Over the years journalism has been tainted with the creation of tabloid news, but when it comes to mainstream media, we the viewing public should demand better coming from paid journalists. Then again, in this anything goes society one has to wonder if society really cares or do we drink it all in like some sick soap opera?
As an unpaid journalist, even I know that one of the primary rules or ethics of journalism is not to create the story, but let the story unfold in front of you and then report on it. Rule number two is not to interject oneself into the story, but be an unbiased reporter. If one cannot abide by those simple rules, one has no business being in the media.
If one is deserving of my new ‘Smarmy Award’, this new award goes to MSNBC’s, Tucker Carlson and rightfully so. The reason for the creation of this award is upon reading this article, Tucker Carlson Brings Prostitutes to Meet Ron Paul. I first want to say that prostitutes are more principled than Tucker Carlson for this primary reason; one knows what they are getting upfront before one is provided with their services. Carlson on the other hand dealt the American people a blow and more importantly Congressman, Ron Paul. I say that since we have serious problems to solve in this country and abroad and Congressman Ron Paul is trying to convey a message as to how he would solve them.
In reading this article, they cite that the AP reported that Paul “picked up” the endorsement of a brothel owner, Dennis Hof. But, that in itself is erroneous since Paul never solicited any endorsement from Hof. Point in fact is what was relayed in this article, “In actuality, it was a member of the media, MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson, who had done the soliciting. Carlson not only contacted Hof to ask him to check out Ron Paul while Paul was in Nevada, but he even arrived at Ron Paul’s Reno news conference in the company of Hof and two of Hof’s prostitutes.”
As we all know, Carlson is married with four children and one has to wonder: Why is he hanging around a brothel owner let alone prostitutes? Where are his conservative values?
I am serious when I say this: MSNBC should throw him off the air. No this is not a freedom of speech case or where a racist remark was made; he clearly violated the ethics of journalism and embarrassed MSNBC that is if they have morals. More importantly, I do feel he did this to embarrass Ron Paul and create a controversy to surround him. If anyone owes an apology to a candidate, the viewing public and the American people in general it is Carlson.
As this article rightfully points out was a message coming from the Paul campaign, "On a personal basis, he doesn't condone those things. At the same time, from his campaign perspective, it’s not the role of federal government and it's not in the Constitution for federal government to regulate these things." The article continues on to state, “That of course is correct, and in Nevada prostitution is legal in 12 of the state’s 17 counties, including the county where Dennis Hof’s brothel is located.”
But this is lost in the AP report in which the voting public will not know that in certain communities such as Las Vegas, prostitution is legal. All they will know is that a brothel owner has endorsed Ron Paul and that is not telling the full story. The AP should have also reported this stunt created by Tucker Carlson in order to be fair and balanced.
Paul who is widely known to be an anti-war candidate a maverick of sorts within the Republican Party is trying to convey a message especially when we are fast approaching 4,000 soldiers’ dead. And for Tucker Carlson to pull this stunt, I feel he owes the family members who have lost loved ones over in Iraq an apology as well. Politics should be dealt with seriously especially when men and women are dying overseas. It should be dealt with seriously when one million innocent Iraqis have died and let it be known that Ron Paul voted no to this heinous war.
As this article rightfully points out, this is part and parcel of the anti-Paul media especially when Paul does not have skeletons in his closet as other politicians do. So, hence they along with Carlson created said skeleton. That is unfair to all of those people who have been working day in and day out to support the Paul campaign. This past weekend, I met a wonderful man named Tom who gave what he could financially to the Ron Paul campaign. While I have not been excited concerning this presidential campaign, when one mentions Ron Paul, one can see the sparkle coming from Tom. How I wish I had that inner spirit as he does.
To create this controversy is especially unfair to the American people who are hurting at this point as one looks at the mortgage crisis. As reported by the NY Times, “RealtyTrac expects foreclosure filings to hit two million in 2007, or roughly one per 62 American households — a rate approaching heights not seen since the Great Depression.” While there has been no urgency to deal with this crisis, the NY Times did report that these foreclosures are “drawing the attention of Democratic presidential candidates, including John Edwards and Representative Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio.”
The Times also reported this of Pres. Bush that, "he ruled out a federal bailout, citing both “excesses in the lending industry” and unduly optimistic homeowners who took out “loans larger than they could afford,” as reasons for the mortgage woes." Meanwhile, he can spend billions upon billions to fund a war in Iraq.
These are the problems that are elusive to Carlson in pulling a stunt like that. This is where we need serious journalists who are not creating the news, but reporting it.
At the end of this article it cites, “Let MSNBC know how you feel about their employees visiting brothels at - email@example.com” I would go one better since emails can be deleted upon receipt is to call MSNBC at this number, (201) 583-5000. Tell them that you do not appreciate their employee, namely Carlson playing games with America’s future. Demand they either have him apologize for this stunt on-air or that they fire him. I just did.
Author’s email address is, firstname.lastname@example.org