I came across an interesting little article on Rob Kall’s OpEd News:
April 19, 2007 at 04:53:25
CNN — The Most Twisted Name in News
by Sheila Samples
Thanks to the complete nervous breakdown of the US media, itâ€™s been a long, hard six years for those of us who believe that journalism exists for one reason only â€” to hold those in power to account, and to speak truth to that power.
Well, that’s an odd definition, but, from Miss Samples, probably a truthful one.
Most professional (and even amateur) journalists would say that the purpose of journalism was to gather the news and present it to the public. It takes an ideologue, an agenda-driven ideologue, to admit that she believes that the sole purpose for journalism is to attack the people who hold political power.
But, perhaps the most explosive news not covered this week is the announcement of Ohio Democratic Rep Dennis Kucinich that he would file articles of impeachment against Dick Cheney. Here is a copy of his letter to members of Congress that was leaked to the Washington Postâ€™s â€œSlueth,â€ Mary Ann Akers
April 17, 2007
This week I intend to introduce Articles of Impeachment with respect to the conduct of Vice President Cheney. Please have your staff contact my office . . . if you would like to receive a confidential copy of the document prior to its introduction in the House.
Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress
However, Kucinichâ€™s action appears to have been quickly shot down, as Akers reported that, â€œSources tell the Sleuth that in light of the mass killings at Virginia Tech Monday, Kucinichâ€™s impeachment plans have been put on hold. There will be no action this week, they say.â€
Akers writes that Kucinich shouldnâ€™t hold his breath on getting anywhere with his impeachment plan because a Democratic aide quipped, â€œWeâ€™ll see a Kucinich Administration before weâ€™ll see a Cheney impeachment.â€
Well, yes, that’s right. There are only 21 months left in the Bush Administration. President Bush is constitutionally barred from running for a third term, and Vice President Cheney isn’t going to run for president; his health simply precludes it. What would be the point of an impeachment of Vice President Cheney, with only a few months left in his term by the time a Senate trial could take place, especially when one considers that it would require 67 votes to remove him from office — and there are only 51 Democrats in the Senate?
- Looks like Cheney has low friends in high places, doesnâ€™t it? Kucinichâ€™s office had no commentâ€¦
Low friends? For telling the truth? Miss Samples believes that “journalism exists for one reason only â€” to hold those in power to account, and to speak truth to that power.” Is she not interested in speaking the truth to everybody else? And the truth is just as that unnamed Democratic staffer said:
Weâ€™ll see a Kucinich Administration before weâ€™ll see a Cheney impeachment.
And we’ll never see a Kucinich Administration; as a presidential candidate, the man is a joke. You can look at the polls of the Democrats who will determine their next nominee, and see just how seriously they take Mr Kucinich’s candidacy.
- ALL media, print and electronic, are obscenely obsessed with the shooting at Virginia Tech â€” none more so than CNN, the most â€œtwistedâ€ name in news. CNN anchors are on the scene in full investigation mode, mercilessly interrogating university officials, police officials and friends of those murdered â€” â€œhow did it feel?â€¦how will this affect your life?â€¦should someone have seen Cho Seung-Huiâ€™s â€œbreakâ€ coming?â€¦Whoâ€™s responsible?â€¦tell us â€” tell us how you feelâ€¦What is it like â€” to see your friends in the hospital?â€¦What are you going to do next? How are you going to move on?
CNN then went on to go down a list of victims, giving their names and airing interviews with family members who were asked how it felt to lose their childrenâ€¦
Meanwhile, the 40 faceless, nameless, family-less American soldiers and marines killed last week â€” the 10 killed on Monday of this week â€” were not important enough to get CNNâ€™s attention. The 157 (reported briefly by the NYT â€” or 127 reported just as briefly by the WaPo) human beings killed in Bathdad today as a result of four car bombings werenâ€™t even a blip on CNNâ€™s TV screen. There were also at least 150 injured in those blasts.
Maybe CNN should ask these survivors how they â€œfeelâ€¦â€
I have criticized CNN (and MSNBC and Fox) for using so much time to cover so little news: rather than use their 24 hour a day coverage to cover a lot of stories, they cover a very few stories, and simply repeat them and repeat them and repeat them again.
But the coverage of the VPI shootings is what the people want to see. We have a (possibly morbid) fascination with this, an insatiable curiosity to find some sort of explanation for an act that was wholly irrational, thoroughly insane. That’s probably an exercise in futility, but we want to know about the case nevertheless.
So, what is Miss Samples’ complaint? That virtually nobody is covering “the most explosive news,” that Dennis Kucinich wants to file articles of impeachment against the Vice President? They received about the coverage they merited, which is virtually none, which pretty closely matches the probability that the Vice President will be impeached: virtually none.
Or is her complaint that the media are not taking each and every soldier’s death, and covering it in the same manner as the deaths of the VPI students? Well, to be blunt about it, we expect that, in a war, some soldiers will die; the Virginia Tech murders were completely senseless, completely irrational — and completely unexpected. That’s why they are news.
But, in an honest admission of what she believes — that journalism exists for one reason only: to hold those in power to account, and to speak truth to that power — Miss Samples is telling us that what she finds disgusting is that the media are not working full-tilt to change American policy.
Unlike Miss Samples, most Americans expect the news media to report the news, not to argue for and drive a particular policy position.