Can Journalism Survive?

From a political standpoint, the on-going fight between the snowflake media and the Trump Administration is well documented. Newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times have gotten into almost daily barbs with the president over “fake news”, as have cable news networks like CNN and MSNBC. Of course, the broadcast networks haven’t been a fan of conservatives for decades, and have continued to lose incredible amounts of news viewers to the point where in reality, broadcast national news is almost a joke.

Well, it appears that the fuel for the liberal left’s media bandwagon may be running on “E”. The New York Times has announced that they are looking at starting a not-for-profit, philanthropic arm that seeks donations to cover the expense of some of their journalism projects. Mind you, this wouldn’t cover ALL of the news that’s “fit to print”, but certainly would be what pays for the more investigative dalliances of the Times. If it works, look for other snowflake media groups to test the waters.

And here’s why this is such a bad idea. Yes, it allows for the investigative journalistic stories to continue, but at what price? Let’s say Harvard University, which holds the nation’s largest endowment fund, decides they are going to be a major sponsor of the Times and their investigative reporters. So, when it comes to something happening at Harvard that needs investigation, are we going to read about it in the Times? Of course not! While liberal, the editors and publisher of that rag aren’t totally bereft of brain cells. So, your “investigative” journalism, becomes bought and paid for by the liberal alt-left. And in the process, you lose all journalistic integrity.

That’s a term by the way that used to carry a lot of weight. If you didn’t have journalistic integrity, you didn’t have anything. The only thing that mattered in journalism was the fact that you had credibility, that you fully researched stories, and that you didn’t make stuff up. Nowadays, that has been tossed aside. I’m not even sure if universities like Syracuse, Northwestern, and Missouri that hold the most prestigious J-Schools in the land even teach ethical reporting. I know they used to! And if you throw integrity out the window, what is to differentiate between the New York Times and Desert Musings? Answer…absolutely nothing. Other than the fact I DO report the truth, as ugly and as crass as it may seem at times. What you read here may be debated, but never denied. I wish I could say that for the Grand Old Lady of journalism, but frankly, they lost that mantle years ago.

It used to be that other news outlets in TV, radio, cable, and print, would wait until the New York Times published something before they went with it, because if it was in the Times, it was news. If it didn’t make the Times, a lot of places wouldn’t bother with it. That was the mantra at CBS News under Dan Rather for years. Nowadays the thing you have to ask is, “Did someone at the Times make up the story? How do we know it’s true?” Those are sad questions when you understand how well-respected the Times had been for so long in its stellar journalistic career.

Now, they are no different than anything else bought and paid for. The sponsor will control the content, and journalistic integrity continues to slide away. How sad!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

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CNN Continues “Fake News” Publishing

You can sometimes tell a lot about a company by the reporters it keeps. Take CNN. Long been bandied as a liberal bastion, CNN has come under fire since Donald Trump ran for president for its “fake news”, or making up news stories that aren’t true, hoping that the public will accept them as fact. I like to call it the Bill Clinton Effect; lie enough and people will start to believe you.

Well, that didn’t happen with CNN. They’ve been relegated to the bottom of the cable news heap as far as integrity goes, and it doesn’t seem to matter to them that people are catching on that you can’t believe anything they say. The latest foray into this mess came Wednesday afternoon when CNN reporter Chris Cillizza reported that at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin sat down for a second, “secret” meeting. He went on to say on the CNN website that the meeting wasn’t publicized, and nobody has said anything about what was discussed. There was a very good reason for that.

Cillizza made the whole thing up.

The White House came out with statements immediately saying this was yet another example of fake news by CNN in order to discredit the Trump White House. In fact, it got so bad for Cillizza, that two of his own network’s anchors had to correct him on the air. There wasn’t any secret meeting. There wasn’t any second meeting. Nothing was discussed at it because it only took place in Chris Cillizza’s mind. And therein lies the problem. CNN makes up news.

And they should be shut down because of it.

