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Journalism and Objectivity
Vanity | 11/16/2009 | Vanity

Posted on 11/16/2009 7:49:48 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion

"What they do is their business," Dobbs said yesterday. "I tried to accommodate them as best I could, but I've said for many years now that neutrality is not part of my being." [CNN boss Jonathan] Klein long believed Dobbs was at odds with CNN's desire to position itself as an opinion-free, middle-of-the-road alternative to its cable news rivals -- conservative Fox News and liberal MSNBC.

Dobbs got $8M to quit
Ny Post ^ | Nov. 16, 2009 | MICHAEL SHAIN

A man once, upon learning that I'm conservative, said "You probably think that journalism isn't objective." I was shocked to find myself making a weak, defensive argument, and have thought long and hard about how I "shoulda coulda woulda" responded. My conclusion is that I should have said IMHO it would be hard to answer "No" to any of those questions - and hard to avoid the conclusion that they inexorably point to. An actual attempt at objectivity would always begin with an open consideration of the possible reasons why the writer might not be objective. And that is never seen in journalism.

The most fundamental desire of journalism is to attract an attentive audience, and to be able to exploit that ability for fun and profit. The linchpin of the influence of AP journalism being perishable news - news that will soon no longer be new - journalism inexorably presses upon the public the idea that the news is important. The more important you think the news is, the less attention you will pay to things which change less, or not at all. That is why AP journalism is inherently anti conservative. Journalism also is maximally important when there is a crisis requiring public notice and action. But of course a putative crisis "requiring" government action implies that the powers-that-be have not already taken whatever action is needed, which is why the public should attend to the journalist and influence the politician accordingly. Again that makes the journalist anti conservative.

Another way of stating the above paragraph is to note that journalism's rules include "There's nothing more worthless than yesterday's newspaper," and "If it bleeds, it leads." The former rule simply says that only what the public doesn't know yet matters, and the latter says that the bad news is most important. Journalism's rules also enjoin the editor that "Man Bites Dog" is news, and "Dog Bites Man" is not news. Which means that business-as-usual is not news, and if anything is reported in the newspaper it is probably not typical of what normally characterizes society.

Most people never, in their entire lives, commit a murder or even know anyone who did commit a murder - but you will find plentiful stories about murders, and demands for the disarming of the general public, but rarely mention of how statistically rare murder actually is or how frequently the law-abiding use or, more commonly merely threaten to use, weapons to prevent crime. Likewise if our troops suffer casualties and deaths in Iraq or Afghanistan that is news - even though the overwhelming majority of our troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan without a scratch, and also with scant if any notice by journalism. All that comports with the rules of journalism - but the rules of journalism comport with the interest of journalism. The rules of journalism purport to be about the public interest, but actually are only about interesting the public. And the two things are not only different, they are often in contradiction. So we see that journalism inherently has an embedded anti conservative agenda.

Journalism goes through the motions of "getting both sides of the story" - but as long as

Half the truth is often a great lie. - Benjamin Franklin

there can be no guarantee that the reporter can even see all sides of the story.

The price of any serious attempt at objectivity is to have the humility to scrutinize one's own motives. In that respect, "objective journalism" doesn't even seriously try to be objective.



TOPICS: Politics
KEYWORDS: ap; associatedpress; bias; cnn; enemedia; journalism; liberalfascism; liberalmedia; telegraph
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The Right to Know

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The Right to Know

Why the Associated Press is Pernicious to the Public Interest

The Market for Conservative-Based News

1 posted on 11/16/2009 7:49:48 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: LS; abb; Anima Mundi; ebiskit; TenthAmendmentChampion; Obadiah; Mind-numbed Robot; A.Hun; ...

Ping.


2 posted on 11/16/2009 7:51:03 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (Anyone who claims to be objective marks himself as hopelessly subjective.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

BTTT


3 posted on 11/16/2009 8:14:38 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

Great post and current example c_I_c to dovetail into your fabulous commentary, research, links-education. Thanks for your outstanding contributions to this forum.

BUMP-TO-THE-TOP!


