The recent Antifa attack on Andy Ngo has opened up a number of interesting questions. Is violence necessary to bring about political and societal change? What responsibility do the police have to protect people? How many Antifa members still live at home with Mommy and Daddy?
One of the more intriguing questions is what constitutes a journalist. Leftists can’t seem to define what a journalist is in this case, but they know for sure Ngo isn’t one of them. According to them, he’s a hack, little more than a provocateur for a radical alt-right website who defends Nazis and President Donald Trump. Instead, they think people like Jim Acosta are “real journalists” when he’s little more than a provocateur with a CNN press pass. (Actually, I take that back. It’s far too insulting to compare Ngo to Acosta, so I apologize…to Andy Ngo.)
So, let’s take a moment to delve into what a journalist is…and isn’t.
What the Left thinks it means – a hard working person charged with the task of revealing the truth
What it really means – an overworked individual charged with the task of revealing the truth, even if his or her colleagues don’t agree with it
As a former/recovering journalism student, I have my own perspective on what constitutes a journalist today, but I will save my thoughts on the term for later. Right now, I want to get at the Left’s concept of journalists and journalism in general. And it starts with a favorite phrase of theirs: “Facts have a liberal bias.” The Left believes they always have the high ground when it comes to factual discussions, so naturally they treat any reporting that supports their ideology or personal biases as the truth. Granted, we all do that to some extent, but this is confirmation bias on steroids.
Remember that old chestnut that 97% of climate scientists agree with the hypothesis of manmade climate change? The Left throws that out like candy at a parade run by the National Tooth Decay Association. Yet, when you dig a little deeper, you find the 97% is just a little overinflated by…oh, I don’t know…a factor of two. Going from almost certainty to a coin flip should take the steam out of the argument, but it doesn’t to the Left. They repeat the debunked 97% claim as though they get paid by George Soros to do it. Then again…
Anyway, the point is the Left is perfectly willing to ignore, cherry-pick, or out and out deny facts if they clash with their ideology and talking points. Apply that same logic to the news, and you have the Left’s approach to journalists and journalism. That’s why you’ll hear Leftists continue to bow at the altar of Dan Rather as a credible reporter/commentator in spite of the fact he and some of his CBS cohorts got fired for…making up a news story out of whole cloth in an attempt to discredit and possibly defeat George W. Bush in 2004. It’s also why the Left champions the cause of people like Jim Acosta, who is little more than a pimple on the late Edward R. Murrow’s ass.
By now, you might have noticed a trend. Leftists’ positive examples of journalists tend to be…Leftists themselves! Why, that’s…completely expected! In reality, Leftist news sources merely reinforce what Leftists already believe because they never take off their ideological blinders to see else is going on out there. They still can’t figure out how Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton even though the facts are right in front of them.
Ahhhhhh! I think we’re onto something here! To borrow a line from Ben Shapiro, “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” The Left thrives on emotions, and their truths are deeply rooted in what they feel to be true. Hmmm…I swear I’ve heard that articulated by a Leftist darling of recent memory, but I can’t remember exactly who…oh well. Good thing she’s not a Congresswoman who represents a district in New York City or anything because that would be really embarrassing, right?
Speaking of embarrassing, the modern journalist falls into one of two categories: Leftist stenographer, or relatively unknown person who has a nose for digging up truths, no matter where they are. While the former get awards and recognition for merely repeating the tired refrain Orange Man Bad, the latter rarely get noticed until they find themselves within the stories they cover, as Andy Ngo did. Then, the “real journalists” come out in droves to mock and/or discredit the real journalists for daring to do what they do (at least in their opinion). In truth, the latter group is doing what the former group used to do and fail to do now.
It’s been said there is more real journalism going on in cyberspace than there is in editorial boardrooms across the country, and I tend to agree. What passes for journalism today wouldn’t have gotten past my Journalism 101 professor’s desk without being returned with a failing grade and a request to rethink journalism as a profession. Regardless of who is putting in the legwork and where their work is getting published, the derided reporters are the ones carrying the torch for the profession, not the perfectly quaffed talking airhead who makes Ron Burgundy look like a MENSA candidate. For the Jim Acostas of the world, hitting a beat means having to walk to get to the open bar at a party. And for those of the current journalism field offended that I am taking their jobs less seriously than a paper on atomic energy written by Cardi B, suck it up because you have been doing the journalism profession a grave disservice for decades, and to claim you’re on par with firefighters and are in danger because President Trump says mean things about you is the height of narcissistic cluelessness. Andy Ngo had to go to the hospital because he dared do what you Brooks Brothers-clad bores wouldn’t do: report on actual news as it was happening at risk to his own life to cover Antifa after they targeted him.
You know, I really need to learn how to open up a bit more on certain subjects. I hold back too much.
Seriously, I don’t envy those who hold true to the principles of good journalism. Not only do you have the usual grind of fleshing out stories, building trust in sources, and finding good leads and story ideas, but you have people who wouldn’t last 10 minutes on a beat telling you that your work isn’t journalism because they say so. And those of you who are out there in the field risking life and limb on top of all that? Nothing but respect.
The sign of a real journalist is not what they report and how it’s reported, but what they don’t report or deem as newsworthy. The fact the “real journalists” haven’t bothered to do even a little research on Antifa being violent Leftist thugs should tell you loads about how disconnected they are to reality.
And that should tell you everything you need to know about their judgment on what real journalism is and who is doing it.