BAD NEWS, by Batya Ungar-Sargon, Encounter (October 2021) exposes the corrosive effects bias reporting has on the psyche and welfare of our nation. The once honorable professionals of the fourth estate, today posture as tolerant and inclusive but their rhetoric says otherwise. Instead they instigate, maintain and perpetuate conflicts between, races, classes, the rich, the poor, and ideological opposites. Why? Because BAD NEWS sells.
Sargon decries the transformation from a liberal media, the traditional champion of the blue-collar worker, to one that has abandoned the working-class in favor of the ‘woke’ agenda, an agenda which encourages the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots. The irony is that those who pose as champions of the downtrodden are the very same folks who knock them down, pinning them under the heel of low expectations.
She further asserts that an education at an ivy league school does not mean one checks their prejudices at the university’s gates. Too often the university elites engage in activities which protect their status of privilege, while varnishing over their intolerance for the under-class. They are the folks who routinely “go home and watch The Daily Show, the mothership of smug privilege masquerading as outrage at injustice.”
Sargon then tackles issues of class and race in America. She contends that class is the great divide in this country, not race. The idea of white privilege is a red herring and one that serves to widen the racial divide, when ‘class division’ is the real culprit threatening the welfare of our country. White-privilege, the favorite cudgel of the woke, does not explain why there exists a white under-class. As Nancy Isenberg, historian and author of a New York Times best seller, WHITE TRASH, explained, “Whiteness is not a privilege equally enjoyed by all white Americans.”
BAD NEWS is a book that every serious journalist and aspiring news writer would find worthwhile reading if truth-in-reporting is one of their journalistic goals. Its lessons, if taken seriously and incorporated into their work, would elevate them as journalists, reporters, and commentators, thus distinguishing them from today’s horde of political media hacks.