It’s so tiring, you almost don’t want to bother saying it. But we have to keep pointing it out, this mad descent of the press, and not grow weary or complacent. The only way to keep the press honest is to keep it accountable; that is our responsibility – yours and mine – a free press is an unencumbered, detached, open and honest press. And we must have it; we must insist that our press be free – unaligned with any cause or movement – because a free press is the hardy spine of liberty.
Our hardy spine, burdened by the demands of corporate interests, excessive attachment to distinct agendas and heavy competition from all sorts of media, is bending and crooking. It is not, at present, healthy, straight and strong. There is cause for concern.
We must repeat, over and over, that Liberty is the means by which we created creatures are meant to live and to grow and be. That Liberty lives in the Truth. That Liberty lives where people can speak freely, without fear of injury or reprisals. That Liberty lives only when the press is free and unencumbered – when it is detached from events instead of entwined in them. That Liberty lives when people refuse to be intimidated into silence or acquiescence, whether in the workplace or within the community. That Liberty is the fragile thing that diminishes whenever one refuses to acclaim it for oneself.
But I’m a lowly, barely-read blogger, so who listens to me? I had hoped that someone like Tim Russert would see journalism going out of control and yell, “hey, let’s pull back the reins,” but that didn’t happen. I still want to believe he’d be appalled at the galloping disintegration of our free press – now fully beholden to every leftwing concern, and to their Lord Barack Obama.
I have a pal who was a journalist for over 20 years who has said “goodbye to all that” because he was beginning to feel unclean, and ashamed of his profession.
You need to understand how painful this is for me. I am one of those people who truly bleeds ink when I’m cut. I am a fourth generation newspaperman. As family history tells it, my great-grandfather was a newspaper editor in Abilene, Kansas during the last of the cowboy days, then moved to Oregon to help start the Oregon Journal (now the Oregonian). My hard-living – and when I knew her, scary – grandmother was one of the first women reporters for the Los Angeles Times. And my father, though profoundly dyslexic, followed a long career in intelligence to finish his life (thanks to word processors and spellcheckers) as a very successful freelance writer. I’ve spent thirty years in every part of journalism, from beat reporter to magazine editor. And my oldest son, following in the family business, so to speak, earned his first national by-line before he earned his drivers license.
So, when I say I’m deeply ashamed right now to be called a “journalist”, you can imagine just how deep that cuts into my soul.
Glenn Reynolds is hearing from journalists who identify.
I personally believe that the press is going “all in” on Obama because they figure it’s the best way to shut down alternative media – which is killing them – and go back to being the only game in town. The only game in town, and completely beholden to the government. That’s scary as hell.
At this point, I – like Bill Kristol – would be happy to see a McCain win just to watch the press’ reaction. I want to see the press defeated, and set right. Not victorious and forever destroyed.
UPDATE: And when someone in the press does make the Obama camp the teensiest bit uncomfortable, they get punished. Nice. The shape of things to come: Silenced. Don’t challenge us or you’ll pay. Remember…George W. Bush was supposed to be the big fascist.
What was it journalists used to like to say? “Our job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I’m thinking nobody named Obama, Pelosi, Kerry, Reid, Franks, Dodd, Gore etc feels particularly “afflicted” by the press, these last few years.