Friday, February 24, 2017

"Enemy Of The People"

Terri Gross asked the most important question on Wednesday in her interview with Mark Mazzetti, the Washington investigations editor for The New York Times. The full interview is great, but it's the last question that really touched a nerve for me.
TG: ...My impression is because things have gotten so charged between President Trump and the press, because the president has made so many accusations that the press, including the failing New York Times, is - they're really purveyors of fake news, that the leakers are criminals, that this is all a terrible thing, I feel like I hear an extra note of caution in your voice in trying to be so fair and so trying to be exemplary and not offering anything that's opinion that goes beyond fact that you can document in a really neutral way. So I'm wondering - I guess my question is what impact is President Trump's accusations about the press having on you personally in your life as a reporter? 
How flipping true is that?! I'm not anything more than a concerned citizen, yet I feel that pressure Gross observes when Mazzetti speaks. I am really careful to check sources and try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I rarely believe anything unless I can read it on some generally right-of-centre media outlet. I'm asking myself: "Is this just left wing hyperbole?" This is exactly what the administration wants. Does he say a word about Info Wars or Breitbart? He openly insists that we watch Fox and Friends! Their not the enemy of the people, just everyone else.

Horse shit. Thank you for making the observation, Terri.

I thought about linking to one of Info Wars recent videos, but it makes me sick to hear it. I don't wish him on you.

Here is Mazzetti's answer to the question.
MM: I mean, you can't deny that the atmosphere now is, as you said, very, very charged where it's combative so quickly to such a great level that it's hard to know, you know, where it leads with the president, you know, citing individual news organizations as purveyors of fake news. You know, investigative reporting involves, you know, exposing things that are either exposing wrong doing or just shedding light on things that for various reasons powerful people have tried to keep secret. That creates tension. And so I guess what I'm saying is that the - you can't ignore that we are in this unprecedented climate now where the White House and the president himself actively questions the role of the press and has declared them enemies. That is the truth. But what I'm saying is we have to figure out - we have to respond the right way. And in my mind, it's continuing to do stories even if it's things that he might not like or the administration might not like.

No comments: