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E T Waldron

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Free to exploit and deceive
6/11/2005 7:40:52 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

The audacity of the news media.

The school of journalism has a quote which I can't remember, but in general it's something like: " If we don't ask the questions and hold their feet to the fire , who will." In other words the press has to hold others accountable, has to be the hound dog sniffing down our backs, or the public will get screwed. They are what stands between us and chaos. Or so they believe of themselves.

I agree in a free press, and wouldn't want to live in a country without one. My problem is in how do we deal with an estate that has become so powerful , that they don't just report the news they create it. They no longer do what they are supposed to, which is to keep the public alerted to what's going on in the world.

Now, each reporter gives an opinion, not just the editor. Each newsperson now makes remarks after each piece giving their opinions of what took place. That doesn't sound ominous, but it is. The reason being that it sways public opinion one way or another which is precisely what it is meant to do. Especially when coming from novice reporters who aren't even as savvy yet, as the public.

Therefore, if the reporter has a certain bent towards something, be it a social issue,a political party, or whatever, they put a slant on the news that agrees with their thinking, not being concerned if it's right or wrong, true or false, just so they get their view across.

Of course the first amendment protects our right to free speech, and I am writing this article under that cover, and I feel free to voice my opinion. So, why am I questioning the rights of reporters to do the same? I'm not. I have no problems with reporters voicing their opinions.They have been doing it since journalism's beginning. They can give their opinion in many arenas or on the copious talk shows which they host and frequent, and in a variety of other ways.

However, there is a difference today.The matter that concerns me is their ability to put their spin on a piece of news as they are reporting it, as if it were the news and not just their opinion, which then gives a false impression of what took place. They have become so powerful, that they no longer present the news, as it is, they slant it to suit themselves.

They create it, they stoke a story until it takes hold and the public who wasn't paying any attention in the first place, begins to think there's something to it, so they start watching and getting involved, and it keeps the story alive long after it would have died a natural death. This is done consistently, especially if there is not too much news to report, and they keep it going as long as they can. Besides needing something to report, they need to fuel the ratings game, which the plethora of cable shows have now morphed into entertainment, rather than news.

My primary concern though, is that some reporters, in the press/electronic/all media, have become so full of themselves, they have no respect for anyone else. They ask questions they have no business asking, and in a way that is so confrontational that if it were me, I'd tell them where to go. They do it however, because they know that if they don't get what they want, they have the power behind them in some instances, to bring people down, and can hound people out of their jobs, out of office, or whatever the case may be.

This should not be! There has to be some way to make the media, more responsible and less obtrusive. Do you ever see a Sam Donaldson or Andrea Mitchell (just examples) having to give an account of themselves to anyone? When is the last time you saw a reporter on the hot-seat? I never have! What makes them have to know everything our military is going to do before they even do it? What right do they have to interfere in the rights of others. Who holds them accountable? How many people have to be ruined by them before they are made to be more ethical? If we allow it they will become even worse.

This is an excerpt from an email I received and agree with:
"Leaders who call for a higher standard, greater regard for family and goodwill among men are mocked by the liberal media, yet there is a vast majority of people who are still trying to hold on to moral values, ethical behavior and honest character in spite of culture's decline. They are looking for men who will live truth."

You may ask after all is said and done, what difference does it make? A lot of difference. It can change the whole environment of a society. It subtly seeps into the daily way of life and changes our attitudes, our principles, our morals, etc. The way we think is the way we act, and what we read and hear every day, has an effect on our actions. It is essential that we keep our minds clear to absorb truth, not some other persons idea of what it is. Therefore, we are responsible to seek out for ourselves fact from fiction, not let others do our thinking for us.

This is a question I wish for you to ponder:

When are we going to hold our media, to the high standards that they hold others to?

Listen to their questions and see if they are as righteous as they expect the person they are interviewing to be. They are hypocrites and I for one am tired of them getting by with it. They do not speak for me when they use that same old expression, "Americans want this or that " as if they knew what we wanted. Let them speak only for themselves. They don't know what we want. I never was in one of their paltry poles. They pole 1000 people skewing the questions to get answers they want, then say the "American people" want this or that. Ridiculous!

Let them be measured by the same rule they use to measure, before we are living under their domination. That sounds far-fetched, but it is not, the tentacles of the media are far reaching . Their ability to gain such powers are very real, but only if we let them.

My last is a plea to you. Please, when you listen to the news, don't just take for granted that the reporter is right... listen and search out the truth in other venues. There is so much out there, especially on the net. Be a responsible citizen who looks for the truth. These days that are ahead, require nothing less.


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