As usual, I wrote my last blog post quickly and left some points out. Tell me, should blog posts be edited carefully and thoughtfully, like a formal speech, or should they be written and thrown out into the ether without much in the way of second thoughts? I’m not sure. Should they be long or short?
What I also wanted to say has to do with the news media, with reporters, whom many on the right have come to loathe, a la Trump’s “failing New York Times” and “fake news.”
Remember that journalists provide us only with the first rough draft of history. They do the best job they can in (a) trying to get us the news we need, especially about politics and politicians, and (b) being first to do so. The speed with which reporters feel compelled by the marketers and advertising sales people to write this rough draft is slowed by the self-imposed speed bump of at least two sources for every claim in a story. But advertisers like to spend money with winners.
Another speed bump in the path of quick story-telling is he use of anonymous sources, which is frequently the only way some people will be a source for a story. One of the reasons at least a second source is required for stories is to guard against the rogue source who may have a hidden agenda.
Why are anonymous sources used at all, you may be asking yourself. You may have noticed they are not used in stories that don’t matter much in the course of human events. They are used only in stories of import, based on the thinking of the reporter and her/his editors (who also are the ones to insist on multiple sources). They are ALL in search of the Truth.
This is why it is important to keep up with the news from multiple sources. I, for instance, watch NBC Nightly News, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Fox News, CNN, and read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as well as the online Washington Post, and the occasional story from the [failing? Subscriptions are up 30 percent.] New York Times and the Huffington Post. I understand my choices are left-leaning, but at least I try with the AJC and Fox.
The main point of this post is that reporters, despite their admittedly left-leaning tendencies (explained in a previous post) they are ALL trying their darndest to report, in the best way they know how, the important news of the day about the politicians who represent the American people in our system of government. Remember: it is a rough, first draft and no one should take it as anything else.
Sure they are sometimes wrong, and sure what they find out sometimes pisses you off. But to just knee-jerkedly call all the news media “fake” and the “enemy of the people” is to enter upon a slippery slope to an autocracy. That’s something to be concerned about, not the occasional person who refuses to be identified as a source because of fearing for her/his job. They have kids in college and mortgages, too. What would you do?