The refrain is a familiar one. Reporters for newspapers decry the sorry state of "bloggers" and how they couldn't report their way out of a paper bag. They point to the "need" for the Fourth Estate in a free society. They whine and moan about how only they, with their years of training and experience can accurately report the news.
Yet, as we've seen during the healthcare debate the "journalists" have failed the American public horribly. They have treated outrageous claims about "Death Panels" as a legitimate debate! Every bizarre or outrageous claim that comes out of the right wing fringe is treated as though it is based in fact - even if it is an outright lie.
Instead of educating the public about our system of healthcare and its problems they have taken to treating this as a sporting event when daily our esteemed "journalists" handicap who is getting ahead in the debate and who is doing a better job of "messaging."
When people show up at events where the President is speaking with assault rifles and armed to the teeth they do not treat these people as lunatics and dangerous but stick them on television or interview them for the newspaper so that they can spread their extremist messages.
They are so concerned with seeming like they know more about politics than the rest of us that they make stupid mistakes like confusing the process of bill reconciliation with the Republican attempt in the past to dismantle Senate rules known as the "Nuclear Option." They even peddle wholesale fantasy as fact. Just note what Edwin Chen of Bloomberg wrote on speculation that when Congress reconvenes Obama will push Democrats to forgo courting insane Republicans and just take care of the American people:
A move by Democrats to seek a partisan bill may provoke a backlash from Republicans and weaken public support for the health-care overhaul, Obama’s top domestic priority. It might also result in watered-down legislation.
Really? And it also might result in Mothra rising from the Sea of Japan to stomp on Tokyo but I doubt anyone would put money on it.
Why is that allowed to pass for "journalism" today? Why isn't Edwin Chen, who wrote that line looking for work this afternoon at McDonald's? More importantly why isn't Chen's editor looking for work.
That is not journalism, it's speculation based on nothing. Chen's "backup" for his opinion is something that Bob Dole (seriously?) said. Newsflash Mr. Chen: Bob Dole is no longer in the Senate. He has nothing to do with this legislation. So, you might as well have gotten some expert opinions from the lady in housekeeping down at your local hospital.
I'm sick of this piss poor excuse for journalism in our country. Rather than cutting through the BS to bring people the truth, journalists now present every bit of crazy as legitimate dialogue and refuse to even attempt to debunk it for fear of being called "biased."
Maybe it's time someone told the folks in this profession that being biased toward sanity and truthfulness is really OK and if they can't stand the criticism of the lunatic fringe, maybe they should go into another field. Or, maybe it really is time they just disappear finally because they've become ineffective and irrelevant when it comes to the job they are supposed to do.