Posted May 18, 2017 02:58 pm

The Pen Will Slay Us Unless We Fight Back

“The pen is mightier than the sword was coined,” by Edward Bulwer-Lytton.  These words are an absolute truth and you can see it being played out today.  The media is a powerful machine and is shaping our nation more than any political party or army could manage to do.

Our founding fathers understood the importance of the press and include protections for it in the United States Constitution.  I support a free press, but our press today has an agenda and the tools to promote it.  They do so in subtle ways and sometimes not so subtle.

Whether it is a Brian Williams, Dan Rather or Donna Brazile , the media has been caught lying and often aiding a political party gain victory over their opponent.  The outright lies are damaging, but the subtle lies are just as damaging.

Chelsea Manning was convicted of violations of the Espionage Act, but the media refers to her as a “whistle blower.”  Subtle, but a lie nonetheless,.  Intended to protect Former President Obama’s legacy?  How would it look if the media had to report that a traitor was walking free because of Obama?  Not so good, but a whistle blower, well that is a different story.

The media is now reporting on the James Comey memo and describing Comey as well respected.  No he isn’t.  Both Democrats and Republicans, as well as much of the American public believed he lacked credibility and should have been fired.  However, by stating he is well respected the media gives credibility to the story of a memo stating that President Trump tried to obstruct justice. 

To my knowledge no one has seen the memo and even if it exists so what?  Anyone can write a memo to himself or herself saying whatever they want and it doesn’t make it true.  Perhaps the media should be reporting that Comey previously testified under oath that the Trump had not pressured his agency to halt any investigation for political purposes.  And if he had tried, then Comey was obligated under law to report it immediately.

Anonymous sources should be used to get leads on stories, but not to publish stories unsubstantiated by known sources as true.  This is abusing the power of the press and it must be countered.

To counter it, we must question the credibility of all media sources and gather information from as many sources as possible.  We must also use common sense in weighing the validity of any story.  For example, “The media is telling us that Trump obstructed justice, but Comey was obligated under penalty of law to report it if it happened and said he wasn’t pressured while testifying under oath.  Hmmmmm…. perhaps this story isn’t true”

The pen is mightier than the sword and if left unchecked might slay us all.

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Brock Masters 5 months ago
Well said and I agree. 
Josh Nicolay 5 months ago
"The media is supposed to be a neutral source, not a biased."

Says who, you?

You can't espouse the virtue of the freedom of the press then demand if fall within strict parameters.
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McKenna Seymour 5 months ago
Have you ever once considered the possibility that it isn't the media trying to ruin Trump, but rather Trump is his own worst enemy? I don't think anyone held a meeting to ruin Trump and everyone climbed on board that train. From day one, when Trump sent Sean Spicer out and made him lie about the number of people who attended the inauguration, it has been liefest ever since. Maybe, just maybe, if the Trump admin. could spew the truth like they do their lies, none of this would be an issue. 
Ash McGonigal 5 months ago
Obama was attacked for prosecuting Sgt. Manning under the espionage act, you might recall.

James Comey is well-respected. He had my respect when, as acting Attorney General, he raced to John Ashcroft's hospital bed to prevent the Bush administration from forcing a seriously ill man to sign off on warrantless wiretapping. Obviously he was respected enough on the right to win that position, and then upon Robert Mueller's retirement that respect gained him the reins at the FBI. Aside from the mistake of allowing Jason Chaffetz access to confidential information (which Chaffetz promptly leaked), Comey was a model FBI director.

And that same Jason Chaffetz, who had already burned him badly on what turned out to be a fake email story, would have been to whom he would have reported Trump's obstruction of justice. That seems like a poor idea.

Also, you don't have a clue how journalism works. Anonymous sources are a part of the process, otherwise all you're producing is propaganda. This isn't anonymous as in Deep Throat (Woodward and Bernstein didn't actually publish what Deep Throat told them, he just told them where to look). The journalists know who they are, but they don't wish to be identified. And aside from a quote, a journalist always, always, ALWAYS corroborates the story with multiple sources.

