Keller @ Large: Why We All Need The Media

BOSTON (CBS) – On and on it goes, the relentless demonization of the news media for political purposes. Throughout American history there’s always been an adversarial relationship between politicians and the press. But sometimes it seems it’s all president-elect Trump wants to talk about.

At his press conference Wednesday, Trump was in rare form, praising some reporters for covering his alleged entanglements with Russia to his liking, calling out and shunning others who did not. And the truth is, a politician who wants to make the media the issue will always have plenty of fodder to work with. The decision by Buzzfeed to publish vile, unverified allegations against Trump deserves scorn. When news outlets make big mistakes, mangle the facts or don’t try hard enough to be fair, they leave themselves open to attack.

But here’s a hard truth that reflexive media-haters won’t like but have to swallow – we desperately need the media to keep politicians honest and protect us from their lapse, always have and always will.

If it wasn’t for the work of a couple of junior Washington Post reporters, we might never have known that the President of the United States was conspiring to commit illegal acts and cover them up.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Carl Bernstein (L) and Bob Woodward. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Pulitzer Prize winning journalists Carl Bernstein (L) and Bob Woodward. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

We might never have known that another president was a sexual predator, using a public payroll to stash his girlfriend on the side.

A photograph showing Monica Lewinsky meeting then-President Bill Clinton at a White House event submitted as evidence in documents by the Starr investigation and released by the House Judiciary committee Sept. 21, 1998. (credit: White House/Getty Images)

A photograph showing Monica Lewinsky meeting then-President Bill Clinton at a White House event. (Credit: White House/Getty Images)

And beyond politics, we would surely never have learned the extent of the Catholic Church pedophile priest scandal.

Defense attorney Mitchell Garabedian questions Cardinal Bernard Law at an evidentiary hearing involving defrocked priest John Geoghan at Suffolk Superior Court August 2, 2002 in Boston. (Photo by George Martell-Pool/Getty Images)

Defense attorney Mitchell Garabedian questions Cardinal Bernard Law at an evidentiary hearing involving defrocked priest John Geoghan at Suffolk Superior Court August 2, 2002 in Boston. (Photo by George Martell-Pool/Getty Images)

If you don’t care about the truth, fine, go ahead and demonize the media.

But how many of you really don’t care about the truth?

More from Jon Keller
Comments

One Comment

  1. Lori Pearce says:

    Those were all good examples of the media getting it right, however today they all want to be the 1st, regardless of its accuracy.

  2. With the press being so important to our republic, Jon, one has to ask where you have been for the past eight years?

    It has been apparent that you’ve been under Obama’s bushel basket for the past eight years, and under Hillary Clinton’s in this past election. Did you think about the value of the Fourth Estate then?

    I welcome your return to the precepts of good journalism, but I will remain skeptical until you can reestablish your chops, as in the manifest of the NY Times: Without fear or favor.

    The onus of proof is on you and your colleagues, sir.

  3. The aspects of just not good enough reporting seem stuck in the trump head..
    I would grant a certain bent connected to historical muted coverage and focus based on politics exists in his targeted tirades. In that examination we see a led popular culture by the generic reality influential by merchants and a historical complex related to elite keeping secret treaties. This is readily apparent today to those disaffected who voted tyrant. So opposed to an info age perspective where interests are not exclusive to status quo, introspect and investigative journalism ought to help your case John.

    1. “. In that examination we see a led popular culture by the generic reality influential by merchants and a historical complex related to elite keeping secret treaties. This is readily apparent today to those disaffected who voted tyrant. So opposed to an info age perspective where interests are not exclusive to status quo, introspect and investigative ”

      I am not sure that reality, Mr. Cogswell, can ever be “generic”.

      But I compliment your your effort to sound important. You’d do well in and academic setting or in a bureaucracy

  4. What a pile of BS. Journalism is dead along with the fourth estate. They were supposed to be impartial and question all and everything. Nothing more today than Pravda.

  5. Those were true stories that were verified before going to press . The press should report facts and let people make up their own minds .
    BTW if the Democratic Party had made the PASSWORD a little more difficult things might be different. The dems have been complaining of fake news what was this ??
    The Native American had it right white man speaks with forked tongue .

  6. Hal Bennett says:

    Unbiased media yes, twisted media NO. I understand a little political slant but out and out lies are completely different.

  7. Bob Gordon says:

    The media has been neutered by this guy. He’s played you and will continue to do so. Quit being shy and call this guy out for his lies and actions.

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