American Journalists are Trampling the Sacrifice of Our Fathers, Mothers, Sisters and Brothers
(Unfortunately, the Journalists taking part in this travesty far outnumber the headstones at Normandy)
Whether it is because the Journalist cherishes the idea of breaking a barrier such as electing a person of color (possibly their own), or the Journalist simply wants to be a part of facilitating such a history making event, or the Journalist is desperate for a change of party (possibly to their own), or the Journalist is just taking sides, or the Journalist fears criticizing the candidate out of fear of being labeled racist, or the Journalist fears repercussions from their bosses, or the Journalist fears repercussions from their community, or the Journalists fears hurting their 12 year olds feelings if they criticize the 12 year old’s candidate – if a Journalist could lay claim to all of these reasons, they would still fall incredibly short of justifying the decision to not fully undertake their professional responsibilities owed to general public during the election process for President of The United States of America.
During election years, the duty or trust owed to the public is at its highest and should be undertaken vigilantly by the Journalist. It is the duty to truthfully and comprehensively inform. So when the voter goes into the voting booth, he or she can feel confident that they have as much accurate information about the candidates as one could reasonably expect. It is a high standard that the Journalist must meet. If a Journalist is doing their job, it sometimes will hurt when information is discovered that lessens their own candidate’s chances. However, the good Journalist would disclose it as fairly and accurately as they could even though it hurt.
Why does the Journalist need to disclose damaging information about a candidate? To put it simply, it is the job of the Journalist and it sometimes requires courage. The more meaningful reason is that since the birth of this Nation, we have faced peril at home and aboard. Our Freedoms exist today because American’s of all ages, genders, colors, and ethnicities have answered when called and stood tall to defend these Freedoms. No matter what political party, or what ethnicity, or color, or gender a Journalist fits into, every Journalist stands in liberty upon the shoulders of those who have answered the call. The soldiers, the diplomats, the cooks, the farmers, the mechanics, the riveters, the men, the women, families, and yes, the Journalists – all have made extraordinary sacrifices when our Freedoms have been threatened in the past.
We would not have free and fair elections if it were not for those courageous individuals who have come before. Free & Fair are the operative words that underpin the process, it is what turns a process into one of our Freedoms. Therefore, as a Freedom, our election process surely must be protected. As we all have experienced or read in history books, the process has needed protection in years past and it will need protecting in the years to come. Fair and committed Journalists are on the front line in protecting this vital Freedom, our elections.
I realize that when I about freedoms, liberties, and other ideals that come to mind when talking about America, it can sound a bit preachy. I am not a preacher. (Depending on the issue is being discussed; I may come down right, left, center or some combination of the three.) I am however a Veteran and I have also served in other positions with government. So when I talk about service to country – it is a broad inclusive concept. For this topic though, shame is probably the only thing that has even a remote possibility of reaching our Journalists today; and even that won’t work for the one with the leg tingling issue. Regrettably, it also seems that attempting to shame someone can sound preachy. However, since this is a critically important election, so I’ll continue.
In this election, it is almost impossible to argue with a straight face, that Senators Obama and McCain are receiving the same attention, scrutiny, and criticism by the media. Senator McCain has been vetted for 20 plus years by Journalists. Senator Obama is the man of the moment who is filling a pair of shoes poised to cross into the history books. To many in the media, it doesn’t appear to matter what the Senator is actually saying. (Many fairly bizarre statements come out when he doesn’t have a script.) Journalists are not seeing, listening, or most importantly, they are not investigating. They only seem to care that this particular pair of shoes cross the line with someone in them.
When good Journalist’s do their jobs correctly, they keep their senses keen in order to discover relevant information, facts, and their implications. They investigate, probe, question, analyze, and compile findings. Finally, they report the findings fairly and accurately about the candidates. It should not matter what party a candidate is from to a good Journalist. At press conferences, they ask fair, but hard questions of the candidates regarding their findings. They don’t fall in love with either the politician or the idea of a historic event. Attraction does not matter in regards to a Journalist’s responsibility to the voters.
If rumors, facts, or allegations point to something important that voters need to know, the good Journalist must investigate and ask the questions as long as questions remain. It is not the answer so much as the asking, investigation, and verification that are critical to maintain free and fair elections.
In Senator Obama’s case, a great many substantial questions remain either unanswered, inadequately answered, or have never been properly investigated. Some of the questions that beg for a good Journalist’s skills regard: The Senator’s experience; his voting record in Illinois concerning major issues; the development and influences affecting his ideology (Marxist/Socialist?); his past associations (Wright, Farrakhan, Ayers and company, Rezko and company, etc.) and their impact on him; all possible financial arrangements, obligations, fund transfers or favors regarding Rezko and company; the allegations of Larry Sinclair involving gay sex and drug use with the Senator in 1999; the allegations of improper loans, grants or transfers of monies from any organization for which the Senator served on the board ( Woods Fund); the issues that could be reveled, clarified or resolved relating to the Senator’s failure to release his birth certificate, Illinois Bar application, medical records; etc. etc. etc.
During Presidential elections, when people who hold themselves out as professional journalists fail to do their jobs, we are all cheated and our democracy is weakened. I really don’t understand how such people, who owe both their Freedoms and professions to the courageous upon whose shoulders they stand, can look in the mirror each day.
When I think about my father’s service as an Infantryman in Patton’s 3rd Army fighting in the Battle of the Bulge, and latter as a guard at the Nuremberg War Trials of some of the Germans responsible for the Holocaust, and the effects his service had on him; I appreciate him even more. Partly because of his service, I try never to take for granted all the blessings we have just by virtue of being lucky enough to have been born in this country. There are millions of people like my father who have sacrificed for all of us. I thank them.
Then when I watch today’s Journalists swoon over, protect, fail to report damaging information, toss softball questions, and/or fail to investigate legitimate issues regarding a candidate for the Presidency; I worry that many Journalists and Americans don’t really care if our democracy continues.
And that my friend makes me sad.
Okay now I will be preachy. Remember Billy Graham events. At the end, when the guy with the nice deep voice would sing, and Rev. Graham would fold his hands and pray. Okay. That’s the scene. One difference, the audience is made up only of the Journalist’s I’ve been talking about. Rev. Graham speaks: You who are seated and feel the pull of your responsibility. You know who you are. I want you to get up right now and COME. Don’t worry about the people around you. They’ll wait. COME. I want you to come right now – down front because you can’t accept your responsibility in the dark. You must accept it in public. The Voters have been waiting on you to accept your responsibility for months now. Now is the time. Answer the call, COME. Down front you will find some Voters who you can share your information with and your commitment to do the best you can from this moment. COME. You folks seeing this on your computer screen. You need to encourage the Journalists you see making their way down the isles. Reward them with your attention. Amen