In The Name Of Responsible Journalism …

I fully support a free press, but in return I expect the press to report facts.  Label opinions as such, but when I read the news, I expect it to be honest, factual reporting.  The actual press (I do NOT include the likes of Fox and OANN in this) has been letting us down for some time now on a daily basis.  The former guy is front and center nearly every day, when he should have been reduced to irrelevance long ago.  No other former president has occupied as much media space as he, and frankly I find it sickening and disgusting.

The latest is his plan to hold a “news conference” from Mar-a-Lago on January 6th, the one-year anniversary of the violent attempted coup at the U.S. Capitol on the date of the certification of the 2020 election results.  In light of his announcement, it becomes painfully obvious that he intends to use his voice, such as it is, to rehash his old and false lie about the election having been ‘rigged’ or ‘stolen’.

“I will be having a news conference on January 6th at Mar-a-Lago to discuss all of these points, and more. Until then, remember, the insurrection took place on November 3rd, it was the completely unarmed protest of the rigged election that took place on January 6th.” 

According to Forbes, the former guy said the primary goal of his event will be to attack Republicans who haven’t bought into his fraud claims, deriding them as “RINOs”—Republicans in name only.

Now, none of us can stop the former guy from saying what he will, but … we can call on the legitimate press to boycott the speech.  And that is exactly what they should do … no legitimate news source should be anywhere near Mar-a-Lago on January 6th.  Let him speak until he is hoarse, heard only by the likes of Fox ‘News’, OANN, and other radical right-wing outlets.  Let this serve as notice to The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and others that they MUST stay away at all costs!  To attend and report on this childish display of lies and tempers would be a gross disservice to their readers and viewers and would cut into their reputations significantly. We the People have absolutely ZERO interest in anything the former guy (what’s his name again … I forget) has to say.  We’ve heard it all before and we know from past experience that it will be a rant filled with a pack of lies.  I do not wish to see his ugly mug nor to hear the filth that spews from his twisted, contorted mouth!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced plans for a solemn commemoration in Washington on January 6th. Pelosi said the events, which will include “a discussion among historians about the narrative of that day; an opportunity for Members (of Congress) to share their experiences and reflections from that day; and a prayerful vigil in the evening” will be live-streamed.  The press would do much better to cover this commemoration than to cover the former guy doing more ranting, cursing, and lying.  No doubt there will be numerous other events to commemorate the day that will be of far more value than the one at Mar-a-Lago.  Let’s all hope that in the name of responsible journalism, the press can turn their focus to those events and boycott the other one.  If they do not, then I will strongly consider cancelling my online subscriptions to those outlets that waste their time and our money on the former guy.

41 thoughts on “In The Name Of Responsible Journalism …

  1. Pingback: The Results of Searching for “Journalism” on WordPress – Jacob's Blog

  2. There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” —Isaac Asimov

    These last 5-10 years have been dangerous times Jill. Never in human history have so many people had quick, at your finger-tips, easy access to a near profane amount of information, whether good, bad, factual, or explicitly bogus. We have clearly moved out of the Information Age of the early 1990’s and firmly into the Disinformation Age. And yet, sadly and ironically so many are stubbornly resistant to learning anything or testing their prior beliefs, knowledge, notions, biases, and ignorance… when it feels uncomfortable or challenges their personal comfort zones. From his excellent book “The Death of Expertise” Tom Nichols, a Boston University (BA), Columbia University (MA), and Georgetown University (PhD) alum and acclaimed U.S. Specialist on International Affairs writes:

    Not only do increasing numbers of laypeople lack basic knowledge, they reject fundamental rules of evidence and refuse to learn how to make a logical argument. In doing so, they risk throwing away centuries of accumulated knowledge and undermining the practices and habits that allow us to develop new knowledge.

    Btw, I have a fairly long list of saved bookmarks to several fact-checking and Media-bias measuring websites, if you’d like me to list some of them here—unless of course you already have them or ones you personally trust and like. Just let me know Ma’am. 🙂

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    • Indeed, it would seem that the “Age of Enlightenment” seems to have passed. I know the Internet with its vast amount of “information”, both false and factual, is partly responsible, but I’ve long thought that in the U.S., the election of a Black president played a role in the ‘populist’ movement that escorted Trump into the Oval Office. It seemed that bigotry in all its forms came slithering out from under the rocks it had been hiding as a response to Obama’s election — not once, but twice! It seemed that Trump was the pushback against Obama’s elections. Your thoughts?

      Naturally, I have certain sources that I use and fact-checking sites, but I would very much like to see your list as well … I’m always open to new ideas and sources, so please do share some of them here!

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      • …not once, but twice! It seemed that Trump was the pushback against Obama’s elections. Your thoughts?

