Friday, June 20, 2014

Is Journalism Dead In America?

Have you watched the news lately? Depending on which station you watch, you may or may not know what's going on in the world.

We all know what the Kardashians have been up to. We know which celebrities are in rehab or which one has recently been arrested. If you watch the three mainstream media networks you hear that President Obama is doing an outstanding job with nearly everything. His health care law is wonderful. The economy is coming back, albeit not quite as quickly as it could be but it's on the rise. Unemployment is down. The President is making Putin look like a wimp, Al Qaeda has been decimated and the IRS doesn't have even a "smidgen of corruption." And Benghazi, while tragic, was ages ago. In fact - the Republicans in Congress should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to investigate these non-stories.

Then we step into the real world. Like them or not, FOX lives in the real world and reports real news - much of which you won't hear about if you only watch the other networks. Oh, now and then you'll get some true reporting from one of them but the stories are usually gone from the airwaves after only one airing.

In May, ABC and the Washington Post polled Americans on their feelings about how President Obama is handling things and his leadership abilities. The poll showed 52% of Americans have lost confidence in Obama's leadership abilities while only 42% still have faith in him. The latest polls show Obama's approval rating at 31% and disapproval rating at 53%. Where is the mainstream media on this? They're ignoring it. Not one mainstream media outlet covered it in the last week. Only NBC's Chuck Todd has said anything about it and his words are surprising. "The Obama Presidency is over," Todd said the other day. Imagine that. I can't help but wonder if Todd will be looking for a job soon.

Criticize them if you will but FOX is the only network that covers all the stories, debates both sides of each issue and invites people from both sides of the aisle for discussion. They are criticized for being conservative - which is pretty funny coming from the liberal, left-wing media who very openly support Obama and won't report anything negative about him.

Critics cite Hannity, O'Reilly and Megan Kelly as being biased reporters because they have conservative views. That's because they don't understand (or choose to ignore) the fact that those three aren't news reporters. They're opinion talk show hosts. That's what they do. Calling them news anchors would be like calling Chris "tingle up my leg" Matthews a news anchor. It just ain't so.

After 20 years with the network CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson recently resigned her position citing the network's liberal bias and lack of interest in investigative reporting. Hard to believe her story, huh? Liberal bias and a lack of interest in reporting the truth is more like it. I'm sure liberals will say she is simply a closeted right-winger.

There are news reports that the terrorist group ISIS has seized control of a Saddam Hussein era chemical weapons plant - you know - the one that didn't exist. Of the three mainstream networks, only CBS is reporting on it and saying that any residual chemicals at the plant would be impossible to use because they "are believed to have been sealed under concrete or rendered unusable by international forces about a decade ago." You remember - a decade ago - AFTER Bush said Hussein had chemical weapons and then was criticized by the left for "lying to them." (Shaking my head...)

Neither ABC or NBC have a single word about the chemical weapons plant. I guess terrorists finding a chemical weapons facility that may or may not contain chemical weapons is not really a news story for them. Or maybe they're ignoring it because they'd have to actually admit there were chemical weapons plants in Iraq even though they branded Bush a liar.

Now let's talk about the IRS "losing" two years of e-mails. You've heard about that, right? How the IRS last week told Congress that the two years of Lois Lerner's e-mails to and from outside agencies, likely including White House officials, are magically gone because of a crashed hard drive? And even though all government computers have multiple backup systems, and each agency has their own server with backups (meaning every e-mail to or from Lerner to outside agencies is backed up on those agency's servers as well) the IRS and many liberals are content to say "They're gone. End of story."

Yesterday we learned that at least six other IRS employees, including one who made over 20 visits to the White House during the time in question, have also suffered the loss of pertinent e-mails from the same time period. Nothing suspicious there, right?

To their credit, CNN is actually reporting on the lost e-mails as strange and unusual. They have questions of their own they'd like answered including why the IRS requires citizens to maintain at least three years of tax records but they only keep their own e-mails for six months then purge the system. And why they recycle computer hard drives to get rid of any trace of information. And why Lerner's internal e-mails are still available but only those to outside agencies and/or politicians are gone. Nope - not a smidgen of corruption there.

The rest of the mainstream media pretty much ignores the story. When they do report on it it's usually to criticize the Republicans for continuing the investigation or to criticize FOX News for still reporting on it.

Journalism may not be completely dead in this country but it's dying quickly. And since our universities are overrun with liberal professors I don't see any hope for its future. Where are Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein when we need them?

But be of good cheer. Nancy Pelosi says she believes the IRS' story that the e-mails were lost due to a crashed hard drive. (I'd be surprised if she actually understands what that means.) Pelosi feels the next step is to drop the investigation and buy the IRS a new computer system. Yeah... she said that.

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