Where Have All The Journalists Gone?

I have realized, as I suspected for quite some time, that my disdain for All Things Democrat is completely one-sided and unfair. The War on The Constitution And Our Civil Liberties (a.k.a. the War on Undesirable Political Behavior Which We Ourselves Perpetuate By Our Arrogant, CultureCentric and Ineffectual Foreign Policy — a.k.a. The War of Terror – I mean, the War on Terror) (sheesh- so many possible titles for this war! I can hardly choose just one!) has brought me ’round to realize that I don’t hate the Democrats. Nor do I dislike Republicans. I dislike politicians in general. Truth be told, I’m leaning Libertarian these days. But I digress.

Politicians have been snowing us since the beginning of time. I’m certain of that. But I think that it’s a lot easier for them to continue snowing us than it should be. In a digital, high-speed era, with satellites looking into every crook and crevice of this good Earth, and fiberoptic cables transmitting data willy nilly at incredible rates, information is flowing. We have access to more news and information than ever before.

Which brings me to the title of my post. Where have all the journalists gone? Because I don’t see any. When I turn on the news, I see bobble-heads with their painted faces and slick coiffures, talking about…what they think. Jesus H. Christ. I don’t want to know what some peppy cheerleader who’s all grown up and on TV now, or some self-appointed nasal pundit, thinks. I want the news. Report it to me. Without your bias, your sniggers, your clicking tongue when you say something with which you might disagree. Don’t filter it, fudge it, or fidget. Give it to me raw, unprocessed, and unabridged.

And give me news. Quit putting news on the news that isn’t news. I realize that stations have formats to maintain, but please don’t force a square segment into a round hole. Don’t sensationalize trivia, and don’t trivialize the important things just because you don’t think they will help ratings. And will you please stop cutting off your interviewees just as things are getting interesting because “their time is up”? That is utter nonsense and incredibly annoying. If you think someone has something important enough to say that you want to interview them, then let them speak their peace. Cut to a commercial if you have to, but please bring them back so they can finish. Or at least flash their email addresses on screen, so we can continue the dialogue without you.

I also find it fascinating that the prominent figures (I’ll refrain from calling them “journalists”, out of respect for those who really are) on Fox News, for example, have all written books. And you can buy them. They constantly ask you to, in between their recycled and regurgitated news bits. Who are these people that they are writing books? They are no smarter than you or me. I certainly don’t feel that I have enough life experience or education to write a non-fiction book. But maybe I just don’t have a good publicist (or a job on a news show). What exactly makes these people authorities on the subjects on which they’ve chosen to expound? What gives Steve Doocy the erudition to write the Mr. and Mrs. Happy Handbook, or Brian Kilmeade the smarts to pen The Games Do Count? Aside from the fact that I don’t believe these people are any more worthy of publication than you or me, what amazes me the most is that I should even know that they have written books. At least, I shouldn’t know it from the five minutes or so I spend watching TV. Maybe I’m just amazingly lucky to have turned on Fox News at the precise moment these guys are self-promoting, but it’s much more likely that they do so much self-promotion that it was statistically more probable to encounter a plug than to miss one.

Blah. In any case, this is just further evidence that journalists are not abundant among popular, televised, newsly-posing personalities. In fact, these people are nothing more than personalities, faces that appear regularly on a given time slot and spout whatever it is the teleprompter flashes at them. Which is not to say that “reporting” is not a valid and worthwhile profession. But somehow, using one’s visibility on a major network as a springboard for a side endeavor seems so crass. So vulgar. So unfair and unbalanced.

I don’t have a problem with someone writing a book, mind you. But I would expect a television personality’s book to be more of a memoir, something that’s written at the end of a career- not something that’s written to perpetuate one. Call me crazy. Call me idealistic.

Swerving back to the original path of this post, what did happen to all the good journalists- or to journalists in general? What happened to the Elijah Lovejoys and the Ethel Paynes and the Woodwards and Bernsteins of the world? I have decided that they are in hiding- hopefully writing- waiting for the day when their kind is welcomed in general society again.

I mourn for this country, for the prepackaged-news consumers who help perpetuate Big Media’s grip on our culture and community. O, where have all the journalists gone?? Long time passing.

(When) will we ever learn?


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