Kneepads: The US Journo’s Little Black Dress?


While reading both Glenn Greenwald's and Paul McLeary's excellent takedowns of the enemy of the reality-based side of the blogosphere, that anti-journalistic walking oppo dump that is paid Lieberman employee Dan "Dangerstein" Gerstein, I noted the last paragraph of Greenwald's piece concerning the odd tendency of Gerstein's enablers (such as the WaPo's Mary Ann Akers) to leave out the fact, as pointed out by McLeary's February CJR piece, that Dangerstein works for a guy who has had a longstanding antagonism towards Gerstein's online targets of choice:

It's astounding that such matters even need to be explained. Perhaps Akers — and any other journalists who want to write anti-blog stories with Gerstein as their source — ought to read that article to see what type of "source" Gerstein is.

I commend your exhortations, Glenn, but alas, I suspect that they are wasted where Akers is concerned.  As a commenter at Glenn's shop points out, she was gleefully helping GOP operative Tucker Carlson pimp bogus Republican talking points about Nancy Pelosi when she and any other Beltway journalist with a pulse had to have known all about all the Republicans racking up their frequent-flyer miles to and from Syria (not to mention that Pelosi's trip was praised and counted a success in the Israeli and other non-US media).

This goes beyond Akers' current willingness to be Den Gerstein's private stenographer and imperviousness to anything that might interfere with her efficient transmission of Republican and Neo-Republican talking points.  The same eagerness to strap on the kneepads and transmit GOP propaganda nearly unfiltered was shown yet again by the press' bizarre haircut obsession (at least, with the haircuts of Democrats; those of Republicans or members of the press corps didn't get anywhere near as much scrutiny).

Upton Sinclair pointed out long ago that it is impossible to get someone to understand something when their salary depends on their not understanding it.  And for much of the US media's history, those words have rung all too true — especially as the people who pay the journalists' salaries are increasingly, as media ownership is concentrated into ever-fewer hands, much more conservative-friendly than liberal-friendly.

After a brief period of relative honesty in the 1970s, Kneepads have been the Beltway reporter's favorite accessory ever since the days of Reagan press czar Billy "I Didn't Steal the Fifty Grand, Honest!" Dale and the Gipper Era GOP's eagerness to cater to corporate media execs (otherwise known as "the guys who sign journalists' paychecks") by gutting FCC regulations and abolishing the Fairness Doctrine.  That's why anyone of prominence and prestige who dares point this out — from Jane Hamsher to Bill Moyers — is immediately set upon by the GOP/Media Complex and its fellow travelers.  

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