Advertisers that continue to support this are part of the problem. The reporters that have the journalistic integrity of a used car salesman trying to deal lemons are certainly part of the problem. And the viewing public (mostly liberal) that continue to tune in to listen to the made-up tripe that spews forth on that network are also part of the problem. Let’s face it; if advertisers refuse to support this type of journalism, if journalists that are unethical and immoral are banned from the network, and if the viewing public tunes to some other news channel to get their news, one of two things has to happen. Either CNN changes its ways, fires those offending journalists and gets back to reporting the news and not trying to make the news up; or they go out of business.

The problem isn’t with the reporters. The problem is at the top. When leadership in any company allows unethical and immoral acts to permeate their company, they are the real problem. And they need to be fired as well. That will help solve the problem.

What I find funny is that for decades Fox News has been derided by the left as a right-wing mouthpiece. Now, I’ll admit, they are much more conservative in their views (even today with Roger Ailes dead and buried) than the other media, but no one has ever accused them of airing fake news.

It’s only too bad the same can never be said about CNN!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

CNN Cries Foul

I’m really amazed at the size of the cuervos that CNN is displaying recently. They have been caught faking news for over a year now. And by faking news, let’s be clear so there is no misunderstanding. They have been caught six times by my own count, and I’m sure I’m missing some stuff, that they have made up. That means they have manufactured stories that not only were false, or that they just misquoted someone, the stories never even existed in the first place. They were fantasy. They were fiction. News organizations by the way, are not supposed to publish or air fiction as the truth. That is wrong.

And now, CNN of all people are crying foul. They are upset that they’ve been caught. They are upset that three of their own reporters, producers, and journalists have been forced to resign because they were putting together stories on Russia and the Trump administration that had no basis in fact. In other words…they lied. They lied about who was involved…they lied about what happened…they lied about the whole affair. And that’s the same thing that has been going on under Jeff Zucker’s rule ever since Donald Trump announced he was running for president over a year ago.

It’s gotten so bad that AT&T, which is actually considering adding CNN to its stable of communications companies, has told Time Warner not to move forward with the purchase of CNN until “Zucker is neutralized”. That is never a good thing.

For any journalistic endeavor, be it print, radio, TV, magazine, or internet, to be so outed in such a blatant fashion that they are routinely giving false information, made up information as fact is astounding in my world. That whole channel and everybody that works there ought to be shut down. They have lost every shred of credibility that they ever had, and for people like Wolf Blitzer and Chris Cuomo to cry out that this is terrible and it has to stop now (they were talking about the bashing of CNN) is ridiculous. What needs to stop now is CNN from broadcasting.

You cannot be a news organization if nobody trusts you. And for far too long, the mainstream media has gotten away with publishing slanted, biased articles and news stories that may have had a shred of truth in them, but by the time they reached the public, they were so shrouded in innuendo and covered in left-wing ideology that they were nowhere near what they started out to be. Finally, someone, and in this case it happens to be the president of the United States, is calling them out. He is telling their reporters that he won’t answer their questions because they are fake news. He is seating them in the rear of the press conferences, and not calling on them. He is basically telling them, you want to play ball like this, you get shut out. He’s one step away from pulling their credentials, which is what he should do in the first place.

No, CNN is the 2017 version of ACORN. They need to go away. They need to be shut down as a lesson to all media, on both sides that if you can’t give the news in a fair and objective manner, you have no business giving the news at all.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Megyn Kelly Not A Hit On NBC

Television in this day and age is a very tough business. You have scads of competition. You have cable channels out the yin-yang. You have the internet streaming pretty much every television show that’s ever aired on terrestrial TV, and yet, people seem to want to go into this business. Take Megyn Kelly… the one-time Fox News Channel star that bolted for NBC probably just before she got fired, is finding out the one thing most people in broadcasting learn at one time or another…the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.

In fact…sometimes there isn’t any grass on the other side of the fence.

That’s pretty much where Kelly is now. Oh, she’s had some heavyweight interviews on her Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly show. She had Vladimir Putin on. She had Alex Jones on, and after the first week that was a bunch of curiosity seekers tuning in, she’s slid for the last four weeks. That’s usually not a good sign. Especially when you have a firebrand like Alex Jones on for an interview and get a whole week’s worth of publicity as to whether your network is even going to air the damn interview or not. All of that hype and she still failed to get the previous week’s viewers!

