Jorge Ramos, a popular news anchor for the Hispanic-oriented Fusion network, reminds us that the role of journalists in a democracy is not to write blowjob pieces, but to hold power accountable:
“The Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci used to say that for her, an interview was like a war [. . .] I get the sense that we’ve forgotten that here in the United States. You turn on the TV, and you see very bland interviews. Journalists in the United States are very cozy with power, very close to those in power. They laugh with them. They go to the [White House] correspondents’ dinner with them. They have lunch together. They marry each other. They’re way too close to each other. I think as journalists we have to keep our distance from power. [emphasis mine]” – Jorge Ramos, Fusion anchor
Recently, in a way validating his point, Ramos received criticism from exactly the kind of establishment journalist he was talking about after hammering Speaker of the House John Boehner for blocking a vote on immigration reform and not letting him divert from the issue.
The unspoken rule of providing groveling, uncritical reporting in exchange for access to politicians—i.e. ‘blowjob journalism’—is exactly what is wrong with contemporary corporate-controlled mainstream media.
Those so-called journalists enganged in this travesty are indeed a disgrace for the profession and corrosive to democracy as a whole.
Thank goodness there are still some brave individuals willing to go against the grain and ruffle some feathers.