“The Press,” today, meaning the news media, claims it acts as a “watchdog” on behalf of the country. But who watches the watchdog? The evidence mounts that this is a dog that needs watching.
A good starting point is the self-important White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and it’s treatment of Sarah Huckabee Sanders, then-White House Press Secretary. Comedian Michelle Wolf called Sanders a liar (oh, that’s a good joke!), then mocked her appearance and Arkansas background. Sanders sat stoically at the head table, ambushed by “THE PRESS” or at least left with no one at the head table with the decency to call it off.
In August of 2018, the New York Times hired Sarah Jeong, a South Korean native, to join its editorial board. Executive Editor Dean P. Baquet, who is black, evidently was not disturbed by Jeong’s posting of a chart that purports to show a correlation between being white and “awfulness,” or statements like, “Are white people genetically predisposed to burn faster in the sun, thus logically being only fit to live underground like groveling goblins,” and “Oh man, it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men.” The Times announced it knew about the posts, talked to her about it and she was staying.
In November, CNN’s Correspondent Jim Acosta made Democrat speeches at a press conference and argued with the President instead of asking questions. Finally a young female intern came to get the microphone. Acosta held onto the mic and Sarah Sanders confirmed “placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern.” She called the behavior “absolutely unacceptable.”
As reported by National Review’s Michael Brendan Dougherty earlier this year, New Statesman reporter George Eaton interviewed Conservative Icon Roger Scruton. As proven by a later obtained recording and transcript, Scuton said the Chinese Communists were, “in a sense creating robots out of their own people, by so constraining what can be done that each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that’s a very frightening thing.” Here’s how Eaton reported it, “each Chinese person is a kind of replica of the next one and that’s a very frightening thing,” making him sound like a racist and costing him a job.
At the White House’s July 2019 Social Media Summit as the President was about to give remarks, Playboy White House correspondent and CNN contributor Brian Karem paced alongside the seated conservative crowd. Then he began taunting them, including this, “This is a group of people that are eager for demonic possession.” When Sebastian Gorka confronted him, Karem challenged him to a fight: “Hey — come on over here and talk to me, brother. We can go outside and have a long conversation.” Karem got more than he counted on. “You’re threatening me now in the White House — in the Rose Garden, threatening me in the Rose Garden,” Gorka said leaning into Karem. “You’re a punk. You’re not a journalist. You’re a punk!” Amen.
Trump Campaign official Katrina Pierson wrote recently that this August, “President Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, was forced to resign after the Washington Post’s White House bureau chief, Philip Rucker, violated one of the most basic principles of ethical journalism. Rucker broke an off-the-record promise. Westerhout apparently spoke to Rucker and other reporters in confidence ... and Rucker let it become a career-ending national headline for Westerhout.”
When asked to deny the claim, WaPo wrote Brietbart News, “Philip Rucker is one of the best and most scrupulous reporters in the news business. He has always acted with the utmost honor and integrity and has never violated Washington Post standards or policies.”
That is NOT a denial of violating the most basic law of journalism — never burn an off-the-record source.
Who’s watching the dog?
[This is a column of opinion and satire. The author knows of no undisclosed facts. Contact Lewis, the author of “Separation of Church and State” and “The Diaries of Pontius Pilate,” at www.josephmaxlewis.com and click on Rimersburg Rules.]