Curtis Dahlgren
Beware the drama queens in politics and the press, 12/13/14!
By Curtis Dahlgren
December 13, 2014

"Anyone who doubts the pervasiveness of political correctness at UW-Madison need look no further than the two campus newspapers. Both carried items in the past week that prove the role of the press in a free society escapes those students willing to sacrifice truth on the altar of sensitivity. The Badger Herald reported last week that a student member of the [X and XX] Issues Committee was peeved about press coverage of the committee's report. 'By no means is the press covering it the way we want,' the student whined. Well, excuuuuuse us, but we must have cut class the day the journalism instructor said reporters are supposed to ask subjects how they 'want' the news covered." – Wisconsin State Journal

"The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which [some clergy] have enveloped it, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and freest expansion of the human mind." – Thomas Jefferson

WARNING: This is not a Chicken Soup column. Especially not for those politically "correct." I threw in the TJ quote just to tweak those PC people who call us loons (and "intolerant"?). If they were to meet the real Tom Jefferson, they'd be amazed how square and "loony" he was. America was not your father's French Revolution. But the so-called "Enlightenment" has devolved into Dickens' "Epoch of Incredulity."

Alynsky goes to Washington. As Napoleon said, "Who are you, parliament. I AM THE THRONE." We are about to go over Wiley Coyote's cliff, and the state-controlled media don't mind the chaos, the Doublespeak. For example, the mainstreamers expect us to believe the Senator Di-Fi "report," but not the report by the grand jury in Missouri.

If the facts don't fit, you must acquit, but the New York Times won't print the facts if they don't fit the Party Line. And the President still has a fit about coverage of the Administration? WHY? The media noses have never been browner, and it's a short jump from brown noses to brown shirts. Here are a few quotes from the bygone era (from Rowe's book of quotations, 1978):

"As reporters, we should stay the #*** out of politics and maintain a private position on any issue." – John Chancellor

"Journalism is a kind of profession, or craft, or racket, for people who never wanted to grow up and go out into the real world." – Harry Reasoner

"Journalists were never intended to be the cheerleaders of a society, the conductors of applause, the sycophants. Tragically, that is their assigned role in authoritarian societies, but not herenot yet." – Chet Huntley

"Hitler said that he always knew you could buy the press. What he didn't know was you could get them cheap." – Mort Sahl

"There are honest journalists like there are honest politicians. When bought, they stay bought." – Bill Moyers

"Guerrilla journalism came about because we didn't want to be a part of access journalism. We hung out at dinner parties and eavesdropped and stole memos and every other #**# thing to crash through." – Robert Scheer

"Just report the news; don't encourage it!" – authors unknown, but legion

In 1972 I wrote a couple of things for the UW Badger Herald and was invited to the 35th anniversary dinner in 2004. It was two days after Dan Rather's forgery scandal became publicly obvious, and I couldn't wait to hear what the main speaker, the head of the Mass Communications Dept., would say about such an embarrassing moment for his profession. Guess what? He didn't even mention it! However, I did overhear him complimenting the editor for criticizing President Bush.

"Mass Communications" work has evolved from the Huntley/Reasoner style to investigative journalism (to only harass conservatives), to what is now called "impact journalism." In other words, mass communication means riling up the masses (to MAKE news, not just report it).

Adlai Stevenson once said, "Accuracy is to a newspaper what virtue is to a lady, but a newspaper can always print a retraction." BUT

Journalist – if you can call them that – seldom retract anything anymore. If forced to do so, like the Rolling Stone, they do it in a sort-of way:

"The details of are story may have been half-cocked, but the basic premise of the story is still relevant to societal issues."

Fake rape stories? Rolling Stone was the victim of misinformation, and you can't blame the victim. Ironically, their story not only falsely accused Jefferson's University, but seemed to be dissing the whole sexual revolution thing. Paradoxically.


What we have here is a failure to communicate – a massive failure – so what's the solution to the problem? We can still use the New Media to get the story straight! Just go around the Old Media the way Reagan did:

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement to make." [LOL]

Winston Churchill said, "Let us not speak of darker days; let us rather speak of sterner days . . . and thank God that we have been allowed, each according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable . . "

Likewise, let us be willing to be a small piece in the larger jig-saw puzzle. If you have a bit-part on the world stage, don't waste it. Play it to the hilt.

Oh – speaking of opening statements, I have a confession about the opening quote from the -State Journal. That one was from the Olden Days of January 1992, when truth trumped "sensitivity"! Someone said the other day "25 years ago lying would end your career, but now liars actually have coaches" (and teleprompters).

P.S. Much of this column has included excerpts from my 2008 book, "Massey-Harris 101"; and here's another little gem. Due to "sensitivity," there are many verboten words and topics, and "the bias of the news media itself is a verboten topic . . . Years before the term 'political correctness' was coined, there appeared a prophetic article entitled 'Moral Dishonesty'" (National Review, 12/19/1975) by Gerhard Niemeyer:

"Evidence disturbing to attitudes of good will toward the Soviet Union is simply read out of court . . The truth is conceived as an enemy of international goodness . . .

"Self-will may govern our actions but it does not sit easy in our souls. Moral dishonesty, by contrast, not only considers itself guiltless but positively glows in self-righteousness while heaping moral condemnation on those who disagree . . .

"Traditional morality – either the Ten Commandments, Aristotle's list of virtues, or Christ's double love of God and neighbor – can never pass off falsehood as the necessary price of goodness. That possibility belongs exclusively to modern progressivism . . .

"More than Tartuffe, who knew he was lying, they suppress reason by not allowing the voice of Truth to be heard even within their own hearts . . . It goes without saying that in the process not merely reason but morality itself is lost. For where reason and knowledge are
despised, there Mephistopheles can easily snare Faust in the net of hell."

In the world of Alice's Vunderland, forged documents and fake rape stories are not even discouraged, because such stories may somehow do some "good"? Never mind the collateral damage? In one generation we have gone from Treasure Island to Gilligan's Island to Fantasy Island to Temptation Island, and there's more to come. God help us, every one!

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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