Rat-Catchers: The True Function of a Free Press
Commentary by: A. Welderson
That there are scoundrels in government will come as no surprise to anyone. All governments. Always have been and always will be, despite our best efforts to remove them. They are like cockroaches, the ultimate survivors. Scoundrels, like a virus, hijack the nominal purpose of government and use it to their own ends, entrenching their positions, lining their pockets, and growing their power.
All societies have sought to eradicate scoundrels in government through various measures, a hopeless but necessary effort. These measures work to some extent, but the end result is just to select for sneakier and craftier scoundrels in a Darwinian manner. The rats learn to play the game better and still end up running most of the structure, if not all of it.
The most effective, though certainly not foolproof, method attempted to date was hit upon by the framers of the U.S. Constitution. The founding fathers stumbled upon a great idea to keep dishonest people away from the levers of power. They subcontracted the job out.
A watchdog within the government structure will sooner or later be corrupted. So the framers set up a free and independent press to sniff out scandal. Nothing sells papers like scandal, and scandalous behavior of those in power is the juiciest scandal of all. The free press was created with a built in financial incentive to find and expose scoundrels. Journalists are, in effect, paid by the rat for every rat they catch and display for public scorn.
The result has been a long struggle between the press and scoundrels in the government, a predator/prey dynamic. The scoundrels are striving to maximize the amount of loot they can wring from the public coffers, while shrouding nefarious activities from the press. Simultaneously, the members of the press are ransacking the corridors of power for scandal, while competing with colleagues for the most sensational dirt.
If a journalist fails to feed the public’s voracious hunger for scandal, he is replaced with more ambitious, and more competent, rivals. This fearsome and beautiful ecology evolved from the simple act of unleashing people to print anything they want. And it worked fairly well for more than a century. Then the press decided to pick an ideology.
In the early twentieth century the free press in America, decided to shackle itself to progressivism. Now the media lean so far left that it resembles a sinking cruise ship with a heavy list to port.
Honestly, if reporters want to be leftists, that really is their own business – as long as they do their jobs. Unfortunately, the job isn’t getting done anymore, at least not all of it. Pure and simple, journalists have stopped looking for scandals in the Democrat party. Leftist journalists are under the mistaken impression that cheer-leading for the Democrats and ignoring scandalous Democrat behavior is the best way to advance their agenda. They couldn’t be more wrong.
By the same logic, leftist journalists hound Republicans like a pack of rabid wolves. If no disgraceful Republican behavior can be found, the diligent progressive journalist will manufacture it. This slipshod dance is thought to aid the Democrats by hobbling the opposing Republicans. Wrong again.
The wily scoundrels have noticed that journalists are stalking only Republicans nowadays. Life for Republican scoundrels has become bleak, cold, and dangerous, menaced by the hovering shapes of ravenous lefty reporters. To be sure, there are still Republican scoundrels, endangered as they might be. It’s probably impossible to completely eliminate scoundrels from any human endeavor.
However, you can force the overwhelming majority of them to migrate. Displaced scoundrels have been flooding into the safe space of the Democrat party for a long time now, like a wildlife preserve. All the invasive scoundrels have to do is spout the correct talking points, and it’s as if the reporters can’t even see them. The consequence of the press ignoring half of its natural hunting ground is a massive imbalance in scoundrels between the Republican and Democrat parties.
While journalists think they are being loyal to those who believe in the socialist utopia, the scoundrels are unfettered by ideology. The scoundrels are just telling the media what they want to hear as the rats loot the treasury and further secure power and position.
Whatever scoundrels run quickly devolves into a dumpster fire, because the scoundrels’ modus operandi is to ride the gravy train for as long as they can and then get out before things get too hot. I surmise that the marks are wising up. Things are starting to get awkward for the snake oil salesmen and their pet reporters. Nobody but the journalists is drinking the Kool-Aid anymore. Fewer and fewer people are listening to what the journalists spew, especially when they tell such obvious lies in defense of the scoundrels.
Why do the geniuses at CNN think they’re shedding viewers so fast and Fox News is gaining? Fox is just one network with relatively limited resources and reach. But Fox and its sisters hunt for scandals in the Democrat party, where the progressive journalists fear to tread. And such juicy scandals they find, too. The Pulitzer committee honors fake news while conservative media outlets scoop the others with embarrassing regularity.
The public appetite for political scandals is insatiable, and the made-up ones the conventional journalists have been peddling lately are just not feeding it. Perhaps the media will wake up in time to realize their true calling. Members of the free press are really just scandal-mongers we contracted to keep the pests under control. Or maybe they’ll go bankrupt first.
Doesn’t matter. Others will take the job if it’s beneath the dignity of the current flock of rat-catchers. Just look at the independent internet journalists, which have started to pop up like weeds in a neglected garden, tough, savvy, and persistent. They seem to understand their job a lot better than the so-called professionals do, or ever did. It’s not as if the mainstream media has a monopoly anymore on publishing whatever the hell you want to say.
This article (Rat-Catchers: The True Function of a Free Press) was originally created and published by American Thinker and is republished on this TLB website under “Fair Use” (see disclaimer below) with attribution to author A. Welderson and americanthinker.com.
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