Saturday, November 12, 2011

Media bias?  Yeah, so what.

Atlantic magazine writer Conor Friesersdorf in "James O'Keefe is capitalizing on the cult of journalistic objectivity" puts forth that in an "era of diminished privacy" any journalist could be caught in a "gotcha" moment but that should not undermine his or her body of work.
Under a different system of norms, this reporter or her editors could say, "Look, I regret that my private remarks were made public, and I shouldn't have called the governor a profane name. But the only way to judge me as a journalist is to examine my work. If you find something you regard as objectionable, point it out. I am eager to defend it from scrutiny. And if I've erred in some way, I am glad to acknowledge it. My personal opinions are beside the point."
Well, in my mind, it's not so much a sin of commission than omission.  Where was that famously objective media when James O'Keefe was blowing open the lid on the now-defunct ACORN?  Hot Air: "Jon Stewart to media on ACORN: Where the hell were you?"
Kudos to Jon Stewart, who doesn’t sugar-coat the embarrassment at all — to the apparent delight of his audience, who get kudos of their own. How can the national news media ignore the many allegations of corruption at ACORN, which gets millions of dollars in federal funding, and allow a couple of independents with $3,000 and a bad wardrobe scoop them on the undercover story of the year? It’s easy when newsrooms are more concerned with political direction than truth.
Political direction, it's well known, that only bends in one direction.  I don't know how to resolve this problem (affirmative action for conservative journalists?) but it's beyond reason to believe that reporters can separate their bias from reporting or lack thereof.  If the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, it might be refreshing to see journalists admit their biases instead of feigning some kind of superhuman capability for objectivity.

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