In the 1970s and 80s, there was a newsman on WABC TV in New York who began his nightly broadcasts with the words in this article’s headline. Every night he’d say, “Good evening, I’m Roger Grimsby; here now the news.” And after he said that, that is exactly what he (and his co-anchor Bill Beutel) delivered — the day’s news.
Never was there a thought paid to what either newsman’s opinions or feelings were about matters in the news, or anything else for that matter. They were committed, objective, and independent news people. These men certainly held personal beliefs and convictions. But it was not their job to tell us or even hint to us what those positions were, and no one cared to know.
In 1963, when President John Kennedy was assassinated, his death was communicated to the country by the iconic news anchor Walter Cronkite. When the newsroom told Cronkite that it was official that Kennedy was dead, as he related the news to his viewers his voice cracked slightly, demonstrating a small amount of emotion that he obviously could not contain. That Cronkite would involuntarily display some emotion was the buzz in the news industry for years.
Today when we consume news, we know exactly where the news presenters stand on any number of issues. Most of the time we know that they harbor casual-to-extreme hostility for President Trump. We also know the opposite — which news people stand with the president and his reelection to this very day.
Recently, CNN newsperson Christiane Amanpour attracted some unwanted attention when she compared the mood in the United States under President Trump to what it was like in Germany just prior to Kristallnacht in 1938. It was a misplaced and angry analysis that she eventually had to apologize for. If you want to make a point these days that can have some impact, you are best off bringing the Jews into the equation somehow.
The point is that the news these days is no longer the news it once was. If you think you’re getting straight news and you take the approach of watching the news with intelligence and an open mind, you will soon come to realize that today’s news is mostly contradictory.
Just over the last few days, the same news programs on the same stations — CNN, MSNBC, and so on — criticized Vice President Pence for getting the COVID vaccine and at the same time were critical of President Trump for not getting it. So which is it? Is it good for a high-profile leader to get the injection or not to get it?
Today the news we see and listen to is slanted in a multiplicity of directions. Around Election Day, as you recall, Fox News seemed to have made a deliberate decision to turn on President Trump. For the last four years, most of Fox was Trump’s greatest advocate, but then something happened.
Fox did not anticipate that viewers would turn away in droves as soon as Fox decided to go against the president. Almost overnight, two relatively new news channels rose to prominence — Newsmax and One American News (OAN).
The news media and even social media behemoths have the objective of determining the American thought process. If they all happen to share liberal attitudes about how the U.S. should be governed, and you happen to disagree with that, they are prepared to mentally assault you until they get your ideas and positions to align more closely with theirs.
The good news here — if there is any — is that as a result of this controversial election, the Hunter Biden scandal, the Georgia senatorial election on January 5, the balance of power in this country in the future, and so much more, Israel has largely been left out of the usual fray.
The leftists in this country who would like to see the U.S. Embassy in Israel moved back to Tel Aviv and the U.S. once again focusing on the creation of a Palestinian state understand that the Trump administration’s moves over the last four years have essentially made those old objectives impossible.
Unlike during the Obama years, when the president’s sole foreign policy objective was inflicting damage on Israel, the Biden foreign-policy apparatus has not even mentioned any of that.
In his limited comments on the matter, Mr. Biden has indicated his desire to reinitiate the Iran nuclear deal, but in all likelihood, he will find moving in that direction a brick wall impossible to penetrate. And that is not because Bibi Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress lobbying opposition to any deal. It will be because Arab Gulf countries have signed peace deals with Israel, and others will be doing so over the short term, a change in D.C. notwithstanding. Credit goes to Donald Trump.
Now, apparently, the news media made the deliberate decision to go into the tank to unseat Mr. Trump. They may have been successful; we still won’t know definitively for two weeks or so. Regardless of how this turns out, the media will have a significant price to pay. A Republican majority in the Senate will move in the direction of breaking up these social media entities that feel they have America eating out of their hands.
Even the small Democrat majority in the House has many Democrat members of Congress running scared because after this fraud-filled electoral display, they suspect the country “gets it” and will be ready for major election changes in Congress in 2022. In politics, that is a very short time away.
Back to the matter of the media. On a personal note, I really cannot watch Fox News anymore. I find that even if they are saying the right conservative things, somewhere in whatever they are saying is some kind of left-leaning agenda. It seems that in the immediate aftermath of the election, Fox made the decision to move left. But now with some of their feature news programs losing more than half their daily viewership, they have taken a few steps back in a more rightist direction.
It’s important to note that this is not the case with Fox Business News where pro-Trump personalities like Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo dominate.
The objective in all this was to strip us of our independent ability to think freely. The brilliance of this country from its founding 244 years ago was the right to make our own decisions based on information we manage to gather. The big boys of social media tried to take that away by keeping important information from us, which hindered our ability to make informed decisions. And they succeeded — but with only about half the population.
“Here now the news” has been lost in the fray. It’s no longer what we need to know — it’s what they want us to know. And that just cannot last.
Contact Larry Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow 5 Towns Jewish Times on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates and live videos. Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome at 5TJT.com and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.