Media malfeasance

Worldview Item of the Day

The Weekly Standard Weblog details the ongoing attempts by the media to smear John McCain’s vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin by publishing outright lies and unproved innuendo.

I long ago abandoned any notion that modern media represents fair, objective reporting of the truth, but the events of this election cycle prove beyond a reasonable doubt that much of the media has largely taken one political point of view and will do or say anything to support that view. From my point of view, the media has joined the socialist left without apology or regret.

In joining the left, the media has committed itself to a campaign of smearing anyone who voices anything looking like disagreement with their agenda. This campaign goes so far as to justify the printing of lies and innuendo as fact in an attempt to sway political points of view.

At the same time, many journalists maintain a public façade of the unassailable purity of journalism, going so far as to claim that anyone who is not trained in journalism cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Perhaps there are a few journalists who still adhere to the journalistic ideal, but a large majority of them has abandoned the truth of objectivity for the lie of political power.

So, if journalists are the fourth estate of government, then how can they justify publishing lies and half-truths? The last time I checked, we punish politicians and civil servants for lying. What should the penalty for journalistic lying be?

Unfortunately, we cannot easily thwart the power of modern media over the flow of news. We can however, abandon modern media in favor of new media. Independent publications, television, radio, and internet sites represent the small but growing rebellion against the excesses of modern media gone bad. The more people who turn to these alternative outlets, the less power the modern media has and the more chance there is for reform.

Of course, searching out and using such alternatives requires a conscious decision on every individual’s part. Further, it requires each individual to test those sources for their reliability.

Perhaps, those actions are the real answer to the problem of modern media gone bad. When citizens take responsibility for their news and their politics, there is little need for estates of any kind. The people are the final estate of libertarian democracy, and we should use that power accordingly.


Cross-posted on Journalistic Pursuits

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2 Responses to Media malfeasance

  1. chrispy85 says:

    But Denny, they’re journalists. They’ve been taught in college not to lie!

  2. dlhitzeman says:

    Oh, right, and because we didn’t go to college to be journalists, that must mean we lie. Got it.

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