Wednesday, October 10, 2007

One angry journalist



I didn't think she had it in her. Actually, I'd never much thought about her, not being a consumer of local TV news. The former news anchor at Fox's Channel 2 in the San Francisco Bay Area has come out swinging against her former employers.

The erosion was slow and many of us barely noticed the small chiseling away of who and what we once were. Anchors and reporters depend on high ratings. If ratings fall in television, people get fired. In the months following 9/11, the president's approval rating was 86 percent, and that's when many in commercial journalism lost their way. To disagree or even ask a disagreeable question regarding the president and his decisions was interpreted as disloyal by many media corporations. ...

In January 2003, President Bush delivered his State of the Union address. Osama bin Laden turned into Saddam Hussein, and Afghanistan turned into Iraq. The press knew this was a bait and switch, but fearing that reporters and anchors might appear unpatriotic, the corporate media made it clear that even if George W. Bush played twister in the nude while a few sheets to the wind instead of going to constitutional law classes at Yale, we were not allowed to talk about it. ...

... Not wanting to appear unpatriotic, the town criers did not cry out. Many corporate media reporters became stenographers, not reporters, on that day. Those in television journalism, particularly those working for a Fox affiliate, were not allowed to ask questions that could be perceived as unpatriotic, and every question was seen as unpatriotic. Monarchs and dictators don't allow questions. They also destroy those who speak ill of them. "Scooter - Valerie." "Rove - Anyone." ...

... local reporters looked at their retirement plans and their kids in college and promptly puckered their lips on the behinds of corporate media and smooched. If my kids were still in college, I would not have the courage to write this now. ...

Anchors and reporters stopped asking why. The corporate media demanded nationalism without skepticism, believing ratings would fall further if reporters did their jobs. ...

Anchors and reporters began allowing precious hours meant for journalism to be filled with helicopter shots of the latest grassfire, traffic jam or car chase, a la O.J.

Anchors and reporters allowed news directors and sales people to dictate their "look." Good journalism does not have a "look." ...

Anchors and reporters started wearing American flags on their lapels. Some of them never voted in any election. ...

Anchors and reporters started referring to the United States government as "We."

And that's not the half of what she wants us to know. Read it all here.

1 comment:

sfmike said...

She always struck me as a nasty little careerist when I encountered her at public events, but that probably helps her see into the horror that is a Fox affiliate newsroom. Thanks for the link.

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