Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

This is the place for discussion of topics specifically addressing the 2008 federal elections.

Moderator: Charles L. Cotton

User avatar

Topic author
pbwalker
Senior Member
Posts: 2862
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 10:12 am
Location: Northern Colorado

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

Postby pbwalker » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:53 pm

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights? By Orson Scott Card

(Editor's note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism. )

An open letter to the local daily paper - almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President's Men and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn't come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration. It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans. What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor - which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house - along with their credit rating. They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a TownHall.com essay entitled "Do Facts Matter?" ( http://snipurl.com/457townhall_com] ): "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury."

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ... the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It's not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?

Now let's follow the money ... right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barrack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an "adviser" to the Obama campaign - because that campaign had sought his advice - you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension - so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression. Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie - that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad - even bad weather - on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth - even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time - and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the Borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter - while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well- known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles. That's where you are right now.

It's not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion. If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe - and vote as if - President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie. If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats - including Barrack Obama - and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans - then you are not journalists by any standard. You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a news paper in our city.



:patriot: :patriot: :patriot:

http://greensboro.rhinotimes.com/orson.10.09.08.html
*NRA Endowment Member*
Veteran
"Real Patriots don't worship government" - Maj Toure

User avatar

The Annoyed Man
Senior Member
Posts: 22718
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:59 pm
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Contact:

Re: Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

Postby The Annoyed Man » Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:05 pm

I'm actually surprised that Orson Scott Card is a Democrat. Most of his articles that I've read have been very much from the national security hawk and social conservative perspective. Card is a lifelong devout Mormon. He is also a superb writer of science fiction.

He may be a Democrat, but he takes his own party to the woodshed in this article. Any Democrat who quotes Dr. Thomas Sowell is definitely not a liberal.
"Give me Liberty, or I'll get up and get it myself."—Hookalakah Meshobbab
"I don't carry because of the odds, I carry because of the stakes."—The Annoyed Boy
"Id aegre et in omnibus semper."—Quod Homo Aegre


longhorn_92
Senior Member
Posts: 1620
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:07 pm

Re: Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

Postby longhorn_92 » Thu Oct 30, 2008 6:13 pm

pbwalker wrote:
Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights? By Orson Scott Card

(Editor's note: Orson Scott Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes on both while lamenting the current state of journalism. )



This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion. If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe - and vote as if - President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie. If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats - including Barrack Obama - and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans - then you are not journalists by any standard. You're just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a news paper in our city.



:patriot: :patriot: :patriot:

http://greensboro.rhinotimes.com/orson.10.09.08.html



Awesome!....

I definitely believed that True Journalism.....was Dead. At least one journalist is still alive!!
“If you try to shoot me, I will have to shoot you back, and I promise you I won’t miss!”

NRA Endowment Member
TSRA Member


Kalrog
Senior Member
Posts: 1884
Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:11 am
Location: Leander, TX
Contact:

Re: Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

Postby Kalrog » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:09 am

The Annoyed Man wrote:He is also a superb writer of science fiction.


Ender's Game is probably the best fiction book I have ever read.


Nicolai
Member
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:13 pm

Re: Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

Postby Nicolai » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:25 am

Card's article is a good one--every newspaper in the country ought to be forced to publish it. This election cycle, which seems to have started in early 1960, has been marked by shameless promotion of Obama by MSM outlets--shameful conduct in my opinion. One media watchdog group reported that 57% of the stories about Sen. McCain were negative as opposed to around 15% negative for Sen. Obama.


Nicolai
Member
Posts: 125
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 1:13 pm

Re: Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

Postby Nicolai » Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:37 am

I ought to be a reporter.
My previous post threw out some numbers without source, so my apologies to the readers here. The source was an article from the Project for Excellence in Journalism (a worthy goal). Article at http://journalism.org/node/13307 reports that stories since the end of the conventions have been 57% negative and 14% positive for Sen. McCain, as opposed to Sen. Obama's 36% positive, 35% neutral, and 29% negative.
And we're still waiting for the L.A. Times to release that tape with Obama and the PLO's U.S. spokesman and the Obama campaign just told reporters from the Dallas Morning News and the Washington Times they were booted from Obama's press plane for "space" issues--couldn't have anything to do with the endorsements of the two papers.
And apologies to the mods--this probably belongs in the Federal 2008 section.


cwood3
Junior Member
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:21 am

Re: Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

Postby cwood3 » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:13 pm

Yes, great article. However, the author won't ever be a Wolf Blitzer or Geraldo Rivera because he obviously has not signed on to the major media public mind control band wagon that is required to be a true success in news media. I'm sorry, and don't want to sound negative or bitter, but even though I'm a young 49 years old, I can still remember when we had to think for ourselves. Because the news media has so much technology and exposure opportunity these days, who needs to think? Just click on 1 of 400 TV stations or radio, or internet and someone is there with the ability to convince us on any subject matter. I honestly believe that our world today is run by the news media, not great men or women like we had back in the day. I believe that real American life ceased to exist after Truman. Greed, right, like Michael Douglas said...."Greed is necessary". Oh well........ :txflag:
CHL Class - August 2
DPS Receives - August 11
Processing App.....
November 12......Processing App
November 26 - Will Slit Wrists


Return to “Federal - 2008”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest