The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Guest Column

August 31, 2010

The media needs a true journalist to expose the truth

Chuck Pinkey is pinch-hitting this week for Tom Sears, who is working on a project. Sears’ column will resume upon his return.

Lately, I’ve been quoted as saying, “I love my country, but I hate my government.” Sadly, that is true. There are those who are in “hog heaven” with the current administration, the Congress under Pelosi and Reid, and the “tax, spend, and regulate” mentality that has gone from a creeping infection to a galloping cancer over the last 20 years.

Our elected representatives have become a ruling class. So many of them ignore the laws they have passed and disrespect the very citizens they were elected to serve. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights have been treated with contempt by the same people who have sworn to uphold and defend them.

This is not how it was supposed to be. Our Constitution provides for checks and balances, but with the career politicians in charge, it has become a case of “the vampire watching the blood bank.”

Wisely, our founders inserted other safeguards to limit government excesses. One additional guarantee is the First Amendment, providing for freedom of the press. By the way, the final guarantee is the Second Amendment, but, moving on, the media’s importance cannot be understated. Many have called it the “fourth branch of government.”

In the 1950s, Sen. Joe McCarthy was holding hearings on widespread communist subversion. America was in the middle of the Red Scare. Eventually the hearings got out of control and gravitated to a “witch hunt.”

A journalist named Edward R. Murrow stepped forward and challenged the senator and, more importantly, the media for letting this happen. The “fourth branch” did its job.

Let me pose this question: Are they doing their job now? Sean Hannity once said, “The media died in 2008,” and he is correct. The major networks, NBC, CBS, ABC and CNN, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times have erased the line between objective news reporting and editorial opinion.  

Even the least among us, like Jim from Delhi, cannot help but notice their liberal preference. Take, for example, the Tea Party. Here is a group of Americans that simply believe in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Everyday Americans who pay their taxes, provide for their families and genuinely love this great nation.

They are exercising their First Amendment right of freedom of speech. Many have worn the uniform of our country. They are Mom and Pop America. Listen to the major network news reports and you will hear references to Nazis, racists and white trash. In Nevada and Washington, D.C., Tea Parties have drawn hundreds of thousands and it is barely reported. Biased?

Another example would be the treatment, or lack of it, of President Barack Hussein Obama. There are legitimate questions that went unasked. Shouldn’t a true journalist have confirmed something as important as Obama’s birth certificate? How much effort would it take to produce and display such a simple document?

What about the influence of President Obama’s friends and associates? Communist Van Jones, domestic terrorist William Ayers, the radical Rev. Wright, Socialist Saul Alinsky, Marxist Frank Marshall Davis and convicted felon Rod Blagojevich, to name just a few. Are we not known by the company we keep? Wouldn’t an impartial media at least investigate this?

Consider the cost of President Obama’s inauguration, which was $160 million. The press said that “America needs a party,” but four years earlier bashed President Bush for spending $42 million. Both were too darn high!

Wouldn’t it have been great if in January 2009, President-elect Obama had said, “People are hurting and many have lost their jobs and life savings. Just swear me in, save $160 million, and let me get to work?” Only in my dreams!

Not to assail the First Lady, but has the media ever questioned why she no longer practices law? They certainly examined every aspect of Sarah Palin’s life, trying to dig up dirt! One must remember the uproar when Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, during the 2008 election, exceeded $100,000. But did NBC, CBS, ABC or CNN protest when Michele Obama’s vacation to Spain tallied more than a quarter of a million taxpayer dollars?

Since his inauguration, President Obama has spent over $850 million on a stimulus package. Shouldn’t the media examine the spending and track its effect to be sure that it is spent wisely? Of course it should!

With the government takeover of health care estimated to cost trillions and with projections of the national debt reaching $14 trillion, one would at least expect an in-depth study. Good grief, Tiger and Elin have received more scrutiny!

Compare the media coverage and the investigative journalistic endeavor that went into Rep. Charlie Rangel’s criminal activity versus the feeding frenzy that surrounded President Bush’s drunken driving arrest 20 to 30 years previous. Are we beginning to notice a pattern?

Unfortunately, it will never change until the major media start doing their job once again. Just the truth, and let the viewers decide. Be fair and impartial. Be true journalists. Who will be the next Edward R. Murrow?

CHUCK PINKEY is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at chuck.rvnewholland@gmail.com.

 

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