America has been on a bit of a collective crusade over the past three decades, attempting to portray journalists as whiny, nosey do-gooder liberals. Of course, the notion of humans being almost lemming-like in our quest to fit in, nobody dare to disagree with the Alphas of punditry. Just as conservatives railed against intellectuals of the 1950s as being “eggheads,” so the vocal reactionary minority has been towards the media.
Granted, many in mainstream media have done this thankless noble profession no favors with their own foolishness (Chris Matthews continues to excel as a quasi-journalistic buffoon), but the crusading nature of journalists can be directly attributed to this virulent strain of Social Darwinism being such that ideologues on the far right put forward the impression that only the eradication of traditional journalism will ensure their goals are achieved. We, the people, do not wish to be bothered with the notion that those in positions of authority on the far right are hard at work looking to “turn back the clock” and return the world to a yesteryear by way of Big Brother. A techno-feudalism of sorts.
Journalists stand in the way of this, and real journalists stand in way of it on both sides of the ideological aisle. Sadly, we tend to associate journalists in the same category of other artists; failing to enrich through practical application. They produce nothing tangible…they only create problems through wasteful platitudes of utopian idealism.
This is why journalists are needed now, more that ever. Such idealism required a strain or bravery and selflessness not seen in ordinary society. The altruistic bent some of the greatest writers in our society possess is being decimated by the powers of greed and avarice. It is these sins which journalists must remain the last line of defense against. Where our bravest soldiers in the military fight with weapons of physical war, it is these intellectual soldiers, possessing the courage to use weapons of political and mental warfare, who must be, like the Tribunes of ancient Rome, held sacrosanct.
We owe our nation, and our posterity, nothing less than the ensuring that might does not make right. Journalists are the last line of defense against this. Sadly, we are destroying our own defense in name of tradition and so called values, the very core of which runs counter to our Framers intentions.
We owe ourselves, our nation, and our future, far better.