The President & The Disliked Media

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July 2, 2017 11:10 PM

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I last made my living as a journalist in July of 1983.  There were many reasons I chose to leave that profession, but one had to do with the nature of the job.  Nearly everyone disliked you.

Even the radio station where I worked looked at me and my colleagues as “overhead” and expendable.  Their view was – If it wasn’t for that darned Federal Communications Commission, maybe we wouldn’t have to hire journalists at all.  The corporate bean counters were not happy to see us on the payroll.

The people we covered generally didn’t like us as journalists.  There was always a complaint about how I wrote this story or what I said on the air about a certain subject.

The public mostly didn’t like us.   Comments coming into radio station news departments were mostly complaints about our coverage of this or that issue.  Yes, members of the public would occasionally praise us for the work we do, but that was, in my experience, rare.

The only people that really, regularly liked reporters were other reporters.  Even journalists competing with each other form a camaraderie just because we all had to deal with the same pressures from many different directions.

It’s hard enough to do your job as a journalist with all these challenges ingrained into the profession.  It is quite another thing when the President of the United States calls the media enemies of the people.

It is nothing new that a president has a dislike of some news operations.  All presidents I recall in my lifetime had major issues with at least some of their news coverage.

This president has taken the rhetoric to a level I never expected to see in my lifetime.  Placing a video online of an old professional wrestling appearance placing the CNN logo on the face of someone being mock-punched isn’t really funny in my view.  It’s sick.

I had several death threats made against me during my days working on the radio.  I took reasonable precautions, but chose to live my life without fearing what might happen.  I just did my job as best I could.

I do feel for the national reporters receiving multiple threats of violence, with a president whipping up the fervor against the news media.  Being a reporter is a tough enough job without all that.

I commend the many hard-working journalists braving the dangers and doing the tough job or reporting day in and day out.  Without these journalists, our democracy doesn’t work.  I only wish the president understood this.

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