As a one-time journalist, I'm deeply ashamed of today's media

I once was a journalist and proud of my profession.

No longer.

Today’s media are habitually violating what once were the profession’s governing principles: that the news must be reported objectively, fairly and without bias. As the report of Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz reveals, the media fed the nation a  steaming pile of BS.

For years, their unrelenting hated of President Donald Trump

John Kass

John Kass

has been their guiding principle. Not that Trump doesn’t deserve to be nailed. He’s his own worst enemy; one might argue credibly that he has brought the BS storm on himself.

But that’s not an excuse for the media’s self-satisfying, twisted practices. Only a few called their profession to task.

In Chicago, no one has done it better than Tribune columnist John Kass, whose column today, “Will Washington media expose the liars who spun the Trump-Russia hoax?” is one that I wish I had written. In this, Kass solidifies his role as Chicago’s best and perhaps the only remaining conservative columnist. If he is to survive the usual crap hurled at his editors (e.g “Why is someone like John Kass allowed to spew his hatred in the Tribune”), it’s up to you, dear readers, to protect him by showing your support.

The other praiseworthy journalist is Matt Taibbi, a contributor editor of Rolling Stone, a reliable left-wing, counter culture publication. who continues his insightful critique of the media with “‘Corroboration Zero’: An Inspector General’s Report Reveals the Steele Dossier Was Always a Joke” In it, he itemizes the media fabrications, exaggerations and embellishments that were exposed by the Horowitz report. That:

  • The Steele dossier was not central to the FBI’s efforts to get the FISA court to permit a wiretap on Trump campaign associate Cater Page. Here’s an example (“Why Team Trump is wrong about Carter Page, the dossier and that secret warrant”) of how NBC got it wrong.
  • The Steele dossier was “credible”. (Daily Beast)
  • The Rep. David Nunes memo warning about the deceptive dossier was “debunked”  (New Yorker)
  • The Russians blocked Trump from nominating Mitt Romney as secretary of state. (The Telegraph)
  • Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was in Prague presumably to meet with Russian hackers. (Washington Post)
  • The scandalous “pee tape” might be credible. (MSNBC)
  • Trump and a Russian bank were communicating via a secret server. (Time)
  • The FISA-approved wiretaps were producing good-enough intelligence to be renewed three times. (Washington Post)

That so much of the coverage was based on leaks from Trump-haters and were published without verification spotlights the convergence (or should I say the “intersectionality”) of two major media problems today: (1) the left-wing bias that infects so much of the media and (2) the increasing willingness to cite unnamed sources, especially when they have an obvious political agenda.

Americans are hoping that one way or another the impeachment follies/patriot endeavor can be wrapped up soon. Not so soon, however, will we see the media’s commitment to root out this rot.

dennis@dennisbyrne.net

www.dennisbyrne.net 

My historical novel: Madness: The War of 1812

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  • John Solomon, the Hill.com. A reporter still, not in name only.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    "The Hill is reviewing the work of former opinion contributor John Solomon" @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/11/18/hill-is-reviewing-work-former-opinion-contributor-john-solomon/

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    It's too bad that other news organizations do not review their reporters as well. Most of them write opinion disguised as unbiased fact.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    From what I have read, John Solomon is not someone to praise for journalistic integrity. Do the research.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Solomon has been out in front of many of the things Byrne listed in this post, like it or not. As for doing the research, I give you the recent tweets from the WAPO reporters about having a "Merry Impeachmus" Day. With reporters like these from the Post, there is obviously no need to question their bias or do their research. They speak the truth to power, no?
    https://www.washingtontimes.com/multimedia/image/screen-shot-2019-12-18-at-114217-pmpng/

    It's much preferable to have reporters admit their bias than to hide under some false mantle of objectivity. Many newspapers in the 19th Century and before grew from political information organs. This is fine. Let the reader/viewer decide.

  • In reply to Richard Davis:

    A tweet is not a news account. It's per se an opinion. I don't tweet, for the record. And most Americans wish our juvenile president wouldn't either.

    BTW, the errors of some in the free press does not justify anyone, let alone the would-be autocrat in the Oval Office, attacking the rights of a free press, guaranteed by the 1st Amendment and cherished by all patriotic Americans.

  • All that's missing in this column is "the media is the enemy of the people." Why are you pulling your punches here?

    But don't worry: when the journalists are imprisoned, the free press is shut down, and they are all replaced by state-run or -approved media, run by political appointees of whatever Trump child Benedict Donald hands down the presidency to, you will get the media so want. I just hope I die before that happens, although hopefully not on a Trump government torturer's table

  • You can thank 0bama, Pelosi, Reid and the left wing media for Trump and for his re-election. You won't have another Democrat president for a generation and when or if you do we'll be there. We'll be waiting. You guys started it.

