Skip to comments.Rat-Catchers: The True Function of a Free Press
Posted on 12/21/2019 9:10:32 AM PST by Kaslin
That there are scoundrels in government will come as no surprise to anyone. All governments. Always have been and always will be, despite our best efforts to remove them. They are like cockroaches, the ultimate survivors. Scoundrels, like a virus, hijack the nominal purpose of government and use it to their own ends, entrenching their positions, lining their pockets, and growing their power.
All societies have sought to eradicate scoundrels in government through various measures, a hopeless but necessary effort. These measures work to some extent, but the end result is just to select for sneakier and craftier scoundrels in a Darwinian manner. The rats learn to play the game better and still end up running most of the structure, if not all of it.
The most effective, though certainly not foolproof, method attempted to date was hit upon by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. The founding fathers stumbled upon a great idea to keep dishonest people away from the levers of power. They subcontracted the job out.
A watchdog within the government structure will sooner or later be corrupted. So the framers set up a free and independent press to sniff out scandal. Nothing sells papers like scandal, and scandalous behavior of those in power is the juiciest scandal of all. The free press was created with a built in financial incentive to find and expose scoundrels. Journalists are, in effect, paid by the rat for every rat they catch and display for public scorn.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
One of the good things about a rabidly anti-Trump press, is that if any Trump officials DID try something crooked, the press would be all over them the next day.
What I didn't like was the absolute fawning the so-called watchdogs did for Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. THAT'S where they fail. I could handle the incessant drumbeat against Trump, if only they had the same zeal against Pelosi, Schiff, Schumer, Nadler, AOC, Waters, et. al.
Once upon a time it was the media's job to inform the reader.
Cronkite and company decided it was now their job to inform us what we're allowed/required to believe. It's been that way ever since.
The scoundrels are striving to maximize the amount of loot they can wring from the public coffers.
Guess what group has more millionaire’s R or D in congress.
Clue it’s not R.
Any questions why congress hates being out of the loop when Trumps gets things done the right way.
Fascist press for a fascist society.
We have to wonder: How can 90% of “the press” favor the Democrat Party? It doesn’t make sense economically for 90% of “the press” to share the revenue from 50% of the population. That situation appears to have worked out well for Hannity so far, though he may have to spend more to air his show than do the Democrat partisan show.
"In the early twentieth century the free press in America, decided to shackle itself to progressivism."
All of our problems begin in the progressive era, that includes the across-the-board corruption of the press. This corruption can even be traced perhaps to one single book more than any other.
Walter Lippmann's Public Opinion.
Yes, we've always had partisan papers. But the difference today is that instead of declaring their partisanship openly, papers -- and media in general -- operate under the rubric of being "objective." That's the Big Lie. As a consumer of news I like to hear both sides of issues in a forthright way, not cloaked in phony neutrality.
I'd add that with the advent of electronic media a new personal element has been added to news reporting. When reassuring personalities like Cronkite with his soothing avuncular manner enter people's living rooms, viewers can be easily swayed -- especially when only one side of issues is highlighted in positive terms.
Moreover, "rat-catching" -- detecting and proving official dishonesty and misconduct -- is time consuming and requires specialized skills and knowledge. This makes institutional support essential to sustained investigative effort. Again, the mainstream media with its large budgets have the advantage.
Modern journalism schools teach advocacy, not reporting.
The difference is striking.
FAKE NEWS PRINCES!
(PRODUCED BEFORE THE DEMS TOOK BACK THE HOUSE. LET’S TOSS THEM IN 2020!)
Thank you for the ping.
The Left is so insidiously Evil.
The SAPS ( Taxpayers) are waking up to these facts, thanks to the alternate media , and Pres. Trump.
