Fourth Estate Follies
Dear, oh dear! Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times columnist, laments, “the climate for freedom of the press in the United States feels more ominous than it has for decades.” He urges vociferous protest and a federal shield law for journalists—this because two journalists have been ordered to jail for refusing a judge’s order to reveal their sources. Both hacks are free pending appeals.
Although I was in Albania for a short visit 25 years ago, I was unaware that freedom of the press was about to be curtailed in the Land of the Free. Kristof admits that judges do not decide cases on public sentiment but that their decisions do reflect the values of their society. (Now you’re talking, Nicholas, old boy.) Journalists, whether they know it or not, do come under a nation’s laws, and when they place themselves above them—as the New York Times, Washington Post, and others of their ilk do—they must suffer the consequences.
Not that many of them have. In fact, only one hack from NBC got four months of house arrest for telling a judge to go and reproduce himself. They are a funny bunch these journalists. They’re arrogant, especially since Watergate, they’re untrustworthy, and they’re definitely out of touch. My favorite hysteric, Maureen Dowd, had kittens last week when the new pope was elected. She called him all sorts of names and brought up the Inquisition. Maureen baby, who was obviously traumatized when Gabby Hayes refused her advances (not to worry, sweetheart, there’s always Adolph Menjou) wants a modern and cool pope. The fact that a billion and more Catholics do not has not entered her Irish brain. Nor has it registered that busybodies who insult other peoples’ icons in order to appear sophisticated are loathed by most folks who still buy newspapers.
Mind you, I’m not saying that Ms. Dowd has no right to her opinions. She does and always will in this country. It is her outrage when others do not do it the Dowd way that bothers me. Talk about arrogance! Kristof reports that among 13 institutions the National Opinion Research Center investigated, all had retained a good measure of public respect except for the press.
Distrust is the order of the day, ergo the success of the blogs and of the Internet. As Rupert Murdoch, or the Dirty Digger as he’s known among us hacks in Blighty, said to the American Society of Newspaper Editors recently, “They don’t want to rely on a God-like figure from above to tell them what’s important.” Murdoch should know. He has done more to ruin what was once a respected estate by dumbing down to cartoon level all his newspapers, including the London Times, but that’s another story altogether.
The Dirty Digger is above all smart. He realizes that people like Dowd and Rather and the rest of the holier-than-thou buffoons who are taken seriously by the Beltway elite are on the way out. The New York Times leads the way. Trying to play God for much too long has left the paper of record believed by only 21 percent of its readers according to Pew research.
All I can say is it was about time. Just to illustrate the arrogance of the liberal mindset which the media has fawned over since Uncle Joe Stalin’s day, they are now crying foul and demanding that the Federal Election Commission restore the Fairness Doctrine because conservatism is finally getting a fair hearing by the American people.
That arch-phony Robert Kennedy Jr. is almost as hysterical as Maureen Dowd because our voices are being heard for a change. Kennedy’s rationale reminds me of that of Karagiozis, a Greek clown who tells his business partner, “All I have is mine, and all you have is mine also …” Kennedy claims that conservatives rule the airwaves and the media. It’s as valid a claim as when he pleaded innocent to heroin possession while smacked out on his back during a commercial flight.
And speaking of Uncle Joe, while FDR was president there was a very significant infiltration of the government by Soviet agents. A vast propaganda campaign by journalists like I.F. Stone—an idol of that other arch-phony Christopher Hitchens—managed to discredit a great American like Sen. Joe McCarthy and turn him into a figure of ridicule and hate. As the recent Time magazine cover girl Ann Coulter said, McCarthy was not only a patriot, he was a man of total integrity and of high intelligence. Yet his name is mud because of Soviet agents like Stone and others of his ilk that libel laws do not permit me to name. The New York Times and the Washington Post praised Stone to the skies.
When JFK betrayed the brave Cubans at the Bay of Pigs, all he had to do was call in his buddy Ben Bradlee, and the latter did the rest. Alger Hiss, traitor and Soviet agent to his fingertips, got a free ride from what Paul Johnson calls the Seven Deadly Sinners: Time, Newsweek, CBS, NBC, ABC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. For the deadly seven, it remains psychologically impossible to accept that America is ever anything but malevolent. The greatest mass murderer (as a ratio of population) of all time, Pol Pot, was offered excuses by the leftists in the media as the American press endlessly magnified American faults while ignoring enemy atrocities.
Now the chickens are starting to come home to roost.