4 posted on 11/16/2009 9:10:24 AM PST by PGalt
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

*bump*


5 posted on 11/16/2009 2:22:22 PM PST by Liberty Valance (Keep a simple manner for a happy life :o)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

A beautiful demonstration of the MSM lack of objectivity was on last night’s news when Andrea Mitchell was doing a hatchett job on Palin’s book and brought up a passage that disparagingly referred to Mitchell herself. The fact that she was even allowed to do a story on a book that made fun of her speaks volumes about the disappearance of even the most basic effort to achieve objectivity in modern reporting. Once upon a time, journalistic ethics (yes, they DID exist at one time) would have prevented Mitchell from reporting this story.


6 posted on 11/16/2009 2:34:17 PM PST by In Maryland ("Impromptu Obamanomics is getting scarier by the day ..." - Caroline Baum)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion

BTTT!


7 posted on 11/16/2009 8:17:18 PM PST by PGalt
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
A joke I heard told once (by Don Henley, of all people) is that "AP" stands for "Accuracy Problem". Of course, for something to be funny, it has to contain an element of truth.

The AP is, IMNSHO, the #1 reason the mainstream media are so biased. Every newsroom in which I've ever worked has subscribed to AP, and it's regarded as impartial, the best source of facts available short of a first-person interview. Truth be told, AP is just another CommieLib propaganda outlet, which has infected every mainstream newsroom in America, be it radio, TV or print. Furthermore, their writing is atrocious, on the local level especially!

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

8 posted on 11/16/2009 9:01:47 PM PST by wku man (Who says conservatives don't rock? Go to www.myspace.com/rockfromtheright)
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To: wku man
The AP is, IMNSHO, the #1 reason the mainstream media are so biased. Every newsroom in which I've ever worked has subscribed to AP, and it's regarded as impartial, the best source of facts available short of a first-person interview. Truth be told, AP is just another CommieLib propaganda outlet, which has infected every mainstream newsroom in America, be it radio, TV or print. Furthermore, their writing is atrocious, on the local level especially!
It sounds silly to me now, but for decades after I caught on to the existence of the tendentiousness of journalism I wondered why journalism changed from the open political argumentation of the founding era to the pretentious "objectivity" (leaving aside only the editorial page tucked into the back of the first section) which we have always known. I happened to see
Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails:
The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War
by Tom Wheeler
in the library, and suddenly I knew: the thing that transformed journalism was the telegraph. And upon a trivial amount of investigation,
News Over the Wires:
The Telegraph and the Flow of Public Information in America, 1844-1897
by Menahem Blondheim
that the AP was the mechanism by which the telegraph transformed the newspaper business.

The interesting thing is that, according to 4 Advances that Set News Back, the AP was found by SCOTUS to be in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1945. It would seem that all manner of slander and tendentiousness (under color of law in the sense that there are, contrary the the First Amendment IMHO, laws like McCain-Feingold which are predicated on the objectivity of journalism) which could be causes of action in civil court. Perhaps even triple damages under RICO . . .

The AP is an anachronism in the sense that its reason for existence was the economical transmission of the news quickly over long distances - and bandwidth is now so cheap, and the Internet so pervasive, as to transcend the AP for that mission. Now it is simply the mechanism which homogenized, and continues to homogenize, reporting. At the 9/12 rally in Washington I carried a sign saying,

Think Outside "The Wire" - no AP

Someone should sue it into oblivion.


9 posted on 11/17/2009 4:32:18 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (Anyone who claims to be objective marks himself as hopelessly subjective.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
BTTT.

Well said...and at least Dobbs had the intellectual honesty to stand up to CNN's nonsense and remove himself from that den of iniquity.

10 posted on 11/19/2009 3:50:35 PM PST by T Lady (The MSM: Pravda West)
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To: T Lady

Bump.


11 posted on 11/19/2009 5:13:11 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (Anyone who claims to be objective marks himself as hopelessly subjective.)
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To: All
But with the citizenry increasingly fitted into a series of silos, the challenge of coming together for a civil, coherent conversation will grow greater.
When the writer speaks of "the challenge of coming together for a civil, coherent conversation," what I hear is the challenge of channeling the public discourse into the left-wing trough which is natural to AP journalism.

Show me someone who claims objectivity - rather than confessing to the reasons why he might not be objective in spite of his best intentions - and I will show you a propagandist.

And if that shoe fits the journalists you have been listening to, what does that tell you?

