“Kyle Pope, the editor in chief and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review penned an open letter to President-elect Donald Trump on behalf of the U.S. Press Corps setting some clear ground rules moving forward.
“In these final days before your inauguration, we thought it might be helpful to clarify how we see the relationship between your administration and the American press corps,” the letter starts. Before writing up the list of eight demands, Pope offered background on Trump’s relationship with the media over the course of his campaign and since winning the election.
“You’ve banned news organizations from covering you. You’ve taken to Twitter to taunt and threaten individual reporters and encouraged your supporters to do the same. You’ve advocated for looser libel laws and threatened numerous lawsuits of your own, none of which has materialized,” Pope wrote.
“But while you have every right to decide your ground rules for engaging with the press, we have some, too.”
“Sam Adams Associates are proud to honor Mr. Snowden’s decision to heed his conscience and give priority to the Common Good over concerns about his own personal future. We are confident that others with similar moral fiber will follow his example in illuminating dark corners and exposing crimes that put our civil rights as free citizens in jeopardy…. Just as Private Manning and Julian Assange exposed criminality with documentary evidence, Mr. Snowden’s beacon of light has pierced a thick cloud of deception. And, again like them, he has been denied some of the freedoms that whistle blowers have every right to enjoy.
I wish I could take credit for writing this, but it came from a friend who is other worldly in his abilities. Please feel free to use all or parts in writing to your Congressional Representatives if you think it fits.
You know it’s probably unfair of us as a population to expect just because we elect someone that they instantly have gained ability. There you sit in Washington, there you sit in Sacramento, there you sit in Denver, there you sit, accomplishing very little more than you did when you won your high school presidency, accomplishing very little more, and it puzzles me why anyone would ever expect you to do better. It’s our fault, we put you in office, and it was unfair to expect that you actually know what you are doing. That was unfair, we’re sorry, we’re sorry that we put you in office and we’re sorry that you have to endure being in that office with the lack of knowledge that you have. We do wish you would know, though, that you did have an effect and stop long enough to understand that you are capable of an adverse effect just as easily as you are capable of a good one. The difference in whether it’s going to be adverse or not is how versed you are in the subject manner and how thoughtful you are about it. We’re sorry we thought you were capable of being thoughtful.
Anyone that happens to be in political service, be cautious: we know you don’t know, you’re not fooling us. We see you don’t have your clothing. We know that but it’s our fault because we put you there.
We expect more from you but we have no right to expect that. We do expect a lot from the position that you hold. We expect that whoever holds that position knows the effect it has and is serious enough to actually pay attention to making that effect be good for the people, not for themselves. It’s probably unreasonable of us, the temptation to self-serve in those positions and the power that you wield make it seem ok. Be cautious, if you kill the golden goose, you don’t get much more than goose meat. You get one meal and that’s it.
Over the weekend, nearly two million people took part in world-wide protests against Monsanto and genetically modified food. Despite demonstrations in over 400 cities, in 52 countries, there was hardly a peep about the event in the corporate media. Apparently, a Koch-Brothers-funded Tea Party march of 300 people is news-worthy… but two million protesters aren’t enough to risk upsetting the corporate masters.
This is why it’s so difficult to change our country. It’s bad enough that many of our lawmakers are bought and paid for with big business cash, but the corporate control of our news media is unacceptable. And, this is exactly why news reporting should not be a for-profit venture. When news networks are beholden to corporate sponsors, they focus on the stories they think will get the most viewers, and avoid reporting on anything that can paint their corporate masters in a negative light.
News used to be news, and entertainment used to be entertainment. The new system of infotainment ignores stories like the March Against Monsanto, and focuses in on anything that includes sex, lies, and scandals. It was news coverage of anti-war protests that helped stop Vietnam. It was unbiased reports of discrimination that helped end segregation, and pushed our nation toward equality. The news media covered these stories because they weren’t gagged by defense industry advertisers, and they weren’t competing with entertainment outlets for ratings.
If two million protesters aren’t enough to warrant attention, we will make it four million, or eight million, or ten. As March Against Monsanto organizer Tami Canal said, “We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand. They are poisoning our children, poisoning our planet. If we don’t act, who’s going to?” Whether we’re against GMOs or war or austerity, we will stand together until our numbers cannot be ignored. And in the process of taking our country back, we will reclaim our news media as well.