Journalism Isn’t What It Used To Be

As I prowl the Twitterverse, I’ve noticed more and more various RWNJs with a portrait of Andrew Breitbart as their avatar.  It’s shocking to me that people lionize this douche.

Is this what passes for journalism to the modern Republican party?

Andrew Breitbart was the right-wing activist and Internet publisher whose special blend of outrage, muckraking and openly biased reporting made him a major American media figure before his untimely death at age 43. “A revolutionary eager to overthrow a media establishment that he viewed as a front for left-wing social causes,” the LA Times called him after his death. Andrew Breitbart grew up in Brentwood, California, where he was adopted as an infant by Jewish parents. He graduated from Tulane University in 1991 with a degree in American Studies, and then returned to Los Angeles, where in 1995 he met conservative news blogger Matt Drudge. Breitbart worked for Drudge’s website, The Drudge Report, as it grew into an online media powerhouse. Breitbart then helped Arianna Huffington create The Huffington Post, a successful Internet news and liberal opinion site. By then Breitbart had grown into a popular right-wing commentator, known for his bursts of righteous indignation and sneers at the left and especially for his hatred of major American news media companies. Breitbart left The Huffington Post and founded his own site for news and political activism, Breitbart.com.

I’ve always held my journalism to a higher standard.  Sure. there are lefty journalists out there, but I don’t pretend that they’re something they’re not.  To me, this is what journalism ought to look like.

Three words — “This is London” — made Edward R. Murrow the most dashing American radio correspondent of World War II. Murrow used the phrase to open his broadcasts from the city’s rooftops during the bombing raids of the Battle of Britain in 1939. By the end of the war the dark, lean and intense Murrow had become the prototype of the modern globe-trotting, trenchcoat-wearing newsman. Murrow graduated from Washington State in 1930 and took a job with CBS in 1935, becoming head of the network’s European bureau two years later. During the war he reported from all over Europe and trained a cadre of CBS broadcasters, often called “Murrow’s Boys,” which included future network news anchors Howard K. Smith and Eric Sevareid. In 1950 Murrow began to produce and narrate the radio documentary program Hear It Now (1950-51), which moved to television as See It Now (1951-58). This was the program where Murrow cemented his legend as a fearless and frank reporter. His most famous See It Now broadcast, a broadside against Senator Joe McCarthy , aired on 9 March 1954 and is generally credited with helping begin McCarthy’s slide from power. His 1960 report on American migrant workers, Harvest of Shame, is also a landmark in documentary news. In 1961 president John F. Kennedy appointed Murrow head of the U.S. Information Agency. Always a heavy smoker, Murrow was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1964 and died the next year.

See the difference?

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5 thoughts on “Journalism Isn’t What It Used To Be

  1. It’s sad for his family that he died an untimely death. But he profaned every standard of journalism that there was. Brave men and women of the press corps died capturing news of our nation’s wars and of our nation’s internal turmoils. He was not interested in what motivated these brave fallen. He was interested in advancing an ideology, and also making himself a fun cocktail party guest. His shining achievement was shutting down a cragged institution born in the Civil Rights Movement. That outfit needed reform, it had bad practices, but it had its moral core intact. This opportunist had no such center. He had at his core a tumor of rotten principle. And now he is gone forever, answering for his actions to his God.

  2. Why does Andrew Breitbart resemble the Archangel Michael save the wings? Hmmm, in the Dead Sea Scrolls Michael was one of the sons of light who battle the sons of darkness. The Prince of Presence, Commander of the Army of God. An unsettling and bewildering image. Surely it must have an accompanying canticle.

  3. This is what your get when the average American is reading at a 6th grade level.

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