A remarkable lack of curiosity.

Actors Tom Hanks, from left, Meryl Streep and director Steven Spielberg pose for photographers during a photo call for the film ‘The Post’ in Milan, Italy, Monday, Jan.15, 2018. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 2/9/18


I have not seen the movie “The Post,” starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks but I intend to. I am told that it’s a good movie – good being defined as quality story-telling that is well-acted and well-directed.

The movie is about Washington Post publisher Kay Graham’s decision in 1971 to defy the Nixon administration and publish the so-called “Pentagon Papers” The Pentagon Papers were documents leaked by Defense Department analyst Daniel Ellsberg and that detailed the degree to which the American people had been lied to about the Vietnam War.

Though the material was an indictment of the Johnson administration, Nixon vigorously opposed its publication because of the precedent it would potentially set.

The fact that the American people had been lied to about the Vietnam War was a major scandal. Its revelation by the media serves as the basis for the movie that’s in theaters today.

The Post was passed over for a Pulitzer Prize that year. But it wouldn’t have to wait long for another chance at one. Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein would win a Pulitzer for their reporting on the Watergate scandal. Watergate crippled the Nixon administration’s second term and eventually drove Richard Nixon from office. The episode resulted in its own 1976 movie – “All the President’s Men” – starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Today, if you add the suffix “—gate,” to any word, you connect that word to scandal.

Politics aside, in both of these episodes the press did its job of doggedly and unrelentingly holding the government accountable to the people – the very role for which it is specifically protected by the Constitution.

In a court proceeding surrounding the Pentagon Papers and the Nixon administration’s attempt to prevent their publication, U.S. District Court judge Murray Gurfein said,

A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know.”

It is precisely such cantankerousness, such obstinacy, such ubiquity that gets celebrated in movies like “The Post” and “All the President’s Men.”

But there will likely be no movie celebrating journalism in connection with FISA-gate – a scandal with the potential to dwarf the Pentagon Papers and Watergate. The media of today – including the Washington Post – are astonishingly uncurious about credible allegations that the FBI and the Justice Department grossly abused their powers for partisan political purposes and in direct contravention of the will of the voters.

Uncurious is putting it kindly.

Rather than being cantankerous, obstinate or ubiquitous, when it comes to stories like FISA-gate, a story that puts establishment liberals in a very ugly light, today’s media has become some combination of docile, compliant or absent.

Journalism has been dominated by liberals for decades. But there was a time in American journalism when a story would get so juicy that reporters would go after a liberal anyway.

That day has apparently passed.

Our republic stands threatened and vulnerable as a result.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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9 Responses

  1. Roy G. Biv says:

    Why is our republic threatened and vulnerable? You, Breitbart, Fox News, and others can publish any cockamamie story you want. Quit whining and do your job!

  2. Richard Anderson says:

    Excellent column Mr. Gleiser!

    The Fourth Estate has become, in far too many instances, progressively biasedly slanted –decidedly and from ignorance– that little serious attempt is made to “fairly report the facts” which is what news should be about. Journalism on the three major broadcast television networks and cable outlets, excepting Fox News Channel and Fox Business Channel, has morphed into advocacy for the left, and openly hostile to the conservative right. So it can also be said of two major metropolitan newspapers, the one in NYC and the one in DC, who others depend on for the news of record. But our citizens are happily learning fast to go elsewhere to find the truth and no longer hold these former news media outlets in the highest esteem.
    One such place for real news available to all here in east Texas is KTBB… I listen, my radios preset & tuned to 97.5FM and 600AM.

    Parents can give a bright future to their children and our great Constitutional Republic by carefully considering and selecting a good school. Universities such as Hillsdale College, Regent University, and Liberty University, as well as all of our Service Academies — ANNAPOLIS, WEST POINT, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Those “Ivy places” however are no longer what they once were, and most certainly are no friend to those looking for a great education where The American Way and American Exceptionalism are still taught and highly esteemed.
    [A final note, an excellent primer for our very youngest citizens –our children– to learn what’s not being taught nowadays in many of our schools is the Rush Revere series of books for boys and girls.]

  3. Please bring your wife and daughter. You WILL enjoy “The Post;” which is actually a biopic about Mrs. Graham, an improbable feminist. Streep’s gift for nuance continues to impress.

    And you’ll be as-amused-as-impressed by Tom Hanks’ growling Ben Bradlee. Hanks — the most fungible actor of our time — has big shoes to fill after Jason Robards’ “All The President’s Men” Bradlee.

  4. Linda E. Montrose says:

    Such SMALL minds can only absorb so much, so when their biases kick in, they print only what matters to THEM. Journalism died many years ago. TRUTH was replaced first by greed, then by bias, which was fueled by greed in it’s ugliest form.

  5. C M Solomon says:

    Freedom dies when fiction hides the truth. A truthful Free Press is necessary to keep us free. A deceitful Press is the enemy of freedom because it is not interested in the truth and willingly supports tyranny by default. Let’s not call it the Free Press anymore.