  • In reply to mancow:

    Your comment is a bit rambling and incoherent. You could probably get a job as Little Donnie's acting tweet writer.

  • In reply to Bob Abrams:

    When you're done with me, swallow and don't spit. Merry Christmas.

  • fb_avatar

    The esteemed and award winning James Risen of the New York Times (Pulitzers in 2006 and 2002) had this to say about the state of the media under the Obama Administration and how it portended what is happening today.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/30/opinion/sunday/if-donald-trump-targets-journalists-thank-obama.html

    Also Google "Ben Rhodes and the press" and you'll see how the the administration turned the press into toadies.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/obama-official-says-he-pushed-a-narrative-to-media-to-sell-the-iran-nuclear-deal/2016/05/06/5b90d984-13a1-11e6-8967-7ac733c56f12_story.html

    The press is not doing its job.

  • It's understandable that you are a "one-time journalist." Referencing John Kass isn't much of a bibliography.

    Kass repeats the Trump mantra of "Trump-Russia Hoax" as if it's anything other than a disingenuous, dishonest talking point.

    Robert Mueller is a lifelong Republican and Vietnam War hero. His report cites ONE HUNDRED FIFTY contacts between Trumpsters and Russian agents.

    Would you call that many contacts between Russians and Obama's campaign crew the Obama-Russia hoax?

    Mueller's report also cites TEN instances of obstruction of justice for which anyone not under the protection of a dirty Attorney General would be in jail.

    As for the Horowitz report, it would require a severe reading disability, intellectual dishonesty, hypocrisy or just plain partisanship to interpret it as saying anything other than the simple FACT that the FBI investigation into Trump and his organization was COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED and nowhere does it say anything about the Steele Dossier being a joke. Quite the contrary.

    Is this a barbershop or a beauty shop? The gossip and unfounded rumors would suggest the latter.

  • fb_avatar

    What Dennis Byrne and John Kass know about journalistic ethics would fit in a thimble with plenty of room left over for their Messiah Trump's heart.

  • TDS is strong with some people it seems. Oh well, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

    First it was taxes. As if DJT sits down at a table with a bunch of receipts shouting "Melania, put on another pot of coffee!"

    Then it was the Mueller report. A big nothing if there ever was one. (Mueller seemed either deranged, senile or suffering from early onset dementia during his testimony)

    Now it's a conversation with a foreign country.

    I would remind those who have latched on to this second nothing burger, like a drowning man clinging to a life preserver, to re-read the opinion of Chief Justice Sutherland in n United States v. Curtiss-Wright (1936)-

    "The executive branch relies in part on the “sole organ” doctrine to define presidential power
    broadly in foreign relations and national security, including assertions of an inherent executive
    power that is not subject to legislative or judicial constraints"

    ***********
    I mean I didn't hear you guys screaming when obama conducted unilateral foreign policy with Iran.

  • I would also remind those on the left of a saying we use in the military, "When you lower the standard, you have just set a new standard"

    And your side of the political spectrum has lowered the bar so very, very much.

  • fb_avatar

    If 'Russia/Ukraine impeachment' situation is the biggest political hoax ever, aided and abetted by an egregiously biased mainstream news media (MSM), it's plausible that the global warming issue is the second largest. Allow me to compare, with this setup: the former anchors at the PBS NewHour, Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, operated under what they called the MacNeil/Lehrer Guidelines for Journalism. The two top guidelines were "Do nothing I cannot defend," and "Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story." In reporting on the situation leading up to the impeachment proceedings against President Trump, the MSM, including the NewsHour, has violated both guidelines in epic fashion.

    The same goes for the global warming issue. Skeptic climate scientists exist, and they can present headache-inducing levels of detail on why the United Nations' IPCC climate assessment reports offer dubious conclusions about 'catastrophic man-caused global warming.' As a case study of NOT exploring that other side of the issue, the PBS NewsHour has not once — NOT ONCE — featured a skeptic climate scientist on its program over the last 20+ years to provide its viewers with the science-based skeptic side of the issue. I'm not exaggerating or offering idle speculation here, I have an ongoing count of the NewsHour's journalistic malfeasance at my blog, please see "NewsHour Global Warming Bias Tally: 72 to 0" http://gelbspanfiles.com/?page_id=3834

    When President Trump speaks of "fake news" and chastises reporters, some journalists might wrongly interpret this as a threat to silence his opposition. What he likely wants, and I most definitely want, is for MSM reporters to adhere to the basic tenets of journalism and return to their old jobs. I further say that utterly biased, agenda-driven 'reporters' who are more accurately termed "propagandists" are an existential threat to the well-being of the country when they commit the indefensible act of not telling the complete news story.

    There's far more to the global warming issue, namely Al Gore's accusation that skeptic climate scientists are on the payroll of the fossil fuel industry, an accusation that reporters in the MSM apparently NEVER dared to look deeply into, but that's a whole other story.

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