Some people will just never get it. On June 23, CNN’s “Paula Zahn Now” program spent a few reflective moments of hand wringing over the media’s responsibility concerning coverage of terrorist activity. Marvin Kalb even admitted that the media realizes they are “being used by the terrorists” but have a “responsibility to cover the news.” The once noble profession of journalism appears to have rotted in the juices of its own self-importance. Just this week, the media have given a platform for every murdering thug who can get his hands on an innocent bystander, defied the free market system by generating a market for a politically motivate film, “Fahrenheit 911,” that previously neither Disney wanted to distribute nor consumer clammored to see, inserted itself into the high profile Lacy Peterson murder trial by causing the termination of a juror, and falsely accused the Bush administration of making a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida that even the 911 commission claims was never made by Bush.
A free, unbiased press is the heart and soul of a thriving democracy. The light of America’s heart and soul is being dimmed by the evolution of a press that is free but not unbiased. Instead of reporting the news the media is making the news, setting the agenda. Much of today’s media reflects the liberal slant of its journalists. I am told that Fox News has a conservative bias, which probably explains why my cable service does not include Fox News. I can see for myself that CNN, CBS, NBC, and ABC slant to the left. None of them will admit it even when they are shown statistics documenting their liberal views in questionnaires taken by reporters and journalist.
A professor in a journalism class I once took posed a question to his students: Why do you want to be a journalist? Most of the students gave answers that can be summed up in statements like “to change the world” or “to make a difference.” The professor proceeded to point out to us that though those are noble goals, the job of a journalist is to report the news, not change the world. Media isn’t supposed to lead us to a world of their choosing but to report to us the direction we’ve chosen. Leave changing the world to the politicians, philosophers, and preachers!
Twenty-four hour news is corrupting the intent of a thriving news media. If CNN had covered the Normandy invasion of World War II we would all be speaking German now. Can you imagine the uproar that would have ensued if the carnage of the landing on those beaches had been reported by “embedded” reporters? Can you see the mothers and fathers of those young soldiers who would have responded with outrage as live video poured into their living rooms? Every official connected with the military would have been asked to resign. They would have marched in the streets for the return of our troops. The “Greatest Generation” would have been no different than our own if they had to endure the obsession with negativity that permeates today’s media.
Modern journalism has been reduced to covering bombings, beheadings, and body counts. Some argue that the media should cover heroism and terrorism, but who can name me a single person the media has ordained a hero of the Iraqi war. CNN has become the public relations arm of Al Qaida, Osama Bin Laden, and every other aspiring terrorist looking to make a name for himself. The filter through which the news must pass keeps clogging our democracy with fear. Fear is currency to terrorists who cannot survive without a willing press. America is weakened because the nabobs of negativism have returned!