The Media: From Watch Dogs to Lap Dogs!

Yes, my friends…, it’s true.

But first, let’s establish what we’re talking about here.  

Harvard’s “Colonel Watchdog” publication says, “Watchdog journalism is a form of investigative journalism where journalists, authors or publishers of a news publication fact-check and interview political and public figures to increase accountability. Watchdog journalism usually takes on a form of beat reporting about specific aspects and issues.”

Author Thomas Hanitzsch, from his book “Deconstructing Journalism Culture: Toward a Universal Theory,” writes, “In the course of their work, watchdog journalists gather information about wrongdoings of people in power and deliver it to the public, so the public can understand what happens in society and stop wrongdoings. Watchdog journalism is different from propagandist journalists, who often report articles from a government’s perspective. Due to watchdog journalism’s unique features, it also often works as the fourth estate (or the fourth branch of government). The general issues, topics, or scandals that watchdog journalists cover are political corruption and any wrongdoings of people in power such as government officials or corporation executives. One of the important things that watchdog journalists have to do is uncover hidden evidence about wrongdoings.”

According to The Lufkin Daily News, “America’s Founders regarded a free press as so vital to the new nation that they took care to include that right in the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

“The Founders spoke glowingly about the press as a pillar of democracy and guarantor of liberty. Thomas Jefferson, for instance, famously wrote in 1787 that ‘were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.’”

“George Washington framed the issue of free expression in almost apocalyptic terms: ‘If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.’”

“Yet discussing the free press of their day, the Founders also could often sound like those who are decrying ‘fake news’ in 2020.”

“Under a barrage of criticism from newspapers published by his political opponents, Washington painted journalists as ‘infamous scribblers.’ Benjamin Franklin, himself a very successful newspaper publisher, described the press of his time as a resentful, vicious institution comparable to the Spanish Inquisition.”

“Jefferson frequently condemned the press as passionately as he had advanced their right to publish freely. ‘I deplore … the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed and the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them,’ he wrote in 1814. ‘Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper,’ he complained in a letter to another friend.”

“For good measure he wrote to his ally in Congress, the Massachusetts politician Barnabas Bidwell: ‘As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers.’”

“On this Independence Day 244 years later, it’s worth reflecting on the lessons the Founders have for us as we assess the role and the practices of the news media today.”

“The first lesson is that while the nation’s leaders and institutions may chafe under the public criticism that accompanies reporting of their shortcomings, the role of the press in holding those leaders and institutions accountable is indispensable to the workings of a democratic society.”

“Most importantly, the press’ proper role must be recognized by the leaders and institutions being held accountable.”

“As abused as he was by the partisan press, Jefferson nevertheless declared, ‘I am … for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents.’”

“Among those slinging partisan unjust criticisms was the newspaper co-founded by James Madison, who reasoned that ‘some degree of abuse is inseparable from the proper use of everything, and in no instance is this more true than in that of the press.’”

“Yet, he went on to argue that trying to regulate the ‘abuse’ of the press threatens to strangle its vitality and utility to a free people: ‘To the press alone, checkered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.’”

“And therein lies the most fundamental lesson the Founders have for us in 2020: The press and the government may often have an adversarial relationship — but the government must not attempt to delegitimize the press and its work because they are essential to a free society.”

“Would any of us want to live in a country where the news media isn’t freely allowed to report on the actions of its government? Any harm done by an overreaching press would be nothing compared to a government left unchecked. As much as the news media may rub some the wrong way, it is frightening to think of a society with no free press.”

I think we can all agree that none of us would want to, “live in a country where the news media isn’t freely allowed to report on the actions of its government.”

The problem is, there isn’t much of the media remaining which is actually doing this.

In fact, we see the majority of the “news” media choosing to ignore many stories by partaking in propaganda by omission, like Hillary’s emails, Hillary’s promotion of the Russian hoax against President Trump, Hunter Biden’s escapades along with Illegitimate Joe’s involvement, or the manipulation of the 2020 election, for example, or outrightly promoting false democrat narratives, like the media promoting the Russian hoax against President Trump for over three straight years, along with their daily regurgitation of democrat talking points.  

