Is Journalism Dead? by Byron Christopher…
January 18, 2021
The 2020 US election drew worldwide attention with one political party claiming victory — and the other claiming massive election fraud.
So, who really won? No one! EVERYONE — especially those living in the US — lost big time because the media didn’t do its job.
Instead of reporting facts without bias, major news organizations took sides. Reporters and editors became advocates, essentially destroying what little trust the public had in them.
It will be very difficult to win back that trust.
A QUICK OVERVIEW OF OUR MEDIA LANDSCAPE
Journalism has bled from some terrible stab wounds. Over the past few decades, scores of thousands of reporters have lost their jobs. On one level, I can understand the cutbacks: shrinking revenues, overpaid media executives, shareholders demanding a good return, the rise of social media … on and on it goes. There were many knives.
Another massive wound is that neutrality and fairness are now sadly lacking in the profession. I’m referring here to media censorship and partisan/biased reporting. With that type of cancer comes a huge drop in respect and trust. Underhandedness in the news business is often way over the top. I have a difficult time understanding why anyone would think sleaze is good for any organization, including organized crime.
There was a time when people living in the so-called Free World pointed fingers at the Soviet Union [USSR] and the People’s Republic of China for censorship in its media, cronyism and, heavy-handed political correctness. We’re now looking slightly hypocritical.
Full disclosure: I am no fan of television news which I see as shallow, containing information fed by the establishment and the Deep State — and more often than not — embarrassingly one-sided. Gone are the days when reporters got out the nuts and bolts of a story so that consumers could decide. Today, there’s far too much ‘agenda-reporting’ and one would have to be a complete moron not to detect it. Sadly, some viewers don’t really give a rat’s ass about whether news is accurate … what’s important to them is: does it fit with their narrative?
US President Donald Trump claims that news is 85 percent fake. Some disagree; they think the number is higher. I do agree with legendary broadcaster Walter Cronkite who once shared that well over half our news is NOT covered. Walter made the comment more than 40 years ago. With the massive cutbacks to journalism, one can now safely bump the number up to 95 percent.
It wasn’t always like this. Journalism was once regarded as an honourable and trustworthy profession. Mind you, it was never perfect. For example, some reporters accepted junkets, failing to mention in their reports that they were on the take.
Let’s face it, there are flaws and BS in every line of work … but on the whole [especially in days gone by] reporting was fairly credible.
FACTS SHOULD ALWAYS TRUMP SPECULATION
To save you from squinting, here’s what Fox News contributor Don Bongino tweeted in early January 2021: ‘The Hunter Biden stuff about to come out is going to deeply disturb and shake you. Even more so than the troubling information which emerged a few months ago. Get ready, it’s ugly.”
Well, we’re ready. Let’s see the goods. And if more ‘troubling information’ is indeed released, will Americans be victims yet again of censorship?
CENSORSHIP, STALIN STYLE
HICCUPS THAT HAVE DONE JOURNALISM NO FAVOURS
This is only a partial list …
- The mainstream media went on about how Donald Trump stole the 2016 election because of help from the Russians. The reporters weren’t after a story. They were after Trump. For three years there was non-stop, play-by-play coverage of ‘Russian collusion.’ Ooops. Turns out, the whole thing was a sham. A hoax, based on a fake dossier paid for by the Clinton Foundation. An investigation is now underway. Supposedly.
- Canada’s national, tax-funded radio broadcaster, the CBC, on the day prior to the US elections in 2020, had a guest on its national phone-in program to talk about the election. Was it someone neutral, such as a media analyst or a prof specializing in journalism or political affairs? No. It was a former ambassador to Canada from the Obama administration. What was the crew at CBC smoking?
- a reporter with the prestigious New Yorker magazine got caught masturbating on a zoom call with fellow staff members — adding a whole new meaning to a whack job. New Yorker management kicked his ass out the door, and good for them. The reporter — a busted lawyer — was also a ‘legal analyst’ with CNN … but did the network show him the door? Not yet.
- Possessing zero media experience, daughters and sons of two former US presidents landed highly-paid jobs with major TV networks. How does that happen if the industry is legit? There was no massive outcry from employees, strange enough. Sounds like more than a few had big mortgage payments. Like reporters embedded with the military, they knew their place.
- A reporter with a major TV network admitted to secretly writing speeches for one of the US presidential candidates. He’s still employed — because of his company’s narrative. Talk about double-dipping.
- In Canada, the owner of a large newspaper chain boasted that because he owned the company he could dictate content. An editor in Ottawa said that’s not journalism, and he quit and moved to a teaching job in the US. To the owner: hey stupid, you own the printing presses … not the content.
- Perhaps the most glaring example of misguided journalism came towards the end of the campaign trail for the 2020 US election. A laptop revealed top-level influence-peddling by one of the two presidential candidates. It was the case of a drug-addict son using Daddy’s name and influence to secure multi-million dollar payments from two foreign countries. One major TV network had a field day with the damning revelations — but most of the mainstream media totally ignored the story because having that information out there would harm the chances of a candidate they were pulling for. The blatant censorship of an important news story said everything one needs to know about the state of journalism today.
- Twice caught on tape, the head of one major TV network directed his staff to go after a certain presidential candidate. Was the man shown the door? No. He’s still collecting a huge paycheque. Can you imagine what it must be like being a reporter and working under this goof?
- When demonstrations in the US got out of hand with innocent people getting killed and properties being destroyed by looters and arsonists, a senior reporter remarked that demonstrations don’t have to be peaceful. The ass is still employed.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT BIASED REPORTING?
Very little, unfortunately. Don’t hold your breath for the news industry to clean up its act. In Canada, the umbrella group of radio and television stations that claims to maintain industry standards finally issued its Code of [reporting] Ethics. Of the hundreds of radio and TV newsrooms across the country, only ONE ordered a copy. When I did a story on this, a brothel near Melbourne, Australia got in touch to say it had a code of ethics posted in their lobby.
So don’t expect much from a code of ethics, either from an umbrella group of media companies or from the reporters themselves. Window dressing. Changes aren’t happening unless there is a complete collapse.
Consumers of news can do their part by not buying into everything they see, read, and hear. Don’t be gullible. Do some research; check around. Ask critical questions.
Let me put it this way: You’re dining out. You take for granted that the food you’re about to eat won’t be contaminated. Stop treating the news industry as if everything they serve you is safe to ingest because it’s not. The Russian collusion fiasco is ample proof of that. Take a good look at the kitchens of the media outlets … who’s really in charge … and ask yourself if you’re being served junk food — or worse.