Political Scandals that were exploited in American Media History

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Political Scandals that were exploited in American Media History

By Dennis S. Murray Sr.

Catholic University of America


Through history political scandals have been a part of medium day media coverage of U.S. by U.S. newspapers outlets using the stroke of a pen, a tape recorder, wiretapping, and propaganda during the past decades. Often these issues have course great harm to the nations people through Civil War, World War I and II, Vietnam, 911 Terrorist attack (blaming the wrong country), Iraq, and more. As I reviewed this course of History of American Media in the United States and read the text American Media History along with the handouts, research, and videos that at sometimes puzzle me. But I have come to the conclusion that modern societies and the mass media have slanted and mislead the truth to our are citizens and most of all we have done our self a disservice when we provide sources of information that is docked by our public affairs system. But, the corrupt entanglement is our thirst for deceptions and provocation among our society to devalue one another. We find that Democracy has given the press the ability to challenge us in the highest degree as one autocratic immoral being and as we slight the truth or provide fake news propaganda. With a higher propensity of endorse Democratic candidates in our political elections give relatively more coverage to scandals involving Republican politicians than scandals involving Democratic politicians, but they both continue to bring dishonesty to the floor of the congress. This is true even when we attempt to controlled the average partisan readership, because many don’t care. We have seen less people voting in decades due to what we listen to in mass media in contrast to newspapers appear that often cater nasty taste of partisanship for our current readers. This has become ugly in selling readership in our current system of the newspaper. Thus the internet has expanded social media while devaluing the print industry.

Opening Statement:

Author Contributor: Dershowitz, A.M “Warner Books: New York & Boston “Alexandria Library, Alexandria VA 22304

America on Trial (Inside the Legal Battles That transformed our Nation) by Alan M Dreshowitz: take us back to the colonial days of scandal and intrigue, but how were and who were we governed by and was Freedom of Speech enacted yet? Therefore the political elite ruled regardless because the powers of words were controlled by the political and powerful elite. But the study of colonial legal history reveals much about the use of the law in the colonization of America, but most of all our free minded society drove this process for liberty. It also tells us why we created a legal system designed to prevent recurrence of some of the evils of colonial law. But the law of these colonies was essentially the laws of England with its unique conditions in America made divergence from English law.

Author Contributor: Dershowitz, A.M “Warner Books: New York & Boston “Alexandria Library, Alexandria VA 22304 (Essay: The Trail of John Peter Zenger)

I suggest that 17th Century scandal that bent or twisted the law to suite its need was a case of rulers over people and propaganda over truth. This was a Freedom of the press case involving John Peter Zinger in 1735. Some background information on how this scandal of illegal deception took place. The New York Gazette for many years was the Province's only newspaper. It was published by the public printer, William Bradford, and was supportive of the Governor and his administration. When New York's Chief Judge Lewis Morris issued a dissenting opinion in the 1733 case of Cosby v. Van Dam, Governor William Cosby summarily removed Morris from office. Morris and close allies, attorneys James Alexander and William Smith set up the Province's first independent newspaper, the New-York Weekly Journal. Alexander was the newspaper's editor and through articles, satire and lampoons, accused the Cosby administration of tyranny and violation of the people's rights. Governor Cosby resolved to shut down the New-York Weekly Journal

Author Contributors: Tigar, Michael E: The Trial of John Peter Zenger “A Play in Five Scenes” Thomas Watt Gregory Professor of Law: University of Texas, Austin: Copyright (C) 1986, Michael E. Tigar: All Rights Reserved” Written for Initial Performance at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association Internet Contributor: Journalist-Ida Tarbell-Biography.com(www.biography.com/people/ida-tarbell-9502126

John Peter Zenger was the newspaper's printer, one of the few skilled printers in the Province at that time. The Cosby administration determined to take legal action against the printer, perhaps on the assumption that without a printer, the paper could not be published. The Governor assigned an English barrister newly-arrived in New York, to lead an examination of the newspaper for statements that constituted the crime of seditious libel. Seditious libel was defined as the intentional publication, without lawful excuse or justification, of written blame of any public man or of the law, or any institution established by the law. Two separate grand juries were empaneled, one in spring, 1734, and the other in the fall of that year. Evidence of seditious libel was presented to both but neither grand jury would issue an indictment against John Peter Zenger.

