An Open Letter
To The News Media
It's been for a while now that people like myself have become
aware of a growing bias from news organizations like yours
while making less effort to present current events in a reasonable
manner. A lot of the truth comes at the expense of sensationalism
and ratings while politicizing current events to suit a viewpoint
favorable to the American business rather than the American
This sort of coverage likewise seems to be growing a lot
like the stench from a city dump. The more it stinks, the
more everyone notices. When was the last time a news organization
won a Pullitzer? When was the last time a reporter made the
news while revealing a scandal like Watergate (as opposed
to say, "TravelGate")? When was the last time a
news cast had more integrity and didn't have an insipid tie-in
to a product or TV show or try to make headlines out of a
sporting event for example at the expense of more important
Sadly it's getting more difficult to remember when. While
it seems that nothing can be done to prompt you to go back
to a more responsible format it's also wise for you to see
that the rug is being pulled out from underneath you. Its
time to realize that your money doesn't come from the American
Business. It comes from American People who don't have to
patronize you by sitting through the ads in your broadcasts,
wasting our time trying to find out what we need to know or
paying up to fifty cents a day for whatever you decide to
print (and doing a lot of slow-term ecological damage in the
process of throwing it away).
This is due much in part to an increasing trend to rely on
information coming from (where else besides PBS?) the Internet.
And it may be true that you may have created news sites of
your own to keep up with the times, there is still all the
lack of truth to package subtle commentary that makes for
the same sloppy reporting that smears the pages of your newspapers
and jams journalistic integrity in the airwaves.
People won't click in to your sites for very much the same
reason that they won't tune the dial in on the radio, turn
the TV on to your programming, or read the headlines in the
news stands. Your responsibility to our democracy is to reveal
the truth on behalf of the civic and social justices that
preserve our freedom, not waste your energies on petty feuds,
gossip, or celebrity exposés. Nor should there be some
sort of promotion of an agenda that favors big business and
its friends in the White House, among many places.
However if you really want to, then go ahead with your talk-show
journalism. Go on with your Drudge Report (a misnomer aptly
mis-named), your Hannity and Colmes, your Sam and Cokie, your
Chris Matthews, your Tom Brokaw and your Barbara Walters.
They have no real place in reporting the news, much less having
any qualifications to comment on it.
None of them follow the standards of Edward R. Murrow for
example, Walter Cronkite, or Dan Rather (who had the decency
to walk out on George Bush Sr.'s tripe in the middle of a
live interview). They have to take a real stand on the news
or they will not be a suitable voice for us. Then we will
no longer listen to you.