The Hot Take: a Media Catastrophe

Woman sitting on a holding a newspaper which says "fake news".
Roman King | United States

Years ago, I was charged with political fervor and revolutionary zeal and landed myself some rather important volunteer positions within the Libertarian Party. I became a leading member of their social media teams. I was a Facebook inbox manager, as well as a leading Twitter content manager. It was where I learned some pretty useful skills in the modern working world. I learned how to professionally manage a social media page, how to professionally communicate with people asking important and sometimes thought-provoking questions, and how to interact with co-workers in a professional environment. I have always and will always attribute many of the skills I have now to where I began: working with the Libertarian Party at both the local and national levels. It’s hard to overstate the importance that year or so of work had on me.

Read moreThe Hot Take: a Media Catastrophe

No, Journalists Are Not Soldiers or War Heroes

war heroes journalists
Michael Ottavio | United States

Superbowl 53, while not the most exciting of games, had many great commercials. The most absurd of these was the Tom-Hanks-narrated commercial the Washington Post put out. This 10-million-dollar commercial was essentially the Washington Post putting journalists on a diamond pedestal and making them out to be war heroes.

The Journalists Commercial

The commercial opens with a picture of troops making landfall on Normandy beach during WWII. It then tries to instill the idea in your mind that journalists are equal to war heroes and soldiers who risk their lives for our country. It continues as Tom Hanks states various vague situations while scenes of destruction flash.

This is a perfect example of fear-based reporting and advertising. Essentially, the Washington Post was saying, “Look at all the bad things you won’t see coming without us”.  Admittedly, without the media, you wouldn’t see everything happening in the world. However, this is just a reflection of what the mainstream media in our country has become. They prey on people’s anxieties for ratings in a race to see who can bring the most death and destruction to your TV screen.  They will do and say whatever they can to get ratings. Often, facts are not the prime focus of the ones doing the reporting.

People in the United States are obviously tired of the extremely biased and often not completely factual reporting that has become status quo in our country. While Trump has seemingly coined the term “fake news,” the outrage didn’t start with him. One Gallup poll has shown that trust in the media has been on the decline for over two decades now. This is mostly because of the polarizing effect that the media is having on our country.

A Media Split

As Accuracy in Media reports, over 300,000 Democrats and Republicans believe CNN is the most polarizing news outlet to date. This is likely because they don’t claim to have a bias, and one wouldn’t assume one from their name. While MSNBC holds the spot of the most liberal, and Fox News the most conservative, every media outlet in between now chooses a side. A quick look on any fact check site will show you that almost every single media outlet now has left or right-leaning bias. There are almost no outlets left that report facts without spin. For this reason, the American people on both sides of the aisle are increasingly distrusting the media.

Trust in Mass Media, by Party
Trust in Mass Media, by Party

 

The media is and always has been an industry, and companies within it exist to turn a profit. The reporters and journalists within these companies are generally there for a paycheck. This is not to say journalists and reporters do not enjoy their job, of course. However, just about all in the mainstream media would probably resign if they were no longer going to get paid.

Journalism is a fantastic field of work, and journalists often go to great lengths to get their stories and repot directly from certain locations. However, it is worth stating that a journalist is just working a job and receiving compensation accordingly. There is no mainstream journalist in the United States that voluntarily goes overseas to war-torn countries without compensation. These people live for the thrill and make living off of it. While I have the utmost appreciation and respect for those who go to dangerous places to do their reporting, they are far from the honorable war heroes the Washington Post claims.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

Featured Image Source

US Senators: ‘No Doubt’ Crown Prince Involved in Khashoggi Killing

Eric Villarreal | United States

On Tuesday, in a closed-door meeting between the Central Intelligence Agency and top United States Senators, CIA Director Gina Haspel revealed new information that confirms the view of many US politicians who have long held that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been a close ally of President Trump, stated: “I went into the briefing believing it was virtually impossible for an operation like this to be carried out without the crown prince’s knowledge, I left the briefing with high confidence that my initial assessment of the situation was correct.” Graham further went on to say “Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally and the relationship is worth saving, but not at all costs”.

Graham then went on to say that the US would do more damage to its standing in the world and national security by ignoring the crown prince than by dealing with him. Graham added that he believes that the relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia is at risk if Mohammed bin Salman remains as the heir apparent, implying that if there is not a shake-up in the Saudi government the alliance between the House of Saud and the United States could be coming to an end. Graham would not specify what evidence was presented but he did state that  “You can be assured it was thorough and the evidence is overwhelming.”

Senator Bob Corker who has been an outspoken Republican critic of the President echoed the statements from Graham stating there is no doubt that the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered, monitored, and planned the killing later adding “If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes. “

All of these statements stand in stark contrast to the briefing last week from Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which they stated that none of the intelligence suggested a direct connection between the Saudi Crown Prince and the order to kill Jamal Khashoggi. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have long criticized President Trump for his ambivalence towards information from the CIA. Trump has stated that he believes the strategic relationship and weapons sales between the two countries are too valuable to put into jeopardy.

Senators Lindsey Graham(R-SC) and Bob Menendez(D-NJ) are the co-authors of a bill which would halt all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia as well as impose economic sanctions. It remains a possibility that this bill could be attached to the so-called the Yemen Resolution put forward by Bernie Sanders(I-VT) and Mike Lee(R-UT) which would end US support for the Saudi led fight against Houthi Rebels in Yemen. Members of Congress seem to have high hopes but with such a short time left in this session, it’s uncertain if they will be able to gain the support necessary to pass the resolution.


71 Republic is the Third Voice in media. We pride ourselves on distinctively independent journalism and editorials. Every dollar you give helps us grow our mission of providing reliable coverage. Please consider donating to our Patreon.

Featured Image Source