The future of this country's politics will be different , hopefully for the better. -Tom
Like ‘Rat Catchers’ of long ago :
EVERYONE KNOWS when they are NOT doing their job
“Watchdogs” is the more traditional Role allocated (why ‘Journalists’ have the special Rights). BUT that also assumes the LOYALTY which DOGS have, which in NO WAY, TODAY, can the leftist Press be attributed with - to the American People (to something else - yes....)
“Judas Goat” might be more appropriate for the current set of betrayers in so much of the Leftist Media these days.
That was Lippmann's innovation. The "new thing under the sun".
IMHO, the rubric of being "objective - the Big Lie - is explained by Adam Smith:" People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."People of the same trade of journalism meet together, virtually, via the wire services. They have been doing so on a continuous basis since before the Civil War.
The claim of journalistic objectivity is logically impossible, and cynical. The claim that journalists are objective is a claim that journalist dont even have to try to be objective. False - What is true is that journalists go along and get along with each other - and call that objectivity. And others go along and get along with the journalism cartel just like journalists do, but they are not called objective. They are called liberal, of progressive or centrist or moderate.
Since liberals go along perfectly with the journalism cartel, liberals never get libeled - whereas conservatives routinely do. Thus the Warren Courts 1964 New York Times Co. v. Sullivan decision - which made it impractical for politicians to sue for libel - affects Democrats and Republicans alike, in precisely the same sense that a law against sleeping under bridges affects the rich and the homeless alike.
Since Sullivan practically eliminates libel suits by politicians, it gives journalists delusions of grandeur of being the Fourth Estate - of having rights not applicable to the people at large. That is no wise a constitutional conceit; the only difference between a journalist and any other person its that others do not have presses yet. But they are fully entitled to buy one within their means whenever they wanna.
In Sullivan, SCOTUS claimed that". . . libel can claim no talismanic immunity from constitutional limitations. It must be measured by standards that satisfy the First Amendment. . . which sounds great until Antonin Scalia sinks his teeth into it. In reality, the Bill of Rights was subtly crafted not to change the right to sue for libel, or any other right. The purpose of the Bill of Rights was precisely to assure that the rights of the people, as then understood, would not be changed. And thus it was understood, until the Warren court subverted it in Sullivan.
It is the fact that Republicans cannot prove objective facts in court via a libel suit which is the engine of political correctness. That is, it establishes that liberals have a right not only to their own opinions but to their own facts. Sullivan must be challenged and overturned.
Granted, the ad, which was by supporters of Martin Luther King, contained factual errors, but surely the often brutal conduct of the Montgomery police department was a topic of legitimate political discussion and controversy. Requiring lock cinch factual accuracy of anyone commenting on public issues would shut down all but the most determined and cash-flush critics.
I accept that abuse of libel law is possible. And that therefore libel should be strictly limited to a sincere apology, expressed as loudly as the libel itself was. Plus court costs for defending an unsupportable libel in court.
If you say something untrue about me, I have to give you notice that its untrue, and provide some justification for my claim. If you promptly withdraw, and retract at least as visibly as the original libel, that should be that. Its only if the libel is repeated and not retracted that I should have the right to recourse in court.
But that assumes that the libel goes no further than your publication. The reality is that the wire services create a cartel among journalists. One member lies, and another swears to it. All in the name of objectivity, dont you know. The wire services are a solution to a Nineteenth Century problem - very expensive telegraphy bandwidth. Now telegraphy bandwidth is virtually free in comparison. We dont need no stinking wire services. The Internet does just fine, thank you - and individual publications and even individual reporters can be on the playing field with the big boys. The wire services should be dismantled - and the cartel behavior which they have inspired must be suppressed in the individual presses.
The trouble with Sullivan is, as I noted, that Republicans cant prove facts in court. Without that, Democrats are entitled to their own facts. Hello, Kavanaugh hearings and the untrammeled propaganda campaign which followed them.
I note that in asserting that pre-Sullivan politicians did in fact have the right to sue for libel. Which implies that the Warren Court legislated in Sullivan.
I thank you for responding. I want constructive criticism.
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