10
Sep
10

REST IN PEACE, JOURNALISM

Both of my parents are newspaper “journalists”. Old school. For them, “journalists” are the only ones qualified to report the day’s events. Anyone else who dares to do so is a charlatan. A fake. A threat to society. Let someone untrained in the ancient, secret arts of “journalism” report the news and civilization will crumble and a new dark age will fall upon us.

I have an old friend with an MA in journalism. He is a successful producer for a primetime network TV show. He once lamented to me that journalism was dying.

As of yesterday, 3:00-ish, it passed quietly into the afterlife. A memorial service is planned for this weekend in which I not only plan to burn a copy of Edward R. Murrow’s biography, but I’m going to cook a steak over it. I was going to use Walter Cronkite’s biography but it has a distinctly maple taste to it and, frankly, it’s better suited to cooking pork products.

Here’s the story in a nutshell (nutcase, actually).

An illiterate racist Christian preacher from the South said that he and all four-and-a-half of his followers were going to burn Korans on September 11th of this year. Apparently, this was to mark the anniversary of… something. I don’t know. Naturally, the “journalists” of the world jumped all over it and made it a global news story.

World leaders everywhere, including President Obama, chimed in on the situation and the flames of controversy grew. Every news outlet from the New York Times to Al Jazeera ran the story non-stop. It seemed that global warfare would be imminent. U.S troops in Afghanistan and Iraq were going on alert, bracing for what was sure to be a wave of Muslim suicide ninja warriors driving light cycles and brandishing phasers.

The delicate balance of human civilization rested in the hands of one man: Crazy Illiterate Jesus Man. We all waited, hoping this one man would flex his all-powerful muscle and save us from Armageddon and fire and… flaming Armageddon.

Then, Crazy Illiterate Jesus Man decided he wasn’t going to go through with it. He held a press conference and said that President Obama had called him personally to beg him not to do it. He said that the imam of the New York Islamic Center (erroneously called a mosque) had agreed to move the location of his structure if he agreed not to burn Korans. Ghandi actually rose from the dead and paid him a visit along with the zombified remains of Martin Luther King and St. Paul the Apostle. He, like them, was a man of god and social justice. They appealed to him on that level.

Crazy Illiterate Jesus Man had held the world hostage and in the end, the world blinked. Most of us will only dream about having that kind of power. None of us will ever be so morally perfect that we wouldn’t use it.

Except that none of this actually happened. President Obama did not call him. The imam of the Islamic Cultural Center in Lower Manhattan (erroneously called a mosque) made no such promises. In fact, the imam had no contact whatsoever with Crazy Illiterate Jesus Man. He had no intention of moving the Islamic cultural center (erroneously called a mosque). Crazy Illiterate Jesus Man was, for lack of a better term, full of shit.

But the world’s journalists ate it up with a spoon. For several hours they reported it as fact, presuming that if it were untrue then surely one of their own would actually put forth the effort to find out. But nobody did. So they ran with it.

With “journalism” dead, anarchy will now reign across all forms of media. People like me now rule the vast wasteland that was once a morally and ethically perfect universe. One day, thousands of years from now, the simple people who inhabit this planet will look up in wonder at the rotting husks of our once great society.

“Those people let ‘journalism’ die.” They will whisper quietly to each other as they toil in the fields. “Go about your work or Crazy Illiterate Jesus Man will come for you in the night”.

So, until then, good night. Good luck. And remember: No gnews is good gnews.

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