- Politics and Social Issues
By: Wayne Brown
America has had some very good examples this past week as to just how lost most of the media is today and how far left it leans in its political dealings. Here we have the one aspect of the private sector which the Founding Fathers counted on to keep the government honest in its dealings with the people. Now it seems that much of it has turned into organizations with a political bone to pick and thus uses its communications power to sway the public in that direction. While there may be people who have no problem with that, it represents a very poor day in the history of journalism.
One might remember back during the presidential campaign when Mother Jones ran the transcript of a private fund-raiser held by Republican candidate, Mitt Romney. This was not a public affair and was held in the interest of convincing potential campaign supporters to raise more funds. In that presentation, Mr. Romney explained how and why he was taking the campaign direction that he was going in at that time. He explained that it was quite clear that Obama had 47% of the potential voters locked into his corner with his various entitlement programs, etc. thus it made little sense to spend money with a focus on those voters if their minds were already made up. I don’t know about you but if I am about to donate some serious money to a political campaign, I want to know how and why it is being spent. The meeting was secretly taped and handed over to a Mother Jones reporter for publication. Needless to say that the exchange on the tape was twisted in every direction possible to use as a tool in defining Romney as a candidate of the wealthy…a convenient lie at the time.
Now we have the same reporter coming up with secretly taped information from the office of Senate Minority Leader (Republican – Kentucky), which covered a private meeting of his staff in February of this year discussing the possibility of Ashley Judd running against McConnell for the office. The discussion centered about the potential avenues which could be exploited in countering Ms. Judd’s challenge. Nothing in particular was decided and Ms. Judd declined to run for the office about one month later.
Now, this Mother Jones reporter (and MSNBC commentator) is being hyped for once again “scooping” the news and exposing yet another conservative ugliness. The reporter (I’ll not mention his name) was to receive the Polk Award this week for his journalistic accomplishment. What pray tell did he accomplish….breathing? He happen to be alive and fully willing to accept information which had been obtained surreptitiously then serve it up to that radical rag that he works for in his journalistic efforts. Now one might want to stop here and ask, “Had the shoe been on the other foot and this had been a meeting of Harry Reid’s staff, would this reporter and Mother Jones been so willing to run the ink? My guess is that conclusion would be very doubtful. That is the difference between true journalism and the use of journalism as a biased smear tactic. What took place here was illegal. The meeting was not secret…it was closed to McConnell’s staff. Apparently the perpetrators used devices to tape the proceedings through the wall from the adjacent hallway. It turns out that members of the PAC “Kentucky Progressive” executed the taping in the hope that it could be used to defeat McConnell in the upcoming election.
I seem to remember a president who was driven from office by such petty actions of some third-rate burglars assigned to “getting the goods” on the DNC. I do not remember any rewards party which took place afterward as it was apparently lost in the cover-up activity. Woodward and Bernstein exposed the crime using a source referred to only as “Deep Throat”. There was nothing illegal about their information gathering and as far as I can tell they had no political axe to grind either way. It was news…journalism and reported as factually as they could determine at the time. Too bad such talent and determination did not exist on a wide-spread basis in the media when four Americans needlessly died at Benghazi late last year. Instead, the media has done their best to let that story die a solitary death which furthers mars the memory of those brave souls.
We live in a time when factions of the media are beating the drum for more background checks and deeper investigations into those law-abiding citizens who elect to own a firearm. Obviously, if there is any history of mental instability, they apparently want it exposed. At the same time, the McConnell staff meeting discussed Ms. Judd’s admitted history with mental issues including a 42 day stint following a mental breakdown…a fact she discussed in her autobiography. Apparently it is okay to want to investigate everyone in America as far as the media is concerned but you don’t talk about Judd’s mental health behind closed doors. This is the point at which journalism starts to look a bit “two-faced” in its approach.
Vice-President Biden praised the initial steps for new gun legislation this week. He thanked many for their help in pushing the legislation forward. Among those parties was MSNBC. Since when does a politician publicly thank a news source for helping to push through legislation? If the folks running MSNBC had any journalistic sense about them, they would have been hanging their head in shame instead of running about like a little boy who just got patted on the head by the Tooth Fairy. Journalist do not have a primary purpose of taking sides in political debates…they simply report the facts. But, I guess they no longer teach that in journalism school what with all the liberal professors which populate that area of our education system.
Journalistically and politically, we the people live in some precarious times. These are times when politicians have no boundaries as long as their total focus is on winning. These are times when the term “we the people” means little to most of those we elect to represent our voice in government. These are times when journalistic organizations are willing to sell their soul in return for access. Good journalistic organizations do not have any political ties…they do not exist for that reason. They exist to gather the facts and report the news in a format that is interesting to the viewer and informative on the issues at hand. When only one side of the story is offered or information obtained illegally is used in an attempt to smear and the media makes itself a part of that action…it is no longer journalism. It’s trash and in the case of McConnell, a criminal act carried out for the purposes of winning an election.
At one time, Journalism was a profession which demanded great respect. Those with the talent to communicate the issues and paint the picture for the public to use in making up their mind were true artists of the media. Somewhere along the way, likely around the time of Watergate, sensationalism overtook the basic principles of journalism and became the forefront of reporting. The reporter was no long a secondary aspect of the story but one who desired the spotlight and willingly pushed the facts of the story to the background to gain that position…even twisting it if necessary. The media became easily accessible to the liberal left eagerly awaiting their next word yet willing to take the words of some conservative and edit them into a whole new perspective. One does not have to dig very deep to see why it is so difficult in this day and time to find a true journalist among us.
Apparently, when it comes to going after Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or Condi Rice, the journalistic gloves come off and any punch is legal. But reverse the ground and bring up the names of Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or….yes, our sweet little Ashley Judd and the liberal outcry becomes, “How dare you! Apparently it is okay to accuse Michele Bachmann of mental instability publicly, but unacceptable to even discuss Ashley Judd’s mental issues…even in a private meeting. It is okay to slam Condi Rice and refer to her as an “Uncle Tom” but how dare you publicly question whether Hilary Clinton is the smartest woman in the world and ask for proof. No problem painting Sarah Palin as a nut publicly but let us not question the reasoning of Nancy Pelosi when she says, “We need to pass this bill so we can see what is in it!”
What have we become as a people when we want background checks on everyone in America but want to overlook a potential candidate for high office in terms of mindset and stability? Does the word “hypocrite” come to mind?
©Copyright WBrown2013. All Rights Reserved.
12 April 2013