On Veteran’s Day, the Cincinnati Enquirer ran two excellent features that honored the meaning of the day and the sacrifices of veterans who have served our country. There was a great photo essay by Michael Keating, showing the faces of American patriots and their recollections. And the story by John Erardi, about his uncle who never came home from WWII but lived on in the mythology and history of his family, was vivid and touching.
But I wonder how many may have missed those great stories because they hurled the paper down in disgust the day before and refused to take another look at it. On Page 1, Nov. 10, the Enquirer ran an Associated Press tantrum about John Boehner, calling him the “Weeper of the House” because he choked up on election night while talking about his family and his humble background.
It was a lazy, poorly reported, uninformed story, relying on hearsay and secondhand sources. It included the mandatory quotes from a bobblehead “expert” who knows nothing about the subject, which is so typical and useless in today’s journalism. I saw no mention of the personal attacks and slander that Boehner had endured during the election as Obama and his Chicago Way hit squad tried to destroy him. I saw no mention of his struggle with chronic back pain, and the emotional vindication of his life story on Nov. 2.
But beyond that, it was a juvenile name-calling attack by liberals who were unhappy because “their team” and their messiah Obama were defeated and repudiated by the voters. It was the kind of story that is never published about one of big media’s liberal heroes.
The liberal reporter who wrote it disguised opinion as objective reporting. And the liberal editors who chose to run it in newspapers, including the Enquirer, apparently no longer see anything wrong with debasing the professional standards of journalism. What possible good purpose is served by a story like that? At best, it belonged on the op-ed page, although it was weak even for that.
On Wednesday night, I was the speaker for the monthly meeting of the Blue Ash Republicans, and that”Weeper” story came up. Blue Ash Councilman Rick Bryan asked why the paper would run such a story. The crowd nodded and murmured its agreement with the question. They wondered: What they heck are the editors doing to our local paper? Why do they insist on pushing their Republican-bashing agenda in the news? How can we trust anything in the Enquirer when they inflict opinion and pretend it’s news?
As someone else pointed out, stories like that are one of the major reasons newspapers are becoming extinct and irrelevant. Conservatives, who make up the majority in Cincinnati, don’t trust them anymore. Are you listening Enquirer? Apparently not.
It happened again this morning. The Enquirer now contains hot-dog ingredients you really don’t want to read, such as byproducts and filler from USA Today. The Saturday USA TODAY/AP story was: ”Obama touts g-20 progress: Though some major goals weren’t met, president emphasizes successes.”
Only confirmed Kool-Aid drinkers could see his trip as anything but a disaster. So I turned to this morning’s Wall Street Journal for a second opinion. Their news story was ”Obama tries to repair damage.” Their editorial, ”Embarrassment in Seoul,” asked, “Has there ever been a major economic summit where a U.S. President and his Treasury Secretary were as thoroughly rebuffed as they were at this week’s G-20 meeting in Seoul? President Obama failed to achieve any of his main goals while getting pounded by other world leaders for failing U.S. policies and lagging growth.”
Obama took a beatingon Nov. 2, so he put his fingers in his ears and ran off to India and Indonesia on another trash America tour. His highest priase of veterans was reserved for veterans of Indonesia’s anti-colonial war for independence. He has poor-mouthed our country and belittled our international leadership so many times, it’s no wonder that the rest of the world now believes it, and ignores us with impugnity.
His trip was an extravagant failure. But you would never guess that from the AP story that could have been written by Robert Gibbs.
There are many things newspapers do well. The Veterans Day stories in the Enquirer were proof of that. But readers are turning the page to other media because newspapers have devalued their own precious currency — credibility — with counterfeit news and rubber-check bias.