WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
32nd Senatorial District, Bronx County, New York
Who Will Investigate the Accusers?
You should know that for years, there have been many cases where the media has tried to use its undue influence to effect the outcome of elections and to control the will of elected officials. You should also know that while there are those in the media who have quietly cozied up to the Governor and to the Attorney General and to other elected officials to feed off of each other, there are also reporters and editors and publishers who have dedicated themselves to going after certain elected officials who won’t comply with their ideals.
We all know that people in the media who abuse their power can target anyone they please. It doesn’t take much for them to tarnish someone’s reputation. We see them do it on television, on the radio, in headlines, in articles, in blogs, in tweets, in unflattering photos, and even in a photo-shopped photos. They can do it almost anywhere, without consequence, and certainly without any investigation.
You should know that Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently established a Moreland Act Commission, which he has carefully calibrated to investigate the influence of campaign contributions in New York’s government. His anti-corruption commission will investigate who has solicited political donations, who has made political contributions, and if these donations are in compliance with lobbying and election laws.
I have no doubt that the media will be calling for more and more investigations of politicians solely based on rumors from the Commission, and I have no doubt that there are political darlings who will never be mentioned in any of these rumors.
I also have no doubt that even though there are some very corrupt journalists, none of their names will ever come out of this Commission or any commission, and there will be no calls for investigations about their behavior no matter how proper or improper it may be.
Rumor has it that there are some folks in the media who do some pretty manipulative (and illegal) things behind the scenes, and I have to wonder, who investigates them.
Rumor has it that there may be a radio personality in New York who uses his influence on the morning airwaves to push for his candidate for one of the 2013 Primary races, and that candidate may happen to be his partner. There’s no call to investigate if this is happening, or if the use of that in-kind-service-like air time for a family member is something the campaign financial board should take a close look at.
Rumor has it that there may be a political reporter on TV who uses his evening air time for political maneuvering that may be right in line with the political will of his spouse, who might be found on the top of a list of the most politically influential New Yorkers. There’s no call to investigate those maneuverings.
Rumor has it that there may be a Spanish language newspaper whose editorial board blocks the coverage of certain Hispanic elected officials who champion Hispanic New Yorkers, only because these elected officials will not cave in to the publication’s radical agendas. There’s no call to investigate if this is happening, and if the abuse of power by this type journalism is fraudulent or corrupt.
Rumor has it that there may be a polling company that, more than one month before the Democratic Primary, decided to exclude in its poll the name of the only Latino candidate who is running for Mayor in New York City. There’s no call to investigate if such manipulative tactics to remove a candidate’s name from the race is, in fact, happening – and what consequences there may be if this is racist behavior.
Rumor has it that there may be a political commentator who has freely and frequently used vulgarities and disparaging remarks on live television about Catholic Church leaders and about an elected official or two – and we all know that if any elected official used that language or attacked the Catholic Church, there would be serious consequences. There’s no call to evaluate the obvious mental instability of this type of commentator, and there is no investigation to find out if television sponsors who pay to air these types of broadcasts are comfortable sponsoring this kind of hate-speech.
Rumor has it that there may be an editor in the print media who uses his power or influence even when he knows that he is lying to ruin the reputation of someone in elected office who may have offended the editor by holding a differing view. There’s no call to investigate the personal and professional damage that editor may have caused.
Rumor has it that there may be a powerful political reporter who had once chummed up to a top elected official in New York State, using all of his resources to fawn over and sing the praises of that official, until the elected official took a differing position on a matter or two. There’s no call to investigate the abuse of journalism when these kinds of reporters use their columns and radio time to obviously attack elected officials when they turn a corner and personally disagree with them.
Rumor has it that there may be a powerful political reporter from one of New York’s tabloids who accepts money and favors from elected officials when the elected officials want to get a bill passed in order to get covered. Rumor also has it that this same reporter goes out of his way to expose elected officials who take bribes. There’s no call to investigate this type of hypocrisy and bribery in the media.
Rumor has it that some very powerful editorial boards in New York City that rightly condemn DWI cases, host Christmas parties where the hosts of the parties and even some of their ace reporters climb in behind the wheel to drive home after drinking too much at these events. There’s no call to investigate this type of hypocrisy or illegal behavior, even when they are putting people’s lives at risk.
Rumor has it that there may be several journalists in New York who boast about what balanced and objective journalists they are, and even though they try to keep their writing balanced, they Tweet in professional capacity to spew their contempt for elected officials and issues they oppose. There’s no call for these journalists to stop lying to themselves or for anyone to investigate their apparent dual personalities.
Ladies and gentlemen, I often wonder if the myth of objective journalism actually exists. We all want to see political corruption come to an end, and we know that the role of the media is key to achieving that goal. But when we witness so many people in the media abusing their tools to manipulate the outcome of elections and shoot darts at elected officials they disagree with, we have to ask ourselves: Who is out there to investigate the accusers?
This is Senator Reverend Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.