Do Web readers value journalism enough to pay? (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Los Angeles Times | January 1, 2010 | James Rainey


12 posted on 01/02/2010 12:19:32 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
According to this libtard I work with, it is because Americans aren’t interested in the truth.

Sigh . . .

Tell him/her that

Massive Cuts at ABC News; 300-400 Positions to be Eliminated
TV Newser ^ | Feb. 23, 2010 | Chris Ariens


13 posted on 02/24/2010 7:57:56 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion ( DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
Everyone is naturally subjective, and the only way to attempt objectivity is to openly face up to known reasons why you would prefer to believe what you do, rather than the opposite. This also means that it is presumptuous to claim to be above labels such as left or right, conservative or liberal.

Claims of objectivity - by journalists or anyone else - are therefore self-falsifying.


14 posted on 02/28/2010 4:20:27 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion ( DRAFT PALIN)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Improving the political discourse resides in the hands of the political majority. Thus far, they have proven themselves unable or (more likely) unwilling to do so. Their rage is rote, not real, and it does none of us any good.
What the writer leaves unsaid, and what I consistently insist on making explicit, is that the Democrats are able to get mileage out that tired tripe, whereas the Republicans cannot, and seldom or never even try it. For the simple reason that the Democratic Party exists in symbiosis with Big Journalism. It now amazes me to realize how long it took me to even identify that fact, let alone analyze the obvious reasons for it.

Big Journalism is in the business of selling the "sizzle" of objectivity and important information - and delivering the "steak" of pandering to our jealousy and base instincts. They claim the mantle of "the public interest" when they are merely delivering superficial and negative fluff systematically designed only to interest the public - which a different matter entirely. Big Journalism can be understood and referred to as a single entity for the simple reason that the newspapers were homogenized by the economics of the Associated Press, membership in which is expensive and the value of which must therefore be maximized. In consequence of which, the various organs of Big Journalism are like the various teams of Major League Baseball - competitive is delivering their product, but cooperative in promoting that product. It is always essentially the same product. So it it nothing to marvel at when journalists say that journalism is objective - of course they would say that. But that claim is self-negating, for the simple reason that subjectivity is the opposite of objectivity, and subjectivity is nothing other than a belief in one's own objectivity.

So the question is not "Why would journalism be in symbiosis with the Democratic Party," the only question is why a politician would not be in symbiosis with journalism. So it appears that the Republican Party, flawed as it is, must actually have some principle which separates it from the symbiosis with journalism which is enjoyed by Democrat politicians.

Rote Rage: My Two Cents on Tempering the Debate Spare Change | 28 March 2010 | David J. Aland


15 posted on 03/29/2010 5:00:12 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion ( DRAFT PALIN)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Another book could be a Who’s Who of leftists, mini biographies listing all the foul garbage they have done, who their connections are, who funds them, etc. Stripping them of any ability to pretend to be honest or objective.
If you think about it at all, you realize that the only way to attempt to be objective is to declare up front all the reasons why you might not be objective.

And that implies that anyone who claims to be objective - i.e., journalists as we have known them all our lives - is not even trying to be objective.

Are there any reasons why journalists might not be objective? Of course - every business has its own interests. Some of the well-known interests of journalism are:

  1. the need for public credulity, including the need for public credulity of journalism's claims of objectivity,

  2. the need to interest the public. The rules which journalists claim to be objective are actually rules to promote their own business by interesting the public.
    • If it bleeds, it leads
    • "'Man Bites Dog' not 'Dog Bites Man."
    • "There's nothing more worthless than yesterday's newspaper" (i.e., "meet your deadline, tell the story first").
If journalists declared those interests before reporting their stories, they would be more objective. But, superficially, they might seem less so. And journalism - after all, the root "jour" is French for "day" - is about "what's happening now" rather than about perspective and the big picture.
The Associated Press and the rest of the wire services are useful to exploit scarce communication bandwidth. The wire services homogenize journalism, suppressing the individuality which was originally the hallmark of American newspapers. That homogenization does not make newspapers less tendentious - it magnifies the inherent tendency of the journalist to self-hype. Such individuality as is expressed in the editorial/op ed pages merely serves to "position" the rest of the newspaper (chiefly wire service material) as being objective.

The Internet is an expression of the technological fact that bandwidth now is very plentiful. The internet exposes the homogenization of journalism via wire services as the Nineteenth Century anachronism that it is.

