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American Muckraker: Rethinking Journalism for the 21st Century
This seminal work of nonfiction recounts the new journalistic mass movement of today. Compiled from over a decade of investigative reporting coupled with a vast reference of philosophical research, American Muckraker is the definitive guide of truth-telling in the video age.
ON POWER They do have tremendous power. But in part it is because we give it to them. We are nothing, but we are not alone. Awe cannot live in fear. The moment you stop caring about what the media establishment thinks of you, is the moment you become truly free.
ON INSIDERS The USPS whistleblower, a Marine Corp combat veteran said, “I would rather be back in Afghanistan, getting shot at by Afghans, honest to God,” than be interrogated by federal agent Russell Strasser—who coerced him by saying, “I am trying to twist you a little bit because your mind will kick in…. I am not scaring you, but I am scaring you.”
The right to record is closely tied to the right to speak or even to take contemporaneous notes about what one sees and hears. As 60 Minutes producer Don Hewitt quipped, “People committing malfeasance don’t have any right to privacy…. What are we saying—that Upton Sinclair shouldn’t have smuggled his pencil in?”
ON MEANS & ENDS Whereas the novelist Ernest Hemingway said, “What is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after,” Thomas B. Morgan of the 1960s New Journalism contends, “Morally defensible journalism is rarely what you feel good about afterward; it is only that which makes you feel better than you would otherwise.”
ON LITIGATION “Polling does not decide the truth nor speak to evidence…. The New York Times have not met their burden to prove that Veritas is deceptive…claiming protections from an upstart competitor armed with a cell phone and a website. There is a substantial basis in law to proceed, to permit Project Veritas, to conduct discovery into The New York Times.” —Project Veritas v. New York Times Company; New York Supreme Court, March 18, 2021