Democratic Underground

An Open Letter To The News Media
March 10, 2001
by Neuvocat

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 people.

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 concerns?

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.

 

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