Glenn Greenwald wonders whether this type of gushing subservience to power is the reason why American journalists largely fail to do anything resembling serious journalism:
Ed Henry is CNN’s senior White House correspondent – a role one would have thought constituted real hostility to power. But as Greenwald notes:
Just marvel at the self-abasing joy in which Ed Henry wallows by virtue
of getting to play water sports with Emanuel and the Bidens. He sounds
like a gushing pre-adolescent who just met his favorite boy band idol
and got his water gun signed
Political thinkers like Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman spent a lot of time discussing the behavior of the corporate press, proposing in a brilliant documentary ‘Manufacturing Dissent’ that a corporate model of journalism (ie. for profit) would result in a highly subservient press that would service the needs of power before doing anything remotely like proper journalism. Ed Henry, it seems, exemplifies the point rather dramatically. Writes Greenwald:
All of this just helpfully reveals what our nation’s leading
“journalists” really are:desperate worshipers of political power who
are far more eager to be part of it and to serve it than to act as
adversarial checks against it — and who, in fact, are Royal Court
Spokespeople regardless of which monarch is ruling. That’s why they’re
invited into the heart of Versailles to frolic with the King’s most
trusted aides:it’s their reward for loyal service as Court courtiers.
While there is an argument to be made that good journalism comes from having good sources, frolicking in the garden with the people you are supposed to be grilling on a daily basis goes way too far.
Would anyone in America respect Iranian journalists invited to government parties to BBQ and have their kids play together? It would be regarded as a farce and rightly so.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.