Boston tragedy was epic media failure

The Boston tragedy proved that the media, especially television, is never to be trusted. Photo: AP

CHICAGO, April 19, 2013 — If ever there was an epic fail of massive proportions it was the television media coverage of the Boston tragedy. CNN, the Clown News Network, was the worst offender, but they had plenty of company. Never have so many been so wrong about an incident. 

Never has so much inaccurate, false and manufactured information been foisted upon the public in such a short period of time. It was a disgusting and despicable sight. The over-paid, over made up, blow-dried news presenters had to be making stuff up as they went along. There is no other explanation. 

There are no real journalists working for these organizations. From all appearances the people supplying the scripts and material for the teleprompters had to be rejected comic book writers with more imagination than talent. 

This is what happens when no one gives journalists their talking points, like the current administration does. News people no longer know what to do when no one tells them what to report. They had nothing to cut, paste, and shove under the nose of the well-coifed reader. Reporting and digging up facts is a lost art. Double-checking facts to insure they are true is an antediluvian craft. Being responsible for what is put on the air is extinct. 

In their quest to fill air time the media resorted to babbling. They made Joe Biden look sane and intelligent, which is very hard to do. It is a real pity that the Onion is now the only credible news source in America. They are factual and truthful. They make no bones they are pulling our leg. 

Is there something wrong with telling people, “We have no credible sources of information”? Is it some kind of sin to just say, “We don’t know all the details yet?” Then they could move on to reporting hard news like the Kardashians’ latest pregnancy or Justin Bieber’s latest childish stunt. 

It is surprising that major advertisers are not appalled. It is more surprising they still do business with charlatans and frauds. Boston finally provided hard evidence that there is no ethics in journalism. There is no seeking of facts, double checking facts, and providing the best version of the truth. There is only the show and the show must go on. The news business is nothing more than entertainment and bad entertainment at that. It is worse entertainment than politics. 

Even used car salesmen have better character and moral fiber than television news people. Maybe it is time to start telling television journalist jokes, like lawyer jokes or the ever popular blonde jokes. Television news people should be shamed and shunned like smokers and pedophiles. 

Television news’ atrocious behavior during the Boston event gave a black eye to everyone in the news business. Those who strive for factual accuracy should lambast television news for their careless and reckless reportage. The criticism should be harsh and unrelenting. These offenders should be driven out of the business. 

Major breaking news is difficult to cover. Difficulty is no excuse for shoddy work. If they did not have credible facts they should have told the public so. They should have waited until credible information became available. Instead they kept blubbering about sources. We could rightfully wonder if those sources actually existed. From all appearances they made up the sources like they made up the news of the incident. 

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press. There is nothing in the amendment guaranteeing an honest, accurate, and factual press. Their lies are protected. They are held to no standards. As the Russian comedian said, “What a country.”

If we learned anything from the Boston reportage, it is television news cannot and should not be trusted. Never, ever, and that is a long time.

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Peter Bella

Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance photographer, freelance writer, budding videographer, and passionate cook.  He aims to be the sharp stick that pokes and annoys.  The Middle Class Guy is a political column written from a center-right point of view.  While concentrating mainly on politics he will stray into culture, entertainment, sports, cooking, and humor from time to time, along with Memories of things Pabst.  All from a middle class perspective.

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