Accountability is defined as “The fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.” A call for accountability has resulted in the second impeachment of the 45th President for “incitement of insurrection.” I do not condone what rioters did at the Capitol. But I am concerned that the valuable concepts of accountability and responsibility have not been applied evenly to two of our major institutions — the media and government – for the last four tumultuous years.
There was a time when the news media, in both print and on television, reported the news as facts. There was a clear line of demarcation once an anchor or commentator shifted into reporting his or her opinion as “news.” The media once sought the plain truth, and relentlessly pursued it regardless of an individual’s political affiliation, age, color, or gender. If mistakes were made, a retraction was issued. In some cases, reporters were discharged for negligently making false accusations. In short, there were once consequences for slanted and erroneous reporting, whether accidental or deliberate.
When was the last time you saw a national news outlet retract a blatantly false story? Who at CNN or the Washington Post cried “Fake!” at the “Russian Collusion” circus, instead of knowingly doubling-down on a furiously-promoted but deliberately false narrative? More than ever, we need media (print, electronic, and social) that reports facts, regardless of whose reputation suffers. For example, all I know of the legality of Hunter Biden’s business involvement with Communist China is that people on the right smell a rat, while the left’s curiosity stops at seeing the name “Biden.” WHO’S OUT THERE LOOKING FOR THE TRUTH?
Maxine Waters urged her constituents to bully and harass Cabinet members, at will, shouting: “… if you see anybody from (Trump’s) Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” Where’s her accountability for inciting mobs to attack perfect strangers?
Democratic Sen. Cory Booker fired up his party’s “activists” as follows: “Please don’t just come here today and then go home … Go to the Hill today. Get up and, please, get up in the face of some congresspeople.” Again, where is the accountability for this kind of blatant incitement?
Not surprisingly, both political parties and the American media get free passes from their parties and fellow/sister “journalists.” No wonder this nation is divided into two camps where hostility and outright hate make any meaningful dialogue difficult at best.
If this nation is to reunite and move forward, the people in media and government need to be held publicly accountable for what they do. Their respective professions have historic standards, which are not being met.