As a little kid growing up in the 1970s, I remember my grandfather watching Walter Cronkite or Huntley and Brinkley every night for news. I remember Watergate and Woodward and Bernstein and Deep Throat (stop it you perverts). For a few years there, I really thought those old dudes on TV knew what they were talking about. The idea that Nixon wasn’t a complete asshole never occurred to me. Because no ‘serious’ fellow wearing a suit on television liked him at all. I was 11 when Nixon resigned; cut me some slack.
By the same token, I was growing up in Alabama. Local news, which my pawpaw also watched, was mostly uniformly pro- Governor Wallace. I say ‘mostly’ because there were some things people just couldn’t ignore. I don’t remember the schoolhouse door thing, but I remember Wallace from his later years. He is a blight on my state.
I also remember sitting in cars for hours waiting to get petrol because Jimmy Carter is a moron. I reckon the media don’t recall much about it. At least they didn’t write or say much about how it was Carter’s fault we had the problem to begin with. Weird, right?
So at least since the 1960s, in my living experience, the press (aka ‘the media’) has been a vehicle for whatever point of view they wish to represent. We often hear (now that there is a non-Democrat at 1600) how it is a travesty that President Trump puts CNN or NYT or some other partisan organization in the back of the room. How the press should be the bringers of truth to the American people. They never say that when a Democrat is in the White House. They figure their place is established by some criterion that escapes me. The press have always been partisan. I mean, it exists because of partisanship. God bless America.
Here’s the thing these neutral arbiters of the truth never tell you: The American press has never been about being neutral. It started as a way to just talk to people about things that were happening (sure pal), but quickly became the preferred method to advocate against (or for) some political position. And there is nothing at all wrong with that. I’ve checked it with the Constitution, and the First Amendment tells me you can say whatever the fuck you like. And if you disagree, leave a comment below. Feel free to speak your mind.
The issue we have today is that there aren’t enough people who care about stuff like this. A lot of people now just move from screen to screen. And if they think much at all about the news or politics, they just flip on CNN or FNC and believe what they’re told. There is no “free press” today; there is only propaganda for one ‘side’ or another. As it ever was. I have to say, though: After watching our ‘watchdogs’ fellate Barack Obama for more than nine years, it pleases me to see Trump letting them know their proper place.
After the W years and especially the Obama years, the press no longer matters to thinking people. And more people are thinking than ever before. We saw what you did there, and we did not like it. They lack the self-awareness to realize their bias, in the main. I could count on one hand the number of media personalities whose leanings and affiliation I have trouble discerning. That is shameful. Come on, press: Do your (alleged) job. You report; we’ll decide.
Benjamin Harris weeps.
This post came about because of a conversation @MsD_408 and I had on Twitter. Thanks, MsD!
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.