As much as the Founding Fathers questioned the free press back in their day, I think they would be stunned and greatly alarmed at the role the media is playing with our government, and politics in general, today.

Yes, for the most part, the media in 2022 has completed its evolution from government Watch Dogs to liberal government Lap Dogs.

If you’re not already “following” me and you liked my blog(s) today, please choose to “follow” me, which will keep you up to date on all of my latest posts, and/or leave me a comment.  I value your feedback and I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you, MrEricksonRules.

The Washington Post…, “Democracy dies on its pages.” 

I’m responding to a recent article in The Washington Post titled, “Sarah Sanders Watch: ‘Mouthpiece for fascism’?”

The article is by Erik Wemple, a media critic for The Washington Post, whose tag line is “Democracy dies in darkness.”

It must be getting pretty “dark” over there at the old Washington Post.

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In the article, Mr. Wemple whines about the White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, not having had a traditional White House briefing in quite a while.

Do you really wonder why that is Mr. Wemple, or are you just pretending not to know?

Well…, in case it is the former, I’ll clue you in.

First of all, it’s not written anywhere that these press briefings have to occur at all.

Second, most of the media that attended these briefings were not interested in getting briefed.  They were only interested in attacking President Trump, his administration, and Sarah Sanders.

Is it any wonder this is one tradition The President isn’t too concerned about honoring?

Mr. Wemple then continues to whine that Sarah Sanders seems to prefer to discuss her talking points with more “sympathetic” Fox News interviewers.

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I don’t think “Sympathetic” is quite the right word here.  I think I would go with the term “fair and balanced.”

It wasn’t too long ago that I can remember Obama’s press secretaries avoiding the reporters from Fox News as opposed to any of the remaining horde of truly “sympathetic,” liberal propaganda reporters.

I can also recall the Obama administration actually spying on reporters who didn’t play by his “swampy” rules…, but I digress.

Mr. Wemple then proceeds to dredge up the tired “obstruction of justice” topic…, again…, claiming, “The Mueller report documented close to a dozen instances of possible obstruction of justice by President Trump,” while claiming Mueller “did not charge any crimes in deference to Justice Department policy toward sitting presidents.”

If I’ve said this once I’ve said this a hundred times…, IF ROBERT MUELLER COULD HAVE CHARGED PRESIDENT TRUMP WITH A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G…, BELIEVE ME, HE WOULD HAVE.

IF ROBERT MUELLER COULD HAVE RECOMMENDED CHARGING PRESIDENT TRUMP WITH A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G…, BELIEVE ME, HE WOULD HAVE.

Mr. Wemple then continues to cry about Sarah Sanders “hitting back” at charges made by various democrats, and actually defending The President and his administration.

You do understand that is precisely what her job is don’t you Mr. Wemple?

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He then refers to a tweet by Alec Baldwin (that wise old sage and ever on duty guardian of democracy…, cough, cough), where he referred to Sarah Sanders as a “mouthpiece-for-fascism…,” a claim Mr. Wemple obviously supports.

Fascism?

Fascism, Mr. Wemple?

Ok…, let’s talk about fascism and fascists a little bit.

Have you heard of The Poynter Institute, Mr. Wemple?  I’m sure you have, but most other people haven’t.  It’s kind of a well-kept and camouflaged secret.  In a nutshell, The Poynter Institute is a boot camp for liberal, socialist, fascist, “journalists.”  It’s the kind of “journalism” school that Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda, could really appreciate, and a school that is well represented by many members of the “biased, liberal propaganda, fake news media” who make Washington D.C. their home.

Oh…, and by the way…, was it Sarah Sanders who was pushing the false narrative of Russian collusion for the last 2 years, or was it the “liberal propaganda,” “mainstream” media?

Who again are the fascists attempting to control the media?

In addition…, who in “the media” are the ones accounting for over 90% negative articles concerning President Trump?  If you take out the positive stories (or at least the non-negative ones) by Fox News, that means the rest of “the media” is basically 100% negative 100% of the time.  And saying that doesn’t even cause me to flinch.

Who again are the fascists attempting to control the narrative through negative propaganda and by omission?

