Peter Jennings

The Need For Strong Backing Of Journalism To Hold Trump’s “Feet To The Fire”!

It is urgent that all Americans realize the overwhelming importance of strong backing of major newspapers and magazines, as well as PBS, NPR, CNN and MSNBC to hold government leaders’ “feet to the fire”, to hold them accountable on government policy.

Donald Trump’s attack on the news media is an alarm bell in the night.

Without a free press, specifically print media and electronic media, our democracy can be taken away from us, and no journalist or media source can allow themselves to be intimidated, and must pursue the truth about government leaders and policies without fear of retribution.

If we lose freedom of the press, then our basic civil liberties are threatened, and that is why such organizations as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center and others like them, must be fully supported in fighting in court to prevent the loss of freedom in any form.

There are cynics about the news media, but such publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and major journals of opinion, both in print and online, must be vigilant and not allow themselves to be threatened, as they are the first line of defense for all Americans.

At the same time, CNN and MSNBC must work at being more accurate and less motivated for profit, as many Americans who do not read news online regularly, rely on them to do the job that we used to expect automatically from such media luminaries in the past, such as Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, Ted Koppel, and others, including Diane Rehm on NPR, who just retired, and will be greatly missed!

The Nightmare Of The News Media Publicity Hounds: Refusal To Accept Trial By Jury!

The Casey Anthony trial is further proof of the reality that the news media has gone amuck, led by publicity hounds including Nancy Grace, Jane Velez, Geraldo Rivera, and others who saw no need for a trial by jury, since they were convinced that this woman was guilty without a trial, and in so doing, built up a fever pitch of anger that now threatens the peace of mind of not only Casey Anthony, but also her family members, the judge, jury, and lawyers in the case!

In the battle for ratings and the almighty dollar, these media disgraces set a horrible standard for journalism, and care not a bit about how they are making the lives of the participants in the trial a literal nightmare for now and the future!

Casey Anthony may have won the case in court, but in a sense, she is in a permanent prison WORSE than prison, the inability to have a “normal life” ever again, enough to imagine that someday she might, tragically, decide to take her own life to end the misery!

Even that would not satisfy Nancy Grace, Jane Velez, Geraldo Rivera and the others like them who have the nerve to call themselves “journalists”, rather than the trash that they are!

This is freedom of the press gone crazy, preventing an open minded attitude on the evidence and the facts in any trial, and it is the demise of serious journalism!

As Judge Belvin Perry, who presided over the trial, said, the age of responsible journalism, of Walter Cronkite, Douglas Edwards, and Peter Jennings and others, is over, and this is the tragic ending of journalism as a profession!

Why have a trial when one can have a lynch mob mentality fueled by ambition, ego, and material greed?

Why have a trial when trial by jury, with all its faults, is not respected by even those who are lawyers who make their living by exploiting public opinion, rather than practice their profession in court?

Sensationalism and irresponsibility and recklessness have become standard in American journalism, and made it a tragedy of our democracy, which desperately needs RESPONSIBLE journalism, and cannot expect it anymore in the present political climate in America!