Curtis Dahlgren
Beware the drama queens in politics and the press, 12/13/14 (a rerun)
By Curtis Dahlgren
March 29, 2019

"Journalism is a kind of profession, or craft, or racket, for people who never wanted to grow up and go out into the real world." – Harry Reasoner

"Those of us who went into journalism in the 50s and 60s, it was sort of a liberal thing to do. Save the world." – Peter Jennings, July 4, 2001

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have a statement to make." – President Reagan (LOL)

WARNING: This is not a Chicken Soup piece. Especially not for the politically "correct" Deep Swamp. The "Age of Enlightenment" has devolved into Dickens' "Epoch of Incredulity." Mr. Alinsky, not Smith, goes to Washington. For example, the mainstreamers expect us to believe Hillary's election was stolen, but we are not to believe the report by the grand jury in Missouri [the Michael Brown case] or the "Muller Report"! The New York Times won't print the facts if they don't FIT the Party Line. The Tea Party or the D-party? The media noses have never been browner, and it's just a short leap from brown noses to brown shirts.

In 1972 I wrote a couple of things for the UW Badger Herald and was invited to the 35th anniversary dinner in 2004. It was two days after Dan Rather's forgery scandal became publicly obvious, and I couldn't wait to hear what the main speaker, the head of the Mass Communications Dept., would say about such an embarrassing moment for his profession. Guess what? He didn't even mention it! However, I did overhear him complimenting the editor for criticizing President Bush. Television journalism has evolved from the Cronkite style to investigative journalism that only harasses conservatives, to what is now called "impact journalism." In other words, mass communication means riling up the masses to MAKE news, not just report it.

Journalists seldom retract anything anymore. If forced to do so, like the Rolling Stone, they do it in a sort-of way. This may be a paraphrase: "The details of our story may have been half-cocked, but the basic premise of the story is still relevant to societal issues." Fake rape stories? Rolling Stone was the victim of "misinformation," and you can't blame the "victim" you know! Ironically, their story smeared Jefferson's University as well as throwing a cloud of doubt on victims of real abuse. The "anti-bullying" crowd has become the 800 pound bully in the room. The class room.

"Anyone who doubts the pervasiveness of political correctness at UW-Madison need look no further than the two campus newspapers. Both carried items in the past week that prove the role of the press in a free society escapes those students willing to sacrifice truth on the altar of sensitivity. The Badger Herald reported last week that a student member of the [X and XX] Issues Committee was peeved about press coverage of the committee's report. 'By no means is the press covering it the way we want,' the student whined. Well, excuuuuuse us, but we must have cut class the day the journalism instructor said reporters are supposed to ask subjects how they 'want' the news covered." – Wisconsin State Journal (that was from the Olden Days of January 1992, when sifting and winnowing still – sometimes – trumped "sensitivity"! Someone said the other day "25 years ago lying would end your career, but now liars actually have coaches."

CONCLUSION – "The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which [some clergy] have enveloped it, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and freest expansion of the human mind." – Thomas Jefferson

Friendly to Truth, in other words. What we have here is a failure to communicate, to coin a phrase, but we can still use the New Media to get the story straight! Just go around the Old Media the way Reagan did. Winston Churchill said, "Let us not speak of darker days; let us rather speak of sterner days . . . and thank God that we have been allowed, each according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable . . " Likewise, let us be willing to be a small piece of the larger puzzle. Even if you just have a bit-part on the world stage, don't waste it. Play it to the hilt.

P.S. Much of my 2014 column were excerpts from my 2008 book, "Massey-Harris 101"; for example: Due to "sensitivity," there are many verboten words and topics (the bias of the news media itself is a verboten topic) . . . Years before the term 'political correctness' was coined, there appeared a prophetic article entitled 'Moral Dishonesty'" (National Review, 12/19/1975) by Gerhard Niemeyer:

"Evidence disturbing to attitudes of good will toward the Soviet Union is simply read out of court . . The truth is conceived as an enemy of international goodness . . .

"Self-will may govern our actions but it does not sit easy in our souls. Moral dishonesty, by contrast, not only considers itself guiltless but positively glows in self-righteousness while heaping moral condemnation on those who disagree . . .

"Traditional morality – either the Ten Commandments, Aristotle's list of virtues, or Christ's double love of God and neighbor – can never pass off falsehood as the necessary price of goodness. That possibility belongs exclusively to modern progressivism . . .

"More than Tartuffe, who knew he was lying, they suppress reason by not allowing the voice of Truth to be heard even within their own hearts . . . It goes without saying that in the process not merely reason but morality itself is lost. For where reason and knowledge are
despised, there Mephistopheles can easily snare Faust in the net of hell."

In the world of Alice's Vunderland, the people who loved the USSR now hate Russia. Fake news is not even discouraged, because such stories may "do some good"? I'm very sorry ma'am, but just one more question: HOW?


© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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