American Journalists: ‘Gerbilists’ In The National Press Corps

I came across this article and started laughing; but then reality set in I realized this is absolutely true.

By all accounts, true Journalism died during the election cycle in 2008.

There are a few true blooded Jounalists out there, but they are definitely few in number.

I have begun to respect Jake Tapper from ABC and Charles Krauthammer from Fox News.

Sometimes I think some Journalists from MSNBC, NBC, ABC (other than Tapper), CNN, et. al. should wear bibs when they speak or type about Obama to keep the drool from wetting their chests.

This article says it all:  All credit for the following is solely K. Daniel Glover’s.

Note: links in dark brown (not blue) on this blog

‘Gerbilists’ In The National Press Corps

By K. Daniel Glover  |  June 24, 2009


Doug Bates doesn’t know it yet, but with the help of his daughter, the associate editor of The Oregonian has coined the perfect descriptor for journalism in the Age of Obama: “gerbilism.”

Bates explained the genesis of the term Sunday in a commencement address to future journalists from the University of Oregon. As a child, his young daughter confused Bates’ profession with the name of her favorite rodent in a school report about what her parents did for a living. “My dad Doug works at the newspaper,” she wrote. “First he went to college to learn about gerbilism.”

The punch line no doubt scored Bates a few laughs, but he segued into a serious point:

I’ve decided “gerbilism” is a pretty good word for what’s been going on in the news media these days. Gerbilism is an apt term for something that’s soft and warm and cuddly, safe and timid, with no sharp teeth and no bite whatsoever. Gerbilism, I’ve decided, is partly responsible for a lot of our nation’s problems today.

Soft, warm, cuddly, safe, timid and no sharp teeth or bite — yep, that sounds like much of the national media’s coverage of Barack Obama.

Gerbilism is what you get when:

  • A national network agrees to a one-sided special report on healthcare policy at the White House and even goes so far as to reject advertising with alternative viewpoints;
  • A national news anchor at another network bows his head before the president;

And those are just a few snapshots from the month of June alone. That kind of coverage has been commonplace for more than two years now and shows no signs of abating.

The national press does have some shining stars — like Jake Tapper of ABC News, who broke into journalism at the liberal but who has earned kudos from conservatives for his aggressive and balanced White House reporting. The media as a whole also has had some shining moments of critical coverage. Even the hopelessly liberal New York Times reported this week that Obama has broken his repeated promises to make the federal government more transparent.

But those moments are rare — and it’s not exactly courageous to criticize Obama for actions that have turned liberal bloggers against him. The press corps needs to get a backbone when it comes to covering Obama, and quick.

Bates understands the consequences if they don’t. He was right to argue that today’s press corps is contributing to the nation’s problems, and he was right to admonish the next generation of journalists to “please join the fight to keep shallow, fluffy, worthless gerbilism from further weakening American democracy.”

Let’s hope they listen. The country needs journalists who cherish their historical role as watchdogs, not those who shirk their ethical duty because they happen to see the world through the same prism as the current occupant of the White House.

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