Friday, May 31, 2013

Courtier Journalism in Crisis

The ripple effects from the Obama administration’s having looked the gift horse of an unbelievably sycophantic courtier press in the mouth one too many times has reportedly spread to the far reaches of America’s Media-Industrial Complex.

Said Alan Bjerga, president of the National Press Club, “All that howling you hear is the hurricane of butterfly effects unleashed when America’s less than grateful power players decided to raise a big flap over the one time in a blue moon a reporter or two go old school and don’t quite toe the government line to a T.

“As just one small example of the unintended consequences this government hack job on the First Amendment has duly wrought, think about all the Beltway temp pools overcrowding even as we speak with all the stenographers whose services the DC press will no longer be needing. Metaphorically speaking, think about how many Americans in the nation’s printing press rooms will be printing their own pink slips now that the press will no longer be cornering the market on the printing of free passes.

“Speaking, again, metaphorically, think of the joyless glug glugs coming from the drain now swallowing up all the time and energy the Beltway’s reporting corps poured into learning the steps of so many court dances—the lively galliard and canario, the stately pavane and almain and bassa danze. Think about how silly all the figurative face painting and wig powdering and snuff dipping must now be feeling.

“Think of what it must have felt like in Versailles and the Forbidden City of Beijing and Topkapi Palace in Istanbul when the party was over.”

Said Dr. Carol Newman, Curriculum Committee chair at the American University School of Journalism in Washington, DC, “The journalism world is not really very well situated right now for dealing with this crisis. The truth is, we’re having some trouble nailing down the objective reality of the situation. We’re running into a little he said/she said confusion about where we stand.

“I’m personally in the camp that believes that whether we like it or not, we’re going to have to start teaching our fledgling journalists to recognize and even feel the impulse to report on and not undermine unequivocal empirical evidence that shows beyond doubt that one side is right on an issue and the other is not.

“In my mind, we’re also going to have to start weaning ourselves off of government and/or corporate talking points, rediscover the lost art and science of connecting dots, start dramatically reducing the record number of arguments for granting anonymity to government sources, and really start breaking down the block we’ve developed with regard to truth and objective reality.

“And I’m afraid this pretty pass we find ourselves at also means we’re going to have to break down and call off construction on the exciting new School of He Said She Said/She Said He Said Journalism we’ve already laid the theoretical foundation for.”

Added Dr. Newman, “Sure it’s all kind of sad, but Courtier Journalism has had a good run. Assuming the press doesn’t just circle back around after a while to our current mission of obscuring the truth on behalf of the powers that be, our colleagues in the future will look back at this moment in American history and report in all its unbalanced glory that we were simply dead right in reconciling ourselves to telling the truth no matter how much balance and self-interest we had to throw out the window.”

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