Bought and Paid For

 

The scales have fallen from my eyes. Ricochetti will know me for a staunch believer in the important role the media plays ensuring the uninterrupted flow of facts and non-partisan commentary to the electorate.

Others may accuse journalists of having a thumb on the scale, or perhaps unconsciously ever-so-slightly tilting in a very lightly mainstream liberal way, but I defended the noble profession; I believed Jake Tapper and others when they told me that, even after decades working alongside their fellow scribes, they could not tell who they might have voted for; I knew that up until the moment someone joined an administration as a flack or spinner, their integrity was complete, and the moment they left that administration to return to their newspaper or network they reverted to their natural impartial state; I dismissed claims that links of blood or marriage between senior media and political figures were anything but irrelevant.

But now The Guardian — the standard bearer for “quality, independent journalism, which discovers and tells readers the truth” (I know, because they told me) has established a US nonprofit (of course, they are a giant money-losing organisation so it could hardly be otherwise) whereby donors can pay for “journalism” supporting their case. As they brazenly put it themselves:

The connection between powerful story-telling and social cause has never been more vital. Across the past six years, philanthropy has played an increasingly significant role in supporting Guardian journalism on issues that critically inform the public–climate change, inequality, women’s rights, and more. The creation of theguardian.org makes it possible for us to forge key strategic partnerships, and engage a wider range of individuals and philanthropic organizations in supporting our global ground-breaking storytelling and reporting.

This is the end of the illusion. No longer will I be the innocent supporter of the profession of journalism I have been to date. No longer will I uncritically believe what I read and hear. No longer will I pull my punches when it comes to the poison reporters drip in the ear of democracy. No longer will I forgive Claire, Mollie, and Jon their good intentions in the face of an institution that is objectively evil.

Journalism, you have been warned: no more Mr. Nice Genferei.

Published in Journalism
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  1. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    The Guardian has always been the counterpart to the Telegraph in the British Press. They’ve never claimed to be non-partisan because the British press isn’t non-partisan. I’ve long read The Guardian precisely because it was the socialist newspaper of record and thus offers great insight into their thinking.

    • #1
  2. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    At least they’re honest.  Reminds me of the old joke that ends “We’ve established what you are; now we’re just arguing over price.”

    • #2
  3. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    At least they’re honest. Reminds me of the old joke that ends “We’ve established what you are; now we’re just arguing over price.”

    The British Press is far more honest in that regard than the American Press. The concept of an unbiased press is an anathema to human nature as the concept of human beings being inherently good.

    • #3
  4. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Did I overlook the ‘sarc’?

    • #4
  5. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    The British Press is far more honest in that regard than the American Press.

    It would be hard to be less honest. But here is the way Teh Gruaniad portrays itself on its begging page:

    We want to make the world a better, fairer place. We want to keep the powerful honest. And we believe that doing so means keeping society informed by producing quality, independent journalism, which discovers and tells readers the truth.

    This is hardly in the vein of “We present the viewpoint of the metropolitan, cosmopolitan left”.

    • #5
  6. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    At least they’re honest. Reminds me of the old joke that ends “We’ve established what you are; now we’re just arguing over price.”

    The British Press is far more honest in that regard than the American Press. The concept of an unbiased press is an anathema to human nature as the concept of human beings being inherently good.

    I probably should read the British press more.  At least slogans like “The truth is more important now than ever” and the incredibly pompous “Democracy Dies in Darkness”  aren’t in use.

     

    • #6
  7. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    genferei (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    The British Press is far more honest in that regard than the American Press.

    It would be hard to be less honest. But here is the way Teh Gruaniad portrays itself on its begging page:

    We want to make the world a better, fairer place. We want to keep the powerful honest. And we believe that doing so means keeping society informed by producing quality, independent journalism, which discovers and tells readers the truth.

    This is hardly in the vein of “We present the viewpoint of the metropolitan, cosmopolitan left”.

    Really because I think it reads exactly like that.

    • #7
  8. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    genferei (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    The British Press is far more honest in that regard than the American Press.

    It would be hard to be less honest. But here is the way Teh Gruaniad portrays itself on its begging page:

    We want to make the world a better, fairer place. We want to keep the powerful honest. And we believe that doing so means keeping society informed by producing quality, independent journalism, which discovers and tells readers the truth.

    This is hardly in the vein of “We present the viewpoint of the metropolitan, cosmopolitan left”.

    Regardless of the lofty words they use, everyone knows exactly what the Guardian is. Same goes for the Telegraph. I read ’em both on occasion, though a barf bag is often required for the former.

