Glenn Greenwald does an excellent job discussing the problem with the way that some mainstream american journalists are covering the exchange between Jorge Ramos and Donald trump last night.
After the press conference concluded, Ramos returned and again questioned Trump about immigration, with the two mostly talking over each other as Ramos asked Trump about the fundamental flaws in his policy. Afterward, Ramos said: “This is personal . . . he’s talking about our parents, our friends, our kids and our babies.”
Ramos statement unleashed some unfair criticism that his questioning of Trump cannot be “good journalism” if it is tainted with personal biases. Miller from the Washington post then wrote an article accusing Ramos of being a “conflict junkie” because he refused to sit down to wait to be called on, and because he questioned Trump on his plan to deport 11 million people PLUS revoke and deport what children born to undocumented people—somehow this makes him more of an activist than a journalist.
Marc Caputo from Politico is quoted in Greenwald’s article as saying:
Not only didn’t Ramos do journalism, Caputo argued, but he actually ruins journalism: “My issue is his reporting is imbued with take-it-personally bias. . . . we fend off phony bias allegations & Ramos only helps to wrongly justify them. . . .One can ask and report without the bias. I’ve done it for years & will continue 2 do so.”
Greenwald defends Ramos and reminds us that journalism of days past included some partiality,
Indeed, some of the most important and valuable moments in American journalism have come from the nation’s most influential journalists rejecting this cowardly demand that they take no position, from Edward R. Murrow’s brave 1954 denunciation of McCarthyism to Walter Cronkite’s 1968 refusal to treat the U.S. Government’s lies about the Vietnam War as anything other than what they were. Does anyone doubt that today’s neutrality-über-alles journalists would denounce them as “activists” for inappropriately “taking a side”?
and this recent push to make journalism opinion free is nothing more than a sham. When a place like Politico who has a reputation of being slanted right says that journalism should be neautral to “both sides”, you know something is wrong. in one of the more powerful lines critiquing this stance that journalism serve only the objective truth Greenwald asserts:
“it’s only when an opinion constitutes dissent or when it’s expressed with too little reverence for the most powerful does it cross the line into “activism” and “bias.””
ANd if we look at what Jorge Ramos did yesterday, in his 31st year of his journalism career, is that he simply asked Trump to expand on his plan. Trump, who was not prepped to have someone question him with something real, became irate and kicked him out—what people are upset about today is that he 1. spoke out of turn (when we know damn well that yeast mouthed sack wasn’t going to call him) 2. he challenged the absurdity of a plan that is being pushed by the Trump campaign to criminalize people who are undocumented and innocent children for being born. The truth here is that a brown man had the audacity to stand up and do his JOB— a job that white people feel he has no business having despite a proven record of excellence. Ramos’ IDGAF who you are attitude toward politicians makes him stand out amongst a spread of journalists who look to appease all audiences for $$ and views or clicks instead of seeking out and speaking to give voice to the people they are seeking answers for. The American public needs to really understand what they would get themselves into if they were to vote for trump, outside of the outlandishness of his campaign speeches—there has to be real substance there—even for biggots. And trump doesn’t really have an answer for them for anything. His bully-boorishness may seem appealing but if he were to break down what he actually intends to do, there would be no substance there. His plans are intangible. They are bizarre and people are eating it up because no one is really questioning him and getting real answers. his reply to the question for building a wall for example was something to the effect of (total paraphrasing because I am too lazy to find where I saw this and I am not a journalist so *shruggie guy*): you think building walls are hard? I am a builder.building a 930258390 story skyscraper is hard, a wall is easy.<————Like what the hell even is that? The estimated cost per mile run in millions of dollars, the wall has to be 1,900 miles long! Also this plan to revoke the 14th amendment—on what planet will he have the power to do this, does he understand that as president he still has to go through the legal process of doing things. He won’t be an emperor who just gets tosay what he wants to do and it gets done. By the time his stupid ass plan fails through the courts he will already be out of office, i mean come on.
Let’s start asking this guy real questions, journalists like Ramos are pushing to expose what a farce he is (instead of treating Ramos like a child- condescended to in a way that we all have experienced as PoC ) and he should be applauded for not sitting on his hands waiting to be called with easy questions, instead his peers are threatened by his ability to stay true to his job and what he values as a journalist.