The journalists have constructed for themselves a little wooden chapel, which they also call the Temple of Fame, in which they put up and take down portraits all day long and make such a hammering you can’t hear yourself speak.

― Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, The Waste Books


Of all games in the world, the one most universally and eternally popular is the game of school. You collect six children and put them on a doorstep, while you walk up and down with the book and cane. Only one thing mars it: the tendency of one and all of other six children to clamour for their turn with the book and cane. The reason, I am sure, that journalism is so popular a calling, in spite of its many drawbacks, is this: each journalist feels he is the boy walking up and down with the cane. The Government, the Classes, and the Masses, Society, Art, and Literature, are the other children sitting on the doorstep. He instructs and improves them.

― Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men on the Bummel


What we see here is a trend that repeats itself over and over. Corporate media outlets never tire of self-victimizing. Nobody trusts them, they constantly complain. They are unfairly and dangerously maligned as unreliable. People trust fake news sites before they trust these hallowed institutions, which believe they are divinely entitled to be treated as authoritative voices of truth.

While they are superb at tirelessly complaining about their mistreatment, they are very poor at looking in the mirror and asking whether they bear any of the blame for the drop in faith and credibility that the public is willing to vest in them.

Perhaps they avoid asking that question because the answer is so self-evident. If you lie to the public constantly, if you demonstrate to them that you are willing to tolerate, employ and even reward liars to deliver the news, then it is not only natural that the public will lose all faith in your credibility. It is rational, and very well-deserved.

 Glenn Greenwald