Gallows Humor, The Apocalypse Edition: An Open Letter to the Media

What fresh hell is this?

Right. Ok, that's done it. This is a link to a list of media organization's email addresses. Please write to them to ask them not to entertain these... people... as colleagues.  I'm not much of a letter-writer either, but this isn't to be borne.

Here's mine...An open letter to the Media:

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Ladies and Gentlemen:

Media Matters for America reports this morning that Alex Jones claims that Info Wars has been offered White House press credentials.

As we’ve seen, Donald Trump lies for personal gain, for sport, and from pure force of habit.  He lies about everything from the vitally important to the depressingly banal.  Additionally, he demonstrates an affinity for conspiracy theories, and displays the xenophobia, racism, anti-scientific thinking and intellectual dishonesty that such theories cultivate. Offering an advisory post to Stephen Bannon was a shock. To continue down that path so far as to seat Alex Jones in the White House briefing room itself is beyond the pale and must be rejected.

It's worth noting that as of this afternoon, the White House is denying the claim. It's possible it was a test balloon or some other more opaque attempt to manipulate... someone. Or something.  In any case, given Donald Trump's repeated offenses against good taste, civil discourse and common decency, it's worth saying:

If it comes to pass that Alex Jones is credentialed by the White House, please remove your reporters from that orbit.  If Jones or his employee walks in, you simply must walk out. This cannot be tolerated, and, as respectable journalists, you are in a unique position to take a stand on behalf of – forgive me – Truth, Justice & The American Way.  I’m snickering too, but this is not a drill.

Obviously, nobody wants to give up access, to allow the worst among us the last word. But the American news media has a proud tradition of investigative journalism, and each of you can point to moments in your publications' histories when the work illuminated great truths.  In the face of opposition running the gamut from unanswered phone calls and refused interviews to confrontation, threats and outright violence, each of you has earned feathers for your caps. 

In the event that Info Wars (or its ilk) is normalized by this White House, please re-allocate political/White House beat resources to your investigative sections and cover events from that perspective. Given this administration’s propensity for obfuscation and falsehood, it’s possible that the information you gather will have greater value – you’ll get more for your time, effort and money than you will spending it on fact-checking the non-answers of empty suits.  In any case, though, we must not have a situation where the great publications of the nation are seen to be engaging in a collegial joust for space with a frothing radio host whose claim to fame is the cynical emotional abuse of the parents of slaughtered first graders.

It’s fashionable to deride the news media as, at best, incompetent or, at worst, maliciously working against the public interest. But for my part, I have faith in you. You guys can do this.  And look, not for nothing, let me know how I can help – tell me what you need from me.

Warmest regards,

Kathryn Allyn
New York, New York

"When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage
and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending

that nothing has happened or in saying that  we are not yet ready.
The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.  A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny."
― Paulo Coelho

Kathryn Allyn

Jazz singer, political junkie, cautionary tale and nights'n'weekends Stig, on the Island of Misfit Toys.