Sunday, September 25, 2016

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: HILLARY ADVOCATING MODERATOR "TRUTH CHECKS" FOR DEBATES - WHY THIS IS JUST A SHABBY TRICK - SOME IMPORTANT NOTES ON JOURNALISM AND ITS FAILINGS


COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN


Asking for “truth checks” by the debate moderator ranks as one of Hillary's shabbiest tricks, and that really is saying something.

It really smacks of something the Stasi might have come up with in order to confuse people.

First, the press simply is not qualified to be granted as a position as arbiter of fairness or authority on facts. It has through its own acts demonstrated this conclusively.

Regardless of whether you like Trump, an objective observer has to admit the mainline press is overwhelmingly, often insanely, biased against Trump.

This true in the United States where a relatively small number of networks and newspaper empires disseminate most of what Americans hear or read about politics. The bias on television and in newspapers has been almost frightening at times.

It is even true in Britain where nobody can have missed the solid wall of opposition and bias and constant innuendo from BBC, The Guardian, and The Independent, among others.

We know that, year-in and year-out, the press is not unbiased and academic standards of journalism rarely are allowed to override the interests of press owners, but in this case - as in, ironically, that of Jeremy Corbyn, a man on the opposite side of the political spectrum, but also an enemy of establishment interests – all attempts at even an appearance of fairness and balance have been trashed.

The raw drives and wishes of owners and their management have been allowed a grossly free run. These are people who completely support the existing establishment and its ugly wars, and they fear Trump’s even slightly altering America’s 15-year history of hyper-aggressive policy, just as they know Hillary is their safe bet for a continuation.

So why would anyone in Trump’s position agree to “fact-checking” by these very people who run the debates? The ploy puts Trump in the position of having to refuse “truth checks” or “fact checks,” thus giving the press even more material to manipulate unfairly, as in “Trump is afraid of truth.” And if he accepts, he will be interrupted with “facts” which may not be facts at all but nuanced attack stuff, and there will be no opportunity to rebut unless the debate gets mired into a shambles of “he said” and “she said.”

But it is impossible to point out even one undisputed truth or fact about, for example, the years-long, hideous war in Syria published or broadcast by anyone in the establishment press. Deception has almost become an unconscious part of the business, as they all act in the daily interests of the ruling establishment. Why would any rational person expect them to behave any differently towards the one political candidate who questions these wars and practices?

Joseph Pulitzer said, “Newspapers should have no friends.” A. J. Liebling said, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.” These two quotes should always be kept in mind when discussing the press.