As we fast forward to Andrew Hamilton of Philadelphia an attorney that heard Anna Zenger communicate for her husband injustices commenced in the courtroom and described clearly the nature of the case, the necessity that the Attorney General prove who was responsible for the libel, and his expectation that the Attorney-General would fail in his proof. At the close of Chambers's speech, Andrew Hamilton rose on behalf of Zenger and preempted Attorney General Bradley's case by admitting that Zenger had published the journals as alleged. In his address, Hamilton asked the jury to consider the truth of the statements published and concluded with these famous words of not guilty, this scandal was engaged by the political elite by the Governor and its court, but the legal system worked and Zenger was free to print his newspaper.

Internet and Essay Contributor: Harvard University Library Open Collections Program “Women Working, 1800-1930 “Ida Tarbell (1857-1944) Publication digitized for Women Working: http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu./ww/tarbel.html Author Contributor: Fellow, A.R American Media History; Third Edition (chapter 7 “Ida Tarbell pages181-182

Zenger paved the way for number of journalist such as Ida Tarbell, “the queen of muckraker”, investigative journalist, and lecturer, who was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania in November 5th 1857. She was engaged in one of the most important part of media history when she research the business practices of John D Rockefeller’s of Standard Oil Company. She uncovered issues that result in in an article exposing the Standard Oil and the federal government sued them. Her dedication help many of the smaller producers who were forced to sell to Standard, and most of those who didn’t including Tarbell’s father struggled to keep their businesses afloat. She witnessed the impact of these events earlier in life when on her family and others and this left a profound impression on this young girl “Trabell” and it would prove pivotal in life.

Tarbell had become concerned by the proliferation of monopolies and trusts. In 1900, she proposed a series of articles in which she would use her experiences as a child during the South Improvement scandal to illustrate her points and spent the next several years deeply immersed in research on the Standard Oil Company and John D. Rockefeller’s business practices and the nation’s highest. However, the dismantled of his oil business and the implication of Rockefeller who controlled thirty three companies and held one-fourth of the stock became no more and the result of Tarbell investigative work change the oil business for ever, As a result, Standard Oil Company in New Jersey became Exxon; in New York; in Ohio, Boron; California, Chevron; and in Indiana, Amoco.

Contributor Author: Fellow, A.R, American Media History (text) page Murrow vs McCarthy; page 287, 291-95 Contributor summary from: MBU 490 class discussion module #10 Assignment

No character defied his job the way Egbert Roscoe Murrow, known as Edward R Murrow was born April 25, 1908 did. He became a broadcast legend and many broadcasting journalist watched him and humiliated him on the air as the truth teller of stories. He genuinely love to learn and developed his craft as a great listener, and a conquer for a good story making for decades in an industry that tried to control him. Murrow was devoted to the public not to those CBS executives but to the people as he shared his professionalism as the people’s voice. But, the war change Murrow viewpoints when Hitler started to gaining power. The war was cruel to human life and its morality but, Murrow wanted his voice to be heard across the pond so that the people knew someone cared, hence nightly news was born. Murrow had the advantage of taken on the executive in New York because he wanted smart people not the New York executive’s pretty voices that seem to be inconsequential to him, they were not smart voices or people that could hold on to the audience and feel what they were saying over the airwaves. Trying to please those executive became an expected task, but Murrow kept doing it his way.

The listener loves his honesty and thus some of the abuse from those executives became second nature. Therefore the scandal begins with Senator Joseph McCarthy and television executive William Haley and others that were betraying Murrow as Communist. Murrow made no reference to any statements of fact that were made and we must conclude that he found no errors of fact. Murrow proved again that anyone who exposes him, anyone who does not share his hysterical disregard for decency and human dignity and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, must be either a Communist or a fellow traveler. Murrow fully expected this treatment. The Senator added reporter's name to a long list of individuals and institutions he has accused Murrow of serving the Communist cause and the dissention grow in moral outage. Murrow already was at hoards with CBS executive wanting to fire him anyway and some felt that this could have been a collaboration of both McCarthy and those CBS executives to just that. This could have been one of the biggest scandal in broadcast radio in the history of radio, thereby trying to denounce a legend in radio, who many model they ability to broadcast radio and journalism such as we have witness with today standards. But I would add that the morality in broadcast journalism is more for entertainment than for actual subsistence news.