The "objective journalism" emperor has no clothes, and no one in journalism can say so. Although I as an individual FReeper cannot drive that fact into the public discourse, via the internet I can publish it in a form which is accessible worldwide. It is up to talk radio and other opinion leaders to pick up the ball and run with it.

Once dispose of the baseless assumption that journalism is objective, and the idea of having journalists moderate televised political debates becomes risible. Dispense with that assumption, and the question becomes whether, and to what extent, politicians align themselves with the tendencies of journalism. And the answer becomes plain as the nose on your face.

Journalists assign positive labels to those who do align themselves with the interests of journalism, and negative labels to those who do not. I have my own Newspeak-English dictionary:

objective :
reliably promoting the interests of Big Journalism. (usage: always applied to journalists in good standing; never applied to anyone but a journalist)
liberal :
see "objective," except that the usage is reversed: (usage: never applied to any working journalist)
progressive :
see "liberal" (usage: same as for "liberal").
moderate:
see "liberal." (usage: same as for "liberal").
centrist :
see "liberal" (usage: same as for "liberal").
conservative :
rejecting the idea that journalism is a higher calling than providing food, shelter, clothing, fuel, and security; adhering to the dictum of Theodore Roosevelt that: "It is not the critic who counts . . . the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena (usage: applies to people who - unlike those labeled liberal/progressive/moderate/centrist, cannot become "objective" by getting a job as a journalist, and probably cannot even get a job as a journalist.)(antonym:"objective")
right-wing :
see, "conservative."

Original FR post


16 posted on 10/13/2010 7:58:46 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: In Maryland
A beautiful demonstration of the MSM lack of objectivity was on last night’s news when Andrea Mitchell was doing a hatchett job on Palin’s book and brought up a passage that disparagingly referred to Mitchell herself. The fact that she was even allowed to do a story on a book that made fun of her speaks volumes about the disappearance of even the most basic effort to achieve objectivity in modern reporting.
Absolutely.
Once upon a time, journalistic ethics (yes, they DID exist at one time) would have prevented Mitchell from reporting this story.
Considering how well the behavior of journalism can be explained by the self interest of journalism and by a skeptical, if not indeed cynical, reading of codes of journalistic ethics, I confess I have my doubts.

It actually wouldn't have mattered if any other journalist reviewed Palin's denigration of Mitchell or any other "objective" journalist - all journalists have the same self interest in promoting the credulity of the people WRT the claim that all journalists are objective. So it actually doesn't matter whether it is Mitchell herself or some other journalist discussing the subject. None of them are any more objective about that subject than Mitchell herself.

(I'm not sure how I failed to respond to your post on November 16, 2009 when you posted it. Except that I obviously got pretty involved in writing a response to wku man's #8, and just dumb forgot. But better late than never . . .)

17 posted on 10/18/2010 3:05:07 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Speaking to liberal NPR host Diane Rehm, Carter put forth that "public broadcasting networks on radio and television basically tell the honest, objective truth.
Attempting objectivity is an admirable pursuit, but one which must begin with and a self-critical examination of the reasons one might not be objective. Joining a clique of other journalists who all swear to each other's objectivity - or uncritically broadcasting the praise of a sympathetic political figure, is no way to attempt objectivity.

Self-proclaimed "objective" journalists aren't even trying to be objective. They are heavily biased.

And, I think, the Republicans who (want funding for public broadcasting cut) would like for everybody to have one channel that they can watch every day, and that's Fox News."
Naturally any politician, Republican or Democrat, would prefer that the public listen only to the broadcasts which are most sympathetic to him/her self. But in fact, while Fox News is uniquely sympathetic to Republicans, NPR is far from unique in being sympathetic to Democrats. The reason Air America failed so signally is transparent - the niche it sought to fill was already full of "objective" journalists. Who are even more tendentious than Air America could be, since claiming objectivity is an extreme of tendentiousness.
Jimmy Carter Gone Wild
Townhall.com ^ | December 4, 2010 | Bill O'Reilly

18 posted on 12/05/2010 3:37:51 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
This proves that smarta$$ is not a journalist but a liberal propagandist, which means he is simply a very subtle, useful tool of left-wing propagandists, an "advance party" if you will.
I like your post.
But I have a quibble about language. You say, "smarta$$ is not a journalist," but then you say, "[he is] a liberal propagandist, which means he is simply a very subtle, useful tool of left-wing propagandists, an "advance party" if you will. "
My point is simply that the wire services in general and the Associated Press in particular united journalism around the self-interest of journalism itself. Journalism is just talk, and

the self interest of journalism is
that its talk is taken to be more important than the action taken by others
to provide food, clothing, shelter, security, energy, and so forth.