I'll just take a sample from, oh, right now "A senior administration official told Fox News that Trump was measured in his response to news of Mueller's appointment on Wednesday, telling his staff it was time to move forward." That senior official is probably Reince Priebus, but in this case he's an anonymous source.
Brock Masters 5 months ago
Ash, no I don't remember Obama being attacked for prosecuting Manning, but not sure what that has to do with the blog. 

You say I don't have a clue about how journalism works but you basically said the same thing I did. I said they should be the source of leads to investigate and you cite Woodward and Berstein as having done exactly that. 

Where are the multiple sources for the Memo story?  Where is the memo?

No Comey would have reported it to the AG and regardless he didn't which is required by law. 

As for the Fox story, so now if Fox does it it makes it okay?  Hardly the standard for journalism, but okay. 
Ash McGonigal 5 months ago
The story tells you who the sources are: Senior FBI officials. They're still at the FBI, and releasing their names would lead to the vengeful troll squatting at 1600 Pennsylvania Av to leading a vendetta against them, so releasing their names would be detrimental to the release of the story. The journalist who wrote the story, Michael Schmidt, knows their names, and one of them read the memo over the phone to him.

Now, you can choose to believe that Michael Schmidt is making this up, in which case he'll go the way of Jayson Blair; or you can choose to believe that he's being burned by his sources. But to demand that he not publish anything unless someone puts their name on it to demand he abandon journalism in favor of doing PR. And PR is an insult to journalism.

"John N. Mitchell, while serving as U.S.Attorney General, personally controlled a secret Republican fund that was used to gather information about the Democrats, according to sources involved in the Watergate investigation." <- Anonymous source. Who was it? I dunno. I guess I could find out by going through their notes on the topic, which the University of Texas has put online, but in 1972, there was no way to know. The question, though, isn't "who told them?" The question is "was it true?" And the answer was "absolutely."
Kala Allen Hisel 5 months ago

I wrote the following on another article and felt it equally applicable to this blog:

The irony is the majority of the comments on this post provide good examples of how powerful the media is in slanting truths, cherry picking out of context statements and presenting them as 'truth'.  When you ask the liberals to prove their comments, they either provide op-ed pieces or do not respond at all.  There is an obvious reason for this. 

The mainstream media has lost its credibility due to their personal agendas and have prostituted their journalistic ethical standards.  But, what is most egregious is the Democratic party and its supporters have eagerly and arrogantly embraced such journalistic atrocities as truths for which there is no factual basis to substantiate.  By doing so, they have created a parasitic relationship with the mainstream media that has perverted the truth to lengths never before experienced in this country.

The ultimate irony is that liberals have succeeded in decimating their own party as has the mainstream media obliterated their own journalistic integrity.   

Ash McGonigal 5 months ago
Please give me primary source evidence of the mainstream media prostituting their journalistic ethical standards.
Kala Allen Hisel 5 months ago
Ash, do your own research.  One, simple Google search will provide you with an overwhelming number of articles and will easily substantiate.  You mean to tell me, after all your denials of left slanted liberal mainstream media, you never once attempted to prove your allegations let alone attempt to assure you base your beliefs on FACTS???  You really need to do the Google search, Ash.  Knowledge of fact is the only way to know your beliefs are based on truth and fact.  
Ash McGonigal 5 months ago
Honestly I just felt like pointing out what a hypocrite you are. Thanks for obliging.
McKenna Seymour 5 months ago
The media isn't telling us Trump obstructed justice. They are reporting other people voicing their opinion of the possibility he may have obstructed justice. There is a big difference there. The media isn't making these stories up. They are simply reporting what others have said, including Trump. Remember John Miller? 

Brock Masters 5 months ago
Go back and reread what I wrote. I didn't say the media says he obstructed justice . I said they are reporting on a story about a memo that said he obstructed justice. 

The problem is you don't get a pass because you are reporting on what someone else said if you don't know it to be factual.  No one has seen the memo and Comey has said under oath thT the Trump administration didn't pressure him. 

I think if I wrote a negative blog about you citing an anonymous source you'd be very upset with me and you'd be right to be. No different than what the media is doing with Trump.