Back in the journalism classes I have had over the years, and while an Assistant Public Affairs Officer (APAO), one of the newspapers always held up as a good source of “unbiased” reporting, was the Christian Science Monitor.
There has been talk in recent years this respected news organ was falling pray to the same demons as the rest of the MSM. In other words, they were becoming biased in their reporting of “the facts”. Well now the CSM has gone and started to whine about the DOD and their entry into the media mix, part of the Department of Defense television network, “The Pentagon Channel”. You can read about their concerns here.
The anchors and reporters wear uniforms instead of neckties and suits, and the commercials promote the military, not laundry soap and cutlery sets. But otherwise, the Pentagon Channel – which is on the cusp of its first anniversary – looks and sounds a lot like CNN and C-SPAN.
To the people who run the Department of Defense television network, that’s exactly the point. To critics, that’s exactly the problem. When the government creates a cable channel that reminds viewers of a news network, down to the live Pentagon briefings and interviews with Washington big shots, is it a form of propaganda or just a savvy way to communicate with the troops?
“We provide news and information and focus on the morale of our military as well,” says Allison Barber, deputy assistantsecretary of Defense, who oversees the Pentagon Channel.
Okkkkay….let’s see here….why they are emulating established MSM “news stations”. It couldn’t be they are doing this to promote an air of professionalism, vice a “hey ma we are going to put on a news/information show in the barn, and it’s going to be really keen!” kind of thing. And as to “critics”, Helloooo, get a clue, this is a sophisticated house organ, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out after watching same. As such, of course it is going to be biased! All house organs are to some extent or another, they exist for dissemination of information to those who are part of that organization. Would you expect the “Catholic Digest”, to positively promote “The benefits of pagan rites for picking up hot chicks”? Of course not. Besides, not being something their target market would want to read about, it goes against the tenants/values of the organization which said house organ exists for.
“The on-air staffers “aren’t reporters,” says Ralph J. Begleiter, professor of communication at the University of Delaware. “That’s a hugely important distinction. They’re not journalists. They’re salesmen.”
Pentagon Channel senior producer Scott Howe, a veteran of military journalism, puts it another way. “We are an advocate of the Department of Defense and its voice,” he says. “We obviously don’t air speculation out in the civilian media that questions what the department is doing or its motives.”
Military-sponsored news reports are hardly anything new. The government even operates an institution called the Defense Information School – motto: “strength through truth” – to train its troops to publish newspapers and produce news shows.”
Hmmm The University of Delaware, now there is bastion of journalistic excellence! And who does this asshat think he is fooling? All journalists are salesmen of a sort. They are selling their version of the truth, via their media outfit, to the public at large. Those journalists with the greatest ability in providing “The who, what, where, when, and how” of a given story, along with the best use of verbiage in providing same to the public will eventually see their work, given a byline, perhaps “pickup” by other news organs, and maybe a Pulitzer as the ultimate reward for a job well done.
But what we see, more often than not, is opinion interjected in what is supposed to be “straight news reporting”. And Professor Begletter, wants to single out the men and woman of the DOD as salesmen? You might want to take the blinders of bub, compared to the crap tossed at us daily, by all facets of the MSM, the members of the military who carry the title of journalist, have them beat hands down, as far as professional ethics and sticking to their (respective) style sheets. I know, I’ve been there and done that.
Here is a clue for you professor, free of charge. If and when the MSM, decides to cover, with something akin to honesty and integrity, any events around the world. So folks reading, viewing, or listening, to the reporting/reports can honestly believe they are getting the facts and nothing but the facts…to the best ability of the reporters giving same, then you’ll have something approaching a moral high ground on which to spew your commentary. Til then, ya might want to back up and regroup a bit.