You know Deacon Greg, right? Affable fellow, likes to write homilies and participate in Adoration? Doesn’t like yelling or gratuitous snark? Formerly an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning writer for CBS News? For almost 30 years? Blogs like a news miner, offering up choice nuggets without comment?
During the course of our long friendship he has been the guy psssting to me, “don’t you think you’re being too hard on the press? Must you piss on the press all the time? They don’t mean anything malicious. The newsroom is just a busy place; balls get dropped….yadda yadda…well, okay, you can sneer at that one…”
Well, today, this gentle soul’s last nerve got fried, and it was Andrea Mitchell and NBC News that flipped the switch. Greg has prepared a brief memo for his fellow journalists, in which he throws up his hands, slams down the copy and says, “What the hell is wrong with you?”:
I’m tired. Truly. I’ve grown weary of trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable. For years, people have stomped their feet and pounded their fists and snorted “Liberal media bias!” and I’ve always tut-tutted and shooshed them and said, “No, no. Calm down. They meant well. It was just a misunderstanding. A mistake. These things happen.” I spent over 25 years working in the oft-reviled Mainstream Media and I saw up close and personal how the sausage was made. I knew the people who wielded the knives and wore the aprons, and could vouch (most of the time, anyway) for their good intentions.
Forget it. I’m done. You deserve what they’re saying about you. It’s earned. You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you. You have successfully eroded any confidence, dispelled any trust, and driven your audience into the arms of the Internet and the blogosphere, where biases are affirmed and like-minded people can tell each other what they hold to be true, since nobody believes in objective reality any more. You have done a superlative job of diminishing what was once a great profession and undermining one of the vital underpinnings of democracy, a free press.
Note to self: don’t try the Deacon too high, because when he finally blows, it ain’t pretty. I’m just going to put some yellow tape around this area, so while I’m doing that why don’t you go read the whole thing?
UPDATE I: Thomas L. McDonald says Mitchell and company even got the technical angle wrong, because Wa-wa’s screens are in fact, pretty impressive. So, they’re idiots about news and they don’t appreciate technology, too? For heaven’s sake, I thought it was the GOP was the gang of Neanderthals who didn’t get the greatness of technology and innovation!
Ed Morrissey: Wow. Thank goodness Andrea Mitchell is an honest-to-goodness journalist, instead of just a talk-show host on an occasionally-watched cable channel … or worse yet, just a blogger. So, we can now assume that NBC News enforces no standards on truth or ethics on its own correspondents, and doesn’t just exempt the MSNBC opinion-show hosts, right?
UPDATE II: I don’t watch Fox News — I don’t watch any news unless it’s a breaking story, like a tsunami — so I don’t know if its any better; I somehow doubt it, but here is more cringe-inducing stuff from MSNBC