It’s Time for Journalists to be Honest

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By Michael W. Cutler

Senior Special Agent, INS (Ret.)
Senior Fellow, Californians for Population Stabilization

March 9, 2016

I am a graduate of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York with a degree in Communications Arts and Sciences. I considered several possible careers when I graduated, including journalism. Journalists are supposed to be “fact finders.”

As things turned out, I was given the opportunity to become a federal agent and found that this job would satisfy many of my professional goals and also bears similarity to the job of a journalist in that special agents are investigators and fact finders.

The difference between a federal agent and a journalist is that the goal for the journalist, who gathers facts and evidence, is to write a story to inform, educate and sometimes drive change. An agent also gathers facts and evidence, but the goal is possibly an indictment and an arrest warrant that leads to the conviction of a criminal and/or dismantles a criminal organization.

National security and public safety may hang in the balance where efforts of federal agents are concerned. Where journalists are concerned, the results may be no less significant. A democracy requires a well-informed electorate. Indeed, the Founding Fathers understood the extreme importance of journalism, and, consequently, the only profession specifically protected by the Bill of Rights is that of the journalists as duly noted in the First Amendment.

John Adams eloquently and irrefutably noted, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

When journalists resort to misleading those who depend on them for accurate and objective reporting of the facts, they are dishonoring their profession and endangering the underpinnings of our nation, particularly when the subject matter addresses national security.

A nation’s borders are its first and last line of defense. America is threatened by terrorists who are determined to enter our nation to carry out atrocities. This threat has been discussed by leaders of our military and intelligence services. This threat has been the topic of Congressional hearings. You would think that politicians and journalists, given the extreme gravity of the situation, would be adamant about properly discussing the elements of national security that must be ramped up to protect national security and American lives.

Yet we are constantly told that any effort to secure our borders should be equated with xenophobia and racism. In raising the issue of supposed “Latino voters” as I noted in a recent FrontPage Magazine article, “Immigration and Political Racial ‘Profiling,’” journalists are engaging in an outrageous form of profiling and bigotry.

Our nation currently suffers from high levels of actual unemployment. Yet, the Labor Department proclaims our unemployment rate is below 5 percent, as it has massaged the statistics, blithely ignoring the tens of millions of adult age American workers who left the labor force or the other millions of Americans who are underemployed and struggling to pay for basic necessities. It is commonsense that you “don't bring sand to the beach.” It should be a matter of equal commonsense to not provide foreign workers with jobs in the United States when so many Americans need jobs. The media, however, reports the jobs numbers with little scrutiny or insight into the related issues.

The 9/11 Commission was crystal clear on the need to prevent terrorists from entering our country and to deprive them the ability to embed themselves here by committing immigration fraud. But, the media has all but forgotten the 9/11 Commission and its findings (read more on this in the article, “The 9/11 Commission Report and Immigration: An Assessment, Fourteen Years after the Attacks”).

If a law enforcement officer played as fast and loose with supposed facts as do some journalists, he would find himself answering to a grand jury. Where journalists are concerned, however, there are rarely any consequences, except for the damage done to our nation and our citizens, when they go from reporting on the facts to providing what can only be honestly described as propaganda.

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