Internet contributor: Iran-Contra Affair-United States History www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1889.html Author Contributor: Fellow, A. R. American Media History (text) page 376 “Iran-Contra Scandal”

As we gaze closer to political setbacks during Former President Regan and the Iran Contra Affair that rank probably the most important international scandal of its time with the trading for drugs and guns became one that many have kept quiet when they speak about Former President Regan, as if he was the great President of his time. But he had skeleton’s that have played a big part in history. The Iran-Contra Affair was a clandestine action not approved of by the United States Congress. It began in 1985, when Former President Ronald Reagan's administration supplied weapons to Iran a sworn enemy in hopes of securing the release of American hostages held in Lebanon by Hezbollah terrorists loyal to the Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran's leader. The U.S. took millions of dollars from the weapons sale and routed them and guns to the right-wing "Contra"² guerrillas in Nicaragua. The Contras were the armed opponents of Nicaragua's Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction, following the July 1979 overthrow of strongman Anastasio Somoza Debayle and the ending of the Somoza family's 43-year reign.

The Illegal trading transactions that took place in the Iran-Contra scandal were contrary to the legislation of the Democratic-dominated Congress and contrary to official Reagan administration policy. Part of the deal was that, in July 1985, the United States would send 508 American-made TOW anti-tank missiles from Israel to Iran for the safe exchange of a hostage, the Reverend Benjamin Weir. After that successful transfer, the Israelis offered to ship 500 HAWK surface-to-air missiles to Iran in November 1985, in exchange for the release of all remaining American hostages being held in Lebanon. Eventually the arms were sold with proceeds going to the contras, and the hostages were released but ultimately more hostages were taken.

There were more shipments of various weapons and parts that the public was in the dark about thus Iran and The US started engaging in the war of words. Eventually, Hezbollah elected to kidnap more hostages following their release of the previous ones, which rendered a meaningless further in dealings with Iran. It was not until 1986 that word had gotten out about the secret transactions and again the American people were left in the dark. The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa published a series of articles in November 1986 that exposed the weapons-for-hostages deal. On November 18th, 1987, the Congress issued a report on the affair that stated the president bore "ultimate responsibility." Upon further investigation, Attorney General Edwin Meese verified the report and an independent special prosecutor, Lawrence E. Walsh, was assigned to investigate the deals involving the arms sale and the Contra support.

President Reagan appointed a review board, headed by former Republican Senator John Tower. The Tower Commission's report concluded that the president had been inefficient in controlling the National Security Council, the agency that had actually made the illegal deals, and had known about the arms sale to the Iranians. However, it could not be discovered in hearings if the president had known about the Contra support because those in his administration weren’t going to implicate the President Regan as being complicit.

Instead they allowed the court hearing and conviction of this scandals that was televised from May to August in 1987 to be focus on military aide Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North, former CIA chief William J. Casey, National Security Advisor John Poindexter, former defense secretary Caspar Weinberger, and many other high-ranking government officials were publicly investigated. It was finally found that National Security Advisor Poindexter had personally authorized the diversion of money to the Contra rebels; all the while withholding the information from President Reagan so they said. The CIA's William J. Casey played a part in the conspiracy, but he died during the hearings while sending Marine Lt. Colonel Oliver North to jail and stripping him of his rank and pension, only later to be pardon by President Regan when he left office. North regained his pension, rank to retire, along with a lucrative millions dollar book deal and radio show for his effort whether it was for keeping quiet or what. No one will ever no.

Internet Contributor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_congressional_page_sex_scandal The 1983 Congressional Page sex scandal was a political scandal in the United States ...Chandra Levy, a Congressional intern whose relationship with a House Member created a scandal; Mark Foley scandal, a 2006 scandal involving a ...

