Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Today's Journalists have studied everything but Journalism

By Suzanne Eovaldi, staff writer

"Something Wicked This Way Comes," says William Shakespeare's second witch in his masterpiece, Macbeth, Act IV, Scene 1. "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble," continues the foreboding chant. As the great writer's dramatic opening draws to a close, the witches around their cauldron in a dank cave foretell the coming tragedy to befall Macbeth.

"No one really listens or believes reporters anymore…low credibility and high bias have ruined the profession," says commenter Rob after a web piece on the "Sycophantic White House Press Corps."  Obama's final press conference displayed the usual left wing bias complete with the familiar, slobbering adoration of the outgoing president. By contrast, President Trump met with cringe inducing screams, yelling, rude and disrespectful behavior at his first, pre-inauguration press conference in Trump Tower.

A rather cursory search of Wikipedia reveals that, of the recent election campaign's presidential debate moderators, not one presented an advanced academic journalism degree, two dropped out of academia, one never went, another carries an undergraduate degree in political science.  Only the moderator of the vice presidential debate has an undergraduate journalism degree.  Additionally, a random list of the following 28 current journalists shows that only ONE carries an advanced degree in journalism, namely Fox's Bill O'Reilly.  Yes, I've long heard the derision that street reporters hurl at the academic reporters.  "You have to know the street," I have heard them say.  In the names listed below you will find quite a few English majors and graduates, but only four graduates of a School of Journalism.  Having an English degree is most helpful to the pursuit of a career in journalism.  However, sitting in a class in a university's English department used to be vastly different from sitting in a journalism classroom.  This difference is magnified when one compares a law school class, a political science class, a history class, or even a visual studies class to hearing lectures in journalistic precepts.  One thing an academic background could have imparted may include "when in doubt, don't;" and also, be objective, be fair, do not show bias.  Do not editorialize in hard news.  "Coverage" by omission is not coverage.  While news readers often are at the mercy of their young, news producers who focus on moving the needle, someone must ask where is the decorum?  The far left, liberal bias that inevitably characterizes a majority of America's current journalism milieu is out of hand.

Any member of the military who spoke to his/her superior in the manner in which reporters addressed President Trump would not have lasted very long.  Today's sycophants continue to favor Democrats and fellow liberals and persist in unfair treatment of Republicans and Conservatives with a special kind of bald bias against President Trump that no longer is sustainable.

Here are the degrees or lack thereof of a random list of 28 journalism personalities.  Bill O'Reilly of Fox News carries the highest and only post graduate degree with a M.A. in broadcast journalism from Boston University.  David Jason Muir, ABC, has a magna cum laude Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Ithaca College, NY; he also attended the University of Salamanca in Spain.  CBS's Elaine Quijano--who moderated the vice presidential debate--received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, the only moderator with a degree in her field of performance.

CNN's Jim Acosta graduated from James Madison University with an undergraduate degree in Mass Communication.  Cringe-inducing behavior directed at President Trump in Trump Tower was painfully on display for all voters to see.  Wolf Blitzer, CNN, has a B.A. in history from the State University of Buffalo and a M.A. from John Hopkins University in international relations.  Fox News' Bret Baier carries a B.A. in Political Science and English from DePauw University; Bob Beckel a B.A. from Wagner College in Staten Island, NY; Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame   "…had dropped out from the University of Maryland." (Wiki)  MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski graduated from Williams College in Williamstown, MA with an English major.  CNN Moderator Anderson Cooper is a Yale University graduate, "where he resided in Trumbull College." (Wiki).  CNN's Candy Crowley is another English grad from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, VA.

Moderator Lester Holt of NBC attended but never graduated from CA State University at Sacramento (Wiki); Brit Hume, Fox, is an English grad from the University of VA; Megyn Kelly has an undergrad degree in political science from Syracuse and a J.D. from Albany Law School.  CBS's Gayle King graduated from the U. of Maryland with a double degree in psychology and sociology; CNN's Don Lemon "majored in broadcast journalism at Brooklyn College and attended Louisiana State U---no degree listed (Wiki).

Lara Logan carries a commerce degree from the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa and a diploma in French Language, culture, and history at Alliance Francaise in Paris.

CBS's Norah O'Donnell has a B.A. in philosophy and a M.A. in liberal studies from Georgetown U; MSNBC's Chris Mathews is a graduate of the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, MA-no discipline is listed.  MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell is another English degree holder from the University of PA.  Violinist, also, is in her resume.  CBS's Scott Pelley dropped out of Texas Tech without a degree (Wiki).  Moderator Martha Raddatz attended but dropped out of the University of Utah.  CBS's Charlie Rose holds a juris doctor degree from Duke School of Law.  Another law school grad from the U. of Florida is MSNBC's Joe Scarborough who holds an undergrad degree from the U. of AL.  BuzzFeed's Ben Smith of recent note graduated with a B.A. degree summa cum laude from Yale-no discipline listed.   Fox's Shepard Smith attended the University of  Mississippi where he majored in journalism but left two credits from graduating (Wiki).  CNN's Jake Tapper has a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth; Chuck Todd of NBC's MTP attended but "never graduated from George Washington U." (Wiki)  Fox's debate moderator Chris Wallace while accepted at Yale Law School, instead took a job at THE BOSTON GLOBE newspaper.  Bob Woodward enrolled in Yale with a NROTC Scholarship where he studied history and English Literature, receiving his B.S. degree followed by a five year tour of duty in the U.S. Navy.   IMHO, his military training is apparent.

So out of a random list of 28 mainstream media employees, only four, according to Wikipedia, carry journalism degrees, and only one, Bill O'Reilly, has an advanced journalism degree. Might we ask that, if you are given the prestigious job of interviewing the leader of the free world, you have at least one journalism degree?  Could a lawyer go into an operating room to perform surgery without holding a M.D. degree?  Could an engineer get certified to practice law without a law degree?  Could a plumber change out an electric panel without proper certification; or an English teacher pilot a plane from JFK to ORD?

American journalists scream at Mr. Trump without so much as a tsk, tsk.  Why. . .IMHO because President Trump is a Republican, editorial decisions that reflect management's policies carry the day.  That invisible wall between the news room and the advertising department has been demolished.  That journalism precept that told us to tell the People's Story now has given way to corporate media's money meme.  Who cares about journalism's once revered principles! I'm ashamed to call myself a journalist, grieved that I devoted so much of my life to a discipline so full of such raw meanness.

**all biographical material is sourced from Wikipedia/  The author's credentials include, B.S. Journalism, U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1957; M.A. English, DePaul University 1970; M.S. Media Communication, Governors' State University 1981; ret. tenured 26 year English Professor Prairie State College; news correspondent, reporter 4 n.p.s IL & IN; staff writer, 2009 to present  www.coachisright.com, www.thecoach'steam.com


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