Why journalism lost its collective mind

There are many reasons why what we called "journalism" has become a farce. usa-today-logo-21-300x1871155510133.jpg

But a recent example illustrates the point perfectly.

USA Today had a very bad editorial about the President who bypassed the press to win the title.

When it is all about personal attacks, you have no editorial. It is not even opinion. It is garbage, pure and simple.

So, here we have an "editorial board" having a meltdown the way high school kids talk about an ex-friend or ex-crush.

USA Today pretends to know what it is talking about, as if it had an idea what truth was.

Because they don't.

In my book Don't Believe It!: how lies become newsI discussed one of USA Today's former star journalists, Jack Kelley.

He was a serial fabricator, and that is unforgivable, but he was one who got to cover international stories, and was considered the paper's "star" reporter.

So the best reporter they ever had made stuff up.

And he didn't just make stuff up; he, like Stephen Glass, used ethnic stereotyping to make stuff up.

That is the journalistic equivalent of wearing black face.

So ill-equipped they were that they had to hire outside investigators to find out just how bad the fallout really was.

He didn't fabricate one story. He fabricated numerous stories.

Their reporting was always shoddy, even after they were forced to kick him to the curb; so when they make assessments about someone else's competency, they truly are not the ones to talk.

Yet the Kelley Scandal and their unprofessional coverage of people they do not like speaks very loudly of the industry's schizophrenic behaviour.

They do not know what is reality. Absolutely not. If they had some idea, a man like Kelley would not have been pushed and promoted at all. His stories were very badly done. There was too much colour, a huge red flag that someone wasn't looking for facts.

No story needs to tell you how the colour of someone's shoes because it is meaningless. For all anyone know's the person's image consultant told them to wear them to get the reporter distracted enough to mention the shoes without asking the hard questions.

What a story has to tell you is facts. Facts are not boring. They are not complicated beasts.

It also has to be relevant and the more people who can make use of those facts, the better, but journalism still to this day does not understand diversity. The structures of their stories are done in a patriarchal style; so we are all expected to think like privileged white men.

So, right off the bat, journalism suffers from a severe case of monomania, fanciful thinking, and repetitive habits with no evidence to prove this method of disseminating the news is not only better than other methods, but more useful to both individuals and society. It looks for extremes, and does not question its basic assumptions.

And then it goes on a tear about Trump.

As if they were somehow competent at doing their own jobs. They unleashed Jack Kelley who lied, and then made no amends to the places and people that fake coverage harmed in the eyes of the rest of the world.

Shame on them all,

And now, they cannot even fake doing their own jobs anymore. They cannot even pretend to be professional or profess this little war isn't a personal one based in ego. They are so embittered and angry that they are not special anymore, they will stoop to horrible lows to get their own way.

They are not sending dispatches from the gutter, and they have no one to blame for their downfall but themselves.