In praise of ‘the media’ doing their job

Everyone has an opinion on “the media” today because the pampered TV anchors and insular political reporters have once again made it easy to narrowly define the term, with their ridiculous annual decision to party with the people they’re supposed to be covering.

That, for many people, is “the media.” Whatever criticism the “journalists” in Washington are getting today, they brought it on themselves.

Not shown nor considered are all the journalists in the world who were busy doing their jobs and may not even own tuxedos and evening gowns.

Eamon Javers, a CNBC correspondent, reminded us of that fact on Twitter Monday by noting this video, released by the FBI last week, of reporters, a congressman, staffers, and others preparing to leave the Guyana cult home, Jonestown, on November 18, 1978.

Reporters had accompanied Rep. Leo Ryan on an investigation into the cult.

Men loyal to cult leader Jim Jones arrived to try to kill them all.

The NBC cameraman who took the video, Bob Brown, was among those murdered. So was NBC correspondent Don Harris and San Francisco Examiner photographer Greg Robinson. And so was the congressman.

Javers’ father, Ron (shown in the floppy hat), a managing editor with Newsweek, was shot, escaped into the jungle.

It was just a few months later that ABC reporter Bill Stewart was executed while covering a civil war in Nicaragua as his camera crew watched.

It’s not hard to find similar video. Reporters have been dying doing their jobs courageously for generations.

There wasn’t an abundance of courage in a Washington ballroom over the weekend, but that doesn’t define the business.

These people do.

Related: ‘A dark day’: Tributes for journalists killed in Kabul (Al Jazeera)

(h/t: Paul Tosto)