Powers that should be separated

This is the latest “Exhibit A” as to why we do NOT have an objective, independent national press in this country:

CNN host Anderson Cooper, who is set to moderate tonight’s Democratic debate, was listed as a “notable past member” the Clinton Global Initiative’s website along with a number of other big name journalists:

The list includes: CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour, Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, NBC’s Matt Lauer and Tom Brokaw, New York Times‘s Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof, Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, Yahoo’s Katie Couric, The Economist‘s Matthew Bishop, and Financial Times‘ Lionel Barber.

The Clinton Foundation later told Mediaite that none of these journalists were asked to pay the $20,000 membership fee required of members. However, it’s safe to say that access to big name journalists was a key selling point for paying Clinton Global Initiative members. In a nutshell, Anderson Cooper helped Hillary Clinton raise money, and now he’s presented as an impartial moderator for tonight’s debate.

Members of the so-called “Fourth Estate” should have no such ties to political organizations, on either side of the aisle. One of the things I admired about the late Charlie Reese, a columnist I grew up reading, was his annual “full disclosure” of his political views and organizations with which he was affiliated. This should be a standard for ALL journalists.

And while we’re at it, how about we stop the revolving door, whereby ‘journalists’ become press secretaries to various politicians for a spell, then go back to the newsroom. Whether working for Democrats or Republicans, I should think just one such job is enough to blow through any pretentions of ‘objectivity’ on future issues. It should be a one-way street — once you go to work as a spokesperson or media advisor to any political entity, you should never be allowed to be a “regular” journalist again. Too much conflict of interest.

Somehow, though, people don’t seem to notice that. Hence we’ll have a campaign full of speechifying by the likes of Cooper and Stephanopoulos, among many other partisans both left and right. Have fun trying to get the facts there

Our government is founded in part on the principle of separation of powers. So how about we keep the Fourth Estate completely separate from, and thus independent of, the rest of the apparatus of Mordor?

In the meantime work to find the independent voices, not the megaphones of the bi-factional ruling party.


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