Monday, April 26, 2010

Rant of the day

What the fuck is going on in the press. There was a time when every serious journalist could not wait to ask the toughest questions to anyone they could nail. There was a time when reporters spent weeks and months working to detect and uncover hypocrisy in elected officials. There was a time when H.L. Mencken said, "The only way a reporter should look at a politician is down." Those days are done.

Yes, reporters still try to detect hypocrisy, but only in the other camp. Now there are republican reporters who are dedicated to exposing democrats and there are democrat reporters who chase down nothing but republican stories.

Actually, it would not be so bad if it were to end there. The larger issue is the flip side. Those same republican reporters spend just as much time talking up their representatives as they do slagging the opposition. That this is done to the extent it is done today is new in open democracies. It is common in Saudi Arabia to have the local paper sing the praises of the local government. It is mandatory in the new Russia for news outlets to sing the praises of their leaders. It is wrong in the USA.

No politician should find a friend and ally in the media. That is bad for democracy and leads to reporters saying things that they cannot possibly believe and remain credible.

The list of reporters who openly state that they believe Sarah Palin is just as qualified to lead the country as the present president is long. Too long.

The list of reporters who insist that regulating the banking system will cause chaos in said financial system is equally insane. Have they no ability to look back? Does no one question the likes of Glenn Beck when he wants the country to return to the olden days, when women could not work outside of nursing, Phone Company or secretarial work? What good old days? When you could go out and beat up a group of homosexuals with impunity? Or run that black family out of town? Are these the good old days?

The tea partiers want liberty but never talk about the patriot act which did more to moderate American liberties than any single act in the past 30 years. That is insane. It is not healthcare that gives the government the right to listen in on your phone calls without a warrant. It is the patriot act.

There are simple obvious questions that should be asked every time a politician steps in front of a reporter. Why are they not asked? I don't get it. Sure the politician might reply "No comment." but that is a response that can be reported and commented upon.


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