Michael Lucas on Bad Journalism

BY Michael Lucas

September 23 2010 4:10 PM ET

While watching all this, I kept wondering, Why are our leading journalists so soft and squishy? TV allows points to be pressed and repeated, so why not use it to such an advantage? And then it occurred to me: Oriana Fallaci was a fighter all her life. When she was growing up during World War II, her father was an anti-Fascist partisan. She would ferry explosives to partisans on her bicycle. She grew up in a world where ideologies mattered deeply, where right and wrong was a question of profound moral impact and you risked your life for what you believed. Her upbringing made her a fighter journalist. She cared deeply about the truth and she fought to bring it to light. And yes, eventually the time came when no one wanted to grant Fallaci an interview. Dictators knew they would be cracked like a nut. Fallaci chose to maintain her decency rather than compromise her work to make her life easy. But today’s political journalists don’t have this choice. They have become game show hosts. They play the politics of the day and the ratings of the week; they can’t challenge their guests too much because they need them to return to their studios. They can’t afford to care because that might impact their multimillion-dollar paychecks. And in the rare moments when they do care, they find that they have lost the skills they need to go into battle. And now let’s go to a commercial break ...

Of course, there is one exception: Fox News. It has more viewers than all other cable news channels combined, and since all Ahmadinejad cares about is an exposure and fame, that’s where he would naturally be. But he cares more about staying in a safe environment and would never go on Fox News because no matter what you think about Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, or Bill O’Reilly, he would never get a free pass. Any and all of them would destroy him.

Tags: Politicians

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