BOSTON (CBS) – For as long as I’ve been following the news, there have been people who prefer to make news media coverage the issue rather than deal with the issues the news media is covering.
Before the public turned against the war in Vietnam, reporters who dared report on what a travesty it was were accused of siding with the communists.
The late Bernard Cardinal Law deplored the media’s “focus on the faults of a few” for its coverage of the priest child-abuse sex scandals, a decade before he was forced out for his role in covering up those crimes.
And these days, trashing the press for critical coverage of political figures is common practice on the right and the left, depending on whose favorites are under scrutiny.
But President Trump has elevated press-bashing to an art form, creating a catchy phrase – “fake news” – that has been adopted by oppressive regimes around the world.
And Wednesday, Republican Senator Jeff Flake made it clear he’d seen enough.
“It is the range and regularity of the untruths we see that should be cause for profound alarm, and spur to action. Add to that the by-now predictable habit of calling true things false, and false things true, and we have a recipe for disaster. As George Orwell warned, ‘the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it,’” Flake said.
Is the media imperfect?
But the partisans across the spectrum who’ve become addicted to gratuitous media-bashing have a decision to make – are you interested in seeking truth? Or do you prefer to outsource that search to your political overlords?