The Power of the Press: Abusive Power That Is

Again, and again the press plays into the Trump narrative on the “fake news media.”

Let’s cut to the chase. Big is bad. The larger and more entrenched an organization is, be it political, private or media, the more corrupt and more protective of itself it becomes. Look at Boeing’s inexcusable safety snafus with the 737 Max airliners. Look at Facebook’s misuse of personal data for profit. Look at a VP’s son magically making a fortune from Dad’s connections and the current President of the United States freewheeling foreign policy and holding up aid for political favors.

That is why we have the press. Its job is to police politics and business for the truth about corruption and abuse of power. But what happens when the press becomes part of that very system and finds itself continually in a defensive position, protecting the very corrupt powers it is supposed to be reporting on? One of the underlying causes of this may be the open-door path from politics to media. Why don’t we have more independent journalists who are not tainted by first being part of the political establishment before becoming media members? Turn on any network and find faces easily recognizable from past administrations and congress.

Even those in the media who are not previously tied to politics seem to be a bit too cozy with the political establishment (understatement alert). Power is insidious. Look at the cases of Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein to find inexcusable actions or rather inaction by the press. Major networks, which we are supposed to trust for the truth, cover-up major stories on sexual abuse and assault to protect their political friends and their own networks.

The award-winning reporting by Ronan Farrow and the attempts by NBC to keep that reporting quiet because of their internal problems with sexual harassment and their ties to Harvey Weinstein are well documented at this point. Now there is the recently leaked video of ABC journalist Amy Robach, on mic, complaining of having the explosive story on Epstein, and having it squashed by ABC.

As part of damage control, she has been forced to state that she was simply frustrated for a moment and that there was insufficient corroboration to move forward with the story. The video, however, is clear, and tells an opposite story, so much so, that ABC felt the extraordinary need to track down the alleged “whistleblower/leaker” and have them fired by CBS (protecting their own). Contrast that to the hero-worship bestowed on the Trump whistleblower. It’s interesting that Robach said they had everything, including “Clinton,” and that a powerful voice at ABC news is one George Stephanopoulos.

Amy Robach can dutifully try to walk back what was clear from the video, and ABC can claim that they “aggressively” pursued the story, which are both as believable as Mexico paying for Trump’s wall. More dangerous than Trump railing against the press at his rallies is the press continually providing hard evidence of their own corruption and negligence. Physician, heal thyself.

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