Almost a month has past since infamous pornography publisher Larry Flynt offered a 10 million dollar bounty on information leading to the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Flynt is most well known for publishing the self-consciously lowbrow Hustler Magazine, as well as being an activist in various free-speech movements.
I must admit in sardonic fashion, modern American politics are the Music Television (MTV) reality series our generation has been waiting for its entire life. Larry Flynt, the man who has made millions of dollars objectifying and demeaning women, finds the President so offensive that he is willing to pay 10 million dollars to find incriminating evidence on him.
The irony in this occurrence is deafening. However, it does present an ethical problem for actual reporters. It is no secret a good portion of our country is motivated by money and to make a proposition such as this does not benefit the realm of journalism. It instigates fraudulent journalism based on one’s desire to obtain substantial financial gain.
While Trump may have the rhetorical skills of a fourth grader, our country should not infect the morality of journalist ethics with a cash prize. As a journalism student, I am offended by this notion. Reporters are not objects on a game show where powerful people like Larry Flynt can bid on their work. Reporters are supposed to be the voice of the people and critique society. I am sure Flynt is well intended with his purpose but how can he be the one to question Trump based on morality?
It is hysterical, people are so quick to derail the president they do not question the movement they are advocating for. Journalists should not be trying to dig up information because of payment. They should because it is their ethical duty to question the power of the government.
The message Flynt sends with this offer only promotes bloggers and unreliable social media news sources to produce more inconsistent and falsified content. The media needs to be a pure entity, not one that is bought or sold.