The news industry, and the wide variety of journalists that weave the fabric of the business, are coming under increasing scrutiny in our modern world.
Where we once looked to “the news”, a singular force, as the source of what we need to know in our everyday lives, we had only to choose which anchor best suited us on a personal level on the local nightly news. Did we prefer Ken Whatshisname or Jane Whoeversheis? Then came CNN.
The original cable news network, that invented the very concept of 24 hour news, changed the entire game. Now, instead of catching 30 minutes to an hour of news between 6pm and 7pm every weeknight, there was an entire network working to support itself based on breaking news alone. As CNN reported, advertisers were courted, and soon, the network grew to an unwieldy power. Marketing magnates and advertisers soon realized CNN’s fatal flaw: They relied on these same advertisers to merely keep the lights on, and that gave them power over the network. In no time, a massive liberal bias was born at CNN, and every 24 news network to follow would be forced to take a political stance to compete.
Now, in that same divisive vein, the anchors themselves are now being held to standards of opinion rather than integrity, with boycotts, protests, and dismissals often coming due to a particular personality’s private beliefs rather than their ability to do their jobs.
That is precisely what has now happened to Fox News deserter Megyn Kelly after interviewing Infowars’ Alex Jones.
“Former Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s recent interview with controversial Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist radio host Alex Jones — set to air Sunday night on Kelly’s new NBC show — is receiving significant backlash.
“According to The Washington Post, the interview included discussion about the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting — which left 20 children and 6 staff members dead. Jones has raised questions in the past about whether the shooting actually took place as reported.
“’Sandy Hook Promise cannot support the decision by Megyn or NBC to give any form of voice or platform to Alex Jones and have asked Megyn Kelly to step down as our Promise Champion Gala host,’ said SHPF co-Founder and Managing Director Nicole Hockley in a statement. ‘It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.’”
While it would be difficult and foolish to attempt to back Jones in this debacle, the stakes are much higher than simply defending the conspiracy-centric journalist. The true crux of this issue is the power being wielded by those outside of the newsroom, and their influence on the dissemination of the truth. If Megyn Kelly is going to suffer for simply talking to someone with whom a great many Americans disagree, then can we truly have any semblance of journalistic integrity in this nation?
We have a real, concrete problem with our news media today in that their reliance on the world outside of the newsroom is having for too great an impact on the task at hand. Kelly interviewed Jones precisely due to the fact that he is a controversial figure in the world of alternative media. That is her job. For the average American to intervene due to the offense they’ve taken in the past to something that Jones has said is terribly misguided and a true detriment to our nation’s freedom of the press.