Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Biased media...yeah right

Biased towards foolishness I'd say. Thanks to Poppy for the link to this great op-ed about right-wing craziness and the media. Here's my favorite excerpt:

Conservatives have become adept at playing the media for suckers, getting inside the heads of editors and reporters, haunting them with the thought that maybe they are out-of-touch cosmopolitans and that their duty as tribunes of the people's voices means they should treat Obama's creation of "death panels" as just another justiciable political claim.

It used to be different. You never heard the late Walter Cronkite taking time on the evening news to "debunk" claims that a proposed mental health clinic in Alaska is actually a dumping ground for right-wing critics of the president's program, or giving the people who made those claims time to explain themselves on the air. The media didn't adjudicate the ever-present underbrush of American paranoia as a set of "conservative claims" to weigh, horse-race-style, against liberal claims. Back then, a more confident media unequivocally labeled the civic outrage represented by such discourse as "extremist" -- out of bounds.

Objectivity is not the goal of journalism but the method of getting to the truth. The responsible journalist looks at the evidence and listens to the commentary, makes her best judgment as to the truth of the matter, and then reports it. She is not required to treat every opinion as equally true, nor should she fear to put the facts in context. Journalists need to worry less about conservative claims of bias and more about doing their frakkin' jobs.


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