Review: Nobody Speak (Netflix documentary)

America, we are under attack.  Journalism has always been a part of this Nation’s fabric;  Many of the Founding Fathers engaged in publication, including Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine.  Thomas Jefferson himself emphasized the importance of Freedom of the Press to the concept of Liberty.  Yet today, as never before, Journalism, and even Journalists, are under attack by elites who apparently believe they do not have to be held accountable for their actions, and who will go to extreme lengths to silence or even outright own the institution of Journalism in this country.  

The most obvious example of disrespect toward Journalists and Journalism is that of Donald Trump, who baldly calls the media “liars,” and encourages his acolytes to jeer along with him.  (True sheeple, they are).  Furthermore, anything Trump disagrees with he labels as “fake news,” yet his revisionistic versions of events are characterized as “alternative facts” by his mouthpieces.

 According to the documentary, this trend came to light when it was revealed that there was a secret benefactor bankrolling Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker for posting a sex-related video.  This fact was astounding because the benefactor, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel, had no connection to the case matter or its litigants.  Rather, he was motivated by spite and malice because he had been “outed” as gay by a Gawker reporter years before.  Shenanigans during the trial ( such as dropping the ’emotional distress’ charge thus absolving Gawker’s insurance company from liability and shifting the financial responsibility for damages onto Gawker’s founder) made it clear that the REAL goal was to financially ruin Gawker and shut it down as a media outlet.  Nor is he alone in targeting media outlets.  In some cases, most notably with Rupert Murdoch (not discussed in the program), money buys the forum with which to expound political views.  After all, what better way to disseminate propaganda and shape the viewpoints of whole swathes of people?  Another such acquisition was the purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal by Sheldon Adelson, “a prominent Republican donor” (from a review in the L.A. Times by Jeffrey Fleishman).

Investigative Journalism needs our support more than ever.  In an era where credibility seems to go to the person with the deepest pockets, we need to applaud these brave souls who are committed to speaking truth to power.  I myself subscribe to Mother Jones magazine, and have supported public broadcasting over the years.  Most importantly, we must continue to be discerning in our news gathering, and be ready to fact check if necessary.  Our continued Liberty depends upon it.

~ by irishgrl on June 26, 2017.

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