The sad demise of mainstream political reporting
Imagine a young, bright-eyed journalism student, envisioning a future as a crusading force for truth, justice, and holding the powerful accountable. You idolize journalistic giants like Woodward and Bernstein, Upton Sinclair, H. L. Mencken, and Seymour Hersh - reporters who fearlessly exposed corruption and deceit, often putting their careers on the line to do so. Yet, somewhere along the way, this passionate dreamer finds himself in a perplexing situation: that he is now part of the mainstream political reporting machinery, promoting narratives designed not to expose the truth, but to obfuscate and deceive.
So, how do these once-aspiring journalistic heroes live with themselves? How do they reconcile their dreams of becoming modern-day crusaders with the reality of promoting stories that are ultimately revealed as well-crafted fiction rather than well-researched exposés?
It's a perplexing question, akin to wondering how a firefighter could become an arsonist' a police officer, a criminal; or a physician who works for Planned Parenthood.
Let's delve into the psyche of the modern political reporter as they navigate the ethical tightrope of promoting the Russia hoax, while suppressing stories like the Hunter Biden laptop bombshell.
In the spirit of fairness, let's put ourselves in their shoes and attempt to understand their perspective.
The Art of Selective Blindness: A Journalist's Survival Guide
Picture this: You're a budding journalist, fresh out of college, ready to change the world with your pen. You've studied the greats, internalized the importance of truth, and promised yourself that you'd never back down from a good story. But then, reality knocks on your door in the form of newsroom politics, corporate and political pressures, and perhaps even some well-placed incentives.
You find yourself caught in the gears of an industry that is more focused on sensationalism and narrative-building than on unbiased truth-telling. The Russia hoax, with its tantalizing spy-thriller allure, presents itself as the perfect plotline to captivate the masses. It's not about objective reporting; it's about smearing the political opposition while feeding a hungry audience's appetite for intrigue. You begin to rationalize that contorting the facts won't hurt, as long as it serves a higher purpose: the protection of your readers' political party and the preservation of your job.
And then there's the Hunter Biden laptop story. Ah, the delicate dance between doing your job as a reporter and the promotion of the deep state’s narrative. You see, you tell yourself, sometimes a story feels so outlandish that it must surely be a Russian disinformation campaign and a nefarious attempt to influence an election. It's your duty, as a responsible journalist, to verify sources, weigh credibility and report the truth without fear nor favor. Yet, in doing so, you risk alienating the left-wing readership, causing them doubt about your loyalty to the cause, and, heaven forbid, damaging your career prospects.
The Smoke and Mirrors of Ethical Acrobatics
As you navigate these murky waters, you might find solace in the idea that journalism, much like life, is a series of trade-offs. You're contributing to a narrative that resonates with your audience, painting a picture that evokes emotion and reinforces existing beliefs. In a world where attention spans are fleeting and competition for clicks is fierce, what's the harm in a little creative storytelling? After all, aren't you just giving the people what they want?
Perhaps this is how mainstream political reporters justify their actions to themselves. They've become skilled acrobats, gracefully contorting their ethics to fit within the confines of the modern media landscape. The end justifies the means, and the mirror reflects only the image they've constructed.
A Chance for Redemption?
And now there's a new elephant in the room – the massive political scandal that could rewrite the history books. Our political reporter, once driven by the ideals of uncovering corruption and holding those in power accountable, now faces a Herculean task: ignoring arguably the most significant political scandal in American history. The alleged selling of influence by Joe, Hunter, and Jim Biden to foreign oligarchs in nations like China, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania is a narrative that seems tailor-made for the spotlight of journalistic inquiry. Yet, the reporter's reality is a tangled web of ethical conflicts, corporate directives, and, maybe most of all, self-preservation.
Imagine being in their shoes – caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, this story could be a career-defining moment, a chance to expose a web of corruption that could shake the foundations of the political establishment. On the other hand, there's the weight of potential backlash from powerful figures, the risk of being labeled a partisan puppet, and the daunting challenge of verifying and corroborating an intricate tale with global implications. It's the kind of story that could solidify a journalist's legacy or bring about their downfall, and it's precisely this high-stakes nature that makes it both alluring and terrifying.
In the End, a Pitiable Character
So, can we really blame these reporters for the role they play in shaping the narrative? The truth is that the news industry has evolved into a complex ecosystem where commercial interests, audience engagement, and political motivations intermingle in ways that are hard to disentangle. In this world, it's easy to lose sight of the purity of journalistic principles in pursuit of relevance and success.
As they sit at their desks, typing away stories that erase the line between truth and sensationalism, perhaps these reporters justify their actions with a simple mantra: ‘It's not personal; it's just business.’ After all, it's a sad but accurate reflection of the times we live in – a world where the news is more a product of market demands than a beacon of unfiltered truth.
In a way, comparing these journalists to firefighters who are arsonists, police officers who are criminals, and physicians who are abortionists might be an oversimplification. The world of journalism is nuanced, and the choices these reporters make are often the result of a complex interplay of pressures, incentives, and personal beliefs.
So, the next time you find yourself baffled by a news story that seems more fantastical than factual, remember the journey that these reporters have embarked upon. Perhaps they're not the modern-day crusaders they once aspired to be, but they're the products of a system that, much like them, has lost its way in the pursuit of a different kind of truth – the kind that promotes a political agenda, while garnering clicks, eyeballs, and advertising dollars.
Jim Daws is long-time America First activist beginning with work on Pat Buchanan's presidential campaigns. He's a writer and itinerant talk radio / podcast host and a former fire battalion chief from Atlanta.
Image: Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay, via Needpix / Pixabay License