The dangers of die Lügenpress

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun," Ecclesiastes 1:9

Lügenpress is a German word used by Hitler's Nazi's to attack the press and weaken their influence with the German people. The word literally means, "lying press".

It was absolutely necessary for Hitler to diminish the credibility of the German press in order to both cast off their oversight as well as to establish himself as the straight talking "Great German Nationalist" that boldly spoke what was in the hearts and minds of the struggling German people.

Without accomplishing both, he would never have become Chancellor or Führer by title, or dictator by practice. All despots and dictators have had to eliminate the threat of the press to ascend.

Were they actually liars? Many were, but not all of them. Hitler claimed that the journalist of his nation and time had told "the Big Lie".

He said the Jews and those in power had sold out the German people through bad negotiating, including the Treaty of Versailles (the peace treaty that ended World War I). He also insisted they had weakened Germany's security to the point of almost certain destruction. But, if they believed in him and his plan, Germany would be great again!

Now since there is nothing new under the sun, just new people doing old things. Let's move the calendar forward approximately three-quarters of a century and move to the United States.

We have another forceful, bold, nationalist that is willing to express publically what many Americans have been feeling. What is he saying? Like Hitler, he said those in power have negotiated badly, ignored the will of the majority and had weakened the nation almost to the point of national demise. But for the deliverance offered by one "Great American Nationalist" leader...

Trump rallies last summer included many "alt right" supporters chanting "Lügenpress"! Trump and his cronies have repeatedly beaten the drum of "fake news" and "lying news". So once again I ask, are they actually liars?

Obviously not all of them are, but many, many are. And you and I both know it. Millions of us know it. The so-called news industry, as a whole, has committed credibility suicide.

There is a very HUGE difference between news coverage and news analysis (commentary). The problem is, news coverage isn't sexy, but commentary is...it's even cheaper to produce. They inject commentary and bias in most all stories.

There are a couple of reasons why. First, most college journalism students are only taught how to reprocess the same canned narrative put out by news wires. Therefore, the one story is reworded, but essentially the same, over hundreds of outlets. But, mere repetition does not make it so! Young journalists are no longer taught the skills needed to CREATE news content. Creating news content has many more integrity and ethical constraints that merely repeating does.

Secondly, national news media had become business first, second and last. Therefore, instead of being forced to provide news to an entire national audience, as in the old days, they are predesigned through marketing, formatting, style and substance to appeal to only one segment of the news consumer market. Liberals watch liberal news sources and conservatives only watch conservative news sources. It is called market segmentation. Shame on them and shame on us for promoting it and falling for it. But as long as it is profitable, it will not change. Talk radio mastered it decades ago, and now so called "main stream national news" on television has as well.

But news is not ideological; it is factual and ethically truthful. Always! It is the job of journalists to be watchdogs of truth, no matter where that truth leads.

This keeps our governments honest and transparent. Therefore, journalists and media tycoons that operate under market segmentation to the detriment of factually and ethically truthful news are all traitors and should be ashamed. But news consumers that only listen to those that they "like" and refuse to hear conflicting commentary are equally guilty of making it too profitable to resist.

Lastly, it wouldn't be so bad if news agencies, channels, shows and networks demarcated a clearly defined line between news reporting (as little bias as humanly possible with no commentary) and analysis (i.e. talking heads, pundits, opinion and "breaking it down for you"), then news credibility would not be so low and people could trust the national media once again.

News consumers today, have become too lazy (or busy) to read an entire article or watch an entire segment of raw footage or, God forbid, watch more than one news source to compare the information they digest. Therefore, a lazy citizenry clamors for a television celebrity to simply sell them biased, processed, summarized, "just tell me what I should think" so called "news". No wonder the trust of national news media by Americans is at an all time low, somewhere in the area of only 13 percent.

To be clear, I am not calling President Trump Hitler and I am not calling him a tyrant, despot or dictator. But I am saying that the label "fake news" can honestly be placed upon almost 99 percent of the national news media today. And if we do not correct this and return to honest news, a dictator IS coming. Its not a matter if, its a matter of when.