Why advocacy journalism is fraught with danger

In recent years journalists have taken to advocacy journalism, where they pick a side and push that agenda…hard. Perhaps the worst offender was John Campbell who, despite falling audiences who weren’t interested in his claptrap, kept on pushing his agendas. He ultimately got the push and is now trying the same thing at Radio NZ.

Sometimes it is the whole organisation. Like the NZ Herald which, in recent years, invested in Kim Dotcom, has run numerous and ineffective “campaigns” and generally pimps out stories handed to them on a plate by the Labour party. Their circulation is heading in the same direction as John Campbell’s ratings.

But when news organisations pick a side and constantly lose the arguments they also destroy their credibility and their audience who no longer trust them to be fair and balanced.

What’s super sad is that when I started counting all of the mainstream media reporters I respect I didn’t run out of fingers. Most of them are just what Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds memorably labeled “Democrats with Bylines.” And that’s literally true – something like 90% of them are, in fact, Democrats. And they act like it. So when Trump refuses to play nice with them, or I hear about another round of lay-offs, the best I can summon up, if I’m in a generous mood, is a half-hearted “Meh.”

The MSM, of course, wants to have it both ways. It wants to be hailed as an institution composed of crusading truthtellers whose integrity and willingness to speak truth to power make them the cornerstone of a free society. Except most of them are really partisan hacks who lie endlessly for the liberal politicians they suck up to. Their relationship with Democratic politicians is less speaking truth to power than sexting their masters. When it comes to covering for their progressive pals, it’s “50 Shades of Newsprint” and the MSM eagerly chomps down on its ball-gag.

That last paragraph is a good point. They want to “hold the powerful to account” but in doing so become advocates with their own power. Who holds them to account?

They don’t even bother hiding their agenda – apparently they noticed that no one believed their protestations of objectivity anyway and decided it wasn’t even worth the effort to fake it anymore. Donald Trump says enough dumb stuff on his own, but the MSM still feels it needs to misreport and misrepresent him. When he – quite correctly – suggested that there was something weird about Obama’s inability to place the blame for radical Muslim terrorism on radical Muslim terrorists, this became “Trump Says Obama Supports Terrorists.” When he pointed out some troops (Trump says he was referring to Iraqi troops) in the Middle East were corrupt (sadly, some were), this became “Trump Calls All American Soldiers Thieves.” If Trump says he inhales oxygen, the headline will be “Trump Admits He’s Just Like Hitler.”

But with Hillary or Obama, it’s the reverse. At best, they report on facts that manifestly demonstrate her guilt of multiple felonies and misdemeanors, yet make sure to undercut their own reporting by asserting she can’t possibly be indicted. The media can’t shut up about Trump U, but the $16 million the Bill and Hillary Graftatron 2016 nabbed from Laureate U? Apparently all the news isn’t fit to print.

Is anyone else recognising this?

So we’re supposed to bewail the travails of these people? We’re supposed to get all fussy when Trump stands up to them and pulls their credentials? Note that’s “pull their credentials,” not “bar them from his rallies.” Now, if these journolosers want to cover Trump, they’ll have to wait in line with those unwashed, dirty people known as “Americans.” Ewwww. This is the greatest atrocity in all of human history – Trump denying his active opponents a back stage pass to facilitate their lying about him.

But what really, really grates about these ardent defenders of the First Amendment is their ardent hypocrisy when it comes to the First Amendment. They complain about Trump’s new “no cutsies” policy and they bemoan the fact that Trump thinks it should be easier to sue journoliars who lie about him because the MSM feels the First Amendment should allow them to lie about him with impunity (and on that they are right, but they are still terrible). Apparently these things set us firmly on the road to fascism.

But what doesn’t the MSM think sets us firmly on the road to fascism? Liberal attorneys general persecuting and prosecuting people for “denying” the leftist lie about global warming. The IRS targeting Obama’s political enemies for advocating against liberal policies. The abusive sham government investigation of people speaking out for Governor Scott Walker. These actual campaigns of very real government suppression of dissenting speech are apparently cool with the MSM because the targets are on the MSM’s enemies list.

Or indeed researchers and health lobbyists suing bloggers.

[W]hat do you expect from the kind of people who join the MSM? Instead of the colorful ink-stained wretches of the past, today’s journalists are social justice twerps whose daddies can shell out north of $59,000 to get a degree in what old school reporters learned on the job – though old-school reporters didn’t have the dubious benefit of leftist indoctrination and diversity seminars. Today’s cloistered creeps utterly missed the anger among normal Americas that led to Trump, but then they don’t think much of normal Americans. Recently, Karen Tumulty of the Washington Post took umbrage at one of my tweets and sneered, “Beginning to understand why you will never #readabook.” Her bio indicates I have more degrees than she does. Nice reporting there, Scoop.

No wonder public regard for journalists hovers somewhere between “Raw Sewage” and “Herpes,” yet they still assume they are better than everyone else. I’ll remember that when I toss Karen a quarter out the window of my fine German sedan as she and her pretentious dinosaur media pals stand by the freeway off-ramp with a sign reading, “Will Reinforce the Leftist Narrative for Food (Locally Sourced Only).”

Sure, technology is causing disruption in the industry, but the MSM would be better able to weather the storm if everyone didn’t hate it and want to lock it out of the tornado cellar. The MSM has nothing but contempt for us, and now it’s getting it back in kind. Trump being mean to you? Aw, poor babies. Your newspaper going under? Here, hold this anchor.

I don’t worry about the journalists I respect – there will always be a market for quality. It’s the hacks and flunkies I won’t miss. And their misfortune won’t even earn a “Meh.” It’ll earn a smile.

Even RadioNZ has fallen for the clickbait method of attracting an audience.

Something needs to change, and it isn’t a mega-merger of failing and flailing brands. It is more competition.

 

– TownHall


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

39%