In the past, Americans turned to the press for information about events and the people who shaped them.

It was an American journalist who made the Nazi threat real by broadcasting direct from London as Luftwaffe bombs fell, and it was only the sight of Walter Cronkite fighting back tears on the television screen that confirmed to many Americans that President Kennedy had been lost to an assassin’s bullet.

In fact, it was widely reported that Cronkite was the most trusted man in America, and his opinion that the Vietnam War was unwinnable was thought to have influenced President Lyndon Johnson to pull out of the election saying, “If I’ve lost Cronkite, I’ve lost middle America.”

Today, when the press is seen as actively trying to mold the news rather than report on it, trust in the media is at an all-time low.

The American Press Institute has issued a report confirming 2015 Gallup poll findings that only 7 percent of Americans have “a great deal of faith in the press” and an overwhelming 60 percent say they have “little or no trust” in the media.

Revelations that a Rolling Stone article on a “rape” at a college campus had been fabricated, and the outrage expressed by women who said they were misquoted in a New York Times “hit piece” on Donald Trump have validated the public’s mistrust.

Today, the media got another black eye as footage from a recent anti-Trump protest in San Diego revealed a Telemundo cameraman coaching the protestors and even telling them how to hold the Mexican flag they were waving.

“Turn it around. It’s upside down,” the Telemundo cameraman told the protesters.

When filmmaker Andrew Marcus asked, “Is that the media staging a shot?” the Telemundo cameraman replied, “What do you want me to do, man? I’m not part of the protest.”

Asked again, his answer was more direct, “F*** you, man – I need the work.”

It would seem that Telemundo needed to tell a certain story and sent a cameraman to get the footage, any way possible, to support it.

A far cry from the days of Cronkite.



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