From Press Corps to Press Corpse
During the early 1970s the American Press emerged as the global leader in integrity. Press corps from around the world stood in awe of the fact that the American Press held its Government and President accountable for their actions. Between CBS News’ airing of what is now referred to as “The Pentagon Papers”, and the investigative reporting by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, exposing the Watergate Scandal, the world became aware of the power of “Freedom of the Press”. It was the press corps that held the government accountable, at least to an extent.
The International Community watched with amazement, respect and jealously as the American Press exposed corruption at highest levels in the American Government. Responsible honest reporting of events, without spin, resulted in a change of leadership in the greatest most powerful nation on the Planet.
During this period in American history the bulk of the news was reported in print. The Watergate Scandal spawned out of a tiny article about a little break in at the Watergate Hotel.
Journalism was more than a vocation, it was a calling. Those of us that have had the pleasure of meeting journalist and photo journalists understand this. There is an underlying dedication to the implied responsibility of informing the public of the events of the world.
How did a press corps that used to hold presidents accountable get Bushwhacked? Today the American Press has become the laughing stock of the world. No longer are they looked at with the respect their predecessors worked so hard to earn. I speak mainly of the Mass Media, not of the fine dedicated small publications that are available to those who seek them out. The American Press is all but a complete failure today.
Unfortunately today a mask has been placed over the face of the American journalists, and a filter has been applied to their voice.
You want proof of a filter you say?
How is it that in a world with thousands of stories to be reported during any given moment, the same stories are reported by virtually every mass media outlet? Regarding television media, not only are the same stories reported, but they are reported in the same sequence! How is this mathematically possible? The odds of this occurring once between 2 television news “entertainment” networks is astronomical, yet it happens among virtually all of the hundreds of local and national television news “entertainment” programs every single day.
What do I mean by a “Mask”?
The face of the news has changed. Today’s TV News “Entertainment” personalities are just that, personalities. They are faces, mostly attractive faces, or faces that seem trustworthy, hired only to draw your attention. A new trend is taking place that proves how important the “Face” factor is. The new trend is the hiring of women broadcasters who have exceptionally expressive faces. The purpose of this is to impress upon the viewer an inappropriately heightened sense of horror or concern as the broadcaster reports a story. You can compare this effect to the subliminal response of an infant who has not yet learned to understand words; the infant responds emotionally to an adults face. When an infant hears a noise, or falls down, if the adult laughs there is more of a chance of the infant not being frightened by what just happens, however if the adult responds with fear or worry, the infant takes it’s cue and believes that there is something to worry about. The latter commonly results in a crying infant. This response is similar in adults. An example might be that someone in a room says something a bit harsh or outrageous, and it catches you off guard. You don’t quite know what to make of it. You immediately look around. You see the person who made the comment. You can tell, simply by the facial expression as to the intention of the comment, you will know if it was a joke, or if it was serious. Your emotions follow the person’s expression regardless of actually knowing the true intent of the comment. The person’s expression is not necessarily a true indication of the person’s true intent, but the expression helped to cast your emotion none the less. Continued...click next.
Ex-Watergate writer laments 'idiot culture' - Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein told about 200 people in Tampa that today's media is more gossip and trash than news.- Bernstein, the former Washington Post journalist who, along with fellow reporter Bob Woodward, unearthed the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon, said much of today's news has deteriorated into gossip, sensationalism and manufactured controversy. - That type of news panders to the public and insults their intelligence, ignoring the context of real life, he said. Good journalism, Bernstein said, "should challenge people, not just mindlessly amuse them." - Bernstein also turned his attention Thursday to the coming election, calling President Bush "the most radical president of my lifetime and perhaps in the century." - Bernstein said Bush "is radical in every degree," from a favoritism of the wealthy to a pre-emptive foreign policy to a lack of concern for civil rights.
The Best Reporter Of All Time - Bob Woodward does what reporters are supposed to do. He checks the government's story against his own investigation. That's what sets democracies apart from totalitarian societies where the government is the only source of information.
A study in emasculation - In the US media, a mission to explain has been replaced by a mission to avoid - The result of this climate of fear and caution is that few Americans have any idea of the circumstances in which 1,600 of their countrymen have lost their lives in Iraq, the hideous injuries suffered by both Iraqi and American victims of suicide bombers, or even the profound responsibility that lies with Rumsfeld for mishandling practically every facet of the occupation. The mission to explain has been replaced by the mission to avoid. If today there was a whistleblower as well-placed, heroically brave and strategic as Mark Felt, one wonders whether he would now find the outlet that Felt did at the Washington Post between 1972 and 1974.
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