THEY say you are not supposed to bite the hand that feeds you, but over the years I have seldom done the things I’m “supposed” to do.
There are very few things that President Donald Trump and I agree on, but one is the state of the media in this country. As Trump has said, it is often biased, almost always politically correct and sometimes just plain ignorant.
It is not so bad in the print media, but television news has turned into television commentary. Anchors can no longer read the news without injecting their own opinions.
Oh, they may not actually say which side they are on, but their facial expressions and the inflection of their voices show their leaning. The other night, I watched one anchor practically cry, her voice breaking, while reading a story about illegal immigration.
Was the story that sad? Was she really that heartbroken? Well if she was, she got over it in a hurry because she was smiling and cheerful five seconds later when she read the next story. No, her demeanor was designed to show sympathy for a cause.
Political correctness is everywhere on TV news. If you are against the story, you read it with a growl in your voice. If you feel sympathy for the cause, you whine. It happens all the time.
I watched a story the other night about murders of transgender people in a section of Washington known for prostitution. Apparently one of the persons killed was linked to this trade so, not wanting to offend the transgender community, the anchor called the victims “sex workers.”
Sex workers? Isn’t prostitution illegal everywhere in the United States except Nevada? Isn’t prostitution a crime? Calling hookers “sex workers” gives the profession an air of legitimacy. These days, the law is often asked to take a back seat to political correctness.
A newspaper recently wrote a story about the “historic racing machines” at Colonial Downs racetrack and other locations and the money they were adding to state and local coffers.
As I mentioned in a column in May, these are no more “historic racing machines” than my old tractor. They are slot machines, pure and simple.
Why not call them what they are? Did the newspaper not want to offend the legislators who sneaked legalized gambling through the General Assembly without the public’s knowledge?
Slot machines are illegal in Virginia, a point the paper mentioned. But what you have at Colonial Downs and other locations ARE slot machines. I have played them. I know. I am not so ignorant that I don’t know a slot machine when I see one.
We in the media have an obligation to present the facts as they are, not whitewash a story for political correctness sake. If an area of town is known for prostitution then those who ply that trade there are prostitutes.
And if members of the General Assembly have sneaked around and legitimized slot machines while there is a law on the books outlawing them, then we should have the courage to call them out on their underhandedness.
I don’t agree with Trump that the mainstream media makes up “fake news,” but it does sometimes color stories so that they don’t offend anyone.
Unfortunately, we are not in business to make people happy. We are in business to report the news—as it is and not with any slant. If we offend people, so be it. The media should stand on the truth, not the politically correct truth.
I feel privileged to work for a newspaper that has always tried to uphold these standards. I would refuse to work for one that didn’t.
Sugarcoating the news will get you into a lot more trouble than simply telling the truth,
As the old folks used to say, “The truth will stand when the world’s on fire!”
That’s a good philosophy for modern media to live by.