It was with some reluctance that I agreed to write this blog when approached about it. My first response was to turn it down. Since I ultimately did agree, I have resigned myself to its limitations and its "environment." I have to swallow a couple times to be placed in the blogosphere amid the comments.
Blogs are not my thing. Most on-line material has to be consumed very carefully. People can write anything in a blog, as you are probably clearly aware, and even present things as true that are patently false. Today's media environment is atrocious, and professional standards are out the window.
People today have no idea what journalism is. With the advent of squawk radio and partisan press, it is almost impossible to find principle, historical accuracy, or reliable news. Bloggers simply fire off statements that have no historical backdrop or substance. Media today is perceived as something that has entertaining delivery on a highly partisan basis. There once was an attempt at balanced reporting of the news. No more. And there is the audacity of some media outlets to present themselves as "fair and balanced" when, in fact, they are anything but fair and balanced.
There was a time when TV and radio news anchors had actually been out in the field. Not today. Oh, occasionally a news anchor will go to some distant locale to do what amounts to a promo for the news, with no actual news reporting going on. Think of men like Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, etc., and compare them to today's nice-looking suits and skirts. Ed Murrow paid his dues amid falling bombs and dangerous locales during World War II, as did Cronkite. Today's reporting is often done by foreign reporters who prance around distance places, but most assuredly are not news anchors. And amazingly, many foreign reporters in American media have English accents. That is a result of the importance and difference of British media to American media. The BBC stands head and shoulders above American media. And it is supported by the general public in the United Kingdom! In the U.S., PBS and NPR have to scrape by on a shoestrong by comparison. And quality journalism is almost non-existent in American media.
Everything in American news is seen as partisan. Strangely, the most overtly partisan news outlets are seen as balanced and their comments accepted as fact by some. As a result we primarily have partisan consumers of news. No attempt at accuracy or balance is required. We now accept or suspect every news expression in America to carry a partisan perspective. Where are we heading with all this intra-American suspicion? My best guess is that we are heading in the direction of a sort of 21st century fascism in which corporate behemoths control our politics, economy, and "culture." Many are already quite willing to march in lock-step in that direction. Average men and women doing the bidding of large corporations and corporate cabals. Do they think that they will somehow be rewarded for such partisanship? Do they think that these corporate monsters will pat them on the head and give them special breaks or gifts? It is so anti-democratic that it is astounding. Yet they march for big business.
America needs a renaissance, a renewal of its democratic principles. Many of the best principles were late in coming, and attempts at racial and ethnic equality had hardly taken root. In fact, much of today's partisan hatred is spewed out with a remnant and tinge of the blatant bigotry of the 1900s and before. The U.S. is at a crossroads. The horrible media of today is but a harbinger of the turn away from democratic principles. We seem to be on the cusp of a racial and ethnic reactionary society that feels its comfortable lifestyle slipping away. Instead of seeing it as a result of greed capitalism, it is seen as the rise of minorities and immigrants who want to steal from the "real 'merican people."