I read a piece today on Julian Assange by the always thought-provoking Caitlin Johnstone and came to the conclusion (after following some of the links and thinking hard) that America and the Free World’s Free Press is in a fight for its very existence. The next conclusion I came to was the notion that the only ones who can save our free press are independent journalists.
If you think I’m off my trolly, consider:
- Donald Trump is fighting anyone in the press or Twittersphere who levels criticism at him or his presidency.
- Democrats are fighting anyone who is against the FBI and the CIA.
- Corporate America has transmorphed our Free Press into corporate mainstream media conglomerates who parrot the company line to protect the relationship between the government and the media’s corporate ownership. By being cheerleaders for the establishment they have burned their press cards and become public relations agencies.
- Julian Assange is about to be kicked out of the Ecuadoran embassy and perp-walked to jail for “leaking” (reporting) things people in power don’t want you to know.
If you think that any of these things are how it should be, they have won.Many people think Julian Assange is a child rapist and a criminal secret stealer/leaker. Those people would be wrong. The rape narrative is most assuredly a trumped charge foisted upon us by the system that wants him silenced. The system that insists that players in the journalism game play by the rules the system wrote to retain their stranglehold on the throats of the unwashed masses. Anyone paying close attention to Wikileaks knows it’s a clearing-house for information that someone doesn’t want published.
Journalism Is Something Someone Doesn’t Want You To ReadThey want Assange silenced for the same reason Lance Gilman wants me silenced; when the people are conned into believing the folks in charge are our benevolent benefactors by the media, those folks in charge can wield power and make money unhindered to the benefit of few at the expense (and on the backs) of the many.
Be it on a national scale or right here in “The Richest Place on Earth”, when the purveyors of information are in the pockets of the “establishment”, we as a society are doomed. When the people are told by information sources they consume that the folks in charge are our benevolent overseers, we are all in deep kimchi.
The Times They Are A-Changin’In my lifetime I have watched our Free Press undergo such change and transformation that it is unrecognizable from its form a generation ago. Consider just the printed version of the news for a moment. When I opened the doors of The Electric Page in Sacramento in 1986, The Sacramento Bee, was a client located a few blocks away. A powerhouse of free ink founded by James McClatchy in 1857, The Bee had a vast reach and influence in Northern California.
Purchased by Knight Ridder in 2006, The Bee is now part of a vast corporate media empire forced to morph itself something as weak as rooster soup. Caused in part by arrogance and in part by craigslist.org, the ink on paper pillar of the Fourth Estate is today a shadow of its former self. And the Bee is not alone.
The Reno Gazette-Journal recently sold their presses and slenderized into a teeny printed broadsheet printed at the same Swift Media plant where the Carson Appeal is printed. The Carson Appeal announced this month that it would cut it’s print frequency from six days a week to just Wednesday and Saturday. Minden-Gardnerville’s Record-Courier and the Lahontan Tribune are getting slashed as well.
Print papers all over the county are moving to the digital wasteland of the (don’t believe anything you read on the) internet.
While this shift from print to online is happening like it or not, there is another more sinister change underfoot; the existence of a press that maintains a healthy adversarial relationship with the power structure. Without tough questions being asked of our County Leaders or our National Leaders, followed up by even tougher ones when they avoid actual answers with babble-speak and mumbo-jumbo, real truth and facts go unreported. When a pandering sycophantic collection of pathetic grovelers replace real journalists, the gig is up.
For the most part, the free press gig is already up.
One of my go-to information sources on Tesla was silenced just this week. As the manager of a billion dollar fund, The Montana Skeptic was a vast source of data and insight into the remarkable flimflammery that is Tesla. Maintaining anonymity, Montana was able to distribute insight on Tesla without revealing his identity. Elon Musk called his employer on Monday and on Tuesday Montana deleted his twitter account and vowed to stop writing on Seeking Alpha.
“Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.” – Julian Assange
When people like Donald Trump, Elon Musk, and Lance Gilman use their money, power, and influence to quash voices of dissent, we will continue to drift away from the ideals of governance that make The United States the best place to live in the entire planet. When they win, it’s game over, man.
Lucky for us, the game’s not over just yet. As long as people have a chance to read stuff written by courageous keyboard operators, we have a chance. With fearless people like Glenn Greenwald, Nafeez Ahmed, Julia Angwin, Caitlin Johnstone, Julian Assange, and many others keeping it hot and keeping it real, we still have hope.
