Joseph Stalin Would be Thrilled at America's Complacent Leftist Mainstream Media

Need a Good Chuckle? Read the “Journalist Canon of Ethics” for Sidesplitting Comedy


By —— Bio and Archives June 26, 2011

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Get ready for the shock of your life—Did you know there is actually a “Journalist’s Canon of Ethics”? (attached at end of article) It was actually composed in 1922 and apparently used to be quite influential to beat writers of yore. Of course, today we realize that after memorizing Marx’s Communist Manifesto, there is precious little room left in the typical reporter’s hard-drive for any other interest.

It is consequently fascinating that the New York Times has a separate area on its website breathlessly discussing journalist ethics! If one didn’t know better, you’d think the writers at the Grey Lady actually gave a rat’s hindquarter what was in the reporter’s Canon of Ethics !!

Of course, this couldn’t be further from reality. The import of this truth was recently illustrated when former editor Bill Keller admitted that 90% of his staff are doctrinaire, Palin-hating liberals. Unfortunately, this is true across the journalistic world and it has utterly crippled the mainstream media from doing a fair job. As a wise man once said, one cannot serve two masters—that of Liberalism, versus utter commitment to truth-telling. This conflict is the topic of this essay.

I. Journalist’s Canon of Ethics & SPJ’s Code

According to the ASNE website, “The American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) Statement of Principles was originally adopted in 1922 as the “Canons of Journalism.” The document was revised and renamed “Statement of Principles” in 1975.” The headings of this relatively short document give one a feel for the content: Article I—Responsibility; Article II - Freedom of the Press; Article III—Independence; Article IV - Truth and Accuracy; Article V—Impartiality; Article VI - Fair Play. Seems like pretty upstanding stuff, doesn’t it?

Likewise, the Society of Professional Journalists has ethical guidelines, the SPJ Code of Ethics. Seek Truth and

Report It; Minimize Harm; Act Independently; Be Accountable. This Code is composed in a lot trendier fashion than the above, but they both seek to foster ethical reporting. So how do these self-regulating ethical regimes work-out in the real world? Let’s see!

II. Reporting by Ethical Journalists: Examples

As a general study, how would the mainstream media treat a former politician who had never achieved any office higher than state governor, and was no longer in elected office? After all, the Journalist’s Canon states:

ARTICLE V - Impartiality. To be impartial does not require the press to be unquestioning or to refrain from editorial expression. Sound practice, however, demands a clear distinction for the reader between news reports and opinion. Articles that contain opinion or personal interpretation should be clearly identified.

Yet, when it comes to reporting on Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or any other Conservative figure, can we claim the reportage is unbiased, fair and even-handed? Or how about how even an icon—America’s most successful president of the last 50 years—Ronald Reagan, would be treated today? Would the “journalists” claiming to do simple reporting ever admit they editorialize all their pieces to swing popular opinion leftwards in the name of their socialist deity? Of course not.

Let’s examine how Gov. Sarah Palin, Rep. Michele Bachmann and President Ronald Reagan are treated via the news, today, by examining headlines and story-lines; then compare that to Barack’s treatment.

A. Sarah Palin “Unbiased” News Articles:

1. The Politico’s VandeHei states: “No Single Reporter At Any Media Organization Thinks Palin Should Be President”

If you talk to any single reporter at any media organization that we’re aware of, I don’t think that anyone thinks she can be president or should be president.

2. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough says: Palin’s Tour “A Big, Old, Fat Weekend of Nothing”

3. NYTimes: Editor Keller claims—Media “Would Recoil in Horror” from Palin Presidency

4. WAPost: Gov. Palin Conservative Emails “Complete Balderdash”

5. Matthews: Palin Causes Most Strife Since Abe Lincoln

6. Maureen Dowd: Palin Making Ignorance “Chic”

B. Michele Backmann “Un-prejudiced” Reporting

1. Rolling Stone: Michele Bachmann “Bats**t Crazy Psychopath With ‘Terminator Testicles”

2. WAPost: Bachmann “Barbie With Fangs”

3. NYTimes: “Is Bachmann the New Palin?”

C. Ronald Reagan “Unbiased” Coverage

Newsweek: Ronald Reagan an “Intuitive Idiot Genius”

Newsweek editor Evan Thomas, on Inside Washington in September of 1999, claimed Ronald Reagan’s legacy was the result of the fact Reagan had a “had kind of an intuitive idiot genius.”

