By Steve Woodward
In another lifetime I was a young newspaper journalist who had fallen in love with the profession as a teen after reading The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn. It was a book about the 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers, but it also was a book about Kahn’s experiences as a cub newspaperman who eventually covered the team during a bygone, or more precisely, long gone era.
The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1957, and Brooklyn never was the same. It was part of a decaying New York City in the 1960s and ‘70s. Today, pre-Wuhan virus, Brooklyn has made a ferocious comeback. All the cool New Yorkers want to live there, real estate is (was) sky rocketing. Brooklyn once again has a professional sports team, the NBA Brooklyn Nets.
Journalism is not making a Brooklyn style comeback. Sportswriters are, today, cultural commentators. They have no time for games, box scores or the crack of the bat. Journalists generally have forsaken everything that moored a Roger Kahn. Apart from sportswriters, newspaper legends such as Jimmy Breslin, or Jack Anderson, or even, in his prime Bob Woodward, are not being replaced.
Unlike Don McLean who can pinpoint “the day the music died” (1959), I cannot say for sure when journalism died. It’s demise probably is similar to a senior relative who is the life of the party until, one day, he’s not. It just happens and you do not see it coming.
Journalism’s illness probably was undiagnosed, or, in the current vernacular, asymptomatic, around the time that the political media dropped all pretense of objectivity to worship at the altar of Barack Obama. And, thus, began the revolution that would deem all of American life irredeemable and racist. Before we knew what had hit us, journalism was compromised and became an agenda driven cause, no longer a legitimate profession (although they’ll still take the money to masquerade as hard-hitting reporters).
This is a rather lengthy pretext to explain why I am not capable of being shocked by the revelation, reported by our new generation of citizen journalists, that the editor of The Pilot, John A. Nagy, and the Director of Communications of Moore County Schools, Catherine Murphy, are partners in a real estate transaction that will result in ownership of a lot on which, presumably, a home will be built.
If you are surprised that journalists are readily compromised by the company they keep, you have not been paying attention. This is small time collusion, friends. In Washington, the celebrity journos are married to scions of power and influence. Their children attend the same private schools. They attend the same parties in the Hamptons and on Martha’s Vineyard. And at 6 am weekdays, they all receive the “talking points” issued by the keepers of the Deep State. This is not conspiracy theory. This is certainty. But be not dismayed. Journalism is committing suicide right before our eyes. Knowing this, we can do their jobs for them until there are no more jobs. For them.