    Listening to the hourly “news” summaries on the radio or most cable “news” stations is a dangerous exposure to mind altering propaganda as prepared by the followers of the most despicable purveyors of hate for the truth. These swamp dwellers have adopted the “Rules for Radicals” as taught by Saul Alinsky who loved Neo-Marxism and Lucifier, his idol. They intend to destroy our country by overwhelming and smothering factual information that would otherwise keep voters informed of the truth. The misrepresentation of political issues by these wretched lairs is maddening to hear every day and every hour. I am in the habit of shutting off the hourly “news” summaries on the radio in order to keep my sanity and avoid a burst of anger that normally occurs!

    As I learn the truth about events and issues from alternate news sources, the contrast with this Marxist, hate America propaganda machine masquerading as “mainstream news media” is shocking. They have completely adulterated the English language with false and clever misuse of terms all day long. My “favorites” are Bipartisan, Immigrant, Undocumented, Dreamers, Right-wing, Collusion, Religious bigots, Bible-thumping, Offensive speech, Safe spaces, Racist, Bible-belt, Choice, Rights, Capitalist, Profiteer, Social justice, Police brutality, Discrimination, and many more terms that are designed to shout over and shut down any Conservative opinion that opposes this tyrannical cabal. I keep thinking Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry has been resurrected and has consumed almost every information source, world-wide. There is no more a Free Press as the Constitution intended. It has been hijacked by radicals that intend to destroy the concept of a Free Press. Where are the articulate American statesmen to expose this deception? Why can’t we use truthful and proper words to expose the twisted language of the Left and explain their lying terminology? Unchallenged with silence, they win their war on truth.

    For 25 years, the Democrat party and the Radical Media have formed a homogenized, Leftist, Marxist loving, religion that has become a self appointed hegemony designed to eradicate the Constitutional American culture that we enjoy, no matter what it takes. That is why they will NEVER accept any election or swamp reform to expose their deceit. We are in a war against evil media forces intended to dissolve any opposition to their Leftist agenda. There is no compromise to be had. We as a free nation of free people must defeat these radicals and teach our children to be wise to their tactics and the clever distortion of our language that hides the truth. It is so very disheartening to hear prominent Republicans swallow the propaganda (words and phrases) of this evil machine and actually adopt the damning language to discredit those of us that are trying to keep truth from drowning in the media sewage that surrounds us.

    The Radicals have a sophisticated plan and are executing it well. When will a Conservative have the fortitude and the intelligence to expose, reverse, and ultimately defeat this threat?

    • Richard Anderson says:

      Very good points.
      I listen to radio, here, for local east Texas news & weather, AND of course the best national news available, in particular….
      The Rush Limbaugh Show — America’s Anchorman and Truth Detector.

      • C M Solomon says:

        You are right! Rush’s program today stated that the so called “media” are “active co-conspirators” with the radical Left and the Democrat Party to spread false “news” intended to take down the Conservative voice and the Presidency of Donald Trump because of their hatred for American values and their love of Marxism and a Left-wing Police State (as long as they are in charge).

        “Media bias” and “balanced reporting” is not the problem. There is no truth element in “mainstream media” today regarding political/freedom issues. It is time that Station/Cable owners start to recognize that they are giving a platform to the Left’s propaganda machine designed to smother Free Speech and destroy any Conservative opposition. Every single freedom to learn the truth about any field of endeavor that we may enjoy is under assault.

        When the general population increases their access to information from Truthful and Honest outlets on the web and eliminate listening/watching mass cable/broadcast “news” outlets, maybe the media owners will get the message.

  6. R. Eagleman says:

    Only a complete idiot or a blind partisan could fail to see how the so-called “journalists” have abandoned the true principles of responsible reporting. To expand on Linda’s description of SMALL minds, let me offer a probable explanation of how this noble profession has deteriorated into a gaggle of stenographers. If any open-minded person will sit in an undergraduate class of students with different majors, it will be painfully obvious where the problem lies. Many of the students who aspire to be journalists seem to always have the lowest scores, and yet attempt to project an appearance of superiority. The “journalism” major needs very few laboratory classes or other science requirements that would surely broaden their desire to test opinions and theories; which Paul correctly describes as a lack of curiosity. However, they are very accomplished with all of the props, such as the facial hair, rubbing their chins in deep thought, and wearing tweed jackets with leather patches on the elbows. I realize that there are many who do not fit this description, but there are too many who seek a less challenging and demanding curriculum, but want to be perceived as a critical part of the “save the world” mindset. These dupes are easy prey for the progressive professors who populate the majority of our universities. When these freshly washed brains graduate, the news consumer has the “privilege” of receiving their interpretation. This situation has devolved over many years of a progressive strategy, and it probably will never return to a balanced mechanism to help protect our republic. Yes, true journalism could actually be dead. May it rest in peace.

  7. Psychologist and Conservative pundit frequently seen on Fox News Channel: Invest at least 5% of your news consumption listening to people who see things differently:

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