2. Hitchens: Reagan Stupider Than a Hedgehog

3. 1980’s Popular Liberal Media Opinion: Reagan an Illiterate, Amiable Dunce:

Historian Edmund Morris, in his 874-page authorized biography, concludes Reagan is simply incomprehensible, an airhead who has lived a charmed life. Diplomat Clark Clifford calls him an “amiable dunce,” and Nicholas von Hoffman claims it “humiliating to think of this unlettered, self-assured bumpkin being our president.” Tip O’Neill flat out said in public, “He knows less than any president I’ve every known.” Anthony Lewis of the New York Times claimed he had only a “seven-minute attention span.” Author Gail Sheehy declared he was “half asleep” while he was president.

D. Barack Obama’s “Unbiased” Coverage

1. Michelle Obama: “Fortunately, We Have Help From The Media

2. TIME & Other Media Pretend Stimulus Worked

3. Time & MSM: Obamacare Constitutional

4. Media Ignores Fact Obama Visits 57 States

5. Media Helps Obscure Obama Jobs Disaster

6. Media Ducks After Teleprompter-Free Barack Ruins Toast to Queen

7. Media Elites Cover Up Obama’s Ridiculous Teleprompter Mistakes

III. Analysis: Mainstream Media Hates Conservatism

It’s as transparent as the nose on one’s face that the mainstream media distorts all the “news” it reports to continually obscure the fact modern liberalism is an utter failure. This has been observed for decades. What is hilarious is that when FOX News sets up camp to exploit the market opportunity and bridge the gap, only then do liberal elites start to yammer about “media bias.” Tragic.

What is alarming is the large number of Americans who are played like a fiddle by the media bias and seem to have no idea they are being propagandized into default Leftists. But this is the inevitable result of decades of Marxist-slanted learning first begun by progressive hero John Dewey.

But can anyone imagine what a permanent field day the mainstream media would have if George W Bush had created Obama’s spectacular run of mistakes and screwups? Bush would be living on Saint Helena in Napoleon’s old house right about now.

For example, could any other politician survive almost non-existent economic growth in the teeth of two-years of almost 10% unemployment, besides Obama? Of course not. But where is the journalistic rectitude these poor, deluded scribes claim to exemplify?

Consider one more section of the Code of Ethics:

Article IV - Truth and Accuracy

Good faith with the reader is the foundation of good journalism. Every effort must be made to assure that the news content is accurate, free from bias and in context, and that all sides are presented fairly. Editorials, analytical articles and commentary should be held to the same standards of accuracy with respect to facts as news reports. Significant errors of fact, as well as errors of omission, should be corrected promptly and prominently.

Can anyone in their right mind really claim the mainstream media does not hate Palin and want her destroyed? For instance, where is the “Truth & Accuracy” in reporting on a person no longer in office over old emails? This plays out while our economy burns to the ground. Yet, journalists remain silent about Barack’s staggering incompetence, ignorance, and indifference.

Consider what Pulitzer Prize winning Conservative journalist Michael Goodwin writes in his superb and eye-opening article: “Palin Derangement Syndrome Strikes The New York Times… Again”:

In a bombshell announcement, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller started a column in The Times magazine:

“If the 2012 election were held in the newsrooms of America and pitted Sarah Palin against Barack Obama, I doubt Palin would get 10 percent of the vote. However tempting the newsworthy havoc of a Palin presidency, I’m pretty sure most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea.”

It’s a paragraph worth parsing. First comes the backhanded admission that the “newsrooms of America” are overwhelmingly liberal. The 90% Obama vote Keller cites is consistent with surveys showing the vast majority of journalists tilt left, a fact that explains the warped coverage of government, culture, business and even sports in most major news organizations.

