There are a few movies that I will watch again and again; much to my wife's dismay. She will muddle something under her breath about how many times I have watched this movie as she shakes her head and walks away. I think of it as the mark of good movie. You know what's going to happen, and you still watch it because it's a great film. One of these movies, for me anyway, is All the President's Men (1976) staring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. If you are a millennial, or someone who doesn't follow politics, it's the story about two young reporters who investigate, and keep digging to prove a connection between the Nixon White House and a burglary at a Democratic campaign office in the Watergate office complex.
Yeah, something fishy was going on, but unless you kept pushing, kept asking questions, kept the heat on until someone gave you a piece of the puzzle, there would be no story. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein kept digging, kept pushing for information, even when everyone else had lost interest. It didn't hurt that most everyone at the Washington Post hated Richard Nixon, but even if they were motivated by politics, they did their job. They broke the story, and that story brought down an administration, and sent people to jail. It also made Woodward and Bernstein famous and the darlings of the DC cocktail scene. The other impact Watergate made was to inspire generations of journalism majors to not just report the news, but go out and 'change the world'.
I watched that movie (again) last night, and I was startled by the conclusion I reached as the credits rolled. That movie may have signaled the end of objective journalism in America.
The news business has always had a left of center slant since I can remember. I watched Walter Cronkite, and Dan Rather along with the rest of the evening news anchors read the news since I was a boy. Granted, you only saw them a half hour each night, so it was harder to get a sense of their political leanings. However, time has a way of bringing out their biases, especially when they get out from behind that chair.
In the 70's, the percentage of republicans in the newsroom was about 25%. Today, only 7% of journalist are Republicans. Most reporters won't tell you what party they affiliate with; they claim to be independent. One look at the front page of any major paper will tell you what they won't; they are far to the left of the nation they are reporting on. That's fine. If your industry wants to present a single point of view, you are certainly allowed to do so. If you want to hire only like-minded people and have a business model based on monolithic group think, it is certainly your right. Just don't ask me to weep for you as your circulation crumbles and your newsrooms get smaller and smaller.
Journalist once reported the news, today they have chosen sides, and that side has little to do with truth. Today, most of the main stream journalism has much more to do with ideology than transparency and accountability of government. Just look at who they give their own money to.
Even working for a democrat politician doesn't seem to disqualify you from being an "objective" journalist. From Chuck Todd, George Stephanopoulos, Chris Matthews, back to Tim Russert, being a former democratic staffer just gives you insight, not bias, I guess. The list of reporters married to democrat staffers, politicians and government officials is almost endless.
Watch how easily progressives slide between journalism and Democratic Party operatives.
At this year's Democratic Convention, Debbie Wasserman Schultz was fired as Democratic Party Committee Chair after emails leaked detailing her coordinating with various news outlets and reporters to make sure Hillary Clinton faced no hard questions during interviews. So what happened next? Donna Brazile stepped in to replace her. Donna Barzile was working for CNN and ABC at the time! Now it's come out that Brazile even fed a potentially damaging question to the Clinton camp before the Townhall because she thought it might be tough one for Hillary to answer. Oh, and Wasserman Schultz? She was hired by Hillary Clinton as a campaign consultant! Presto chango! One minute a journalist, the next, a democrat operative, and vise versa.
It's just one big game of musical chairs between democrats and journalists. What ever happened to the reporting the truth, no matter the party affiliation? Journalists are not interested in the truth today, unless that truth is damaging to a person or political party they disagree with. The Republican Party is by far the largest target, but even Bernie Sanders got a little taste of this when he went up against the media's anointed candidate.
Look, I know this is the time you start saying "Oh yeah? Well what about Fox News! Those guys are all a bunch of rightwing nut jobs!" Point taken.
I am not a huge fan of Fox News, or any cable news channel for that matter. Fox has it's point of view, and slants its coverage to its audience. If you wonder why Fox beats the pants off the other cable news
channels, the answer is simple. There is no balance, or should I say
very little conservative point of view presented on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC news. I would say they
are 90% liberal/progressive in what they cover, and maybe even more importantly, what they don't cover. As for Fox, if I had to put a number on it, I would say the conservative to liberal coverage of news stories on Fox is 70/30. However, most of the so called conservatives at Fox are main stream, big government republicans anyway.
Lord help us if you're getting you news from The
Daily Show, Bill Maher or NPR.
Back to my point. If the big media, the New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, etc, were interested in the truth, they would be out for blood in these latest batch of Hillary Clinton's emails.
They would be looking at The Clinton Foundation for what it is; a thinly veiled pay-for-play racketeering ring where Bill and Hillary take hundreds of millions of dollars from large corporations, foreign countries, and the super wealthy elites, to use their contacts and, in Hillary's case, her official position as Secretary of State, to influence public policies and make things happen for their donors.
You simply can't have your closest, most senior advisors and staffers, working for (and getting handsomely compensated by) the US State Department, The Clinton Foundation and private lobbying firms, all at the same time!
Remember all you folks who were trying so hard to connect Dick Cheney to Halliburton after he sold all his shares before becoming VP? He had all his money in a blind trust and had no interaction with Halliburton during the Iraq war, but you were certain he was pulling strings to make himself millions. Hillary is openly doing what you wanted Cheney imprisoned for; Making her, her family, and her friends rich by using public office.
Now Hillary is running for president, and the money is pouring in, by the billions, with a "B".
Look, it's a good deal if you need something done through the government to make yourself, or your corporation, your country, or your NGO rich. The whole world knows she is open for business, and business is booming.
After this election, the truth about Hillary Clinton will come out. Did you notice I said after this election? Once the media has another democrat safely in the White House, they will start to get curious about the Clinton Foundation. Especially the ones who were Bernie Sanders supporters. My guess is Senator Clinton will not make it through her first term. The pressure will be too great and she may site "her health" as a reason to step down before she is impeached. Can you say President Tim Kaine?
Back to All the presidents men. I wonder where today's Woodward and Bernstein are? My guess is there are entire newsrooms full of gung-ho reporters out to "change the world", they just want to make sure that change fits with their progressive world view. If not, they're not interested in the story....