Love It or Leave It?

by Scott Tucker
Originally published on on August 24, 2013

The profession of journalism is often a form of priestcraft, and the spectacles of state require devoted servants. In war and peace, the business of burning incense before the Golden Calf is serious business. And if human victims are required on pyramids of sacrifice, a mob of journalists is always ready to slip on priestly robes while reaching for the knives.

I was born in the mid-20th century, in that brief moment after a world war and before the labor unions gave up the ghost of a class conscious and unapologetic struggle against capitalism. If the jobs requiring both sweat and skill were being shipped offshore in any case, at least the union leaders could stay in the business of “negotiating” with the ruling class. I am a socialist, so my journalistic credentials might as well go into the shredding machine oiled and operated by journalists who pretend to have no political views of their own.

The whole point of the professional journalistic creed is to form a closed circle of gatekeepers. An outer circle of journalists thereby gains “access” to an inner circle of career politicians. Even that political club contains onion-like layers of class consciousness, measured quite precisely by millions and even billions of dollars. When the ruling class wants war, the majority of journalists vote for war. This is one reason why a Viennese Jew, Karl Kraus, once waged his own war against journalists, and took pains to write in the early 20th century: “How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.”

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras are two dissenting journalists who did their job in breaking the bad news of this republic to readers and citizens. Even seasoned activists and organizers, well accustomed to jail cells and police spies, remained innocent of the true scale of state surveillance until Edward Snowden provided the evidence to Poitras and Greenwald. Snowden knew what to expect from the journalistic wolf packs, and he certainly kept the fate of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, in mind. So Snowden took care to flee the country, and then entrusted the evidence to two of the very few journalists worth his trust. A number of print and broadcast journalists lost no time trying to strip Poitras and Greenwald of their professional credentials. READ MORE

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