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Bob’s Musings: Reporting, ‘Progress’, And Leftism

09 November 2011 @ 11:27

-Reporters And Journalists: Not One And The Same

Today it is the goal of many an aspiring writer to be a journalist for a major publication, be it online or in print. Very few of them want to be reporters.

‘There’s a difference?’, you say.

I think so.

An example: Stacy McCain is a reporter, not a journalist. Many of us use the term ‘old school’ to describe the way he fashions a news report. If you went back, say fifty years ago, I don’t think those old schoolers would describe themselves as ‘journalists’. They understood that their job was to present ‘just the facts, m’am, just the facts’ and provide a taste of the atmosphere surrounding the situation being reported on [ie: to report]. Journalists of old analyzed and pondered those things being reported on. Reporters and journalists understood that they were two different creatures who performed two separate functions. The seprartion was usually quite evident in that reporters wrote for dailies and journalists for magazines and/or Sunday supplements.

The line between the two professions became blurred starting in the 1960’s.

Over at Stacy McCain’s joint, commentator Adjoran explains what happened and how it used to be:

After Watergate and Woodward and Bernstein, lots of young minds full of mush decided that’s what they wanted to do: uncover corruption and change the world through journalism. It killed the news business dead.

Up until then reporters all came up basically the same way. They started as coffee-fetchers and copy boys, eventually being trusted with a garden club meeting or school news story, working up through the crime beat to City Hall. By the time they were the top reporter on a beat they knew the turf and the players and the ins and outs. Most of them lacked a college degree, but they learned the craft the hard way, on the street. Shoe leather. Corfam.

The universities seldom offered journo majors, what classes there were were tucked into the English Dept. and taught by the professors or grad assistants who couldn’t be trusted to teach American Novels, Shakespeare, or Proust, and who couldn’t fathom Northrup Frye well enough to teach Blake. But they inherited the new Journo Departments and commenced instilling in their young charges a sense of self-importance and entitlement along with neo-Marxist ideology.

When all these college grad "reporters" began hitting the market, editors began hiring them for roughly the same low wage they paid the in-house guys. Copy boys no longer moved up – they lacked a degree. Of course the college boys knew nothing but Socialist Realism, but they prevailed by sheer numbers.

The way the left destroyed journalism is a parable for how they are destroying Western Culture in general and America in particular.

Well said.

The New Journalists, who arose at the same time as the New [Radical] Left, were and are all ideologues who believe, as Arnaud De Borchgrave has written, they are armed ‘with a mandate from the people’ to advocate for their Radical Leftist causes. They are on ‘a mission from God’ as it were — except that their god is a system of ideas [ie: an ideology]. They write under the false cover of reporting what is in actuality propaganda. That this happened is not surprising because the Left infiltrates and changes the meaning of every institution and profession it believes it needs to in order to further it’s goals. It is a thoroughly corrupting force.

-Progress Devoid Of Right Reason

The New Journalists believe that Progress is a never-ending process. As Stacy writes over at The Other McCain today:

The rise of the “new school of journalism” described by Arnaud de Borchgrave, is a phenomenon that has never been adequately examined in any depth, as the same people who took over the news media also took over the journalism schools. So there is no graduate student at Columbia University who can be expected to write a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation taking a critical look at the built-in biases of the “new school.”

Liberal bias is rooted in a worldview, a conception of history in which there are both evolutionary and revolutionary influences that chart a clear path known as Progress. The forces that represent opposition to Progress — traditional religion, the military, the wealthy, etc. — are automatically classified as evil and reactionary.

Above all, those who internalize the liberal worldview believe, Progress is an unquestionable goal. The possibility that Progress might lead us astray — that society might actually be experiencing a process of degeneration, declining toward decadence — is categorically impossible. One must have a dogmatic certainty about the truth of the liberal worldview and the need for Progress, because doubt and skepticism will lead to questions, and once an intelligent person starts questioning liberalism, he probably won’t be a liberal much longer.

Indeed: if someone of any honest intelligence begins to check their premises once they admit the myriad of contradictions in the Leftist mindset, they will most certainly reject Progressivism because they will discover that it is a world view that denies Reality at every turn, that it is a product of anti-Reason.