Well, it happened again this past Sunday. Kelly went from 3.6 to 3.4 million viewers, and it basically means she took one of the lower slots on the ratings. In fact, CBS had a rerun of 60 Minutes that doubled her numbers, and even ABC with a rerun of America’s Funniest Home Video’s doubled her effort. End result? Megyn Kelly needs to either re-tool her show, or look elsewhere for a job. Thank God she’s still got that law degree, huh?

This isn’t anything new. It’s been happening in the media for generations. People move from one station to another station in hopes of a bigger payday, and find out that over half the time, it just doesn’t pan out for them. I saw it…hell, I LIVED it in radio for 35 years. I saw it happen to a lot of friends of mine in both TV and radio all over the country. In the end, the only thing that matters is the paycheck because you learn that there is no loyalty. Megyn Kelly doesn’t seem to understand that yet, but she will. When her show gets cancelled in the next few weeks if the numbers don’t improve, she will get the shepherd’s crook from NBC, and then they’ll try to find something else for their super-expensive new star to do. It’s too bad she didn’t go over to CBS…maybe she could have ended up anchoring the CBS Evening News since Scott Pelley is gone!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

CNN Admits “Fake News” Over The Weekend

In a very bizarre turn of events, CNN, which some had called the “Clinton News Network” during the election because of their politically left-leaning bias, has come out and admitted basically that they have put out “fake news” on Donald Trump.

It didn’t happen on the TV network, it happened on their website. They posted a story that said there were ties from a Russian investment firm to the Trump campaign during the election, and that the possibility was more than likely that the Russians donated money (that’s illegal as we learned during Bill Clinton’s re-election bid in 1996). The story was up for a very short period of time, and then was taken down because “The story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled”. That was the “editor’s note” that replaced the story.

Of course, as is the case with most scandals anywhere, it’s not the crime that is the big problem, it’s the cover-up, and CNN is trying it’s best to cover up the whole incident. Their PR department isn’t explaining anything to anyone, even to CNN reporters that are covering the fake news story. In fairness, people like Donald Trump Jr., Sean Hannity, and Anthony Scaramucci all wrote about the fake news story, and all accepted CNN’s apology and said, “Let’s move on”. However, the CNN reporters aren’t about ready to do that just yet.

They are calling on CNN top dog Jeff Zucker to publicly address how such a credibility zapping event occurred in the first place, and what’s being done to make sure that it doesn’t happen again. Don’t forget, CNN has been tagged several times for airing untrue and totally fictitious stories about Donald Trump, both during the campaign, and since.

What is happening here is historical in nature. It’s extremely rare that a news network, or a network news program would admit publicly that their story was fake news. Oh, it’s happened before. Remember Dateline’s admission that the Ford trucks were actually set on fire several years ago to illustrate faulty gas tanks? Remember Dan Rather’s admission that he was off-base on several news stories he ran with? And what about Brian Williams, stretching the truth about his adventures in the Middle East? But these are all isolated incidents that hurt the networks they were on for a while, and then the public, with its MTV mentality gets past it. I can’t remember a time when a network that specializes in news, like CNN, has gotten away unscathed with not one or two, but handfuls of stories that have been shown to have been false from the start. When news organizations start making up news to enhance their political viewpoints (on either side of the fence), it dooms them.

Well, it has doomed CNN. Silence is the real killer here. People that were responsible need to be fired, and the CEO needs to resign. Only when fines are issued in the tune of tens of millions of dollars per episode, and the people responsible are never allowed to work in the industry again (like the Wall Street crowd faces) will they regain their credibility (if ever).

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

“Freedom Of The Press” Only Goes So Far

When the founding fathers gave “Freedom of the Press” as a part of the constitution, they did so for a single reason. The press, it was assumed, would strive to provide to the people the truth. They would report on any misgivings of the government, and insure that the government were held accountable for its actions. I think the fathers would be spinning in their graves to see what has become of this time-honored tradition.

The press today does not strive to present the truth to the public, but only it’s side of the truth. And in a lot of cases, the press doesn’t bother to get the facts straight. In the old days (say 30 or 40 years ago), the rule of thumb was you needed to confirm a story with three independent sources before you went with it. In this day and age, all that is needed is to have a rumor. Let me give you a for instance.

