Gone are the days of smoky newsrooms and journalists that are committed to facts. They have been replaced by 24 hour cable news networks and right wing infotainers, who give partial treatment to GOP talking points and illogical rhetoric. The result of this is that journalism being undermined by right wing media bias.
There once was a time when you could watch the morning and evening news and gain a real sense of what is happening in the world of politics. Those were the days of Walter Cronkite, Tim Russert, and others like them. You could actually trust the news you were receiving. You could formulate your own opinions based on the facts. Substance was actually mandatory. Fact checking appeared to precede reporting.
Opinions were not relevant or promoted. Tim Russert was known for his extensive and intense approach to research and he did this prior to relating the news story or interviewing a political figure. It was considered the real test to getting the inside scoop on what the interview would be able to reveal and it scrutinized the truthfulness of the political figure. Walter Cronkite was known for being trusted to consistently deliver the truth to his listening audience. You could take that to the bank. Taking pride in their journalistic credibility, these anchors reported the news the world needed to know and they did it without bias.
Watching the news today can be nauseating and poisonous to a person’s sense of wellbeing. For me, it’s as if someone has put something in my food that did not belong there, and it makes me very ill. And then I find out that there wasn’t anything put into the meal of any substance and the ingredients had been recycled from a restaurant with a bad rating.
This is especially true of many of the cable news outlets. You hear more opinions than actual facts. Most of the networks supposedly attempt to bring all sides of a political view. But because of the ratings war, the reporting has turned drastically away from journalism and gone full force toward capitalizing on sensationalism. Lou Dobbs, who suddenly departed CNN, is an example of an opinion journalist. His news stories were often based off sensation.
Who can point this out better than popular talk show host Jon Stewart? Here is his interview with Lou Dobbs:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
Partial treatment has been given to the GOP talking points and illogical rhetoric. They have been truly the party of NO. So what do the networks report? They run the Republican talking points all day and all night. Even if you don’t watch much news, you are bound to get a dose before your day runs out. The average person watching the news assumes that any political interview on the networks by GOP politicians or pundits must represent the truth or it would not be allowed.
CNN fact checkers with opposing information show up after the interviews have run again and again. Very few people even see the fact checkers’ results unless it is reporting on the Democrats missteps. Now there are two news reporters that don’t fall into this category, and I must give props where props are due. Rachel Maddow and Keith Oberman of MSNBC, both do their research and do their best to report the facts and confront those who are obviously not being truthful. They are not presenting their opinions as the news.
And Katie Couric should be applauded for THE interview with Sarah Palin. She has been the only person who interviewed Palin to truly test her substance or lack thereof.
The Oprah Winfrey and Barabara Walters’s interviews were not able to cut through the “bull”. They were taken in by the celebrity and her non answer answers shedding very little light on the real Sarah Palin who is on a campaign for power and wealth in this country, while playing victim to the media as her substance.
There appears to be a campaign in place to embarrass, disrespect and weaken the Obama administration by the news networks by utilizing the PR messages of the GOP like Palin, Cheney, Beck, Dobbs, Joe Scarborough, Pat Buchanan, Right Wing Conservative Extremists, Tea Baggers, etc. As an example, the news coverage of the healthcare Reform meetings in August was ridiculous. It only confused the American audience who had legitimate health care concerns. It was irresponsible journalism.
The good, the strengths and the accomplishments of this administration are not discussed with any real consistency. It’s not news worthy. The disrespect shown to the highest office in the land is incredible. It’s ok, as Americans, to disagree with the administration’s policies or to push for change. It’s ok to have anxiety about the deficit, the economy, or job loss.
But it is not ok to disrespect or deliberately embarrass the President, especially when Obama did not create the situations that we find ourselves in. But he is responsible for trying to resolve them and that is what the nation, the news networks and journalists need to understand and have some patience and faith in our system that we have fought long and hard to uphold.
The Bush/Cheney administration was given eight years to nearly destroy all respect for this nation. President Obama has been given less than a year to regain it. Let us as American citizens press the news outlets and anchors for more truth and less sensationalism. Many rules were broken by the previous administration. How can they along with the main stream media afford to be so disrespectful of the President?
We don’t have to agree with the the President of the United States of America, but we must respect the highest office of the land. If we don’t, how do you expect any foreign government or news agency to do so?
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association