Citizen Journalists, the New Rebels (and America Loves an Underdog)

we-are-citizen-journalismRelentless in their obsession to crush the voices that challenge their birthright to authority or at least hold authority accountable, the advocates of change and tolerance are once again pushing forth legislation to silence dissent and reclaim their domain.  The Feinsteins and Durbins of the legislative world have declared a turf war.

While the Rathers and Fareed Zakarias of the media empire are given Peabodys and passes for journalistic lapses, citizen journalists are threatened with the Free Flow of Information Act.

Dick Durbin’s (D-Ill.) Free Flow of Information Act places the federal government as arbiter of who is a journalist and who is not.  Once again only the state has the exclusive right to define who is “covered”.

Legislation often follows when late night mockery and the Holder/Lerner tandem of intimidation no longer warrant the elicited response of complete submission.  In the case of citizen journalism, ruling class regulations and reprisals have elicited an unwarranted response – they have made it a badge of honor to be targeted.

By attacking the EIB network, Fox, and now citizen journalists, the Left has given the new media much coveted legitimacy.  They have made the Andrew Breitbarts “David” to their Goliath.  And America loves an underdog.

Alexa, a leading web analytics firm, ranks Breitbart News as the 239th most popular website in America. By comparison, the New York Post, Politico, and Daily Beast websites come in at 276, 315, and 335 respectively. By commercial comparisons, Breitbart News also ranks higher than Delta Airlines, Overstock.com, and Disney.

Even though the old guard insistently esteem themselves as pillars of journalistic integrity, their record says otherwise.  No longer do they avoid misleading re-enactments or staged news events; no longer do they distinguish between advocacy and news reporting, nor are they “vigilant and courageous” about holding those with power accountable.

Audiences, rejecting Dateline NBC, CBS and New York Times’ numerous apologies for journalistic oversight, are trending towards fresh perspectives devoid of kowtowing coverage and cronyism.

“Critics,” according to William Zinsser, formerly of Yale and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, “should always be among the first to notify us when the truths we hold to be self-evident cease to be true.”

The self-evident truths that all men are created equal (unless you are a member of Congress, then you get an exemption from ‘equal’); the unalienable right of life (another endowment usurped by Dr. Kermit Gosnell or an executive stand down order); the right of liberty (though not at liberty to choose your school of choice if you happen to live on the corner of 65th and MLK in Chicago); and the pursuit of happiness (no happier pursuit than putting the Christmas trim up to anger the atheists and green activists simultaneously).

When the press abdicates their responsibility to “be among the first to notify us when the truths we hold to be self-evident cease to be true”, new critics rise to fill the void.  Of course when new critics, like James Rosen, Pamela Geller and Michael Hastings, are critical of those who hold power, they are criminally investigated, issued fatwas or silenced.

So pay attention to those who are targeted by the Goliaths on the Left, for they are the ones brave enough–and capable enough–to topple the haughty.  Better yet, join them.

Leslie Deinhammer

Illinois PolitiChick Leslie Anne Deinhammer, writer, chaplain and proud wife of a Marine Corps veteran, writes on topics of politics, human rights and faith. Follow her at @lesliedhammer on Twitter.

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