    This would be an appropriate time to quote Yes, Prime Minister.

    Jim Hacker: Don’t tell me about the Press. I know *exactly* who reads the papers. The Daily Mirror is read by the people who think they run the country. The Guardian is read by people who think they *ought* to run the country. The Times is read by the people who actually *do* run the country. The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country. The Financial Times is read by people who *own* the country. The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by *another* country. The Daily Telegraph is read by the people who think it is.

    Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?

    Bernard Woolley: Sun readers don’t care *who* runs the country – as long as she’s got big tits.

    • #8
  9. Arthur Beare Member
    Arthur Beare
    @ArthurBeare

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    This would be an appropriate time to quote Yes, Prime Minister.

    Will someone please write a piece similar to that bit from Yes, Prime Minister about the American press?

    Please, pretty please!

    • #9
  10. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    genferei (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    The British Press is far more honest in that regard than the American Press.

    It would be hard to be less honest. But here is the way Teh Gruaniad portrays itself on its begging page:

    We want to make the world a better, fairer place. We want to keep the powerful honest. And we believe that doing so means keeping society informed by producing quality, independent journalism, which discovers and tells readers the truth.

    This is hardly in the vein of “We present the viewpoint of the metropolitan, cosmopolitan left”.

    Regardless of the lofty words they use, everyone knows exactly what the Guardian is. Same goes for the Telegraph. I read ’em both on occasion, though a barf bag is often required for the former.

    This would be an appropriate time to quote Yes, Prime Minister.

    Jim Hacker: Don’t tell me about the Press. I know *exactly* who reads the papers. The Daily Mirror is read by the people who think they run the country. The Guardian is read by people who think they *ought* to run the country. The Times is read by the people who actually *do* run the country. The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country. The Financial Times is read by people who *own* the country. The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by *another* country. The Daily Telegraph is read by the people who think it is.

    Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?

    Bernard Woolley: Sun readers don’t care *who* runs the country – as long as she’s got big tits.

    Is there still a page 3?

    • #10
  11. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    And then there is the Independent for Corbynistas. Much prefer the Independent to the Guardian.

    The Telegraph has really come down from the days when John Keegan was military correspondent. Now all there is on there pages is 3rd rate MI6 hacks selling the latest disinformation.

    • #11
  12. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    This would be an appropriate time to quote Yes, Prime Minister.

    Will someone please write a piece similar to that bit from Yes, Prime Minister about the American press?

    Please, pretty please!

    The NYTimes has Slim Pickens as sugar daddy.

    The Washington Post has Jeff Bezos as sugar daddy.

    The Wall Street Journal has Rupert Murdoch as sugar daddy.

     

    • #12
  13. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):

    genferei (View Comment):

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    The British Press is far more honest in that regard than the American Press.

    It would be hard to be less honest. But here is the way Teh Gruaniad portrays itself on its begging page:

    We want to make the world a better, fairer place. We want to keep the powerful honest. And we believe that doing so means keeping society informed by producing quality, independent journalism, which discovers and tells readers the truth.

    This is hardly in the vein of “We present the viewpoint of the metropolitan, cosmopolitan left”.

    Really because I think it reads exactly like that.

    Yep. That’s LeftSpeak, all right.

    • #13
  14. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    I just like to read the Rumford Meteor headlines to get the news straight.

    http://rumfordmeteor.com

    • #14
  15. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    Headline from the August 5th edition of the Rumford Meteor:

    “The Affordable Care Act Unicorn Took a Dump on Lincoln County Healthcare, and It Doesn’t Smell Like Rainbows”

    • #15
  16. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    David Thompson is particularly hard on The Guardian.  His especial target seems to be Penny Red.

    • #16
  17. civil westman Inactive
    civil westman
    @user_646399

    Ah, if only journalists were merely venal…

    It must have been 20 years ago that I read that most students said they entered journalism to “change the world.” That youthful idealism, unfortunately, can make up in zeal what it lacks in reasoned world view. I thus see them as far more dangerous (we see the fruits of that generation of students before us presently) than if they were only bought and paid for. They are true believers with the secular deity on their side.

    • #17
  18. J.D. Snapp Coolidge
    J.D. Snapp
    @JulieSnapp

    Yeah, Gianforte just had to pay $50K to said non-profit in exchange for Jacobs not to take him to civil court. I mean, I guess it would keep journalists safe if punching them in the face means you have to pay a small fortune to that smarmy non-profit to keep you from having to pay even more in court.

    • #18
  19. Tony Inactive
    Tony
    @TonySells

    I can’t believe somebody just found out that the Guardian was a left leaning newspaper.

