When elites don’t get their way

When elites don’t get their way
It’s amazing to me the amount of energy news people expend in trying to justify their place atop societal pedestals, when nobody listens or cares. Witness the case of the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz (thanks to Jeff Jarvis). Before I get into the specifics, it should be noted that trust of the press is at an all time low, the rise of a new “people’s press” (aka: bloggers) is underway, and we’re well into the cultural shift of Postmodernism, a time in history when people see through bullshit like none before. Kurtz is upset. He smells a rat that more of his buddies weren’t invited along when the President snuck into Baghdad to celebrate Thanksgiving with American troops, so he does what every élite does best — he cries to mommy. His problem is that the press was deceived. He names the President a liar and then calls his friends:

Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, criticized the White House correspondents who made the trip without spilling the secret. “That’s just not kosher,” he said. “Reporters are in the business of telling the truth. They can’t decide it’s okay to lie sometimes because it serves a larger truth or good cause.”
Huh? What? Oh, really? I’ve no wish to argue the politics of the trip or to get involved in a debate with Mr. Kurtz. The only point I think is important, in terms of understanding news in a Postmodern environment, is that the folks who count — that is, the American people — don’t give a hoot about any of this. The old saying is, “If you’re digging a hole, and you get stuck in it, the way out is to first stop digging.” Traditional journalism is a Modernist creation. It was born a century ago in the minds of Walter Lippmann and his social engineering buddies. It is NOT what the First Amendment was written to protect, and at a gut level, everyday people know this. They see through the ruse of objectivity and find a group of people self-absorbed. And the more journalists complain about their elitist calf getting whacked, the more they distance themselves from the people they claim to serve. Will somebody please give Mr. Kurtz a new shovel?

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