preface: thanks for the comments. never really believed anyone would read so I will try to be better with the grammar and also try to include some photos. But thanks!
The consumers of media are being ill-served by the supposed laws of modern journalism. Journalism is being equally held hostage by the ethics of the profession. No better example of this dichotomy of sorts is NPR’s -albeit not alone- coverage of the unprecedented national presidential election that is 2016. Maybe this opinion and observation is far from unique, nevertheless, it’s an opinion that’s escaped my view in reading through the NYT, WaPost and WSJ’s editorial pages. I’ll try to briefly explain what I mean.
Mainstream media organizations, those that put on an air of fairness and balance in coverage, -let’s preclude MSNBC & FOX for now- almost never accuse someone outright of lying. And in many instances this is a sound policy, from my perspective at least. 2016 seems to have ventured into rather stormy waters? There have been several, if not many, statements made by both candidates and campaigns -I believe the lions share are from the Donald however- that fall far beyond the usual white lies and can -and should- be called out by the media as outright lies, fabrications and/or intentional deception.I’d argue that this is new. I’d also argue that being of the unprecedented nature, mainstream, objective media, needs to modify their general practices in order to serve the public, to serve Democracy and the 1st Amendment.
When Secretary Clinton uses legalese, oratory gymnastics, and obfuscation, as she continues to employ regarding her use of her private server, the media -CNN, NBC, CBS, NPR, ABC etc- should begin calling it for what it is: lying. When the Trump campaign claims they had nothing to do with the GOP platform committee changing language, softening its position in respect to Russia and the Ukraine, that same media needs to stop dancing around, applying the same techniques with words, and simply say: “that’s a lie.”
Why is this simple, yet possibly dramatic modification necessary? Count me as ever skeptical, but the truth is, many American’s trust many of these news outlets to give them the truth. They might not like what they hear initially, might even tune out, yet in the end, I believe the ethical decision is gravely important for our Nation. When Walter Cronkite told us the War in Vietnam was lost, feelings were probably hurt, the Pentagon lost its shit and the Executive Branch howled, but in the end, it was the truth that did the most good, ultimately, along with courageous Americans the likes of Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and Daniel Elsberg, we slowly corrected our course. The 15 year, unwinnable War On Terror is the modern equivalent and the media has failed epidemically. Like the Iraq War, those voices many Americans trusted, sounded off the truth far too late and only when popularity in the war had sunk so low, their ratings went unaffected.
Their ratings today cannot get any worse. Maybe telling the truth, in time that is, would paradoxically be the right move in our Capitalistic business/news/entertainment landscape? Maybe telling the truth by calling the lies a lie would ultimately be the most sound financial, moral, ethical and patriotic move? Maybe, in the words of Edwin Murrow, words condemning Senator McCarthy’s unconstitutional and abhorrent search for Communist’s in a supposed “free” United States, “let us speak the truth, for we are not born of fearful men,” or close to that, maybe that network could ascend to the top of the ratings along with the top of those protecting the 1st amendment? Because how can we expect our politicians, or candidates, to protect the 2nd Amendment if they aren’t willing, or not bright enough, or honest enough, to protect and defend the 1st?
So from me to you: they’re lying. Neither 2 major candidates has a stump to stand on when calling the other a liar. It’s not like the pot callin’ the kettle black, no, more like the coward callin’ the chickenhawk brave. So Meet the Press, This Morning whatever, NYT, Don Lemon….even Rachael Maddow or Megan Kelly, as a start; a spades a spade, a liars a liar…until they’re not.