Monday, November 10, 2008


Admitting Press Bias

The audacity of this piece, by Philadelphia Daily News senior writer Will Bunch, just takes my breath away:

It was living proof of my personal belief that the greatest role for journalists is not to make sure that every story has 50 percent of one side and 50 percent of the other side – but that the vital function for reporters is to preserve democracy and the freedom of the press, because without those freedoms a valid media would cease to exist. Yes, they’re voicing outrage today inside the sacred sanctuary of the Temple of Objective Journalism , where the celebrants nervously fingered their rosaries rather than confront the Constitutional bonfire that was building outside.

But for eight years now, there’s been an out-of-control fire raging outside of that temple – a fire that was built upon the USA Patriot Act and Guantanamo and rendition and torture and signing statements and 16 words in a State of the Union Address. Ultimately, saving the last fabric of democracy is more important than worrying about what contrived commandments of journalism were stepped on while the blaze was finally extinguished.

I myself would call it truth-telling, and honest journalism, but now we have some who want to call it “media bias.” That’s fine with me, but understand this.

“Media bias” may have just saved America .

Saving America isn't your job, bucko. Your job is to report the news, not to save Americans from the horrible fate of disagreeing with you.

If you believe that President Bush is destroying the country, and that John McCain would continue the job, there are many honest and honorable ways of dealing with that. (Volunteering for the Obama campaign comes to mind.) Making your newspaper an unofficial and unpaid cheering squad for the Obama campaign is neither honest nor honorable.

What are the chances that, a year or two from now, some of Mr. Bunch's colleagues will feel the same horror towards President Obama that he recently felt towards Sen. McCain? And how will Mr. Bunch feel if, because they feel that they are honor-bound to save America, they declare their willingness to say anything, or do anything, to sabotage the sitting President of the United States?

What's good for the goose is good for the gander, pal. And what you're doing isn't good for anybody.

(hat tip: neo-neocon)


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