|An Enemy of The People
by Andy Joppa
“Whatever Mainstream Media focuses on, BEWARE. Whatever Mainstream Media ignores, FOCUS.”
― Sotero M Lopez II
Oscar Wilde wrote…and his words still ring true:
In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three… We are dominated by Journalism.
I don’t believe The Press, in its classic form, is the enemy of the American people. I do believe that many, however, masquerading as The Press, fall within that description. It is unfortunate to consider that there are now more “pretenders,” than objective journalists. You are not merely “The Press” because you call yourself The Press, or because you have a printing press, a website or a press card. There are characteristics that must be manifest to earn inclusion within the hallowed “Press” of The First Amendment.
From this point forward, I will use the collective term “Main Stream Media (MSM)” to refer to both its legitimate and illegitimate members…they must sort themselves out. Much of the legitimate press has been complicit in the outrages of these usurpers by their silence and, therefore, are also culpable. It is not all of its members…but the corruption shown by the majority cannot escape condemnation because of the few unbiased anomalies.
The question must be asked…” Has the MSM, in any of its myriads of forms, violated their public trust, acting in a manner that is foreign to their chartered purpose and, by so doing, become an enemy of the American people? Have they dishonored their basic codes of journalism in the pursuit of the fulfillment of their own ideological purpose? Have they used the protective covering offered by the Constitution to become little more than a propaganda arm of a political philosophy standing in rabid opposition to the duly elected president of the United States? Are they in effect…no longer the protected Press of The First Amendment?” All that we know affirms all these positions.
We can measure the validity of these views by considering the Five Core Principles of Journalism. These are widely accepted and are used to define whether someone in the media…or a group… is fulfilling their ethical and chartered obligation. If you find that those in the mainstream media have a general, consistent and voluntary disregard of those principles…then, a conclusion can be reached, must be reached, that that Institution itself has become the enemy of the people. Then, not only are we profoundly damaged by their corruption…but we also lose the essential value they should be contributing.
1. Truth and Accuracy
Getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism. They should always strive for accuracy, giving all the relevant facts they have and ensure that they have been checked.
Journalists must be independent voices. They should declare to their editors – or the audience – any of their political affiliations, financial arrangements or other personal information that might constitute a conflict of interest.
3. Fairness and Impartiality
Most stories have at least two sides. While there is no obligation to present every side in every piece, stories should be balanced and add context.
Journalists should do no harm. What they publish or broadcast may be hurtful, but they should be aware of the impact of their words and impacts on the lives of others.
A sure sign of professionalism and responsible journalism is the ability to hold themselves accountable. When they commit errors, they must correct them,and their expressions of regret must be sincere not cynical.
I will not attempt to document here the obvious fact that the Press…the Main Stream Media…has violated each and every principle. Not only are they guilty without a reasonable doubt…they are guilty beyond any doubt. You are either capable of identifying this reality or my iteration of a countless number of specifics will not convince you. This is especially true of their unrelenting assault on President Trump. It should be noted that the scurrilous attacks on the President are only the latest manifestation of a process that has gone on for decades.
What I can and will discuss, however, are the methods used by the MSM in fulfilling their bias. This bias takes several predictable and repeated forms. Here are the major categories…the tools of their bias:
Ø Bias by commission: a pattern of unfounded assumptions and uncorrected errors that tend to support a left-wing or liberal view. The national media regularly report “facts” that don’t stand up to scrutiny. Examples of bias by commission abound. In fact, the national media are sometimes more impressed with (and less skeptical of) reports by liberal interest groups than government reports.
Ø Bias by omission: a pattern of ignoring facts that tend to disprove liberal or left-wing claims, or that support conservative beliefs. This can be the most damaging bias, especially when the media builds a crisis, and then refuses to report facts that oppose their earlier reporting.
Ø Bias by story selection: a pattern of highlighting news stories that coincide with the agenda of the Left while ignoring stories that dispute that agenda or support conservative positions.
Ø Bias by placement: a pattern of placing news stories to downplay information supportive of conservative views. Does a story appear across the top half of the front page, or is it buried back with the obituaries and the horoscope?
Ø Bias by the selection of “experts”: the use of such phrases as “most experts believe” and “observers say,” or a reporter’s deliberate selection of experts who share his point of view. When a reporter says, “most experts believe…,” he often means, “I believe…” Quoting an expert by name does not necessarily add to the credibility of a story, because the reporter may choose any expert he wants. Often a reporter picks an expert who will provide him with a quote supporting his (the reporter’s) personal opinion.
Ø Spin: emphasizing certain aspects of a news story in the hope that other aspects will be ignored. One expert on the news media, Professor Michael Robinson, explains that “spin involves tone, the part of the reporting that extends beyond hard news.”
Ø Bias by the labeling of activists, organizations, and ideas: The media’s power to label people is one of its most subtle, and potent. Responsible conservatives are sometimes stigmatized as “far right,” “ultra-conservative,” or “right-wing extremists,” while radicals, even Marxists, are called “progressives,” “liberals,” or “moderates.” Sometimes labeling bias takes the form of not labeling people and organizations in ideological terms. For example, conservative groups are almost always identified as conservative, while liberal groups are described in neutral terms such as “women’s group” or “civil rights group,” or favorable terms such as “children’s rights supporters,” “free-speech activists,” or “clean-air advocates.”
Ø Bias by policy recommendation: When reporters list possible solutions to society’s problems, the solutions are almost always on the agenda of the Left(“raise taxes,” “cut defense,” “have taxpayers pay for abortions,” “issue more government regulations.”)
For the reasons presented, the institutions comprising The Press… and their members… must be held to a much higher standard than all others. While, individual institutional indiscretions are easily monitored and can be condemned; it is more difficult to identify when the threshold has been reached that suggests this entire area of institutional life can be condemned… when does that institution, by failing in its position of trust, become…yes…an enemy of the people. We may condemn the institution because of the general propensity of its collective actions, while identifying some individuals that are outside this definition. For example: Oskar Schindler…although a N*zi party member, has escaped the negative labeling because of his heroic actions during The Holocaust. But the existence of a Schindler does not remove the taint from the institution. The N*zis were an enemy of the people.
Anyone who tries to report objectively won’t make it through the meat grinder of political correctness and the filters they must penetrate. This drives any hint of independent thought out of journalists who may have, at one time, been inclined towards independent reporting. It is this near absence of critical objectivity and their failure to fulfill their critical function that demands MSM be declared…AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.
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