his private views but he rarely allowed his views to color his reporters and many conservatives viewed him as one of their own simply because he gave their ideas the benefit of the doubt even if he didn’t agree with them. I once asked him about his philosophy and he answered, “To be fair as possible. I do favor the underdog and that is one reason I am willing to give conservatives a break since they are often the underdogs against the Republican establishment.” He knew very clearly that Kansas Republican Party was dominated by moderates and establishment type, something his fellow reporters often fail to see or report. He treated everyone the same and allowed the facts to stand on their own. He gave his reader the facts and allowed them to decide.
I suspect that he would be horrified by what he sees in journalism today and with good reason. Much of the mainstream journalism has become advocacy journalism with truth often left out. With the JournoLists participants, we saw reporters not only publish derogatory statements about public figures but in some cases, a perverse nastiness existed for other fellow leftist reporters.
When David Weigel was fired by the Washington Post for his comments about conservatives, the obvious fact was that a fellow JournoList reporter leaked the emails to embarrass Weigel showed that one should never put in print what you don’t want to see in the public eyes. These folks could not even be trusted to keep confidential information confidential among each other, one only has to imagine what honor or honesty they use in their public duty.
The real crime is that we saw reporters who plotted game plans and to maneuver coverage of the news to their own ends. What we are witnessing is the suicide of journalism.