1 August 2010 (Rishon/Pesach)|
Day #139, 5934 AM
Edward R. Murrow
Journalism at Its Very Best
Those of you who know me know that I have scant respect for most modern journalists. Most of them are highly biased and are serving the interests of political agendas rather than the truth or the public interest, even though they claim to be. Far too many of them play dirty simply to be sensationalistic. Many would like to be honest but they are handcuffed by their owners who frequently serve partisan interests. Most are anti-religious, or at least. anti-Christian.
This does not mean that I have no time for journalism. On the contrary, people do need news, and they need accurate and balanced reporting based on some kind of platform of moral responsibility. And not just people in general, but Christians and Messianics in particular (whom I represent to some extent) - as believers we need to know what's actually going on around us in the real world so that we can sift out the truth from all the lies. We need to know what reality is.
My own encounters with both good and bad journalists have led me to we wary of them and to draw up guidelines for interacting with them as so many of them are unprincipled and could not careless whether they destroy reputations and lives or not. And lashon hara means nothing to most of them at all. Of course, as believiers we expect to be reviled and are prepared to serve Christ at the expense of our reputation, even as He came to serve us (Phil.2:7). And the more truthful you are about reality in both the physical and spiritual dimensions, the greater the chances you are of having your name dragged through the mud:
Journalists, and in particular their employers and owners, weild great power. And they know it. They have the ability to influence and shape public opinion, and in so doing manipulate and pervert the democratic process. Those who have power do not readily concede it, and that goes for those who are working in the interests of the Úlite as power-brokers. Journalists have within their hands the potential to do great good or evil and are feared for that very reason. God help any society where wicked and unscrupulous journalists are in the majority.
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matt.5:10-12, NKJV).
Today I want to pay tribute to a great American journalist. As far as I know, he was not a believer. He was Democrat by political persuasion. What made him great was not his literary prowess (his use of the English language was masterful and electrifying) or the fact that he risked his life in war-time Europe to get on-the-spot reporting, or the fact that he was made a Knight of the British Empire (KBE) for his reporting of the London Blitz in 1940, or indeed for any of his other undoubted accomplishments as a CBS newsman. What made Edward Murrow great was his honesty and integrity in delivering the news.
Apart from his wartime reporting from Europe, he is best remembered for his criticism of Wisconcin Senator Joseph McCarthy's witch hunt against alleged communists that was implicating and hurting totally innocent people, leading to at least one decent journalist to commit suicide. His efforts resulted in at least one person unfairly dismissed from his job in the Air Force being reinstated and the end of the persecution of innocents and brought an end to McCarthy's persecution of citizens suspected of treason without any evidence whatsoever. He was therefore instrumental as a defender of liberty. had he been British, he would have felt right at home at the party I now support, UKIP, and will continue to do so for as long as it remains libertarian.
Ed Murrow was insightful enough to see where television was heading which he criticised in a speech made in 1958 for putting too much emphasis on entertainment and commercalism at the expense of the public interest:
These days, as serious researchers know, radio and TV are not a reliable source of true information about world events or people. Those who seek the truth now have to sift through the Internet which, though saturated with its own misinformation, does at least have objective news reporting. And though the latter offers little or no cash rewards, let alone glory or a career, it is at least worthy of the high principles of honourable journalism. Needless to say these reporters and news commentators are as villified as believers for telling the truth and have become stigmatised with such as appellations as 'conspiracy nutcases' or (quite ridiculously) 'fascists' (which seems to be the popular catch-me-all word to bad moth anyone you don't like these days). And whilst there is for sure a Nutcase Division out there on the Internet, they stand apart from the true and decent journalists who care about the public enough to risk their reputations - and often their lives - to tell them the truth. I suspect that were Ed Murrow alive today, he too would be serving on the Internet for as long as it remains free.
"During the daily peak viewing periods, television in the main insulates us the from the realities of the world in which we live. If this state of affairs continues, we may alter an advertising slogan to read: Look now, pay later" (Radio-Television News Directros Assocation, 15 October 1958).
I don't believe honest and principled journalists can retain their principles in today's heavily slanted media for long, sad to say, as we are increasingly being programmed to think and behave in only one way by a presently invisible (though increasingly more exposed) Big Brother of super-rich bankers, politicians and military leaders. I suppose it depends what you are reporting on. One thing that's sure, liberty is fast disappearing everywhere, including from the nation that has most vigorously championed it, the USA. The erosion of that liberty has been achieved through a slick propaganda machine repackaging lies to make them look believable. We have been hoodwinked by various 'Flu Epidemic scares of late and now we are being ripped off with 'green taxes' by the psychologically-indiced mass hysteria (aided and abbetted by duped journalists) that has fuelled the secular quasi-religious lie that humans are responsible for global warming so that the dictatorial new New World Order's institutions can be financed quickly.
There is a race on at the moment and journalists stand right in the middle of it - the race to get a world dictatorship in place by scamming the world before all the truth comes out and people everywhere revolt at being exploited. In many ways, journalists are a bit like believers - they face a choice to close their eyes and offer no resistance to what's going on - or to open their eyes and speak out the truth at the risk of their own reputations and lives. Ed Murrow took that risk at a time when taking risks was a lot easier than it is today. Today we need a lot more Ed Murrows to boldly tell the truth about the world as it really is to as many people as will listen to it. If they don't, then they will become complicit in the Great Lie that is being foisted on us all.
 Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)