The Breitbart website is reporting that members of the press who wear their feelings on their sleeves are bemoaning their treatment at campaign rallies by and for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Trumpets Breitbart: “With increasing regularity, these journalist snowflakes are ‘reporting’ their victimization at the hands Trump supporters who chant mean things like, ‘CNN sucks’ and call them names like ‘presstitutes.’ ”
There’s but one response to all of this whining from certain corners of the Fourth Estate, something that used to be taught during freshman year at quality Colleges of Journalism and Mass Communication. And that is:
You can write, illustrate, opine and broadcast anything you want – anything – so long as you are willing to take the responsibility for it.
If your reporting or your commentating attacks your source, be prepared for a counterattack. FOX News personality Megan Kelly experienced that – again – when she went toe to toe Wednesday evening on national television with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, one of the most respected (and feared) politicians in modern history and a lightning rod for reasonable and responsible government practices. (The same axiom applies to senior editors and producers who encourage and condone such confrontational attacks.)
If you televise a falsehood or an unsubstantiated claim, be prepared to defend it, or be prepared for some folks to run you out of town on a rail. NBC’s Katy Tur found out firsthand how that works.
If you post a doctored video that portrays a political candidate in a false light, be prepared to be taken to task for it. Social media should be held to the same reporting standards that apply to the mass media.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has said on a couple of occasions that she “takes responsibility” for this faux pas or that indiscretion when she is caught at it. But that’s as far as it goes. It’s not enough to voice the words – flour sacks containing no flour are just sacks. When you take responsibility, it logically follows that you have to pay up in some way. Mrs. Clinton has never done that.
Perhaps she will finally “take responsibility” when she comes up on the short end of the national election coming up.