Please understand that I am not against progress. It must occur, but it must be tempered with prudence. Russell Kirk, I think, said it best:

The conservative is not opposed to social improvement, although he doubts whether there is any such force as a mystical Progress, with a Roman P, at work in the world. When a society is progressing in some respects, usually it is declining in other respects. The conservative knows that any healthy society is influenced by two forces, which Samuel Taylor Coleridge called its Permanence and its Progression. The Permanence of a society is formed by those enduring interests and convictions that gives us stability and continuity; without that Permanence, the fountains of the great deep are broken up, society slipping into anarchy. The Progression in a society is that spirit and that body of talents which urge us on to prudent reform and improvement; without that Progression, a people stagnate.

Therefore the intelligent conservative endeavors to reconcile the claims of Permanence and the claims of Progression. He thinks that the liberal and the radical, blind to the just claims of Permanence, would endanger the heritage bequeathed to us, in an endeavor to hurry us into some dubious Terrestrial Paradise. The conservative, in short, favors reasoned and temperate progress; he is opposed to the cult of Progress, whose votaries believe that everything new necessarily is superior to everything old.

Change is essential to the body social, the conservative reasons, just as it is essential to the human body. A body that has ceased to renew itself has begun to die. But if that body is to be vigorous, the change must occur in a regular manner, harmonizing with the form and nature of that body; otherwise change produces a monstrous growth, a cancer, which devours its host. The conservative takes care that nothing in a society should ever be wholly old, and that nothing should ever be wholly new. This is the means of the conservation of a nation, quite as it is the means of conservation of a living organism. Just how much change a society requires, and what sort of change, depend upon the circumstances of an age and a nation.

-Demon Ideology

Stacy wrote, ‘the forces that represent opposition to Progress — traditional religion, the military, the wealthy, etc. — are automatically classified as evil and reactionary’. I would refine that a bit and instead of the word ‘Progress’ substitute the words ‘their Ideology’ because some on the Right [see:
World Net Daily] are guilty of the same sin / blindness. They fail to see that they are adherents of a system of ideas and that to be a conservative means as Mr. Kirk so eloquently put it:

…For there exists no Model Conservative, and conservatism is the negation of ideology: it is a state of mind, a type of character, a way of looking at the civil social order.The attitude we call conservatism is sustained by a body of sentiments, rather than by a system of ideological dogmata. It is almost true that a conservative may be defined as a person who thinks himself such. The conservative movement or body of opinion can accommodate a considerable diversity of views on a good many subjects, there being no Test Act or Thirty-Nine Articles of the conservative creed.

In essence, the conservative person is simply one who finds the permanent things more pleasing than Chaos and Old Night. (Yet conservatives know, with Burke, that healthy “change is the means of our preservation.”) A people’s historic continuity of experience, says the conservative, offers a guide to policy far better than the abstract designs of coffee-house philosophers.

Too many on the New Right don’t understand this. They’ve come to be on the Right via the discoveries they’ve made using Leftist methods of thought. They believe what they believe because the ideas appeal to them in the laboratories of their minds, for whatever reason, not because said beliefs have arisen naturally from their temperament. This is why so many Rightist ideologues have a tendency to ‘grow in office’ and become Pragmatists.

-Live well, my friends…

  1. 09 November 2011 @ 11:52 11:52

    We need more real reporters. Today, they are all biased, with an exception of a few.
    A good example is that lefty slug from NBC, David Gregory, and his “Grand Wizard” remark when talking about Hermain Cain. They all make me sick at this point, except the good bloggers, like Stacy, yourself, and the rest of us.

    • Rosalie permalink
      09 November 2011 @ 12:06 12:06

      I agree. I wonder if they ever have an original thought? They spew their talking points and biases as though they’re brainwashed. Very good post, Bob.

      • thecampofthesaints permalink
        09 November 2011 @ 13:30 13:30

        I think, in a sense, they have been brainwashed. All through school and college, they’ve been fed the Leftist version of history, which, like Islam, allows no deviation from the ‘original scripture’. Part of this training involves molding the children’s minds so they never learn to think independently.

        • 10 November 2011 @ 00:30 00:30

          You knocked it out of the park there, There are obvious connections with education, and the indoctrination that goes on in it’s place.

          Well said sir, great post.

        • thecampofthesaints permalink
          10 November 2011 @ 07:26 07:26

          Thanks, Matt. Much appreciated.

    • thecampofthesaints permalink
      09 November 2011 @ 13:31 13:31

      David Gregory is worse than a journalist; he’s a news reader masquerading as a reporter.

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