Growing up in the late 70’s & into the 80’s and 90’s this book which was later adapted into a movie was the gold standard for investigative journalism. Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein broke the story of the century, Watergate that led all the way to the Presidency & beyond. What eventually followed was President Richard Nixon becoming the first & only President in U.S. history to resign. There were many that cursed Woodward & Bernstein’s work, however many viewed it as democracy at work and at it’s finest hour.
With the demise of newspapers in the early 2000’s and the rise of 24 hours cycles and online news apps, something got left behind. The news business has always been just that, a business, however with newspapers there was a sense of integrity and honesty in reporting, and of course journalist investigated leads and real stories. Newspaper ran expose’s, they investigated everything from local scandals to civic offerings, and even local papers covered and reported and investigated national news. A true cynic like yours truly could even point to the demise of newspapers with the demise of western civilizations understanding of real news, real issues & more importantly the political process, and of course the candidates themselves. What has been spawned in its wake is news that’s quick, flashy and more entertainment based, geared around dollars & ratings. The news in it’s intended format was supposed to function as a public service, to keep the public informed in an unbiased way.
Fast forward to 2016, we have now elected a businessman turned reality star turned now president elect. Somewhere along the line, the “news business” failed the American people, on a level & scale never seen in U.S. history. There was so much to investigate with the election, so many real leads, but time after time all the major news companies allowed Donald Trump to dictate what the news cycle was instead of vice versa. There were tough hard questions out there, that we never got answers too, the main reason, the media never bothered to ASK the real question. The focus stayed on the silly stupid things Trump said and tweeted, allowing him to drive the narrative. It was talked about, but no one ever bothered to follow up on Trump’s ties to Russia, and why Russia was so involved with flooding this country with propaganda pro-Trump, and why ALL the hacking that went on only benefited one person, Trump. Trump’s massive business empire was never investigated, even when it was very clear that he had something to hide. Trump hid in plain site with his tax returns & the media let him off the hook. Bill Clinton, was hammered in 1992 for avoiding the Vietnam War, and rightfully so. I’m not sure I ever heard one moderator or media person ever question him or hold him to an answer. These are just a few of things the press could have investigated, any one of which would have enough to derail his or any candidate like him.
Make no mistake about it, this isn’t hubris, our democracy is in for the fight of it’s life. The American people are more divided and worse still more stupider than they have ever been at any point in history. Donald Trump is a president the likes of which this country has ever seen, we are truly in third world country territory. In times like this the american people have turned to newspapers and the anchormen to tell them how is it, with a calming unbiased voice. The time is now for someone to heed this call, to step up and take a risk and do and report what is right, ratings be damned. The media has to report the facts, follow the story, with clarity and be crystal clear when doing it. This is not a fight about red states or blue states, it’s about the american way, which is in grave danger. The truth is out there, someone or some network needs to step up for We The People, otherwise we could be staring down the barrel of a failed state and moreover a failed democracy.