Thursday, June 21, 2007

It just doesn't matter.

This "investigative" piece on the political contributions of journalists is stunningly imbecilic.

OSTON - A CNN reporter gave $500 to John Kerry's campaign the same month he was embedded with the U.S. Army in Iraq. An assistant managing editor at Forbes magazine not only sent $2,000 to Republicans, but also volunteers as a director of an ExxonMobil-funded group that questions global warming. A junior editor at Dow Jones Newswires gave $1,036 to the liberal group and keeps a blog listing "people I don't like," starting with George Bush, Pat Robertson, the Christian Coalition, the NRA and corporate America ("these are the people who are really in charge").

Whether you sample your news feed from ABC or CBS (or, yes, even NBC and MSNBC), whether you prefer Fox News Channel or National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal or The New Yorker, some of the journalists feeding you are also feeding cash to politicians, parties or political action committees.

Look, I don't give a rat's ass whether journalists contribute campaign cash to the Republican party, the Democratic party or the People's Front of Judea. It just doesn't matter. The problem with journalism today isn't that journalists are too engaged or too biased towards their individual causes. The problem with journalism today is that modern journalism is too biased towards "objectivity." At least their own twisted concept of what objectivity means.

As long as journalism continues to conflate relativism and objectivity then people will think journalism sucks.


Anonymous said...

I was just reading an interesting distinction that's useful here, I'll try to track down the link.

It was quoting an older journalist saying that the problem was that "balance" has come to replace "objectivity" in U.S. journalism. To this journalist, the old idea of objectivity was involved accuracy and truth (small 't').

It seems to me that accuracy, backed by evidence, in full context, and is the key issue. Then it needs pointing out when spin by different sides *isn't* accurate.

It's the unwillingness to name inaccuracy, whether in the name of balance or objectivity (spuriously defined) or any other shibboleth, that's the problem.

Overdroid said...

This is completely backwards, I would be much more interested on which reporters are receiving money FROM particular political causes.

Don Snabulus said...


That is a great point! There is a place called Media Transparency which tracks the money flow from the Right to various organizations including media outlets. Not sure if the Right has a readable or truthful equivalent about the Left though (Watch out! George Soros will hypnotize you!).

Swinebread said...

That's why I talk to the Spiritual Turtle to get my news

Dean Wormer said...


Thank you for that comment. Balance vs. Objectivity does seem to be the heart of the matter. Spin is indeed not accurate. I can accept being wrong. I can't accept being spun.

Dean Wormer said...


Seconded that your question is pretty good.