What a Bunch of FILFTHY Liars!: How Deceptive Journalists are Screwing the News

You know, there’s a very big reason why most people don’t “buy into” the news: it’s because news reporters are a bunch of biased, media-altering, story-fabricating assholes.

Not all of them. Barbara Walters is really cool. But there are enough out there to make prospective informees turn a deaf ear to some potentially breaking news. I say “potentially” because, well, as just mentioned, a lot of it is trumped-up shit.

THROWBACK TO 2003! New York Times up-and-comer Jayson Blaire is exposed as a fraudulent fraud for plagiarizing work and fabricating key details for DOZENS of news stories–DOZENS! This guy was be-LOVED by the Times‘s staff, and, in their words, his follies were “a profound betrayal of trust and a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.” His cronies, executive editor Howell Raines and managing editor, Gerald M. Boyd, also got the boot for printing his stories despite knowledge that he was a big-fat-fabricator. What dicks.

Yeah, I know that was a while ago, but this betrayal of trust is something that’s stuck with the people. And why shouldn’t it? Crooked journalism is as rampant as ever. Good going with the Trayvon Martin botch, NBC. I’m sure nobody will notice the out of context audio between Zimmerman and the police, the out-of-date photographs of Trayvon, and the complete neglect of Trayvon’s brutal, unprovoked behavior toward Zimmerman before the shooting. Crack job, team.

So whatever, Jerky Journalists. You’re only screwing yourselves. When people stop reading your articles, watching your reports, or giving you any sort of credence, welp, you’ll be fired, and that’s it.

2009: A Year That Lives in Infamy

This past decade has proven hellish for journalists. The war in the Middle East has claimed the lives of hundreds of reporters, some green to the practice and others long-renowned for their work. Yet 2009 stands in particular infamy as one of the bloodiest years for journalism.

According to a report issued by the International Federation of Journalists back in 2010, the death toll for journalists in 2009 reached staggering heights, with 139 slain worldwide.

I remember when I first realized that journalists were actually murdered for doing their jobs. It was 2002, and Daniel Pearl was all over the news. He was beheaded, after nine days of handcuffs and self-degradation and guns to the head, by a handful of Al-Quaeda leaders seeking the liberation of the same people who orchestrated the murder of thousands on September 11, 2001.

A video of his execution had been recently released. Everyone was hysterical. I was in disbelief. I couldn’t conceive someone beheading another human being, let alone taping it and using it as a bargaining chip. It was haunting for a ten-year-old. And to see that these murders have persisted–increased markedly–since this case proves even more disturbing than the first casualty.

I hope people remember the sacrifices that journalists have made for us. I don’t think enough of us do. I hardly ever thought about it before writing this post, because it’s far more comforting not to. But we should. We must. Their sacrifice is tantamount to any soldier on the battlefield, and their work far less revered. I only hope that this decade proves kinder than the last, that 2009 is but one, gruesome chapter before a brighter end.

The Fact that You’re Reading this Blog Shows that We’re Doing it Right

Isn’t it great that I have this blog? That I have multiple blogs? That this website exists? Yeah, it is–and up until several years ago, this whole blogging thing wasn’t even a thought.

Yeah–go back a decade, and the “opinion journalism” craze that we’re currently engulfed in wasn’t even a blip on our technological radar. Wow. I can’t even conceive living in a world without Youtube videos promoting some sort of activism, or snarky Twitter posts about the latest celebrity scandal, or Tumblr–just the existence of Tumblr. I use my Tumblr about once a month (if that), yet I still find immense comfort in its flood of gifs and inspirational notes and blue-and-white background. It’s amazing–all of it.

I suppose the first steps in this Glorious Direction should be credited to Xanga. Yeah, remember Xanga? It started up back in 1999, and is probably the earliest blogging website to hit the internet. It allowed their users to post weblogs and photoblogs, subscribe to other Xanga blogs, give and receive “eProps” for their posts–all that good stuff. It was the first of its kind, and truly laid the groundwork for all that came after. You may think it gratuitous to compare THE Facebook to the near-extinct Xanga, but Zuckerburg’s “statuses” and “notes” were NOT the first of their kind. Xanga has a good four, five years on the prototype of Facebook–the polished product, several more. So let’s give credit where credit is due.

So yeah, blogging and social networking and Internet are absolutely awesome. We couldn’t survive without it, yet it’s such a constant element in our lives, we hardly think about the RADICAL impact it’s had on our world’s development. We thank you, Social Media, for all that you’ve done for us, right here in this blog post.

Also, since I feel bad for Xanga, here’s Xanga.

I’m A-Gonna MISS Ya, Print!

Seriously, though, it’ll be a sombre day when the newspaper leaves its last press. I’m not even much of a reader, and I recognize the surreal, well, scariness of this loss. Granted, we’re not actually losing journalistic media. We’re moving along stronger than ever on the digital newsstand. But still–to part with something that long, long predates you, yet is still a familiar (dare I say, iconic) feature in your life…it’s very strange.

It’s a whole different feeling to hold a book, newspaper, magazine, whatever else, than to scroll through articles on Comcast or “WP Opinions”–far more satisfying, in my opinion. Yes, you’re getting the same content–maybe even better, due to the swiftness with which online publications are updated. But what beats the crunch of a paper freshly opened, or a stack of Seventeen magazines collecting dust and memories in your dresser? It feels substantial in a way that online publications just can’t. It’s one of the few (if not the only) trumps that print has over online journalism, but God help me, if it isn’t a big one.

Seriously, it’s gonna be a loooooong funeral march for Our Lady Print, once she kicks it. Just READ this heart-felt farewell given by a fellow printophile:

I’m glad I’m not the only one mourning this future loss–and it really is a loss. The content isn’t as fresh, the format’s less appealing, and GOODNESS, it’s a bitch to navigate a newspaper, but you still can’t beat it. Totally irrational and perhaps counterproductive, my love for the printed press runs pretty deep.