        I agree. Not only because of Obama’s elections, but also because sadly too many prejudiced, bigoted, a very specific demographic(ed) political population of the U.S. also would not accept a female President (Hillary) either! Jill, this last decade has felt as if America slipped into a wormhole and traveled back to the mid-19th century! 😵 The Orange Orangutan incited and brought out of the woodwork and from underneath tombstones everything ugly and repulsive from our Darkest Past and most horrific events many of us thought (wrongly) were dead, buried, and gone. I was one of those fooled in 2016. Today, I am constantly appalled by the behaviors and hate-speeches amplified by their so-called leaders. 😟

        Regarding some of my Fact-checking and Media-bias links, give me a few minutes or more to gather them. Then I’ll post them as a Reply-comment here.

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        • You’re so right! I have always believed that being a woman was the single thing that actually kept Clinton from winning in 2016 … well, truth is she DID win by nearly 3 million votes, but lost the electoral college. That is another of my pet peeves … more than once, the electoral college has done the exact opposite of what it was originally intended to do.

          I certainly agree with you about the decline of this nation. It’s as if all the ugliness was hiding under rocks these past decades, just waiting for permission to emerge. Donald Trump gave them that permission and now I’m not sure we can ever get them to go back under their rocks. Like you, I am appalled by what I see and hear … even from members of Congress! Boebert, Greene, Gosar, Gaetz and many others need to be expelled from their seats for their behaviour, but instead they are relieved of their actual work (committee assignments) and given even more time to stir up trouble, engage in conspiracy theories, and travel the country promoting the lies of the former guy.

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      • Well, instead of listing 5-8 various websites I thought it would be more economical to just share these three sites that list most all the good Fact-checking, Media-Bias websites, including the excellent Non-Profit sites:

        Fighting Disinformation Online:
        https://www.rand.org/research/projects/truth-decay/fighting-disinformation.html

        UMass-Amherst Libraries Fact-checking resources:
        https://guides.library.umass.edu/fakenews/factcheck

        MUO’s publication out of Quebec, Canada,
        6 Best Fact-Checking Sites for Finding Unbiased Truth:

        https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/true-5-factchecking-websites/

        —————

        Two sites I use quite frequently are PolitiFact.com and MediaBiasFactcheck.com of which I recommend.

        And every four years for elections—sometimes during mid-term elections too—I use heavily ProCon.org to easily weed-out and weed-thru all useless political campaigns on TV to get straight at the KEY ISSUES of each candidate’s platform. After all, most of modern political media/TV campaigns are merely “tell your voters whatever they want & need to hear” to win the election. Then, once in office do whatever YOU like and NOT serve the people of the United States, majorities and minorities. ProCon.org is brilliant at removing the TV-acting of candidates and making them base and simplified. Because I am an Independent and have been now for 30-something years these last 25 I have LOVED this type of site! 😁

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        • I just took a quick glance at each of the three and have added them to my list of daily ‘go to’ sites! Thank you!!!

          I have used PolitiFact for several years, but was not aware of MediaBiasFactCheck. I will check that out and add it to my list. Thank you so much, Prof!!! I, too, am an Independent, though over the last 5 years, I lean more heavily toward the left than ever before! I would register as a Democrat at this point, but for the fact that I don’t wish to be constantly inundated with requests for donations, surveys, phone calls and emails! I think the differences between Democrats and Republicans are wider than ever before and I can boil it down to Democrats care about people, whereas Republicans care about wealth and power.

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          • Yes, MediaBiasFactCheck.com is very good at measuring the leanings of specific news corporations and their outlets.

            What amazed me after checking around 30-35 different news outlets on the site a couple of years ago, was just how FEW are actually smack in the middle, “Least Biased.” This is likely a result of the Orange Orangutan’s rise thru Republican politics and deeply polarizing the entire nation, especially our news outlets—many have had no choice BUT to “fire back” in defense of what extreme Conservative outlets have been spewing.

            It is a sad state of affairs that so much of the general American consumer is so gullible and so ill-prepared for sound critical-thinking skills (supposedly learned in high school?) and fact-checking before ‘hitching their wagon’ to Snake Oil Salesmen like the Orange Orangutan, Ted Cruz, or Marjorie Taylor Greene. It baffles any normal intellect as to how and why this has happened in our country. 😔

            I do know this: it is a clear reflection of our K-12 public education system and the BOOM of private/charter school enrollments the last 20-30 years.

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            • I think you’re right that the Orange Orangutan’s entry into the Oval Office had a lot to do with the narrowing of middle ground. It pushed those on the right or center-right further to the right, and those of us who were left or center-left now lean much further to the left. I know I do. I used to think I was slightly to the left of center, but in today’s world, I am much further to the left … almost to the western edge! Is there even a middle ground anymore? I have my doubts.

              When I look around at those gullible and ill-prepared people, I have to wonder if our education system is even working. We’ve basically stopped teaching Civics and if the right-wingers have their way, we will stop teaching factual history. In essence, do we teach young people to think for themselves anymore? Or, is it merely the laziness that has been encouraged by social media, that causes people to think it’s simpler to believe what they are told than to do the research to find the facts. Simply buying into what they are told leaves them with so much more time to sit in front of the television, munching their potato chips and chocolate bars.

