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Samizdata quote of the day – Journalism is…

Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.

David Burge

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – Journalism is…

  • Paul Marks.

    True journalism is NOT this.

    But the “journalism” of the “mainstream media” is indeed about spreading lies (they are the pushers of the “disinformation” and “misinformation” they claim to oppose) and, even more important to them, yes COVERING UP the truth.

  • Carnivorous Bookworm

    True journalism is NOT this

    Actual journalism on the other hand… 😉

  • Kirk

    Methinks that Mr. Marks might, just might, want to review the history of this “journalism”, and take the blinders off while doing so. Blinders, I might add, that were first put on the public via the good offices of the “journalists” themselves…

    The trade has been about lies and manipulation from the beginning. Nowhere in actual history do you find “journalism” with the public’s general benefit in mind… It has always been about stroking the egos of the powerful and making money, no matter where or when you’re talking. There’s never been some “Golden Age” of “Good Journalism”, only periods where their vices and abuses of the truth were slightly less visible.

    What truth there is that does get out often does so despite “journalists” and their trade; they’ve mostly been engaged in sucking up to the powerful, keeping them happy by keeping quiet about what they’re really doing, there in the shadows.

    The history of Kennedy would be an obvious example. Who among the “truth-telling journalists” told us about his health problems, his drug issues, his philandering? They covered all that up, so well that decades later, you have a hard time getting people past the whole line of “Camelot” bullshit. Same-same with Nixon; who told us that Deep Throat was Mark Felt, a dissatisfied and rebellious FBI agent who thought he ought to be Hoover’s successor, and when he wasn’t, took revenge by putting the country through a paroxysm of sanctimonious street theater? I mean, f*ck me, did not the FBI itself have operatives in Goldwater’s campaign, reporting back to the White House? Did that not happen, and they’re going to go after Nixon for the same thing their own sainted presidents were doing, going back to that master criminal, Wilson?

    Journalism has always been a scam. Always. It’s less scammish at certain times and places, but… Yeah. Open your eyes, read the histories, wrap your mind around the implications and contradictions in the “accepted narrative”.

  • The Pedant-General

    Instapundit references this about every other day. Is there a particular failure to cover a story today that prompts this SQoTD?

  • Kirk

    It always bears reinforcement…

    As well, for the primary audience of this site, I suspect that Instapundit ain’t on the daily list of things to read, as US-centric as it usually is.

  • Along with the quote from the estimable Mr. Burge (with home I share a love of Tiki-Bars, Mid-Century Modern Architecture, and classic Hot Rods*), Instapundit usually includes another one from Jim Treacher:

    Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.

    You can replace “Democrats” with any left-leaning part of your choice: Labor, RINOs, Christian Socialists, etc.

    * Mr. “Iowahawk” Burge and I don’t see eye-to-eye on lowered hot rods. I prefer mine uncut and unlowered, more Concourse-style, while he prefers more extreme modifications.

  • Paul Marks.

    Kirk – you may well have a point.

    But I think that there was a time, and not so long ago, when journalists were interested in getting to real stories – not just pushing the establishment line on everything (acting as glorified press officers and writing their copy from government and corporate press releases). The “Schools of Journalism” (unknown before the very late 19th century) have got worse and worse over time – more and more political, but they were indeed always a bad idea. Journalists should not be a special “caste” of people, a journalist should simply mean a person who tries to find out things and tell other people what they have found out (which is what it used to mean).

    There is such a thing as being too cynical – it poisons the mind and spirit.

    To say that journalists were never interested in finding things out (that they have always just being copy-and-paste people for the government and corporations) is too cynical.

    As the old Russian saying has it “first they punch your face in – then they say you were always ugly”.

    Things have not always been as bad as they are now – and things do not have to be as bad as they are now.

  • Bruce


    The toxic, self-declared “opinion-shapers”?

    The heavily-political Filth Column?

    Those churnalists?

    The overgrown, over-acknowledged and over paid school-yard tattle-tales and general fibbers?

    In the words of General William Tecumseh Sherman:

    “I hate newspapermen. They come into camp and pick up their camp rumors and print them as facts. I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are. If I killed them all, there would be news from Hell before breakfast.”

  • Bruce

    And, it is not just a recent problem:

    “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.”

    Thomas Jefferson

  • Paul Marks.

    Bruce – in the time of Thomas Jefferson, indeed a century later, most cities and towns had competing newspapers with very different points of view. The owners of the newspapers were normally also the editors – the publications reflected their individual personalities and world view, and they competed against each other.

    It is when the media become the same – when they all follow the government and corporate line, that things become as they are now.

    “Schools of Journalism” are part of the problem – as they create a “caste” of people with similar “social reform” opinions.