Bryce Zabel: It’s the Media that Can’t Handle the Truth
An astute analysis of the media’s reception to the Hastings Panel. Not as optimistic as others. See especially the video of CNN panning the notion of “aliens.”
It’s the Media that Can’t Handle the Truth
Bryce Zabel, After Disclosure, http://www.afterdisclosure.com/2010/09/denyandridicule.html
If you want to understand just what the truth is up against when it comes to getting any kind of responsible UFO reporting from the mainstream media, the September 27th news conference at the National Press Club certainly makes the case.
If you missed it, a half dozen former U.S. Air Force officers spoke out publicly in the nation’s capital about the existence of UFO sightings near U.S. nuclear weapons facilities — events witnessed by multiple soldiers in which nuclear missiles actually malfunctioned in the aftermath. The incidents go back decades and continue on to present day, and they involve countries in addition to the United States, with multiple incidents happening on international soil. Plus, declassified U.S. documents were produced that reveal startling details.
All these military witnesses (plus another 100+ who didn’t testify) worked in sensitive areas at nuclear weapon installations. These are people trusted to guard, maintain and, if necessary, use and fire the nation’s nuclear arsenal at an enemy. And they are willing to testify, solemnly, that vehicles they could not identify violated security in the airspace above their missiles and in several cases disabled them. You can read all about these events, and Rich Dolan wrote a very comprehensive essay that can bring you up to speed in ten minutes.
If you ask me, this kind of public discussion is a pretty big deal and deserves to be covered so that the American people can evaluate the evidence and, if they are not satisfied with the answers they get, demand new ones from their representatives. The news conference was lightly attended and virtually shunned by the media heavyweights. Here’s how Wired put it in a magazine section, unpromisingly called, “Tinfoil Tuesdays”:
- But the officers didn’t face a particularly skeptical crowd. There were as many well-wishers at the Press Club as there were journalists in a conference attended by about 30 people, congratulating them on their bravery. One gentleman took the mic to confess that he had been “a contactee” in Santa Monica in 1986 and 1997. “I can affirm this phenomenon is real,” he said. Another journalist asked the panel whether it was “time to admit that there are other spiritual beings in the universe.”
Not only were the media’s big-boys missing-in-action, but ABC, NBC and CBS did not think even a streamed video clip was worthy of being included in any of their evening news broadcasts. I didn’t see the news conference covered in the Los Angeles Times or the New York Times. CNN was a very mixed bag. They did, apparently, go “live” from the conference but they also allowed a pair of arrogant, condescending and, worse, ill-informed on-air talent (an anchorwoman and a weatherman) to ridicule these military men for coming forward. You have to see this to believe it.
That’s right. The anchorwoman laughed, was openly skeptical, invoked Fox Muldur and even managed to work in “little green men.” Neither she, nor the weatherman she asked with a smile to “react with me,” appeared to have even the slightest background in this subject. They had no facts, just attitude. The clips they “reacted to” were out-of-context, easy set-ups for condescending remarks, and the men were just foils for banter. But I’ve seen the entire statements, something these “journalists” never did and probably never will. They’ve done their hit and they’ve moved on. I bet these are the same CNN on-air types that smugly say to current soldiers, “thank you for your service,” and pay tribute to the “brave men and women” in the armed forces. But, apparently, if these same brave souls serving their country see something unexplained in the sky and dare to speak out about it, then they get made fun of, like they’re nothing more than the drunk uncle at the family barbeque who is always embarrassing himself.
To the two uninformed, hypocritical CNN non-reporters (okay, an anchorwoman and a weatherman) in that YouTube clip, I have three words: shame on you. I started my career here in Los Angeles as a CNN correspondent and I can tell you that Ted Turner’s founding vision was not to make fun of mavericks; remember that he was one of them.
As noted, most of the print media took a complete pass on covering this. The Washington Post couldn’t be bothered to send a real reporter, but they did send a columnist, John Kelly, who — and I’m not kidding — opened his coverage by explaining he arrived late and only came because they offered cookies. The newspaper that prides itself on breaking the Watergate story now feels that credible testimony from people who have honorably served their country in key positions of authority, responsible for war and peace, should be ignored by “real” reporters with important stories to cover and relegated to a humor column. Sad.
Say what you will about Fox News but they did not condescend in their coverage. The Air Force Times, also, took the story credibly (because they would know, you might imagine). And, to their credit, CNN’s off-air, written internet coverage was reasonably fair. MSNBC put it in their specialty “Cosmic Log,”a credible internet version but, so far, nothing showing in its core business which, we assume, is national television new programming. accompanied by the story about the U.N. picking a potential ET ambassador. ABC News managed to put up
We’ve seen this kind of official derision and/or apathy going back to the 1940s, grounded in the successful campaign of “deny and ridicule,” and while there are moments that give hope for more balanced coverage, the overall take seems to be as pathetic as ever among mainstream reporters. Most recently, the BBC’s Evan Davis completely made a fool of himself in his ridiculous “investigation” into the Rendlesham Forest incident.
Finally, even the coverage of the coverage from the conference organizers in their Facebook site was off-target. They wrote: “The Press Conference was a complete success, the goal of getting good mainstream media coverage appears to be realized.” Regretfully, I disagree. It does us no good to fudge the truth in our own cause. Let’s just state it the way it was and is.
THE BOTTOM LINE TRUTH. This news conference got some coverage, but mostly from the outsiders in the media, or the Internet cousins of the Big Networks. The inside-the-Beltway coverage from the heavyweights that was hoped for and expected did not materialize and, in the few (very few) cases where coverage was granted, it was often the wrong kind: derisive, uninformed and not helpful. Even the best examples were short, sweet, and will probably generate no follow-up whatsoever. The story coming out of the National Press Club became the quick hit of the day, generating some drive-by reporting, and then it’s on to the next.
When Disclosure comes — and it will some day in some way — these poor excuses for journalists will be exposed, yes. Still, I doubt even facing the fact that they completely ridiculed and/or missed the biggest story of all time, savaged credible witnesses, and were completely and totally wrong in their analysis, well, I doubt even that will wipe the smirk off their faces.