George M. Haddad
September 1, 2004
"I am choosing Journalism in order to save the world."
This was the explanation from a high school senior at Career Day where I happened to be presiding back in the seventies. Obviously she had had her head loaded with mush during her impressionable high school days but somewhere along the line her tutors had forgotten to add that it wasn't just to save the world but to change it.
So she wished to enter the world of the fourth estate. A once honored discipline. Its contemporary description is that of a fourth 'power' which checks and counterbalances the three state 'powers' of executive, legislative and judiciary. The fact that it has held power is undeniable but its abuse of this power ranks amongst the most tragic phenomena of our times.
There was a time when the cardinal principles of journalism in developing a story had to be the inquisitive venture into determining the what, when, where, why and how. Today the Journalism schools are churning out world savers and changers instead of reporters. Every writer is an editor. You cannot find a story or any news without the editorializing by the journalist. The noun itself infers a "direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation." Seemingly "them days is gone forever." This profession has been prostituted.
In at least the last half century we have seen a once proud discipline aligning itself with the enemies of our country either for the purpose of pushing its own agenda or supporting the platform of forces whose sole aim is our eventual destruction. This should not be surprising since its icons and models were and have been Joseph Pulitzer and Randolph Hearst.
It was Pulitzer, an American journalist and publisher, who created along with William Randolph Hearst a new and controversial type of journalism. Truth fell victim to fiction in order to sell papers. From crusading on behalf of the alleged downtrodden to manufacturing stories which eventually led us into war with Spain. As an example, when it was learned that there were Spanish concentration camps in Cuba the press went on a rampage by calling them death camps and added a plethora of wild stories with headlines depicting Spanish Cannibalism, Inhuman Torture, Amazon Warriors Fighting For the Rebels, etc. Very little if any was true. At that time it pushed President McKinley into an unnecessary war. This deceptive journalism of the late 1890s, without consideration for the truth, has been followed to this day scrupulously and religiously. Today's Pulitzer Prize for excellence in journalism is named in honor of a man who had no scruples in reporting the news with any semblance of truth and who had set the bar so low that no industry of any repute could follow it with good conscience. But it did and it has.
In terms of writing the news accurately our media has now a history of continued deception and fabrication of anything considered newsworthy. Even to the point of siding with foreign powers against its own country. It is a doom and gloom industry. It continually paints the worst and most sordid stories in order to sway the public to its tune of the moment. Headlines are tilted to the negative at every opportunity and the crescendo to blasting the American government has increased steadily and especially in the last 4 years.
Having gained partnership with its sibling TV news journalists, the American Press in the last forty years moved so far to the left as to make Marx appear as a neophyte. Today it is envisioned as either an extension of El Jazeera or the western hemisphere bureau of Pravda.
The communications media won its most glorious victory during the Vietnam war when it sided with the enemy. Our military won every battle and had the North Vietnamese hanging on the ropes and yet we lost the war. Flush from these gains it became unstoppable and learned first hand that the power of the pen is mightier than the slash of the sword.
In a letter to John Kerry by Oliver North he wrote: "Capt. James Warner had already spent four years in Vietnamese custody when he was handed a copy of your testimony by his captors. Warner says that for his captors, your statements "were proof that I deserved to be punished."
Maj. Kenneth Cordier, an Air Force pilot who was in Vietnamese custody for 2,284 days, says "his captors 'repeated incessantly' your one-liner about being 'the last man to die' for a lost cause."
And so the man who would be our President joined the fourth estate in aiding and abetting the enemy while doing great harm to our men on the front lines. Just as today. Do you think for one minute that the insurgents in Iraq wouldn't have cut and run a long time ago had it not been for the encouragement of their crusaders on this side of the ocean? To them it's déjà vu Vietnam. It has emboldened them to the detriment of our military and to the additional loss of American lives.
In today's conflict where preemptive warfare is committed to keeping the enemy off our soil we find that a leftist communications media has joined with a leftist democratist party to aid and abet the enemies of our nation. It has gotten to the point where every time the Democratists yelp the news media yips and we find them continually yapping together. Al-Qaida or the Taliban or any of the rabble whom we continue to unearth from under the rocks have no need for a CIA or an FBI of their own. The Democratists continue to console them thus giving them courage and the media continues to present to them through our news print and television where our weaknesses for future guerrilla warfare and bombings are located. There was a day when we recognized treason.
The Vietnam episode encouraged selective journalism. A form which started as an Art and today has developed into a Science. The drive to demean and depress our country and formulate negative public opinion has become commonplace and fits into the normal course of events. The eagerness to oust the present party at the helm in order to seat an admittedly Socialist party has gone beyond the realm of propriety. Constant bad news is meant to depress a nation and being the harbingers of doom is not by accident
Today's headlines tell the story. For example, we are greeted on Fathers Day with "Lives Disrupted" or "Family Day empty with Dad in Iraq." Or U. S. Jobs fall short of forecast rather than "There were 250,000 new jobs in June." Then we read "There may be Job growth but it's lower than expected." Of course nothing satisfies what is now referred to as the contemporary yellow journalism. The headline "Terror plans lack agility" is certainly of great comfort to those who are seeking the ways and means of doing us in. Hundreds of such doom and gloom journalistic outputs are saturating us daily and not without reason. One could easily state that we have given birth to a nouveau caste in our country whose aims for its welfare are not particularly honorable.
Information concerning the beheadings of Nick Berg, Paul Johnson and Kim Sun I1 entered the ho-hum category as compared to the days and weeks of outrageous output regarding the Abu Ghraib episode. Finding another means to castigate our country and our military was a truly great event for our Leftists of yellow journalism.
It was allegedly a dark day when the New York Times and USA Today discovered that their reporters Jayson Blair and Jack Kelly had actually been writing fiction and presented it as fact for an indeterminate period of time. What you didn't read was that these men were the fall guys in a profession which is proud of its creative approach to making the news rather than reporting it. Their major blunder was in the fact that Blair and Kelly went one step too far thus giving away the secret. They had to be punished.
It is unfair and a disservice to paint all the media with this broad brush since the moment's unscientific research would indicate that there are approximately 20% who still do their jobs with integrity and with good conscience. There may be more but in the present culture of this perverted phenomenon titled political correctness they have been kept fearful and underfoot.
This union between the major communications media and the leftist Democratist party indicates that it can no longer justify its existence as a legitimate news source with even a modicum of honor or integrity. It has sold its soul. It has been bought and wrapped.
It is truly odd that this medium would align itself with the leftist forces which would destroy it once they gain power. It is truly odd that these people are not aware of what Lenin stated as noted in the 1956 Nieman Reports, "Why should freedom of speech and freedom of the Press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes is right allow itself to be criticized?
The tragedy is that these people have given a first class loyalty to a second class cause and in time it will destroy them both. The sordid past of this industry goes well beyond Vietnam as evidenced in the adulterated phraseology from Thomas Jefferson who wrote "Were we directed by our communications media as to when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want for bread."
Truly the fourth estate IS our fifth column.
|George M. Haddad has a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and a Masters Degree in Social Administration with extensive work experience with the mentally ill. The former Executive Director - National Institute for Burn Medicine - affiliated with the University of Michigan. He is retired from the National Staff of the YMCA as a troubleshooter in financial management and administration and has worked as a management consultant to non-profit corporations. He has written frequently on medical, social and political issues and has many published articles to his credit. He currently writes from Franklin, Michigan and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
The 4th Estate
1 sep 2004