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  3. I know you mean well, Jill, and I agree with you, but the Free Press has changed. Where once upon a time it did report the news, and only the news, now it has to make a profit. Pre-World Wide Web, that profit was guaranteed. They had no competition. They could afford to report only the facts. Now anyone connected to the WWW can get the news for free, so no more guaranteed profits.
    Reporting garbage like this Mar-a-lago discombobulation will sell newspapers, will get viewers to watch commercials, and that is what capitalism is all about these days. If you don’t make money, you go out of business. And these media outlets, especially the print media, have been around so long they think it is their right to make money. Truth in Reporting does not make money anymore. Reporting opinion as fact does.
    I would love to suggest that newspapers be supported by government funding to keep them from losing money, NOT TO HELP THEM MAKE A PROFIT, but that would backfire whenever you have a Republucan/Conservative government, because they would control what would be reported, and that would be even worse.
    Canada has a state run television/radio network, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) that takes it seriously to report only the news, but they have been under fire for the past 30 years or so to report what the government of the day wants them to report, both Conservative and Liberal. Because of strong leadership so far they gave “mostly” been able to avoid becoming a politicised news outlet, but they are slowly crumbling. The next Conservative government is liable to crush that leadership, then where will we be?
    I do not know the answer, but it is time to reinvent the media wheel. The current presses are not rolling the way they used to. They are no longer reliable or trustworthy, and there lies the end of democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

      • And here in Canada. You know how newspapers are already politicised in England and France, to mention just two. Our private television stations are moving in that direction. Nothing like FOX NEWS, in the USA, but certain stories just do not get airplay on certain networks, and one has to wonder why.
        But there is one category of stares that is getting hardly any airplay anywhere, and this bothers me to no end. Mass shootings, mass murder sprees. No one wants us to know how many there are, or how often they occur. Sweeping them under the rug will only make them worse. The murderers are going to have to kill bigger masses to make the news, and that is one of the things they want. Attention!
        I hope I am wrong. I hope not giving them any attention works. But 700 shootings in one year at last count? It doesn’t seem like it is.

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        • Jesus! 700! They don’t need to advertise the shooters. Put up the faces of every single victim. Every…single…news report. Even if there haven’t been any shooting, they are not allowed to end the news until all the victims of that year, have been shown!

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        • 700 people shot and killed is a lot, especially in a country like your own, where guns are not widely available to everyone as they are here in the U.S. However, it pales in comparison to our 44,789 deaths by gun violence in 2021. This nation has more guns in the hands of civilians than it has civilians, and the entire gun culture has run amok. It is said that we are the laughingstock of the world because of our gun culture, but I don’t find it a laughing matter. Sigh.

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  4. You took the words right out of my mouth Jill. No legit damn news outlet, and that’s the key word, NEWS, better be within a million miles of that fraud. Fox and the like can cover it till their blue in the face for all I care. But the others? They better not. I have not heard whether they will or won’t at this point. I know you and I will call them out if they do. It would be a mistake of gargantuan proportions. We shall see

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    • I’m betting his speech will be the hot topic of the day from most all outlets, but I sincerely hope I’m wrong … I like to think they have learned something from their previous mistakes of giving him all the attention he desires. He’s like a child to whom even negative attention is sought. Sigh. I do wish 2022 were starting out on a more hopeful note.

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      • Indeed. Ignoring a narcissist like him is the best and only response. He can’t stand it, and knowing he does makes it that much nicer.

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  5. Exactly, Jill. Ruthless little fanatics like TFG need to be ignored, like totally and by everyone. Take away their platform. Just declare him a thing of the past, history. Like the whole world agreed upon in the case of that Norwegian nazi who killed 83 younglings on that isle in the Oslo fjord. No chance for him to ever be heard again, no chance to spin his far right nonsense.Tha

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      • Actually, he was only sentenced to 21 years in 2012 … but like you, I hope he is never given his freedom, for he has made it clear that he would kill again in a heartbeat, given the chance.

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    • I always equate the behaviour of TFG with that of a two-year-old child throwing a temper tantrum. Best solution is to put them in their room and ignore them until they finish their tantrum. Same is true of TFG … his seeks attention and will use whatever method he can to get it. Ah yes, Anders Breivik (I remembered the case, but not the man’s name, so I admit I had to go look it up). He was much like TFG — a megalomaniac!

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  7. It’s hard enough these days to find the media that are truly impartial in their reporting of the news, as, most of the TV stations, newspapers, news radio stations are run by those who aren’t impartial, so free and unbiased journalism is practically nonexistent.

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    • I fully agree! At the root of the problem, of course, is money. Now that print media has declined significantly because the Internet is so much easier and more up-to-date, media sources are struggling and will do whatever it takes to appeal to a paid readership/viewership.

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