This explains why journalism is able to maintain the fatuous conceit of its own objectivity, despite the obvious realtity that journalism is at most part of the truth, and "Half the truth is often a great lie." You can print "both sides of the story" without necessarily getting at the truth of the matter, and that happens all the time. Because the perspective of the journalist defines what he thinks the two sides of the story are. Which may be irrelevant to what is actually going on. And the very fact that the journalist claims to be objective (or, what is the same thing, suffers others to claim it for him) proves that the journalist is not even trying to be objective.

Ironically, it is possible to attempt to be objective only by being open about any reasons why you might not be objective. And claiming to be objective is the very opposite of scrupulously examining your own motives and being open about how they (inevitably) influence your perspective. Therefore,

no "objective journalist" is even trying to actually be objective.

It would be wonderful if we could count on objective information for the mere price of a newspaper. Alas, it is impossible. There can be no substitute for exercising your own judgement. "Anyone who tells you anything else is selling something."

The wisest and most cautious of us all frequently gives credit to stories which he himself is afterwards both ashamed and astonished that he could possibly think of believing . . .

It is acquired wisdom and experience only that teach incredulity,
and they very seldom teach it enough.
  - Adam Smith

Because the wire services unified journalism, journalism speaks with a single voice (I discount the editorial pages as being a peripheral issue, which function primarily to "position" the rest of the newspaper as being objective). Since journalism speaks with a single voice, there are natural propaganda advantages to agreeing with that unified journalistic voice. So if you don't have any principles other than your own self interest, the path of least resistance is to become a politician who promotes whatever the journalistic voice finds convenient. You can then count on that journalistic voice to give you favorable labels and give your opposition consistently unfavorable PR.

So when you say someone is a propagandist rather than a journalist, you give undue credit to journalism as a profession. Journalism is propaganda.

Is Cain Able? (refreshingly honest about not knowing but..)
HeyMiller ^ | Monday June 6, 2011 | John Miller

The Right to Know


19 posted on 06/07/2011 9:34:03 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
There was a swipe at journalistic objectivity: “You cannot be objective when it comes to right and wrong, and Israel is in the right. So I’m a biased journalist and I’m having a great time doing it.”
Breitbart Dishes on Gingrich, Weiner, Palin
The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles ^ | June 13, 2011 | Jonah Lowenfeld
You cannot be objective, period. But you can try to approximate it. But to do so you must make a serious effort to identify, openly, the reasons why you are not objective in a particular case.

That is, you must make statements against your own interest. And it is that which a journalist cannot do while at one and the same time claiming actually to be - or even allowing others to describe him as - objective.

The case is precisely the opposite of Yodda's dictum, "Do or do not. There is no 'try'." We need, therefore, a word which defines one who is actually trying to be objective - but who, in the nature of things, cannot claim or allow others to claim actual objectivity for himself. And there is a word which was coined in ancient Greece essentially for that purpose.

sophist
1542, earlier sophister (c.1380), from L. sophista, sophistes, from Gk. sophistes, from sophizesthai "to become wise or learned," from sophos "wise, clever," of unknown origin. Gk. sophistes came to mean "one who gives intellectual instruction for pay," and, contrasted with "philosopher," it became a term of contempt. Ancient sophists were famous for their clever, specious arguments.
philosopher
O.E. philosophe, from L. philosophus, from Gk. philosophos "philosopher," lit. "lover of wisdom," from philos "loving" + sophos "wise, a sage."

"Pythagoras was the first who called himself philosophos, instead of sophos, 'wise man,' since this latter term was suggestive of immodesty." [Klein]

I admit that the Greeks were discussing "wisdom" rather than "objectivity," but then - is there any substantive difference between the words? Is there any such thing as "unwise objectivity?" Or "non-objective wisdom?" I suggest there is more of a distinction than a difference - and that, etymologically at least, "philosopher" is the word most descriptive of "a person who is trying, not to merely to seem but actually to be, objective."