Author Contributor Essay: Marvin Kalb: “One Scandalous Story” (Clinton, Lewinsky, and Thirteen Days that tarnished American Journalism) Internet resources contribution: 1983 congressional page sex scandal - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_congressional_page_sex_scandal

However, I found that the behavior behind the Monica Lewinsky sex triangle a waste of time because the propaganda and the foundation was provided by Paula Jones and Linda Tripp who had some kind or relationship with Former President Clinton that both at the time wanted to keep it under wraps until the time Former President Clinton wasn’t Governor Clinton in Arkansas anymore. Although this could have been headline news in some small or median news outlet like the Arkansas news outlets, it seem to be a witch hunt when now President Clinton emerges to the White House. We have seem these types of issues in the media with high profile elite Congressional members when the 1993 Congressional Page sex scandal hit the US Congress and this too sizzled into the atmosphere, but this was a story that Michael Isikoff wanted to get to the bottom of. Ms. Tripp wanted to see now Former President Clinton pay for what she thought, by any means necessary to undercover Clinton’s sexual appetite for multiple women despite being married to Hillary Rodham Clinton and Isikoff wanted this story. However, it wasn’t important enough for national news media to follow-up on specifies an age of consent of 16 having sex with Congressional members after hour in the Capital Building. I wonder who the hypercritics in the media were when it came to our underage children. This should have been the scandal of the history books, not Monica, Linda, and Paula with Bill Clinton.

Conclusion notes:

These were just some of the scandals that changed American Media History and journalism tactics and at the same time rock our American political democracy and liberties while exposing the corrupt interagency and its powerful cover-ups that have hurt our justice system for ordinary Americans. Our justice system is blind for so many reasons from John Peter Zenger, Ed Murrow, The Pages, and Monica Lewinsky. The justice system should have seem these issues quicker them and dissolved. We shouldn’t have spent more time and money exploring issues that were undermined my powerful people. But the simple truth is that we should have prosecuted Senator John McCarty, John D Rockefeller, Former Richard Nixon, and Former President Ronald Regan i.e. Oliver North because they knew better and were heled to a the highest standard of the oath of office. But icons like John Peter Zenger, Ed Murrow, Ida Tarbell, who were history maker as journalist in our history helped shape American Media History.

These were just some of the scandal that changed American Media History and rock our political democracy while exposing power at its best through corruption and its power to cover up those issues that have hurt our liberties. Our justice system is blind for reasons simply because it can avoid hurting the powerful in our nation while abandoning the weak from prosecution perhaps for national security maybe. But icons like John Peter Zenger, Ed Murrow, Ida Tarbell, who history making journalist work to shape American Media History unlike in my mind and others considered the Paula Jones, Linda Tripp, and Monica and other to parade propaganda in our media history.


“Literature Review” Authors and internet resources 1.Media Coverage of Political Scandals: Riccardo Puglisi ECARES Universit ́e Libre de Bruxelles; James M. Snyder, Jr. Departments of Political Science and Economics Massachusetts Institute of Technology April 7, 2008

2.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_congressional_page_sex_scandal The 1983 Congressional Page sex scandal was a political scandal in the United States ... Chandra Levy, a Congressional intern whose relationship with a House Member created a scandal; Mark Foley scandal, a 2006 scandal involving a ...

3.Tigar, Michael E: The Trial of John Peter Zenger “A Play in Five Scenes” Thomas Watt Gregory Professor of Law: University of Texas, Austin: Copyright (C) 1986, Michael E. Tigar: All Rights Reserved” Written for Initial Performance at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association

Authors, text, and class essay references

1.The Tryal of John Peter Zenger—A Play in Five Parts [PDF] 2.Ida Tarbell - Journalist - Biography.com www.biography.com/people/ida-tarbell-9502126 3.Fellow, A.R, American Media History (text) pages177,180,182,189, 328 4.Fellow, A.R, American Media History (text) page Murrow vs McCarthy; page 291

Internet resources contribution

1.Internet contributor research: Iran-Contra Affairs of Former Ronald Regan 1985

2.Internet contributor: Iran-Contra Affair - United States History www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1889.html

3.Internet resources contribution: 1983 congressional page sex scandal - Wikipedia-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_congressional_page_sex_scandal

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