Seymour Hersh is an honest lefty, a nonpartisan journalist who’s just as willing to give Obama and the Democrats the trouble they deserve as the Bushes and Republicans.
The Guardian interview with Hersh, “Seymour Hersh on Obama, NSA and the ‘pathetic’ American media,” is tough on journalists at the NY Times and the Post for being ball-less, lazy and partisanly selective in their investigations.
Among the commentators was someone from another planet who said he worked at the Post pre-Watergate.
The commentator said:
Having worked at the Wash Post 40+ years ago, I can say the change in the basic nature of journalists has been dramatic. Today most journalists lack significant life experience, few have served in the military which they still mis report because they don’t know how to challenge it. Woodward and Bernstein led to journalists wanting to have star power, get invited to the best Georgetown dinner parties and be best buddies with the political heavyweights, people you don’t want to piss off. This post-Woodward and Bernstein class of journalists, conservative, flag waving, people who stick to the government line that is fed like pablum have become the editors Hersch decries. The post 9/11 rally-round the flag mentality has invaded newsrooms across America. Serious readers must rely on papers like the Guardian to bring us the unvarnished truth.
Sorry. After my 35 years of journalism, hearing that post-Watergate journalists are “conservative and flag-waving” is laughable; they stick to the government line, it’s true, because most of the editors and reporters I worked with or for at three big-city papers were liberal, big-government poorly closeted partisan Democrats. They loved government, hated business, didn’t understand economics, loved regulation, high taxes, government coercion, public transit, public schools, public anything … They didn’t/don’t understand that government regulation invariably benefits established businesses and hurts upstarts …. I could go on and on…. The only time journalists challenged the government — state, federal or local — was when it was a Republican administration or idea or program. Bush War Bad. Obama War Good. Both are bad; both parties are interchangeable threats to what’s left of the freedom of Americans they’ve both been destroying for 100 years. If more reporters were like Hersh and did their jobs honestly and without a partisan or ideological bias, we wouldn’t have the welfare/security/warfare state we have now.