Unringing the bell
Toll, v. t. 1. To draw; to entice; to allure. [1913 Webster]; 2. [Probably the same word as toll to draw, and at first meaning, to ring in order to draw people to church.] 3. To call, summon, or notify, by tolling or ringing. [1913 Webster]
When a bell rings it “tolls”. The purpose is to draw attention, to make people aware there’s a situation needs attention. It’s a warning something important has occurred and demands their awareness. It moves people to seek understanding of what the reporter offers. The reporter should speak truth.
Recently, (last Thursday night to be exact) a murderer successfully put a new wrinkle in the cover of security making our Homeland Insecurity more apparent. I’ll not state his name because I allow NO misinterpreted definition of a “troubled” or “disenfranchised spirit”. I don’t want him being lionized as a “lost soul”. I don’t want him described as a murderous mad-dog needing to be put down.
In response to the tragedy, ABC News’ Brian Ross, a man noted for his “investigative reporting”, broadcast his poorly researched statement a man named Jim Holmes (a member of a local Tea Party group in Colorado) may have been the gunman. Ross said a “Jim Holmes” was mentioned on a local Tea Party website. Ross said “we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes.”
It wasn’t the same person. Ross retracted the report on-air during a special report. But, wouldn’t have been better to NOT MAKE the statement?
It’s sad to note this is another case of the Mainstream Media (MSM) trying to defame and vilify an organization having an impact beyond what the two (2) entrenched political parties want to deal with. Therefore that same MSM feels it their right to “sell a story” they want bought rather than “tell the story” reflecting the truth.
Because the Tea Party threatens the platform the two major parties stand upon, the liberal associated press feels the right to attack and insinuate their wormy, termite infested propaganda into a national dialogue sure to draw attention to their insecurities and failings. It’s no big surprise to anybody can read the English language, modern American Journalism has become polarized. In that polarization they’ve been removed from the original ethics guiding the craft.
Modern American Journalism is less about reportage today than it is about shading the story so the picture drawn is more akin to a Picasso than it is a Rembrandt. One is solid in its honest, realistic integrity laden depiction of the actuality of an occurrence; the other must be explained.
It’s a rendering requiring the explanation of the artist so the viewer may understand what he’s meant to see. There’s a hidden truth concealed in the symbolism. But the viewer isn’t allowed to divine that truth personally. It must be explained, filtered by the prejudices of the presenter. You only get what you’re told you’ve gotten. Truth needs no filtration.
Ross is an award winning tele-journalist and “investigative reporter”. He’s risen to the stage in his career he has assets/resources (staff, researchers and colleagues) making his job less onerous. He moves to broadcast faster for these influences. That doesn’t absolve him of the stupid, defamatory statement he made against an individual and ALL members of ALL Tea Party Movements across the nation. He should know and behave better.
It’s true Ross retracted the story. ABC News “apologized” for “improperly disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.” This apology is a self-serving back-side coverage downplaying their defamation of a man and a people they accused falsely. Their sorrow is for getting caught blatantly showing their prejudice – again.
People accept news organizations’ reportage because the press once had ethics and operated from the platform of those ethics. That platform’s worm ridden and termite infested and sacrifices its integrity daily for a buck.
You can’t “un-ring that bell” It’s tolled. It’s drawn attention to a false image offered by a stratum of society making its wages based on the nefarious statement : “If it bleeds it leads!” The cynicism of this statement is apparent with newspaper and TV newscasts daily.
Thanks for listening