Has anybody noticed how the fifth estate has changed over the years? I’m thinking if I can go back 40 – 50 years the press was investigative and investigated Watergate and other issues of the day. These days it seems to all be in sound bites and there is nobody investigating anything. In fact, the press parties with our politicians once per year at a special party for the National Press Club.
How could this be? What has happened over the years? It all started back in the Ronald Reagan years. Many reading this may not be aware that at one time journalists would write lengthy investigative stories. Journalists would also challenge the status quo by asking insightful questions and challenge the answers of our top politicians. It’s how we managed to extricate ourselves from Vietnam and almost impeached a president for crimes that came out of the Watergate hearings.
During the Reagan administration access by the press to the President and his people was limited to those that either asked the right questions or did not press the questions on the issues of the day. The Reagan administration realized that even our journalists, as high as their ideals may be, were paid to do a job. If they could not get access to speak to our most important politicians than whichever newspaper or magazine they worked for did not get a story. This was not a good thing for the fifth estate. So what happened? They learned to play along.
If you’re a newshound you already know that there is very little original news. Most journalists report from the press releases they are given by our politicians. Interviews with our politicians are kept cordial and very rarely is the interviewee pressed for information. Politicians know better than to place themselves in unfriendly territory where they can be “outed”. So we get pablum that we have to sift through for answers.
I’m ranting on this subject because like every other mainstream American I’m simply tired of all the politics while we have so many problems ranging from our deficit to our job prospects. I see too much pandering to special interests and not enough “working for our country”. We see the ninety-niners out there every day protesting. I think the average person is simply tired of all the intellectualizing and party politics and simply wants things to get done.
We can no longer depend upon the fifth estate to help bring to light what goes on in the halls of congress and the senate. I will write about these problems as I see them. You may not agree with me and my viewpoint but I am that average guy. The guy in the middle and in the middle we have many ideas. We’re just too busy getting by to protest and too poor to lobby and we just don’t have the time to work on these issues as we work 16 hour days with productivity at an all-time high.
Instead, I will turn to blogging to highlight the issues of the day that affect everyone.