Inordinate Ordnance: What's a Journalist?
Wednesday, July 17, 20130 Comments
In an era of 24-hour-news channels, news at the speed of twitter and the insufferable ineptitude of the current pedigree of news anchors, it’s important to take a moment a properly define the current state of the journalism vocation.
There’s a generation of non-voters out there, hiding and scared of terms like “tax-he” and “filibuster”. Between the ages of forty to sixty, this generation that remembers the seventies (well, as far as the era would let any one actually remember), do not vote. Obviously anyone under the age of thirty has been so beat over the head with voting that we all diligently do it (right? Guys?). This is because of the rocking MTV ads bracketing the minds of 90’s teens and the rolling, saxophoning, politicains that lifted their skirts long enough to seem human.
However, this older generation of non-voters all claim, “It doesn’t matter, it never changes,” when they are not too bust, not contributing to society. How can you blame them though? They lived through Watergate, the War on Drugs and the best parts of the Cold War. They watched their superiors, time and time again, disappoint them, like an alcoholic father with a new belt.
That’s not to say the entire generation is like this, of course, but rather a concentrated sect of grumbling apathetists, when any sort of politicking takes place.
Back to the current state of the journalistic “profession”. We have liars in suits, much like the politicians of 40 years ago, however the lies are no longer the pulp of the story, but rather, the icing on an otherwise bland shit-cake. Much of the developing generation now do not see the leaders, the killers, the news-makers, but rather, the people fabricating stories so to collect a bigger piece of the ratings pie.
If basic social interaction has taught us anything, we don’t like liars. However, instead of journalists finding the liars, exposing them, and creating interesting, poignant news pieces, they’ve taken on the role of liar. It’s a kind of communicative down-sizing of middle management. Why find liars, when we can just become one, tapping a well of possible stories and not-really hard-hitting news briefs.
Are all journalists liars? No, of course not, that is like saying all men are pedophiles. However, like pedophiles, a small group has sullied the reputation of others like them. This is why it’s weird for grown men to talk to children and why it’s easy to hate journalists.
What happens next—as is currently happening—is that it becomes so difficult to see through the fog of BS, the entire vocation is disavowed as any kind of reputable, or reliable source for anything. Fox News anchors haven’t communicated anything of value to anyone since before W. took office. With this, we get an entire generation of people who completely disregard journalists and instead opt for whistleblowers, first-source tweeters and blind ignorance of Kardashian-sized proportions.
The journalist is a dying breed. The autopsy will be tweeted: the cause of death was self-inflicted. Journalism died from chronic pants-on-fire syndrome.
It’s important to understand the place of the journalist in order to grasp the ramifications of this self-inflicted genocide. As my journalism text book said: journalism is the communication between public and private. If the Prime Minister spends millions of dollars on a nice new hairpiece, the journalist tells you so. This is the simple, albeit since bastardized, duty of the journalist.
Journalists got Nixon impeached for cripes-sake and have since been relegated to the likes of Hannity and Colmes or whatever asshat is currently screaming, red-faced into a camera to an audience of Rupert Murdock alone.
The antibiotic to these megalomaniacs currently “representing” journalists is a small sect of people who still remember what it meant to be newsmen, what it meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. These are the story-tellers, the Julian Assanges and midnight writers. These are real journalists, people working to develop that bridge between you and the people who represent and therefore, control you.
To refer to some of these fear-mongers like Glenn Beck as a journalist is nothing short of defamatory slur, the likes that should make you cringe like geriatric sex.
The current state of journalism? It’s like the Star Wars, except Darth O’Reilly might actually defend the Death Star if we aren’t careful.