Gone are the days when a person could watch a television newscast or read a story in the paper and get the facts. “Journalism” as a profession is dead. In its place is a career built on misinformation and half-truths designed to steer a reader or listener toward a particular agenda. Just look what happened when the latest Colorado shooter was described as a “socialist.”
In a story in The Denver Post, we read a great deal about the views of 18-year-old Karl Pierson, the boy who attempted to kill his high school debate coach, but instead, shot another student before killing himself.
The news story describes how Pierson bashes the capitalist economic theories of Adam Smith, saying, “I was wondering to all the neoclassicals and neoliberals, why isn’t the market correcting itself? If the invisible hand is so strong, shouldn’t it be able to overpower regulations?” The news story notes that Pierson describes himself as “Keynesian.”
The Denver Post also informs us that Pierson “appears to mock Republicans” on Facebook where he wrote “you republicans are so cute” and posting an image that reads: “The Republican Party: Health Care: Let ’em Die, Climate Change: Let ’em Die, Gun Violence: Let ’em Die, Women’s Rights: Let ’em Die, More War: Let ’em Die. Is this really the side you want to be on?”
But when another student, Thomas Conrad, described Pierson as a “very opinionated Socialist,” something quite interesting happened.
After initially appearing in print, the sentence was changed to, “Thomas Conrad, who had an economics class with Pierson, described him as very opinionated.”
Here’s a report from Mediaite.com:
The shooter evolved from a “very opinionated socialist” to simply “very opinionated.” “Opinionated” about what? Well, the reader is left to put the pieces together himself.
This was not an unsupported bit of reporting. The Associated Press backed up the Post’s findings. “Students said Pierson held communist views and liked to discuss current events and issues, offering his own solutions,” the AP reported. “None said Pierson was bullied for his beliefs.”
When confronted about the decision to stealthily cleanse the piece on this shooter’s politics, Denver Post senior editor Lee Ann Colacioppo revealed a particularly insidious mindset behind the decision: “We decided not to have another student apply a label to the shooter — a label the student likely didn’t even understand,” she wrote.
Ok, please help me out here, because I don’t get it. It’s ok to write a story and use talk about economic theory and bash Republicans, but it’s not ok to use the word Socialist? How does the editor know what the student does or does not understand?
Here’s another student expressing the same opinion in a television interview:
The web site Twitchy.com shows a number of responses to Colacioppo’s statement:
— That Karl “had very strong beliefs about gun laws and stuff” is newsworthy, but what those actual beliefs constitute isn’t?
— I mean, the entire article is “WHAT HIS CLASSMATES SAID ABOUT HIS POLITICS”. Why take that out?
— did you ask the student to see if he understood the wonders of Socialism, or did you just assume he didn’t?
— It’s not up to you to decide anything if it’s a direct quote. That’s called reporting.
— Then why ask witnesses for opinions on shooter, at all? Not ur job 2 edit out their thoughts.
So what do you think? Why take out the word “Socialist” but leave in other phrases and descriptions that show a left-leaning mindset? It’s sad that journalists have become advocates for an agenda… and they will defend that agenda to the disrepute of their profession.