Jeff Cox

Real Journalism…


From Jeff Cox

So I see that today, in his Tweet-storm, Trump doubled down on his claim of fake news and that journalists are “the enemy of the people” and a traitorous bunch of liars.

Please let me give these remarks some context. I graduated from a fine university with a degree in journalism. It took four years to get that degree. I’ve worked for three daily newspapers, many magazines, and have written 22 books. I know who and what journalists are.

From the get-go at J-school, it was drilled into me that journalism is a profession with strict rules of ethical conduct. We studied “law of the press.” We had a whole year of Constitutional Law. And most important, it was impressed upon us that we stood in the place of the people of the United States. That we were, in a real sense, the eyes and ears of the citizens of the country. That when we attended a meeting of a city council, a board of supervisors, a Congressional hearing, or whatever, we were there as representatives of the people of the country who were busy working and couldn’t be there. Our job was to be their conduit to the truth, to do our best to be fair and accurate, to not have a personal agenda but to simply tell in our news stories what goes on in the halls of government, among the police, or whatever else our beat was.

So now comes Donald J. Trump, a man so full of lies that he can’t even tell his accurate weight, a man so duplicitous that whatever he says is almost guanteed to be false, and he calls members of the journalism profession “the enemy of the people”? I don’t care if you hate him or love him or have no opinion about him. But Trump’s attack on the Fourth Estate–so called because it operates as a check on the other estates of public life–demeans not only journalists, but the people of the United States. Journalists aren’t just reporters, we are the people. Our job is to be you, give you accurate information, so you can do the right thing at the ballot box. It’s called democracy.

What Trump is doing is straight up fascism.