His 2nd sentence condescendingly reveals Keller’s agreement with the journalistic “horror” of the “havoc of a Palin presidency.”

That’s a huge mistake. As the supposed objective editor of the Times’ news pages, he is giving license to his staff to go after Palin and, by inference, go easy on Obama. His not-so-subtle marching order is certain to find favor with ambitious reporters and editors hoping to please the boss.

Conclusion

If unbiased reporting by the Mainstream Media is not dead as a duck, it’s in the ICU, on life-support, attempting to weather a medically induced coma to try and shake off overdosing for years on gallons of Liberal Koolaid.

The only hope America has to survive these perilous times, with treachery menacing us at every turn, is to re-assemble a public school system that prizes honesty over every other goal. Only by returning to some semblance of the Scientific Method, where the general population believes objective truth exists, that mankind can discover this, and that opinions must be informed by this standard, can we hope to survive.

Unfortunately, a large percentage of the American public has gorged on socialism and Marxism like mother’s milk, and now only socialist story-lines, goals, and slogans are valued. And until this changes, America will remain on a collision course with extermination, with the fate of the free world hanging in the balance.

Journalist’s Canon of Ethics

Article I - Responsibility.

The primary purpose of gathering and distributing news and opinion is to serve the general welfare by informing the people and enabling them to make judgments on the issues of the time.

Newspapermen and women who abuse the power of their professional role for selfish motives or unworthy purposes are faithless to that public trust. The American press was made free not just to inform or just to serve as a forum for debate but also to bring an independent scrutiny to bear on the forces of power in the society, including the conduct of official power at all levels of government.

Article II - Freedom of the Press.

Freedom of the press belongs to the people. It must be defended against encroachment or assault from any quarter, public or private. Journalists must be constantly alert to see that the public’s business is conducted in public. They must be vigilant against all who would exploit the press for selfish purposes.

Article III - Independence

Journalists must avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety as well as any conflict of interest or the appearance of conflict. They should neither accept anything nor pursue any activity that might compromise or seem to compromise their integrity.

Article IV - Truth and Accuracy

Good faith with the reader is the foundation of good journalism. Every effort must be made to assure that the news content is accurate, free from bias and in context, and that all sides are presented fairly. Editorials, analytical articles and commentary should be held to the same standards of accuracy with respect to facts as news reports. Significant errors of fact, as well as errors of omission, should be corrected promptly and prominently.

Article V - Impartiality.

To be impartial does not require the press to be unquestioning or to refrain from editorial expression. Sound practice, however, demands a clear distinction for the reader between news reports and opinion. Articles that contain opinion or personal interpretation should be clearly identified.

Article VI - Fair Play.

Journalists should respect the rights of people involved in the news, observe the common standards of decency and stand accountable to the public for the fairness and accuracy of their news reports. Persons publicly accused should be given the earliest opportunity to respond. Pledges of confidentiality to news sources must be honored at all costs, and therefore should not be given lightly. Unless there is clear and pressing need to maintain confidences, sources of information should be identified.

These principles are intended to preserve, protect and strengthen the bond of trust and respect between American journalists and the American people, a bond that is essential to sustain the grant of freedom entrusted to both by the nation’s founders.


Kelly OConnell -- Bio and Archives | Click to view Comments

Kelly O’Connell is an author and attorney. He was born on the West Coast, raised in Las Vegas, and matriculated from the University of Oregon. After laboring for the Reformed Church in Galway, Ireland, he returned to America and attended law school in Virginia, where he earned a JD and a Master’s degree in Government. He spent a stint working as a researcher and writer of academic articles at a Miami law school, focusing on ancient law and society. He has also been employed as a university Speech & Debate professor. He then returned West and worked as an assistant district attorney. Kelly is now is a private practitioner with a small law practice in New Mexico. Kelly is now host of a daily, Monday to Friday talk show at AM KOBE called AM Las Cruces w/Kelly O’Connell

Kelly can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


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