Your cover has been blown Eric Wemple.  Just like the cover has been blown for all of the “biased, liberal propaganda, fake news media” since President Trump ran for president.

The “mainstream” media being anywhere close to fair and balanced is the problem here, not Sarah Sanders.

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WINNING!

 

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Stand back while California’s socialist storm troopers trample all over The Constitution, state and federal laws!

According to Judith Miller, a contributor for Fox News and formerly a  Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for The New York Times, “Police officers and FBI agents who visited freelance journalist Bryan Carmody’s San Francisco home in April couldn’t have been more polite. Would he mind telling them who leaked him a copy of the police report about the mysterious death of Jeff Adachi, the city’s public defender?”

San Francisco is easily considered one of the most “liberal” cities in America, and California easily one of the most “liberal” states.

The term “liberal” seems to be evolving, however.

The term “liberal” represents the limiting of free speech now.

The term “liberal” represents intolerance now.

The term “liberal” represents government control now.

The term “liberal” represents fascism now.

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“Liberals” appear to be clinging to, and talking about, the traditional “liberal” ideals…, but their actions don’t match their rhetoric anymore.

Their words say “liberal,” but their actions cry out “fascist.”

The term “liberal” is now a “code word” for “fascist.”

Spread the word.

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“Carmody was equally polite, he told me. But firm. No, he would not betray the source who gave him a copy of the controversial report,” Miller added.

“The next visit by law enforcement officers was not as ‘polite.’”

“Carmody told me that shortly after 8 a.m. Friday nearly a dozen cops and FBI agents showed up at his home with a sledgehammer and weapons. They broke through his front gate and would have broken down his front door had he not rushed to let them in.”

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“The law enforcement officers seized Carmody’s phones, computers, tablets, notebooks, and the expensive video equipment he uses to report on breaking news, which he sells to local TV stations. And they repeatedly asked him the same question they had asked in April about who had leaked him the document. Only this time he was in handcuffs – for nearly seven hours.”

This sounds like something you could envision Nazi storm troopers doing, or Russian KGB agents doing…, not the police or the FBI in San Francisco, California, USA.

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“Journalists have been outraged by the apparent blatant violation of state and federal law by the San Francisco Police Department and the FBI. But as the Los Angeles Times said in an editorial Tuesday, it isn’t only journalists who should be outraged.”

“All Americans who care about privacy and a free press should be alarmed by what happened to Carmody. And the FBI and San Francisco Police Department should be deeply embarrassed.”

I’m afraid to say those days seem to be gone, Ms. Miller.  “Liberals” just don’t get embarrassed anymore.  That’s because they aren’t embarrassed.  They feel completely justified with any action that supports “the cause,” or “the swamp…,” and if you have a problem with that you’re next.

Oh, and hey…, why don’t we EVER see a “liberal” journalist, reporter, lawyer, politician, whatever, being “raided” by the police or the FBI?

Just sayin’.

“Instead, law enforcement agencies are circling the proverbial wagons, dredging up pathetic excuses for what on its face appears to be a gross violation of Carmody’s privacy and civil rights.”

This doesn’t just “appear to be a gross violation of Carmody’s privacy and civil rights…,” IT WAS a gross violation of Carmody’s privacy and civil rights.”

“The San Francisco Police Department has refused to answer specific questions about its scandalous conduct. Officials have hidden behind a statement that does little to explain why they apparently ignored federal law… to get what they wanted.”

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“Yes, local officials were deeply embarrassed by the leak of a police report showing that Adachi, who had often pursued allegations of abusive police tactics, had died in an apartment with a woman who was not his wife after what appeared to be an accidental overdose of cocaine and alcohol. And yes, the police were under pressure to explain how their report had leaked.”

Again…, “embarrassed” is not the right word here, Ms. Miller.  Officials were not “embarrassed…,” officials wanted to keep this information under wraps for political reasons and to cover their own backsides.

“As for the FBI, a spokesman for the San Francisco office told me that its agents did not participate in the raid on Carmody’s house. They simply ‘went along to question him,’ the spokesman said. When Carmody declined to answer questions and requested a lawyer – repeatedly, Carmody confirmed – the FBI agents left.”

Ha!  What a maroon!

