Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, December 05, 2005

More Watergate fallout

According to the Paragraph Farmer, where I found the article at the heart of this post, Jack Kelly has opined that this article, by Ralph Peters, is the most important article about journalism ever written. Peters' said that, with Woodward and Bernstein turned into movie stars, every Ivy Leaguer in the US, suddenly wanted to bring down the President (if he was a Republican) and found patriotism an inconvenience and an embarrassment. You really should read the whole article, but I'll pique your interest with these quotations:

Three decades ago, two young reporters became the story and crippled American journalism. Budding yuppies who avoided inconvenient service to the state needed heroes they could call their own. And they got them. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman played Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein on-screen. It was as if Mike Bloomberg was portrayed by Brad Pitt. Overnight, journalism became an upwardly mobile profession — and our country is much the worse for it. In place of the old healthy skepticism, we have arrogant cynicism. The highest echelons of the media and government became preserves for America's most-privileged. An Ivy League degree was the ticket to a reporting job on a major daily. And incest produced the usual ugly results. "Mainstream" newspapers lost touch with American workers because the new breed of journalists didn't know any workers. *** Leona Helmsley famously remarked that taxes are for the little people. Star journalists assume that the law is for the little people, too. "Journalistic privilege" is the biggest crock of merde since phrenology or eugenics: Reporters aren't priests in the confessional: They're citizens, just like you and me. Celeb journalists love to invoke "freedom of the press," but dismiss the reality that the exercise of freedom in an open society demands a corresponding sense of responsibility, as well as self-restraint and mature judgment. The coverage of Iraq by once-great publications such as The New York Times and The New Yorker has been nothing more than a propaganda effort to convince the American people that our efforts are destined to fail. Stories lie by omission and manipulation. Patriotism? Forget it. After Watergate, patriotism became an embarrassment among journalists. [Emphasis mine.]