Most people think that journalism is a reporting of just the facts and only the facts. In fact, we were taught this in journalism school, and I have a BA in the field.
Sure, there are not many ways to report a basic crime story, or a story about the storm that just blew through. But once you get beyond the real basics like that, editorializing in the news is thoroughgoing, rampant, and impossible to eliminate.
Yet so many Americans insist that the media is simply telling them the truth. Even my liberal family. I used to tell my father that Time Magazine and the LA Times were lying at him from page 1 to the last page. Boy did that piss him off! He read both of them religiously. He relied on them for just the facts, ma’am and only the facts.
The notion that he was reading some American Pravda was really insulting and possibly frightening. If it’s all a pack of lies, why bother? He would get mad at me and pound the table, saying that was the Village Voice view of things. He really thought he was getting the liberal straight scoop.
He really thought that Time Magazine and the LA Times were liberal publications. And he let them brainwash him too. I used to point out to him how the media had brainwashed him about this or that, usually foreign policy and he would grit his teeth and raise his voice. He pulled his foreign policy straight out of Time Magazine. Those rich imperialist White Jews at Time actually taught this good liberal man how to think like a good imperialist. And he was so blind that he couldn’t even see it.
I am a gonzo journalist.
The notion that American TV, cable news, newspapers or newsmagazines is the unbiased reporting of facts is one of the biggest lies of them all. Check out Noam Chomsky. The media in capitalism operates under a propaganda system devised by the wealthy owners of the media. It’s brainwash, a system of lying designed to brainwash the population into supporting the rightwing and imperialist views of its wealthy capitalist owners.
There is little objectivity in journalism, if there has ever been. A Marxist analysis shows why this is so. The media is utilized by wealthy capitalists to promote their interests – the interest of the capitalists and the class interests of their rich owners at home, and more or less the same thing overseas (imperialism). It’s so elementary so slap yourself on the head when you figure it out. Why didn’t I think of that before?
Gonzo journalism simply recognizes this and dispenses with the facade of objectivity. It picks up the edifice and throws it across the room, shattering it against the wall, then grabs a bottle of booze and a keyboard and starts banging away.
As Hunter Thompson once said, “How can you be objective about Nixon?” You can’t. Of course you can’t. Just admit it already.
Gonzo is truth, satori for the Fourth Estate.