There are days when I really just don’t feel like being fair. It’s so much easier to sling sticky mud and spread tarnish over reputations. Pointing out some of the better qualities of your victims is just… well,Â it’s not nearly as satisfying as watching a beautifully thrown bit of criticism arch into the sky and make a perfect three point hit on the object of your ire.
But, there’s this integrity thing that I keep yammering about, which means that I need to have some if I’m going to accuse others of not having any. I’m saying all this because Anna raised a relevant point in her comment to my latest post.
It is true that sometimes a media person can’t say whatÂ she knows. SometimesÂ aÂ womanÂ is forced to hold back information thatÂ she think is vital because the guy (and it’s always a guy) that signs her check holdsÂ her back. IfÂ she says or writes ‘the wrong thing’Â her story will get spiked and will never see the light of day. And, if her stories get spiked too often,Â she gets fired, orÂ she doesn’t get paid.
And, ifÂ she doesn’t get paid,Â she doesn’t eat.
I know how that feels, ‘cuz I’ve been there. WhenÂ writers get into the writing business, we do it for love, and we do it for fun. However, there comes that moment when we realize that we’re now in it for the money.
You start asking yourself where the line is and how far over that line you can go beforeÂ you compromise yourself. And, even the strongest of us will stray over that line in moments of weakness. And then we stray over it again. And again.
Each time is easier than the time before.
Then you wake up one day with a career that is rocketing skyward, but with a soul in terrible distress. You find your services in demandÂ everywhere, but you struggle to seeÂ the difference betweenÂ youÂ and the local streetwalker you pass by on the way home in the evening.
And, the media moguls of this worldÂ love the moldable streetwalkers in their industry. They hire them. They promote them. They encourage everyone to be like them. They create them everywhere they can.
IsÂ Christiane Amanpour one of these ‘moldable streetwalkers’? It’s hard to say. She answers for her own soul, not me. However, I cannot believe that she’s gotten to her current place in her career without making some terrible compromises. She’s still responsible for what she says, or doesn’t say. CNN is also responsible.
They need to stop looking to their pocketbooks and their expanding bottom line when they choose what (or what not) to say.Â The world is a mess and the Amanpours and CNNs of this world have a responsibility to make sure that we all know howÂ we got here, and how we are going to get out of it.Â
One day, as mushroom clouds will rise over ourÂ cities, Christiane Amanpour and CNNÂ will ask themselves whether they could have done more to avert the cataclysm. And we will ask ourselves if we could have done more to pay attention. Because, if we don’t… well, I can only say that…Â
Yes, Virginia, there reallyÂ IS a Hell to pay.