Truth in journalism,” once a reporter’s credo, is now a relic of a bygone era.
Right there is a nugget of, um, faux wisdom from someone who has swilled the “fake news” Kool-Aid that Donald J. Trump and his cabal of kooks keep spreading about those of us who practice — or who have practiced — what I consider to be among the noblest of crafts.
“Truth in journalism” is alive and well. I am proud of the craft I pursued for nearly four decades and which I still am pursuing, albeit on a part-time freelance basis. I don’t comment on the issues I cover for a weekly newspaper in Collin County, Texas; I save my commentary for this blog, given that commentary and straight news reporting are different species altogether. More on that in a moment.
What was introduced into mainstream debate as a preposterous assertion by the former POTUS has become a sort of code for those who continue to buy into his lies, deception and hypocrisy. “The media are the enemy of the American people,” Trump continues to bellow, even though he no longer is president and — as I am hoping — never will be again.
The media are no one’s enemy. The media are full of dedicated professionals who do their job without prejudice or favor. They report the news and it then becomes up to the public to consume that news and make their own judgments on the accuracy and fairness of what they are consuming.
Too many of us, though, rely solely on those who don’t report the news, but who comment on it, providing their own spin on the same information that goes into the hearts and minds of everyone.
The individual who provided that nugget I delivered at the top of this blog post seems to be one of those types. This person has ingested the Donald Trump view that the media are the enemy, not to be trusted but to be hated. That saddens me greatly, because this person is far from alone in that view.
This individual is part of a society that has thrown aside information it receives from those who report the news with accuracy and fairness; this person relies on those who present their opinion on issues that comport with their own world view.
This person does not know — or has forgotten — the difference between news reporting and commentary.
Who, then, is the real “enemy of the people,” those who report the news or those who misconstrue it?