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A Long-Time Journalist Looks at Today’s Media

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A Long-Time Journalist Looks at Today’s Media

A Long-Time Journalist Looks at Today’s Media
August 03
14:41 2018

Seymour Hersh is an 81-year-old muckraking, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist of the old school.  His specialty has been reporting on the misdeeds of government – especially within the intelligence and military communities.  It has been said that he knows more of America’s secrets than most CIA agents or Pentagon generals.

His investigative reporting brought to the public such scandals as the Vietnam War’s My Lai massacre – in which American soldiers murdered a group of innocent Vietnamese civilians – and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, where military guards abused and humiliated Muslim prisoners in front of cameras.  He covered the Watergate scandal for the New York Times and often shed light on the operations of the Mafia.

Hersh is not a congenial person.  He took on curmudgeonhood at an early age.  Within the profession, he was famous for his contretemps with editors.  He considers getting angry at editors just part of the game.

Hersh is one of those New York liberal reporters who opposed the Vietnam war, although he insists that did not make him a “lefty.”  “It just makes me objective,” he professes with all the arrogance that comes with being a New York lefty.

Being popular has never been one of Hersh’s ambitions, however.  That is apparent in his opinion of modern investigative reporters.  He accuses them of doing superficial “he said/she said” stories rather then digging deep to find – by his description – “the asshole” who did it – whatever the “it” of the moment happened to be.

His perspective on the alleged Russian hacking may come as a surprise to his colleagues.  In a recent interview in Men’s Journal, Hersh described himself as a skeptic.  He explained:

“I think somebody in Russia could have hacked the DNC [Democratic National Committee].  I can tell you right now, our NSA, they are not pansies. We know about malware.  We know who goes where.  The fact there there’s been nothing out of the NSA … no statement saying we really know…”

He also does not believe the allegations that Trump colluded with the Russians. He sees Trump as too “impulsive” to sit down and collude with anyone.

The veteran journalist saves his harshest criticism for the cable news industry.  According to Hersh, “The New York Times and the Washington Post are our best newspapers.  There is no question about that” – an endorsement with which many would not agree.

Hersh is not as praising of the television journalists, however. 

“I think what’s ruined everything is 24-hour cable news.  Every hour, they put up another “breaking news” or “exclusive.”  “Watch at 6 o’clock!”  And MSNBC and CNN and FOX, they all have their different points of view, but they’re all nuts.”

Hersh is an outspoken reporter who is not afraid to speak out against his own profession when he thinks the practitioners are wrong.  He has a lot to say, but you are not likely to find him as a panelist on one of those cable news shows.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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