20 posted on 06/14/2011 5:59:20 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
Isn’t it amazing what the media lets the left get away with!
It might be surprising - if there were any reason to suppose that journalism actually was objective, as it claims. But then, the very claim of objectivity is proof that journalists aren't even trying to be objective.

If they were trying to be objective they would be declaring their interests, not claiming not to have any interests.

If they were trying to be objective they would admit that they make their money less by informing the public and promoting virtue than by flattering the public in its ignorance, and pandering to the public in its vices.

If they were trying to be objective they would condemn the Democratic Party for pandering to the public's sloth and greed, rather than promoting the Democratic Party for acting on precisely the same impulses which now rule journalism.


21 posted on 07/31/2011 4:34:24 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
Jeopardy! clue:
The Associated Press

Correct Jeopardy! response:
Who is the man behind the curtain?

The AP invented "objective journalism" as we know it. But if someone calls a wise man "wise," the wise man distances himself from that accolade for fear of being arrogant. In the same way, if someone calls a person who is trying to be objective "objective," the person who is trying to be objective will distance himself from that claim because it is impossible to associate oneself with a claim of actual objectivity and simultaneously to take full account of the reasons why it is impossible to know that one is being objective.

It follows that "objective" journalists aren't even trying be objective. Nor is anyone who agrees that journalism is objective actually trying to be objective - else, they would not risk the association: He is objective, and I agree with him, therefore I am objective.

OTOH there is no conflict between being openly "conservative" and trying to be objective. Being openly conservative entails having the humility to admit that your perspective has a legitimate label which is not the name of a virtue.

"Wisdom" and "objectivity" are virtues, but there are other virtues in the American political context. Consider "liberal" (which only became an euphemism for socialist in the 1920s, according to Safire's New Political Dictionary). "Progressive" (one of the objectives of the Constitution is "To promote the progress of science and useful arts") is another. "Moderate" (a.k.a. "centrist") is a classical virtue like wisdom. I submit that the list of American political virtues is coextensive with the list of euphemisms journalists have applied to socialists.

The great problem of countering propaganda in America is the fact that journalism has been homogenized by the AP. And that the public has been propagandized, for generations, to take for granted that journalism is objective. It is surprisingly difficult to think past that propaganda:

The wisest and most cautious of us all frequently gives credit to stories which he himself is afterwards both ashamed and astonished that he could possibly think of believing . . .

It is acquired wisdom and experience only that teach incredulity,
and they very seldom teach it enough.
  - Adam Smith

We should turn the question around and ask, "Why would journalists want to be objective?" Not why they would want to be perceived as being objective, which is obvious, but why they would want to undergo the rigors of actually trying - against human nature - to discount their own perspective and risk validating uncongenial viewpoints?

The answer to that question is, for most people, the challenge of competition. "Conservatives" - the label is actually uncongenial to the advocates of liberty who get smeared with it in America - are consistently challenged whenever they make a significant claim. In that environment, there is a real reason to "get your ducks in a row" before making a public statement. Unfortunately for the Republic, the homogenizing influence of wire service journalism means that whatever is convenient/congenial to the journalist as such will never be challenged by anyone else in journalism.

If journalism is simply following the path of its own internal least resistance, why does that result in agreement with socialists and dogged, persistent criticism of any opponent of socialists? Socialism is simply the denigration of anyone who takes responsibility to work to a bottom line. It is the taking for granted of the fruit of all the labors of those who actually work and make decisions in the face of risk. It promotes the critic above "the man in the arena," and criticism is precisely the role of the journalist. There is an inherent synergism between journalists and political socialists.


22 posted on 08/06/2011 1:59:36 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
Graneros: There you have it. Because the MSM and the Dems in are full attack mode against the Tea Party it can only mean the Tea Party is successful beyond anything anyone thought possible and that the Dems are very scared of them. Reading the news in the new bizzaro world of the USA means whatever they say you can count on the opposite being true.
That isn't anything new. It traces back to the post-Civil War era which is also the founding era of wire service journalism.

