Seattle P-I’s Parting Tantrum: “You’ll miss us when we’re gone!”. In a rant dripping with self-importance, the editor claims with newspapers gone, there’ll be no one left to “speak truth to power.”
UNFOLDING HORROR stories of wrongheaded loans and wretched excesses by bankers prompt a reasonable citizen to ask: Who was guarding the store? Who was looking out for white-collar crime? Outrage and ersatz populism on cable TV news — spread by guys with seven-figure salaries — has taken the form of blunderbuss attacks on Congress and pictures of villains.
It’s a bizarre rant, especially coming from a news media that was devoid of curiosity about the current president’s terrorist associations, his radical agenda, or his shady history. Or their similar lack of interest in investigating Barney Frank/Chris Dodd’s role in the mortgage collapse. Or Charlie Rangel’s tax problems. And that bit about seven-figure salaries… do I detect a hint of envy there?
In fairness, newspapers would be in trouble even if they hadn’t uniformly turned into propaganda outlets for the Democrat Left. They are a nineteenth century technology wedded to an early twentieth century business model. But the demise has been hastened by their romantic notion of the “crusading journalist” who “speaks truth to power.” Newspapers could have survived as collectors and reporters of information, which would be useful to have in either printed or web format. But to the J-school grads who fancied themselves the next Woodward and Bernstein, merely reporting the facts was too dull. They wanted to “change the world.” One crusading journalist on your staff keeps things lively. But when every reporter sees every story as another opportunity to lecture the unwashed on social justice… that act gets tiresome, real fast.
Au Revoir, legacy news media. The next time you speak truth to power, it will be through a headset at the Drive-Thru window.