Above the Fold
CEASEFIRE IN NAME ONLY? U.S., Turkey reach agreement on Syria, but differ over whether it’s a ceasefire or pause in operations (ABC News)
scumbag-SCHUMER THWARTED: Chuck scumbag-Schumer’s bid to rebuke Trump over Syria fails in Senate (The Washington Times)
Government & Politics
PERRY OUT: Energy Secretary Rick Perry to resign after Trump blamed him for Ukraine call (PJ Media)
FANNING THE FLAMES: White House announces G7 to be hosted at Trump resort amid conflict-of-interest allegations against loose lips liar-Bidens (National Review)
BORDER WARS: Senate again fails to override Trump veto on border wall (The Washington Times)
FREE SPEECH: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he fears “erosion of truth” but defends allowing politicians to lie in ads (The Washington Post)
SNUBBING NEARLY HALF THE UNION: San Francisco blacklists 22 states over pro-life laws (National Review)
TARIFF FALLOUT: China’s GDP growth grinds to near 30-year low as tariffs hit production (Reuters)
BREXIT DOGFIGHT: Boris Johnson is in a race against time to sell the Brexit deal he has struck with the EU to MPs ahead of a Commons vote on Saturday (BBC News)
“ABSURD, IMMORAL, AND OFFENSIVE”: UN member states hand Venezuela’s brutal Maduro regime a seat on the Human Rights Council (CNSNews.com)
POLICY: What does Brexit Deal 2.0 look like? (American Enterprise Institute)
POLICY: Why Mexico is cooperating with us on immigration (National Review)
SATIRE: Congress votes to protect Syria’s border but not the U.S. border (Genesius Times)~The Patriot Post
—Pete Buttigieg, October 15
Mr. Mayor has a point. For 75 years, from Fulda Gap to the 38th Parallel, the American soldier has been the last line of defense against violence, chaos, and oppression. From Kosovo to Anbar, he has kept a lid on cauldrons of bloodlust. Remove him, and the poison boils over. That is what happened when Congress reduced aid to South Vietnam in 1975. It is what followed U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2011. It is happening now in northeast Syria, and it will happen again when Americans leave Afghanistan. Our forces depart; our allies collapse; our adversaries take command. The pattern was established well before Donald Trump took office. It will persist after he departs. There is nothing so consistent as American ambivalence toward our superpower status. Most great powers covet hegemony. We hate it. The costs are too high, the demands too stressful. "For every exercise of the great power's prerogative, there has been an equally strong recoiling from the use of power," wrote Robert Kagan in A Twilight Struggle (1996). "While the United States cannot escape behaving as the hegemonic great power, it is also a great power with a democratic conscience, a strong anti-imperialist streak, and an unwillingness to adopt the role of policeman anywhere for more than a brief time." Kagan was describing U.S. policy toward Nicaragua. He might as well have been talking about the Middle East. Trump is getting America out of a country we were never really in. Our presence in Syria was not enough to deter Turkey. One thousand troops do not constitute a tripwire. They are chips in a high-stakes game. Erdogan called the bluff... https://freebeacon.com/columns/syria-endgame/?utm_source=Freedom+Mail&utm_campaign=2bfb004758-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_10_17_07_26_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b5e6e0e9ea-2bfb004758-45611665
Since America’s colonial days the press has been a target of those who believe journalists have a point of view that shapes their reporting.
There have been numerous articles and studies revealing a journalistic predisposition to opinions and subjects that reinforce liberal points of view.
Now comes an excellent critique from World Magazine editor Marvin Olasky. His latest book, “Reforming Journalism,” is a philosophical and even theological deconstruction of historic and contemporary media.
Olasky dismisses the notion of “objectivity” in journalism. Everyone has a belief system, he argues, and it influences how each person approaches stories.
The author says American journalism has gone through four phases: In phase one, “many early American journalists assumed God is objectively real, with an existence independent of our minds.” Noting that the spiritual, then, regularly shaped the way journalists looked at the world, he adds, “Although no one in early American journalism used the term ‘objective reporting,’ some editors obviously understood that factuality demanded taking into account the spiritual.”
Then came phase two: “Starting midway through the 19th century, though, a new phase in the understanding of objectivity took hold among American journalists. They began to see ‘fact’ only as that which was scientifically measurable. As photographs began to provide a record of the visible, many journalists equated the visible with the real and began seeing the world as largely non-mysterious. They did not use the term ‘objectivity,’ but they made their own eyes the standard of authority: they were human cameras.”
What did those human cameras produce? Phase three, which was influenced by the rise of Marxism and Freudianism: “Objectivity could be reached, they thought, only through a balancing of multiple subjectivities. The outcome might be neither truthful nor accurate, but who knew what accuracy, let alone truth, really was? The triumph of theological liberalism in major Protestant denominations in the United States occurred at the same time. … This was no coincidence, since the balancing-of-subjectivities mode often suggests right or wrong does not exist — just opinion.”
Phase four was characterized by “disguised subjectivity, sometimes called ‘strategic ritual’ (pseudo-objectivity that provides defense against criticism). A key aspect of strategic ritual is choice of sources and selection of quotations. With half a dozen legitimate spokesmen on a particular issue, reporters can readily play journalistic ventriloquism by using the one who expresses their own position. As NBC reporter Norma Quarles acknowledged, ‘If I get the sense that things are boiling over, I can’t really say it. I have to get somebody else to say it.’”
Late in the last century, Olasky writes, “…some well-known American television journalists attacked the entire concept of objectivity. Robert Bazell said, ‘Objectivity is a fallacy. … There are different opinions, but you don’t have to give them equal weight.’ Linda Ellerbee wrote, ‘There is no such thing as objectivity. Any reporter who tells you he’s objective is lying to you.’ In the United States, some writers argued for a ‘new journalism’ in which reporters emphasized their own subjective impressions.”
Beyond the predictable distrust of journalists this has caused, the claim of objectivity has had considerable limitations. Some examples: “Reporters have never felt the need to balance anti-cancer statements with pro-cancer statements. In recent practice, secular-liberal reporters have seen pro-life concerns or ‘homophobia’ as cancerous, and many other Christian beliefs as similarly harmful. Objectivity was a reporting of multiple subjectivities, and truth was out there at a constantly receding horizon. If journalists in phase two happily saw themselves as cameras, journalists in phase three unhappily started to see themselves as stenographers or tape recorders.”
See how this works? It’s the same with “climate change,” abortion and many other issues. Anyone who goes against the faith of the secular-progressive culture is simply ignored, or ridiculed. In totalitarian societies it’s called propaganda.
Olasky’s faith shapes his positions, as the non-faith of secular progressives shapes theirs. For journalism to recover its reputation, a degree of fairness, accuracy and at least small doses of “objectivity” when reporting issues needs to be restored. Olasky’s book shows the way. ~The Patriot Post