Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Glory days

These last few weeks, it has been all the rage for different groups to pen their own "open letter" to President-Elect Trump. These letters either warn him that they will work to resist his efforts or to "ask" that he not do such-n-such, or as in this case to warn that "they are watching" and are going to hold him to account. "This case" is an open letter from a member of the press. That is right. The press. You can read it (if you wish) here. I will warn you though, don't read it while you have any beverages in your hand. I nearly ruined a perfectly good iPad.

It is, after all, our airtime and column inches that you are seeking to influence. We, not you, decide how best to serve our readers, listeners, and viewers.

Well, it is not clear yet whether Trump seeks to influence you or simply chooses to ignore you. He may just be posturing but from my vantage point it looks to be a lot more of the latter than the former. Oh, and apparently he understands and knows how to use Twitter and is fairly comfortable doing so. The press has not been the information gatekeepers that they used to be for some time now. Trump appears to understand that better than most politicians.

As to deciding how to best server your readers, you really should have had that internal discussion some [oh] 8 years ago, not just over the last couple of months.

Access is preferable, but not critical. You may decide that giving reporters access to your administration has no upside. We think that would be a mistake on your part, [ed. I am sure you do] but again, it’s your choice. We are very good at finding alternative ways to get information; indeed, some of the best reporting during the campaign came from news organizations that were banned from your rallies. Telling reporters that they won’t get access to something isn’t what we’d prefer, but it’s a challenge we relish.

"a challenge we relish", really? Based on recent history that does not match reality. You (as an industry) clearly prefer NOT working for your stories as you have amply demonstrated over the last 8 years. During the current administration you have shown that you are all too happy [as a group] to accept administration and DNC memos and releases as "news" and publish them unquestioned. You (as a group) prefer coordinating your stories and crowd-sourcing your stories (journolist anyone?) than actually doing your own investigations and following the truth no matter where it leads. When it suits your purpose or your narrative, you are more than happy to just "make shit up", "white Hispanic" anyone?

We will strive to get your point of view across, even if you seek to shut us out...

LOL! Sorry there is just nothing else I could possibly say about this statement. It stands on its own.

We believe there is an objective truth, and we will hold you to that. When you or your surrogates say or tweet something that is demonstrably wrong, we will say so, repeatedly. Facts are what we do, and we have no obligation to repeat false assertions; the fact that you or someone on your team said them is newsworthy, but so is the fact that they don’t stand up to scrutiny. Both aspects should receive equal weight.

This one is another side-splitter! Sorry but this sort of blatant lying screams to be called out. At one time, the "press" may have believed that but the MSM long ago sold their souls to "the greater truth" and to "the narrative". Remember the Bush memos? How about your failure to properly cover the ACORN scandal? Your reporting over the last 8 years of the real unemployment rate or the economy? Planned Parenthood and baby parts? Your "stellar" [snark] coverage of the Clinton email scandal? Benghazi? Fast n Furious? The IRS scandal? The Tea Party? Need I go on? The modern MSM would not know a "FACT" if it walked up, introduced its self, and bought you all a round of drinks!

We’ll obsess over the details of government. You and your staff sit in the White House, but the American government is a sprawling thing. We will fan reporters out across the government, embed them in your agencies, source up those bureaucrats. The result will be that while you may seek to control what comes out of the West Wing, we’ll have the upper hand in covering how your policies are carried out.

So NOW you want to do that? Where were you when "Obamacare" or the drone strikes or EPA or oh never mind, I think you get the point...

We will set higher standards for ourselves than ever before. We credit you with highlighting serious and widespread distrust in the media across the political spectrum. Your campaign tapped into that, and it was a bracing wake-up call for us. We have to regain that trust. And we’ll do it through accurate, fearless reporting, by acknowledging our errors and abiding by the most stringent ethical standards we set for ourselves.

Wait, are you saying that you plan to fire every existing reporter and editor that currently works in MSM and start over? If not than nothing has or will change. With your current "membership" it will be at least a generation before you have any credibility with the majority of the people. Is it any wonder that the most despised professions in the country are (worst first) reporters, politicians, and lawyers? You have spent much more than 8 years (more like at least 20) working to destroy your reputations, publications, viewership, and industry. Well congratulations, you succeeded. All the moral posturing and preening will not undo over 20 years of effort. You just don't matter that much any more.

We’re going to work together. You have tried to divide us and use reporters’ deep competitive streaks to cause family fights. Those days are ending. We now recognize that the challenge of covering you requires that we cooperate and help one another whenever possible.

Sorry but we have already seen that in action; journolist anyone?

The modern press is like a pride of old, tired lions plotting against those "shinny things that go by real fast" on the highway they can see from their cage in the zoo. The cars don't even know they are there.

This is a truly sad state of affairs. The country needs and the people deserve a strong independent press. We don't and haven't had that in a very long time. What we do have is a clique of Democratic operatives with by-lines that when they are not directly taking their orders from a Democrat administration or the DNC, are colluding on what stories should be ignored, which ones should be covered and how to cover them. That is not "news". That is Pravda.

You want respect? You want to be taken seriously again? Stop trying to "change the world". Stop trying "to make a difference" and start actually covering the news, all of it, in an honest, open, factual, bias-free way. Then, just maybe you will start to matter again but I really don't believe you can do it.