While my name belongs nowhere near the aforementioned names, I will continue to keep it real in Gold Hill.
Hasta la Victoria, Siempre!
Keep on doing the next right thing, Teller. Abrazos.
Thank you, Cashion, Abrazos a ti Egualmente.
I very much appreciate your commentary, Sam. While I wholeheartedly believe in a free press, I also believe in the press asking appropriate questions for certain occasions. When Collins shouted out her question about Trump attorney Cohen this week, at the press conference with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, it was inappropriate. Trump’s legal problems have nothing to do with our European commerce – that’s what that press conference was scheduled for. I have seen Trump countless times stop on his way somewhere, or at an open press gathering, to answer ANY questions thrown at him. He knows that if he goes off-topic when he has a guest participating in a press conference with him, that a feeding frenzy will ensue with the press, and it’s very disrespectful to his guest as they are there to discuss their business with the U.S., not the president’s other problems. If Trump took these kinds of questions on these occasions, his guest would be left doing nothing, and answering nothing as currently, most of the press is just interested in promoting scandal, and not the business of making America great again. Yes, I’m throwing out that phrase because 3 years ago I thought it was just another meaningless campaign slogan. Now, with Trump’s election, I see that he was sincere and he truly is living up to that promise. That’s why if these press conferences with guests were just empty photo ops, I wouldn’t care. But, Trump is TRULY conducting the business of America and his efforts should be respected.
Cynthia, thank you for your input. While I agree with your assesment that there is a time and a place for everything, I don’t agree that the press should in some cases withhold questions for a more appropriate time.
I take my lead from journalists like Helen Thomas, Walter Cronkite, Bob Woodward, Edward R. Murrow, and Tim Russert. They kept an eye on the fox inside the henhouse and weren’t afraid to call a spade a spade. Such people made LBJ lament: “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read PRESIDENT CAN’T SWIM.”
This is how it should be.
Donald Trump should be able to take an awkward question from a shrill CNN reporter just like Lance Gilman should be able to take sunlight shone in his underwear drawer by a middling smart ass from Gold Hill.
SAM TOLL – THANK YOU FOR YOUR HONORABLE COURAGE
I would like to see that fat cowardly frump in the ring with a middling smart ass. I will bE bringing him and his norman ilk to task at the Joint
Meeting of Reno Council and Washoe Commission (Mon – 7/30/18) tomorrow at 2PM LIVE.. with a Call Out. Live on Reno Chan 194 and video streaming live on Reno City Channel.
Do not expect the Reno media wacko freak perverts and RGJ traitors who are being poached by the Storey County Human Trafikkers to report the Truth.
Sam DNA Dehne
More great observations.. that 4 of the 5 other Sam’s in the area masquerading as reporters are not allowed to even read about. Let alone adhere to.
It’s just about you and me (the “other” Sam DNA) who are left to fight the cowardly human body trafikkers and poachers and their ilk.
Today living proof you can’t make a man out of a mouse mouthpiece RGJ and those perverts who are out to get the Sheriff spreading more mendacious lies. They use our taxes.. the $millions of taxes they got for gigafactory scheme.. to brainwash apathetic citizens into being stupider.
Thank God for you and me.
Sam DNA Dehne, The Philanthropic Mercenary: http://www.renocitizen.com/moviesall.htm
Just wait for the Norman/Gilman crowd to attack Candidate Nicole Barde. They are terrified of her because of her stand for the people and the cronyism that exists with the Band of Merry TRICsters. I am certain they will try to do to her what they did to the Sheriff once we get to the finish line.
Thank you for keeping some honesty and actual journalism in what we read. Everything is written from perspective, but supplying relevant facts to readers to make final conclusions is crucial for the advancement of society. Otherwise, we slip into group think.
Well put, Ambre.
Even the most objective journalist has a personal bias; it comes with the human being territory.
The thing that concerns me is that too often, reporters are unwilling to ask hard questions and instead toss up marshmallow questions. Then follow the hard questions up with harder questions to flesh out the story in terms why people should care.
The piece that Ms. Johnstone wrote really struck a chord with me; mainstream corporate media feeds at the trough of the government and does not dare bite the hand that feeds it.
Thank you for your kind words and thanks for reading The Teller.