The FBI says “they went along” but they didn’t “participate in the raid?”  How exactly does that work?

No…, you definitely “participated.”

If you were there, you participated.

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“David Stevenson, the police spokesman, has refused to answer specific questions about the department’s conduct and has not released copies of its search warrant applications. But legal demands for the release of the applications are probably imminent.”

Huh…, that’s odd.

Unaccountability…, unaccountability everywhere!

Stay tuned for the future antics of The Peoples Socialist Republic of California!

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Hello Poynter Institute!  It’s your turn on my own version of the popular game show “What’s My Line!?

A self-stated goal of MrEricksonRules.com is to “challenge hypocrisy and media bias, while dragging them out into the sunlight.”

Well, Poynter Institute…, consider yourself dragged!poynter 2

I had not even been aware of The Poynter Institute before reading an article by Liam Quinn of Fox News about The Poynter Institute being forced to scrap an “unreliable news” list which targeted conservative news outlets.

Well, I’m aware of it now, and you soon will be as well.

According to the article, “A journalism watchdog has been forced to scrap a list of ‘unreliable’ news sources because, as it turns out, the list wasn’t reliable.”

Just a helpful interjection here…, in the past, when an organization was described as a “watchdog,” that was perceived as a positive and a noble thing, looking out for the good of everyday people.

The term “watchdog” has since been co-opted by liberal organizations everywhere to somehow try and give the impression of a fair and just operation…, which of course they aren’t.  The only ones these people are looking out for is themselves.

“The Poynter Institute, a journalism nonprofit organization, initially released a list of more than 500 ‘unreliable’ news outlets purportedly ‘built from pre-existing databases compiled by journalists, fact-checkers and researchers around the country.’”

“But a number of prominent conservative-leaning outlets were included in the ‘unreliable’ category, including The Washington Examiner, Washington Free Beacon, Daily Caller and other publications that employ scores of journalists covering Congress, elections, the White House and more.”

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“The index was created with the help of an employee for the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Ohhhh…, well why didn’t you reference the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in the first place?!  Please refer to some of my prior blogs about the gold ole’ SPLC and its astonishing disingenuousness.

Anyway…, the article continues, “Poynter’s managing editor, Barbara Allen, posted a mea culpa [An acknowledgment of one’s fault or error, or as in this case, an elaborate excuse that disseminates the blame.] Thursday as the backlash built.”

‘“On Tuesday, April 30, Poynter posted a list of 515 “unreliable” news websites, built from pre-existing databases compiled by journalists, fact-checkers and researchers around the country. Our aim was to provide a useful tool for readers to gauge the legitimacy of the information they were consuming,’ the statement read.”

Translation: We just posted a list of conservative websites and resources that liberal media sheep everywhere already were aware of.  Our aim was to try and expand the users of our “hit list” to the public in general.

‘“Soon after we published, we received complaints from those on the list and readers who objected to the inclusion of certain sites, and the exclusion of others. We began an audit to test the accuracy and veracity of the list, and while we feel that many of the sites did have a track record of publishing unreliable information, our review found weaknesses in the methodology.’”

Translation: Soon after we did this we got busted.  Being a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization (just like The Southern Poverty Law Center by the way), we are supposed to be nonpartisan, so we have to make sure we keep up the appearance of being nonpartisan even though we’re not.  So we pretended like we carefully reviewed our list, then came up with some lame excuses as to why the lists seemed to be partisan.

‘“We detected inconsistencies between the findings of the original databases that were the sources for the list and our own rendering of the final report.’”

Translation: We are now going to just straight up lie in an effort to make an excuse for ourselves.

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“It continued: ‘Therefore, we are removing this “unreliable sites list” until we are able to provide our audience a more consistent and rigorous set of criteria. The list was intended to be a starting place for readers and journalists to learn more about the veracity of websites that purported to offer news; it was not intended to be definitive or all encompassing.”

Translation: We were not able to get away with putting our list out there this time, but we’ll do a better job of making it available next time, while getting away with it somehow.

‘“We regret that we failed to ensure that the data was rigorous before publication, and apologize for the confusion and agitation caused by its publication. We pledge to continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards.’”

