Posted March 29, 2017 on 11:26 pm | In the category Politics, Press, TRUMP, Uncategorized | by Jeff


We are living at a time that might very well be when the American press discovers the way to overcome the nonsense and craziness that floods the internet and forces America to recognize that good journalism costs real money and requires real independence. The 2016 election illustrated what has happened with the turn away from paid news to free internet news – much of the latter turning out to have come to us via Russian and East European internet hacks aimed at the too susceptible Americans seeking easy negative answers and drinking the Kool Aid.

In 1973 I lived outside of Washington DC and worked in the city. It was a tedious bus ride made easier by the Washington Post and its daily dose of Watergate news. There is something about getting up in the morning to the news of the next step in the demise of a cheap, petty politician whose psychology placed him on the path to political demise that makes it easer to roll out of bed at 6 AM.

It was easy to despise Nixon for his shameless duplicity on Vietnam which had led to an additional 25000 American deaths along with literally countless deaths of Cambodians and Vietnamese in the name of my country. To see him go down was the pleasing result of the courage and commitment to truth of the mainstream American press. The fact that they let Henry Kissinger get away remains an unpleasant footnote but we took what we could get.

Now we have a similarly damaged president – psychologically unfit, intellectually deficient, and thoroughly dishonest – and the mainstream press is on the case. It is early to count on a particular ending but the signs are there. A Republican Congressman heading the Intelligence Committee and being slowly sucked into the morass of dishonesty that distinguishes a cover up of massive proportions. But there is a hope that we will see Trump get what he deserves – perhaps an early retirement, maybe even an impeachment, but minimally a recognition of what a waste he is as President. We shall see…

What many Americans have discovered is that there are serious journalists who work hard – with integrity – to bring to them the facts that add up to truth over time. So let’s recognize the work of the Washington Post, the New York Times, CBS News, even lately CNN, and those others who are out there giving us the raw data that wise people can use to understand what is being done to them under the guise of a phony American populism. These media outlets have each been criticized in tweets (tweets? Good God). Big American media does not typically pose a threat to power – but they did it in 1973 against a dishonest and mentally ill president and they are doing it again.

Trump has been critical of that part of the press that is doing its job and he has done everything he can to cow them. It is not working – he is being called on every falsehood, lie, fantasy that he calls up and it is the main stream, serious media that is doing it. As a newspaper junkie it is fun to watch it unfold and to put my money on the press to win this one as they did in 1973. It was essential for the truth to be told in 1973; it is as essential now when there are fantasists, crazy conspiracists and just plain liars out there trying to persuade us that facts don’t matter, that science is irrelevant, that kleptocracy is the way to go, that oligarchy is a good thing, that fascism is acceptable. Yes, a free press is our vaccination and our protection from the worst instincts of ourselves. Buy a newspaper.



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  1. There’s no doubt about it. Jeff’s commentary is sent out to all the who think the world of serious journalism belongs to the past and is no longer as relevant as are tweeting and facebooking, which have already won the information battle. Indeed the results of the recent US and British elections cannot be understood unless this idea is taken seriously and reversed.
    And, as Jeff has pointed out, one of the very few encouraging results of the US election has been the apparent rebound of US journalism like heavyweights who have finally been given an important and available challenge worth its weight in journalism gold.
    And there are signs out there that they may be winning. Not only that, but it is such an interesting battle that journalists around the world is rising to the call. Take a look at the coverage in the Globe and Mail in Toronto or the Süddeutsche in Munich and you will see the clan coming back together and some of the battles – in elections in Canada,the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria – have shown the underdogs are much tougher than it may have seemed. Don’t just buy a newspaper, buy a bunch of them – even better sign up for subscriptions from all over the place – and take the journalists’ increasingly strong counterpunches seriously. If we win the good fight, they will have a big part in it. If not …..

    Comment by O. Lee O'Leahy — April 3, 2017 #

  2. Well I find it interesting and heartening that as Trump and his lackeys attempted to discredit “mainstream media” and to pronounce that it was peddling “fake news,” subscriptions to the NYT and the WP soared.

    Comment by Marilyn Blackwell — April 26, 2017 #

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