Thus spake Mr. Seymour Hersh - no, me neither, although the name did ring a faint bell - during the course of a talk on journalism at City University in London reported on by The 'Graun'. Of course, the fact that politicians can't bid you 'good morning' without lying is as old as, well, the political trade, but it is rare for a journalist, particularly one as distinguished as Mr. Hersh, to accuse virtually 90% of his own trade of being complicit in their support of these political fabrications. In accusing his fellow scribblers of failing in their duty, Mr. Hersh is harsh:
The Obama administration lies systematically, he claims, yet none of the leviathans of American media, the TV networks or big print titles, challenge him.
"It's pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama]," he declares in an interview with the Guardian.
Spot on because even 'over here' one can detect the stench of political corruption in the American media. Mr. Hersh's cure for this particularly malignant cancer is simple:
Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.
I wonder - but not for long because the answer is obvious - whether, in all those so-called 'media studies' courses, they ever teach the students that inter-action with all politicians - and I do mean all - should start on the default position that they are all born-again, lying liars until and unless the opposite can be proven. I think it was Jeremy Paxman who, in describing his interviews with politicians, said that as he sat there he often wondered, 'Who are you and why are you lying to me?'
There might be some mitigation for the lickspittle attitude of the American media if it was spread equally to whoever inhabited the White House but even a moment's comparison between Obama's easy ride and the regular beatings Bush jnr. took is proof that most of the big networks and the two giant publishing houses in New York and Washington are simply the agit-prop arms of the Democrat party. Lest you doubt me, just imagine the shrieks of outrage had 'Dubya' conducted the drone programme, and then consider the discrete, respectful silence on the subject today. Mr. Hersh again:
"Like killing people, how does [Obama] get away with the drone programme, why aren't we doing more? How does he justify it? What's the intelligence? Why don't we find out how good or bad this policy is? Why do newspapers constantly cite the two or three groups that monitor drone killings. Why don't we do our own work?"
There are, I suppose, four main pillars of society, the political, the legal, the media and the people. When, as now seems to be the case in America, the first three and, judged by the last election, a majority of the fourth, are all in bed together it does not bode well for the health of the nation. Incest, by and large, is not healthy!