In the latest installment of their ongoing distinguished lecture series, the Wisconsin Union Directorate hosted a talk with investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill Tuesday evening.
In addition to 20 years of investigative reporting experience, Scahill is one of the founding editors of the online news publication The Intercept and a bestselling author of “Blackwater” and “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield.”
Scahill discussed aspects of the ongoing war on terror, as well as the important role he believes journalists have in holding the government accountable for its actions.
“How obsessed are we with efficacy versus doing what’s right?” Scahill said.
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Scahill said people today are living with a “new cold war mentality.” Instead of pushing for objectivity and neutrality, journalists should be pushing to report the truth because objectivity will undermine the strength of existing facts.
Remaining neutral while in political turmoil gives power to the wrong people, Scahill said. Newscasters from obviously biased stations are the most influential people in the country right now because not enough journalists are seeing the real facts.
Not pursuing the truth is putting the U.S., as a whole, at a disadvantage, Scahill said.
“We are doing a disservice to the seriousness of the allegations [within our government] that are surfacing by pretending that the facts don’t matter,” Scahill said.
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It is important to think about the bigger impact the war on terror is having on the U.S., Scahill said. He said people need to think beyond simply getting rid of President Donald Trump.
Scahill expressed concern over his belief that the CIA has been living in an era of zero accountability since the attention of the country has been elsewhere. The way people move forward as a country will set a precedent, he said.
“You have a great opportunity in front of you in this country right now, young people,” Scahill said. “I take inspiration from young activists who are on the front lines right now.”