When Republican Majority Whip, Steve Scalise of Louisiana was shot while practicing for a charity baseball game last week, President and Mrs. Trump visited him in the hospital. Now, a reporter for CNN named Jim Acosta, reported after the incident that a “White House staff member” told him that the President and Mrs. Trump never actually went into the Scalise room, and didn’t talk with family members. He reported that on his Twitter account. That tweet was false. It was never confirmed by someone other than this “White House staff member”, and if such a person did tell Acosta that, they could have been testing him to see if he’d tweet something totally untrue (and that’s where “fake news” comes from!), or they could have been out to submarine the President and his wife. Either way, the story proved to be false, and it was reported by Acosta as fact. That is irresponsible and wrong. Acosta should know better than to do something so stupid as that. It wasn’t long after that he pulled the tweet down (after it had 2,000 re-tweets). It helps to permeate the reputation that CNN has received over the past year that they rush in with stories without making sure of their validity. This is just one example.

Fake news has become the major problem in the media. That’s why media members have a lower rating than that of congress, or even of used car salesmen. How to fix it? Simple. You allow “Freedom of the Press” only when the press is reporting the truth. If they are reporting a lie, then you slap them with a fine of $10,000,000. You hit the organization in the wallet, and you ban the reporter or anchor from working in the industry. Oh sure, that seems harsh. It happens all the time in the financial sector, and it happens all the time other sectors as well. Here in Arizona, if a construction contractor is taken to court and sued for faulty work, and is found guilty, they can have their license pulled and be out of business. It’s that simple. If it works for construction, it should work for the media.

The media needs to get back to REPORTING the news, instead of trying to BE the news. Until that happens, We The People can’t trust them as far as we can throw them, and they become nothing more than talking heads and totally useless.

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

Megyn Kelly…

From time to time, we veer off of the political rants around here and delve into what I did as a career… media. And so today, we’re going to kind of meld the two topics together because Megyn Kelly, the former blonde bombshell of Fox News that decided to pull up stakes before she was fired and head over to NBC for mega bucks, is in trouble already at her new address.

The issue was an interview Kelly did with Alex Jones, the radio show host who proclaims that the school shooting at Sandy Hook was a hoax. Now, anybody with half a brain knows that what happened at Sandy Hook was no hoax but a terrible, terrible tragedy. And I think if you happened to do a deep psychological probe of Alex Jones’ mind, you’d find that he probably would feel that way too.

Yet, Megyn Kelly’s attempt at “blockbuster, must-see Sunday night TV” is coming up short. Way short. Kelly, who had a brief stint of glory this past election season sitting next to Brett Baier as co-host of a couple of debates, and instigator of Donald Trump, is finding that the public is getting tired of her already. So much so that NBC actually spent most of Wednesday arguing whether or not to pull the scheduled interview with Jones and Kelly from her newly minted Sunday night show. As I write this, they have decided to air the interview, but it’s one of those things that are drawing more ire before it airs than during or after…kind of like when Geraldo opened Al Capone’s vault. Remember that fiasco?

The program has already been called a bust by several not only in the media who report on the media, but by viewers across the country. And that’s before the Jones interview takes place. There’s a very simple reason for that. When a “journalist” and I do mean to put that in quotes, puts herself above the story, and becomes the story, then that person is no longer a journalist, but an information seeking whore. I would, at this point put Megyn Kelly right up there with Geraldo Rivera. He used to be a really good reporter until HE became the story. Then it was all about him, not the stories he covered. That’s exactly what is happening to Megyn Kelly. It’s all about the headlines she can get her name squeezed into, and nothing about the stories she is covering.

The sad part is, Kelly herself is the problem. And NBC, which has invested millions in her without really knowing how they were going to use her has the problem now of how to shut her up. She was tough to control at Fox, and it seems only Roger Ailes could do that correctly. Once he was out of the picture, it was obvious that the network wasn’t big enough to hold her massive ego. The one part Kelly does get right? When she says, “As you know, journalists don’t get the choice over who has power or influence in our country.”

But she’s trying awfully damn hard to prove herself wrong!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!