When Will The Media Stop Prostituting Themselves?
I was re-reading the Bible lately and one story from Ezekiel stood out to me.
It was about two adulterous sisters who basically took it any way they could get and in any opening, and when it backfired on them they just kept doubling down even though all it was doing was bringing them dishonor and misery.
The story is pretty notable not only because it contains language that is pretty obscene sounding compared to the rest of the Bible, but if it wasn't so over the top and grossly explicit, the moral point would be otherwise missed:
"Selling your integrity and dignity merely results in disgrace and dishonor".
And it's on that note I'd like to say the modern media (that claims to be "objective") is little better. They take their views in any way they can get and via any means, and they keep pushing a party line for someone, even if it's just their own bias as opposed to merely stating objective facts, and when they get caught they double down and further make themselves out to be shameless whores who treat the trust of the public with contempt.
And, I'm hoping before I'm dead they'll have what I call a "John Plumber" moment, so named after a character from the now late Tom Clancy's Executive Orders.
In the book, Plumber and his fellow reporter Tom Donner get seduced into publishing what is basically a distorted, cherrypicked version of the truth about the then President Ryan's past activities in the CIA, which is not only politically damaging to him, it also is damaging on an international scale and threatens to poison relations with Columbia and Russia as well.
It was done, not only at the behest of a former vice president who had to resign because of a sex scandal in the previous book (and who had a crony hide evidence of the actual resignation so he could attempt to become President himself) who wants to oust Ryan and who played on the fact the media was corrupt enough to take claims from anyone and say the story the way he wanted it because he stroked their egos, and also because Plumber and his fellow reporters had their own prejudices and decided to go as far as to lie to both Ryan and the public so they could later ambush him with this cherrypicked hit piece and entrap the man in a political nightmare because their own personal politics disagreed with Ryan's, not to mention the allure of hot ratings was incredibly tempting forbidden fruit.
Ever since then, Plumber found his conscience troubled by what he had done, remembering his profession had ethics he couldn't forget he had defiled in order to be party to Ryan's media screwjob, and eventually, a friend of his who had a similar event occur to him (and who redeemed himself by spilling the source of his own hit piece because they used him as an attack dog with one grain of truth mixed with a lot of BS in a previous book) had him meet members of the public he had hurt when he gave Ryan a media screwjob, and when Plumber was told to his face how poorly trusted his profession was by a family Ryan had personally helped as a result of the events Plumber had helped twist out of context, he came to the realization he wasn't a reporter anymore.
He was a pawn, a whore with press credentials who decided what version of the truth people needed to hear on behalf of corrupt men and his own biases.
And so he redeemed himself with a surprise speech at the end of a news segment where he admits the lies he was complicit in, admits he still didn't like Ryan's politics but acknowledges that gave him no right to lie to the public in order to attack him, and that his duty wasn't to a self serving version of the truth, but the actual truth, and acknowledges in giving that speech he was likely ending his journalistic career, but he did it because he wanted to end that career by showing the same integrity he had believed that profession to have when he entered it.
As for me, I'm wondering when the real life press will come to same realization Plumber did and quit prostituting themselves as well.