Translation: We are very sorry and disappointed we got caught, and we pledge to make a better effort to not get caught next time.  Not getting caught is the highest of our high standards here at The Poynter Institute.

There…, was that helpful?  I hope it was.

So, now what exactly is The Poynter Institute?

Again…, let’s hear about The Poynter Institute in their own words, according to their own website, with a little interpretation by myself.

“The Poynter Institute has grown from a storefront in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida, to the world’s most influential school for journalists.”

(Ahhh, the old rags to riches story.  How inspiring!  But they didn’t do it alone.  The list of major contributors is a virtual “who’s who” of liberal foundations, funds and trusts.  Trying to control “the media” and brainwash “journalists” everywhere does not come cheap.  Oh, by the way, The Poynter Institute is designated as a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, but they say they own The Tampa Bay Times newspaper.  How does that work?  Just sayin’.)

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(Pretty nice digs for a non-profit, huh?)

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“Poynter is an instructor, innovator, convener and resource for anyone who aspires to engage and inform citizens. We serve not only 21st-century democracies, but those in corners of the globe where people who honor freedom and self-government struggle against tyrants and autocrats.”

(We want to enlist you and guide you through our liberal propaganda program.)

“By supporting the Poynter Institute, you fortify journalism’s role in a free society. Poynter champions freedom of expression, civil dialogue and compelling journalism that helps citizens participate in healthy democracies. We prepare journalists worldwide to hold powerful people accountable and promote honest information in the marketplace of ideas.”

(Poynter champions freedom of expression, except when that expression does not agree with their expression, and we prepare our fascists in training to attack conservatives at every turn and to try and dictate our socialist narrative on everyone.)

“Poynter’s Brands:”

(Poynter’s associated liberal indoctrination services:)

“News University – Poynter’s News University brings Poynter training to users around the world with the world’s largest online journalism curriculum.”

(Our way of spreading our liberal and socialist agenda to budding propagandists everywhere!)

“International Fact-checking Network – The International Fact-Checking Network brings together more than 60 fact-checkers worldwide, promoting best practices and exchanges.”

(This network makes sure no one deviates from the prescribed liberal talking points or narratives, and attempts to spin “facts” in favor of liberals, liberal politicians and liberal causes everywhere.)

“MediaWise – aims to teach 1 million teenagers how to sort fact from fiction through social media and our teen fact-checking network.”

(This particularly insidious resource targets teenagers with the “proper” indoctrination of liberal thought.)

“PolitiFact – is the largest political fact-checking news organization in the United States and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. It has published more than 16,000 fact-checks on its Truth-O-Meter.”

(PolitiFact is the lone resource they can point to as being anywhere near legitimate and somewhat fair.)

“As public trust in the media dissipates, we are increasingly expanding our mission to reach out to communities and have conversations about finding the truth. We must be relevant to journalists and non-journalists alike and hold our staff and other media accountable.”

(As public trust in the media dissipates…?  But how could this be?  How could the public trust in the media be dissipating with all of the valiant and noble efforts of the Poynter Institute?  I guess “the public” is smarter than you gives us credit for, huh?)

“Each year, Poynter trains over 100,000 journalists from more than 70 countries in person and online. Since the start of our online education initiative in 2005, we’ve taught journalists in virtually every country in the world.”

(God help us all.)

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Their “code of ethics” is quite extensive, but obviously not worth the paper it’s printed on.

One of their highlighted taglines on their website says, “Poynter teaches journalists to tell stories the world needs to hear.”  Which in essence means that Poynter teaches its media minions to spread their approved liberal propaganda everywhere.

Well…, there you have it!

The Poynter Institute in all of its “liberal propaganda machine” glory!

Remember…, stay thirsty my friends…, but don’t drink the liberal Kool Aide!  Especially the Kool-Aide The Poynter Institute is serving up!

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NOTE:  If you’re not already “following” me and you liked my blog(s) today, please “click” on the comment icon just to the right of the date at the bottom of this article.  From there you can let me know you “like” my blog, leave a comment or click the “Follow” button which will keep you up to date on all of my latest posts.

Thank you, MrEricksonRules.

 

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