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Picking fights with the media

By Mark Warde

It is safe to suggest the media, mostly print and television, lean heavily to the left. When it comes to TV, it requires no effort to figure which one major network doesn’t comply with the others.

Personally, I never watched that network until I grew tired of hearing the banter from the others about how badly Fox was at reporting, even questioning why anyone would even view their station. Considering myself somewhat objective, tuning in to decide for myself became incredibly enlightening.  Having trusted for years the likes of CBS, NBC and ABC, even CNN, I assumed these beacons of journalistic integrity surely knew what they meant by ostracizing Fox News. The remote control, however, led me to discover somewhat of a surprise.

Guess why they loathe the view of news by that group? It’s the same reason why anyone in power turns against the press. They have very thin skin. They can’t handle anyone who dares to declare something against their leader, point of view or ideology.

So, evidently, our nation’s news and opinions are held by every station but one. I hated to admit it, but if it weren’t for their constant blather, I would have continued to follow CBS even after Dan Rather was caught lying in his accounts about President George W. Bush. Or NBC when Brian Williams’ lied to become part of the news rather than simply reporting the news. Even ABC’s Sam Donaldson and his multiple scandals in reporting. That is, until I let Fox into my news mix.

Had the others just gone about their business and not whined about Fox, I’d never know what I know now. I allowed Fox to report and they allowed me to decide. The others didn’t want me to know there are other sides to most news stories.

Guess what else I figured out?

The reason why any person in leadership doesn’t like a network or media outlet is simple. They report items unfavorable to them. Imagine that. How dare they question his or her judgment?

A story with fault-finding information or one that might cause embarrassment to someone with big responsibilities, should be covered up? The elected cost taxpayers’ money by their decision? A leader’s actions turned out to be wrong? Journalists should look the other way when impropriety is done?

Yes, those things happen. Instead of admitting fault and correctly handling the situation, an oft-chosen path of the thin-skinned is to criticize the network, the publication, or the reporter in an effort to shut them up or shut them down.

Admit it, none of us care for a spotlight shining on our imperfections. But how leadership responds is a clear indicator of who actually belongs in leadership.

A recent illustration of that point took place during a summit on poverty. President Barack Obama went on the offensive about a Fox report: “I think that the effort to suggest that the poor are sponges, leeches, don’t want to work, are lazy, are undeserving, got traction. And look, it’s still being propagated.

“I have to say that if you watch Fox News on a regular basis, it is a constant venue. They will find folks who make me mad. I don’t know where they find them. They’re all like, “I don’t want to work. I just want a free Obama Phone, or whatever.” And that becomes an entire narrative that gets worked up.”

The POTUS then ripped the entire network as being anti-poor bigots. And he continues his censorship agenda under the guise of “changing how the media reports.”

What is the thin-skinned going to do? Stop answering questions and emails from reporters? Change the way they have access to news? Try to discourage their advertisers? Start rumors about them? Does the leader believe intimidation will scare news sources into being softer in their coverage?

Besides news reporting and offering opinions, another part of the job of the press is to hold the elected and appointed accountable. It’s not always easy nor positive. Part of that is the misconception that journalism is the same as positive public relations, even in small towns.

Over the years I have come to understand why America deserves a free press. It’s fascinating because those who can’t win certain debates or un-do an unflattering news story will often try to silence their opposition; whether it is a political party, candidate, personality or a source of news.

This is un-American and, in some cases, unconstitutional.

Anyone who has read my columns is aware of my critical observations of the non-objective media. But there is one fact that is inescapable, and it comes from Mark Twain: “Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”

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Posted by on Aug 23 2016. Filed under Editorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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