Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Gotta Take a Leak or Screaming Into the Void

Back in the olden days when I was a student of journalism, blogs were a little known oddity, You Tube didn’t exist and 2.0 meant nothing. The number one lesson hammered into us budding Murrows at every opportunity and in every class was to check your facts, then check them again. And whenever possible, name your source because articles that quoted, “unnamed government officials” or “sources say” were not credible. We were told time and again that the number one job of the journalist is to report the most accurate, hole-less news as possible. My, how things have changed.

Recently there has been much hemming and hawing over the 90,000 documents released by WikiLeaks. Included in this data dump is classified information pertaining to the war in Afghanistan. Apparently, WikiLeaks founder and part time comic book villain, Julian Assange, believes that it is his right to leak such information in an era of guerilla “journalism” where everything is fair game and if you get the documents, no matter how dubious the source, it is your right to publish them. The process has been coined Political Hacktivism which explains perfectly the situation we find ourselves in today. The content of the leaked documents, though disturbing, is not the real story here. The real story is that the media has collectively decided that what could very well constitute a treasonable offense against the United States government is somehow appropriate news. The fact that Mr. Assange has a distinct political agenda also appears not to matter. He isn’t a US citizen, but the idiot who sent him the information happens to be one of our boys in uniform. He has been captured, by the way. But what does this mean for the Americans at the New York Times, who willfully published classified materials? Should they be taken into custody as well?

Then we have the cabal of political pundits who dominate the cable news channels. Cable newsrooms have become nothing more than ghettos for greedy public relations hacks with clear agendas that do absolutely nothing to advance American discourse or at the very least inform the public – which in the end is really their fucking job! There can be only so much spin before it becomes an amusement park ride and the proprietors little more than carnival barkers. Case in point, the Shirley Sherrod debacle.

The depraved little right-wing turd/blogger known as Andrew Breitbart took it upon himself to edit a video to make this poor woman look and sound like every white low-information moron’s nightmare – a black racist! This horrific outrage, taken to its full and predictable conclusion by FOX news, achieved its desired effect. The NAACP and the Obama Administration both took the bait and promptly condemned this woman without even a cursory attempt at checking the facts.

And sadly, it’s not the first time this fuckwad Breitbart has duped the White House. Remember ACORN? It was his special brand of hack “journalism” that brought down a respectable organization whose mission was to help the poorest, and coincidentally brownest, of the poor. In the end, ACORN was somewhat vindicated – but only after it was completely destroyed with no hope of starting up again – thus leaving countless people without assistance where it’s needed most. Mission accomplished. To add insult to injury, Michael Steele (AKA Humpty) has invited Breitbart to speak at a republican fundraiser in August . This action lends credibility to Breitbart as if he were a real journalist and not just a blogging hack. He holds the football, the rest of the media collectively try to kick it. You know the rest.

It is on that note that I reluctantly dip my toe back into the cesspool that is the blogosphere.