    • #19
  20. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Hugh Hewitt asks that journalists state their biases like people who discuss stock markets do.

    Hewitt always ask journalists that he interviews who they voted for in the last election. Few answer him but they all invoke the priesthood defense that they are special people who can put their biases aside when they “inform the public” about the news and the facts.

    • #20
  21. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    Arthur Beare (View Comment):

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    This would be an appropriate time to quote Yes, Prime Minister.

    Will someone please write a piece similar to that bit from Yes, Prime Minister about the American press?

    Please, pretty please!

    I think someone did in a previous post or comment. Probably too hard to find except for the person that did it.

    • #21
  22. TheRoyalFamily Member
    TheRoyalFamily
    @TheRoyalFamily

    Jamie Lockett (View Comment):
    Really because I think it reads exactly like that.

    That’s because you recognize the ways of leftist prose. For most folks, that’s just the default, non-biased mode. Most people think CNN is centrist and balanced, Fox News is Far Right, and MSNBC is maybe slightly tilted leftwards.

    • #22
  23. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    civil westman (View Comment):
    Ah, if only journalists were merely venal…

    It must have been 20 years ago that I read that most students said they entered journalism to “change the world.” That youthful idealism, unfortunately, can make up in zeal what it lacks in reasoned world view. I thus see them as far more dangerous (we see the fruits of that generation of students before us presently) than if they were only bought and paid for. They are true believers with the secular deity on their side.

    It was closer to twenty-five years ago when I heard a journalism professor lamenting the fact that his students didn’t believe that they should even try to be objective. His presentation was depressing and I believe it was the first time that I heard the phrase “advocacy journalism”. Odd that I heard it on KQED. “Public Media for Northern California” they call it.

    • #23
  24. ToddMcCloskey Inactive
    ToddMcCloskey
    @ToddMcCloskey

    I think Larry Koler was alluding to it. Journalists, like all other people, have opinions and sides. I would say it is a kind of immature or just not well thought through thinking to assume that journalism is impartial. What comes to mind is Howard Zinn and his book, you can’t stand neutral on a moving train. His insight was around history. You can’t think that as a historian if you just lat out the “Facts” that you are somehow neutral. On a moving train no one can stand still… There are always obvious and less obvious sides people are taking even in writing the most dry and date infested histories. The authors might not even be aware of the sides they are taking unless they attempt to look at their own biases. I would actually trust a journalist more if they were upfront about their preferences and biases or the position they are taking. What is being brought up here for me is more of a critique of journalism over all. Journalists that believe they can be neutral writers are setting themselves and the profession up for a kind of shame in the end, because if they actually believe that they can be neutral in their writing then they will be governed by their unexamined motives and if they know they can’t be neutral but still claim they are then they are even worse because they are consciously manipulating us.

    • #24
  25. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    ToddMcCloskey (View Comment):
    I think Larry Koler was alluding to it. Journalists, like all other people, have opinions and sides. I would say it is a kind of immature or just not well thought through thinking to assume that journalism is impartial. What comes to mind is Howard Zinn and his book, you can’t stand neutral on a moving train. His insight was around history. You can’t think that as a historian if you just lat out the “Facts” that you are somehow neutral. On a moving train no one can stand still… There are always obvious and less obvious sides people are taking even in writing the most dry and date infested histories. The authors might not even be aware of the sides they are taking unless they attempt to look at their own biases. I would actually trust a journalist more if they were upfront about their preferences and biases or the position they are taking. What is being brought up here for me is more of a critique of journalism over all. Journalists that believe they can be neutral writers are setting themselves and the profession up for a kind of shame in the end, because if they actually believe that they can be neutral in their writing then they will be governed by their unexamined motives and if they know they can’t be neutral but still claim they are then they are even worse because they are consciously manipulating us.

    It is nothing but an excuse at this point. If the polling of journalists indicated they were in the 50-50 range then I don’t think we would care that they are fooling themselves or trying to fool others. But, when we have the 92-8 leftwing bias in the media as we do now then we really need to be able to sort out the ones who might be biased. In financial reporting they do it, political reporting is even more important. They don’t belong to a priesthood and they should act professionally.

    Basically, this refusal to tell us their voting patterns is part of their big lie. It’s seamless and they need to stick with the omerta of their gang.

    • #25
  26. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    genferei (View Comment):
    It would be hard to be less honest. But here is the way Teh Gruaniad portrays itself on its begging page:

    When I lived in the UK back in the 70s and early 80s, one of the reasons to read it were the hilarious misspellings in Teh Gruaniad.  Thanks for reminding me of that.

    • #26
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