The Getting Out of the Journalism Business Fire Sale

By: Jeff Katz – January 2013

I gave up on the so-called mainstream media long ago. That’s what happens when you work inside the business. I distinctly remember one of my first exposures to the “non-existent” media bias came as the news director of a radio station I was working at announced to the newsroom “we need a Quayle story!”

Come hell or high water, whether the then Vice-President had said or done anything noteworthy that radio station was going to broadcast a “news story” about him and you could rest assured that it would not be a complimentary one.

Over the many years that I’ve been on the inside I have seen countless examples of what could only be called journalistic malpractice. Hacks were posing as reporters. Flunkies were masquerading as journalists. Rest assured this is happening in print and on the air. So, given that I already have come to understand that journalism is no longer widely practiced why do I feel compelled to point out the obvious today?

Well, once again the network that brought you the fraudulent George Zimmerman tape from Florida is working its magic. This time the White House staffers at MSNBC have been found to have carefully edited an exchange with a Second Amendment advocate and the father of a child slaughtered in Newtown, Connecticut.

The MSNBC team sliced and diced the audio to make it sound as if the gun rights proponent was heckling the mourning father which would have been one heck of a story if it had actually happened, but it did not. Please don’t hold your breath waiting for Chris Matthews, Al Sharpton or Martin Bashir to apologize.

Steve Kroft, who is one of the 60 Minutes crew of infotainment peddlers, was asked why President Obama often appears on that show. Kroft responded by saying, “I Think He Knows That We’re Not Going To Play Gotcha With Him.”

Funny, “gotcha” by any other name would be journalism and it used to be practiced on 60 Minutes by Mike Wallace. Oh well, all good things must come to an end I suppose.

Here is just one more tiny little example that damn near floored me when I heard it the other day. A radio reporter in Boston proudly proclaimed that the Commonwealth’s first minority governor was about to appoint the Commonwealth’s first minority senator.

Wow, that is a big story except of course it is simply untrue. Some may recall Ed Brooke who served two terms as a United States Senator from Massachusetts. Brooke, like Martin Luther King, was a black man and a Republican. Oh, and I thought our other United States Senator was a Native American? How quickly they forget!