I am struck by something much more primal, however – call it Directive 4, which shuts down all functions in the JournoCops whenever they try to disobey it: “A journalist is always the underdog crusader.”
They are addicted to this narrative and self-image at all costs. They MUST be the eternal Prometheans showing the way to enlightenment at great personal risk – though it cost them all they have they soldier on bravely, bravely, forever fighting The Power of Darkness.
Directive 4 is a mental parasite that colonized the minds of journalists back in the 1920s. You might recall that some people like to call the period from c. 1890 – c.1930 “the Progressive Era.” This is also the era in which the first journalism schools were founded. This is, as Marxists say, no accident.
Before the “Progressive Era,” journalism was nakedly partisan. You wouldn’t read newspaper to get The News; you’d read it to get the Republican, Democrat, or Socialist news. Their titles reflected this — even quite small towns would have both the Daily Democrat-Picayune and the Evening Republican-Intelligencer. Bigger cities would also have a socialist rag and several papers pitched to ethnic communities, written in the language of the old country.
It was only in the “Progressive Era,” when leftists first managed to convince a section of the public that liberal biases were scientific truth, that we developed the myth of the nonpartisan press.
Not that the press can’t actually be nonpartisan if it so chose. The problem isn’t that humans are incapable of reporting straight news. It’s just that this would be the most boring job on the planet. It’s not even stenography — you’re not copying down the President’s remarks verbatim; you’re boiling them down to a paragraph or two and rephrasing them to the lowest common denominator reading level. Nobody in his right mind would want to do it as a career.
So nobody in his right mind did. Instead, “Progressives” got into the journo biz specifically to
control the public’s access to information explain to the rubes the scientifically-proven benefits of socialism.
They weren’t actively lying, mind you — it took I.F. Stone’s raging hard-on for Stalin for that to happen — but they were, shall we say, rather selective with their reportage, while loudly beating their breasts about their objectivity at every opportunity.
And then World War II came, and the Baby Boom happened, and soon enough The Dumbest Generation of Narcissists in the History of the World was going to j-school. And they were perfectly ok with lies, noble or otherwise, to advance The Cause, whatever that happened to be this week.
And that’s when Directive Four was born. As we know, the Boomers’ original, unforgivable sin is fetishizing rebellion. Like all adolescents, they thought their first time doing or thinking or saying ____ was the first time ___ had ever been done, thought, or said, in all of human history. Unlike normal adolescents, though, they never grew out of it. They took Philip Larkin’s vicious mockery of their attitudes at face value:
Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the Chatterley ban
And the Beatles’ first LP.
And thus you see bent, stooped, gray old people running around in rock band t-shirts and smoking dope and telling everyone to question authority, maaaaaan, even though he’s a hedge fund manager and she’s got a law degree and they live in a $500,000 McMansion in a gated suburb.
Such a person literally can’t function in reality. He can’t be The Man — even though he is, and has been since about 1982 — because his whole self-concept comes from sticking it to The Man.
These are the people who man the editorial boards at newspapers nationwide.
And the kids who work under them are Gen Xers, those special little snowflakes, and now even some Millennials, aka the specialist snowflakes that ever were or ever could be, are getting into the act. Thought has deteriorated accordingly. The original “Progressives” at least made a nod to reason and evidence; it’s what led them to socialism. Even the Boomers acknowledged that, by and large, reason and evidence were desirable, though of course any evidence that argued against sex, drugs, rock’n'roll, and/or socialism didn’t really count as evidence.
But these snowflakes, the Occupy generation… these fucking kids honestly don’t know the difference between fact and opinion. They are the specialist snowflakes that ever were or ever could be, and they’ve never heard a bad word about anything they’ve said or done in their entire lives. Endlessly pampered and mollycoddled and helicopter-parented, they truly believe the world owes them a favor for rolling out of bed in the morning. If the world doesn’t line up with their whims, then damn it, something’s wrong with the world, and they’re going to whine and moan and Voxsplain until the universe finally gets its act together.
Directive Four. It explains the entire media. God help us all.