by Kenneth Francis (March 2023)
The Temptation of Christ, Ary Scheffer, 1854
Over 30 years ago, when I worked in the studio of a major media company in the UK, there were times when it felt like I was the only staff member not snorting illegal substances, smoking weed, habitually fornicating (I was in a monogamous relationship), or metaphorically stabbing some other staff member in the back over some jealousy/rivalry feud.
Although I was no angel myself, I managed to ‘keep my head down’ and survive the nest of vipers. These people seem to be attracted to working in fields like media, politics, entertainment, NGOs, Big Corporate sector, PR firms, the legal profession and academia. The answer to why these left-secular professions seem to attract a preponderance of obnoxious people is answered in the first hyphenated adjective of this sentence. The Godless fake cleric narcissist infiltrators in the hijacked Church can also be included, as they’re Christian in name only.
Back then in the early-’90s, I was also a Godless secularist and had a spark of the egoist persona but I always sought to seek truth and fairness in news content. But ever since those toxic days in the wicked world of back-stabbing journalism, things have only got worse.
At least back in the early 1990s, despite the skulduggery in the mainstream media, there were many sensational investigative stories that were broadcast and written fair and accurately, void of any ideological subjective bias. There were also many fine editors who encouraged journalists to chase after a good story and expose the corruption of a politician, celebrity, predator pervert or corrupt City ‘fat cats’.
But nowadays, the Fifth Estate is looking more like Dante’s “Fifth Circle of Hell”: A place where the wrathful suffer for all eternity in a muddy stinking river where the souls of the damned fight each other on the surface, and it dominates the landscape.
In news stories, there also seems to be a consensus in the State-sponsored MSM across all Western societies. This is probably due to a mass takeover due to the success of the internet Hoovering up mass chunks of advertising that once was the monopoly of the broadcast and news print media.
But don’t take my word for the current consensus of ‘The Narrative’; check-out the many video clips on YouTube that show the hosts of international TV networks worldwide delivering the same message verbatim, all ‘singing’ from the same propaganda hymn sheet. Even in print media, the headlines use the same key words in stories that rely heavily in State-approved-narrative propaganda.
Now, consider the latest proposed news practice from a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, where the former executive editor, Leonard Downie Jr, who worked on Watergate, wrote that “truth-seeking news media must move beyond whatever ‘objectivity’ once meant to produce more trustworthy news”.
Writing in Spiked magazine, Jenny Holland said: “I thought I couldn’t get any more disappointed in or cynical about the mainstream media, but even a jaded old-timer like me finds it difficult to accept how far this industry has fallen.”
The genesis of abandoning objective reporting could be traced back over 100 years, but it was limited and certainly not widespread on a massive scale.
But now in a culture of Woke moon-battery, the new stenographers (former journalists), crave to ingratiate themselves by getting down with the kids of the millennial generation who abhor Christian Western values. And if they want to keep their job, they’ve got no choice.
Kathleen Carroll, the former head of the Associated Press, said: “It’s [news reporting] objective by whose standard? That standard seems to be white, educated, fairly wealthy guys. And when people don’t feel like they find themselves in news coverage, it’s because they don’t fit that definition.”
In a nutshell, it all boils down to Truth being the opinion of the powerful. And the mainstream media and its wealthy backers have quite a strong grip on their opinion of what is Truth. One has a better chance of finding nuggets of Truth in Substack essays or other social media outlets on the internet.
Irish writer John Waters’ Substack blog is one good example of finding commentary of a truthful nature. Also, in his objectively powerful book Give Us Back the Bad Roads, he writes about the ‘cesspit’ that most of the metropolis Irish media and its fellow travellers had become, and how colleagues who he once regarded as good friends betrayed him, some even making false allegations about his honest, objective views.
But objective views and writing about the Truth are not always pragmatic. Aldous Huxley said: “Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth.”
Objective Truth is the Logos: God. And the further we reject the Logos, the further we drift away from the moral compass and into the abyss of darkness. WB Yeats, who wasn’t Christian but more of an early New Ager, touched (unwittingly?) upon such a Godless scenario in his 1919 poem, The Second Coming:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned …
This poem was written over 100 years ago, a few decades after the philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche declared “God is Dead.” In light of that phrase, the ‘falcon’ can be interpreted as a metaphor for Mankind turning away (not literally, of course) from the ‘falconer,’ God: ‘Things fall apart/The centre cannot hold’: objective morality collapses, as rebellious humans lose their moral compass; ‘Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world/The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere/The ceremony of innocence is drowned’: Moral chaos follows the death of God (The Great Wars, the decadence of the West, and conflicts in the East).
Nietzsche said it first: by killing God, we unchain the earth from the sun and wipe away the horizon with a sponge. As for Yeats’s poem: No one can deny, despite poetic language, that the metaphors in his masterpiece are eerily prophetic.
Regarding atheists and the word ‘objective’ in other spheres in the public square: I have watched and studied hundreds of debates amongst Christian philosophers and atheists and the recurring confusion in all those debates, surprisingly, is the atheist’s lack of understanding of the word ‘objective,’ especially in the context of morality.
Even the scientific aspects of the Christian v Atheism arguments are generally, if not reluctantly, agreed upon in their compatibility, but, for the atheist, the concept of objective morals and values is like explaining jazz to a deaf falcon smoking weed.
The good news is that objective news will never die, despite being put on temporary ‘life-support’ over the past few years. The Truth (Logos), and the object reality of the external world, will always win in the end, despite if no earthly creature believes it or not. God sees the Truth, but waits.
Kenneth Francis is a Contributing Editor at New English Review. For the past 30 years, he has worked as an editor in various publications, as well as a university lecturer in journalism. He also holds an MA in Theology and is the author of The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth (St Pauls Publishing) and, most recently, The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd (with Theodore Dalrymple) and Neither Trumpets Nor Violins (with Theodore Dalrymple and Samuel Hux).
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