Banking on reputation, credibility must be merited

Banking on reputation, credibility must be merited

By A. Dru KristenevNovember 23, 2020

Trust is earned. It can be lost in an instant once words are spoken revealing an agenda, especially one of personal aggrandizement. This is the albatross hanging around media necks.

Passion can be understood and desired but it must be tempered with patience, wisdom and, for members of the press, an unselfish quest for verifiable facts. The last three qualities are what is lacking among the media since gaining notoriety drives too many, and a taste of fame taints their message.

From well established media outlets to individuals seeking a spotlight, facts have become unimportant in the rush to be first with a story or to make their opinion known, even if they are baseless, and baseless opinions are swamping the news channels.

The greatest complaint of talking heads (an apt description as the yakking comes from heads generally unattached to sensible thought processes) is that ‘b-b-b-but there’s no evidence.’

Since when does the press get first dibs on evidence destined for a court challenge?

Answer? It doesn’t.

All of this comes down to a lazy press corps that has gotten used to “insiders” handing them “proof” on a platter which began in earnest with Watergate back in 1972-73, when Woodward and Bernstein responded to a phone call from “Deep Throat” and showed up in a parking garage to receive their scoop. That was the beginning of the true spoiling of the press, which has come to a pinnacle where now they sit on their duffs, skim the internet and show up at “pressers” to be gifted with all the so-called proof they need to indict and convict individuals with whom they disagree.

That’s not journalism. That’s scavenging – vultures circling carrion that’s delivered, so to speak, for them to fight over and devour. Hunting live facts is no longer in their job description. Picking the bones clean of flesh to dodge the truth rather than expose it, is.

Media mavens and wannabes are not an impartial jury nor is it their “right” to have evidence dropped in their laps for them to assign justice. For decades they have been unable to separate their personal prejudices from implementing their job to report news. It’s been all about explaining the news to the uninitiated (unlearned and stupid) citizens who are obviously unable to discern the nuances behind public figures’ words or actions. They have become professors of their beliefs that were pounded into them in institutions of higher education.

Although a growing number of jurists have been seated on the bench as professors, i.e. activists, over the same stretch of decades, the courtroom is still where the evidence is laid out for consideration. Networks, podcasts and radio shows are not unbiased venues and not where lawyers are required to plead their cases. It’s only the enormous egos of the personalities behind the microphones or on the sets who seem to think they are the arbiters of truth. It’s not their place to parse the truth. Their vocation is to seek out and report facts, which means on the record, primary source documentation.

There is no circumstance where news publications, such as the Chicago Tribune, are in a position to decide who is credible and who is not according to their perception of what constitutes evidence. Press conferences are about publicity for an upcoming event or to describe or clarify one that has occurred. It isn’t called to garner approval from the press, though it’s arguable that the purpose has devolved to that point. It is to inform people of what’s on the horizon going forward and looking back.

If a media personality or organization believes it is entitled to preview evidence to be presented in a court of law, he, she or it/they are utterly mistaken. It’s not their job and never has been their job to weigh evidence and decide veracity. That’s the judiciary’s bailiwick.

When the press attempts to assign credibility according to the limited information they obtain – and it is limited in one fashion or another if they are not unbiased – then they must be called out for contaminating the jury pool, which is us, the consumer public. These self-important elitist blowhards are guilty of pushing propaganda. The fact that the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, L.A. Times and others decided to take millions of dollars for advertising from the Chinese Communist Party’s disinformation arm speaks for itself. Money talks.

It’s not for the press to pick and choose their facts and, ultimately, their “truth” dependent on their “profession.” It is the public’s duty to weigh all the facts they can locate to wend their way to the truth including what is properly discovered in a court of law. These days, fact-finding must be done on their own owing to fatally prejudiced media representing mainstream and alternative outlets. It’s hoped that the courts are not equally compromised.

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