News Over the Wires:
The Telegraph and the Flow of Public Information in America, 1844-1897
by Menahem Blondheim
points out that the Associated Press was challenged for blatantly accruing centralized propaganda power. The Associated Press's response was to point out that the newspapers which made up the membership of the AP were (at that time, and traditionally) notorious for not agreeing on much of anything. So the AP itself was objective. We see how that worked out; now the news outlets, broadcast as well as print, are notorious for agreeing about everything.

This, IMHO, is the logical consequence of the need of the news organizations for national and international news which only the wire services could provide, and the lack of which dooms a news organization to the ghetto of strictly local reporting. That suppressed openly opinionated/partisan journalism, but it empowered the inherent tendency of journalists to promote their own importance, now no longer checked by competition among journalism outlets. All report the same stuff, from the same sources, according to the same criteria - so the individuality among them is expressed only in distinctions not actual differences.

The criteria - "Man Bites Dog, not Dog Bites Man," "If it bleeds, it leads," and "Always make your deadline" - are obviously designed to interest the public (for profit), and have nothing to do with the public interest (informing people on matters of importance). The lack of competition among journalists has led to a lack of introspection within journalism - the only concern among journalists is for the conformity which they confuse with objectivity. Journalists make no effort to be objective in fact. Any actual attempt at objectivity would be incompatible with claiming - or even associating with those who claim for them - that they actually are objective.

Compare with the similar conundrum recognized by the ancient Greeks - any attempt at actual wisdom must start by limiting one's self to claiming to love wisdom (see, philosopher) rather than claiming to actually be wise (see, sophist, origin of our term for slippery argumentation, sophistry).

Journalists "don't plant 'taters, they don't plant cotton" - but let the crop or either fail, and they can always make a buck complaining about the failures of others. Second guessing is cheap talk, and that is the specialty of journalism. And the extreme of cheap talk is socialism. It is no accident that Lenin was a writer and Mussolini was a reporter/editor - the idea that critics rather than doers should run things is naturally congenial to writers.
So journalists and writers are naturally attracted to socialism, which puts critics in charge. And what, therefore, could be more natural than for ambitious politicians to attach themselves to the natural propensity and predilection of journalism, and thereby to avail themselves of the propaganda wind that places at their backs?
In short, nothing could be more natural than that politicians should align themselves with journalism, and that journalism should reciprocate by assigning positive labels to their political allies. The result we observe is that there is no example of a virtue ("moderation" a.k.a. "centrism" being a classical virtue, and "progress" and "liberty" being American virtues) which has not been used as a label for the allies of journalism. Reciprocally, opposition to socialism gets labeled "conservative" (opposite to the American virtue of a belief in progress), "extreme," or "right wing."

In reality "liberals" do not promote liberty, "progressives" do not promote progress by the people (but only by an encroaching central government), and "moderates" are merely soft-spoken allies of the above rather than holding positions not simpatico to journalism. In reality "objective" journalists, like their "liberal/progressive/moderate" allies, are systematic perpetrators of sophistry. Which explains why we have so much work to do deconstructing the endemic distortions we find in "objective news."

Journalism and Objectivity


23 posted on 08/14/2011 7:04:37 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
The Reliable Unreliability of Journalism
24 posted on 08/17/2011 7:52:31 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
The WaPo is nothing more than a hitman for the left.
Nobody is objective, and those who claim actually to be - not just strive to be but actually to be - objective are the most tendentious of all.

The wire service business model of journalism requires all journalists to claim that all journalists are objective - so all journalists are highly tendentious.

Why Publish the Marco Rubio Story?
Commentary Magazine | 10-21-11 | John Podhoretz

25 posted on 10/22/2011 11:43:33 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All

There is a theory of personal interaction known as “transactional analysis.” That theory holds that there is in all of us a “child” personna, and “adult” personna, and a “parent” personna. Thus, an interaction can be reciprocally “child to child” - which is being playful or humorous. An interaction can be reciprocally “adult to adult” - being serious. And an interaction can be reciprocally “parent to parent” - being judgmental of others.
Or an interaction can also legitimately be reciprocally “parent to child” - i.e., a real parent to a real child, in which correction is given and accepted, or reciprocally “parent to adult” or “adult to child” in which moral or factual instruction is given and accepted.

But things are different when an interaction is not reciprocal; in those cases neither person accepts the role the other is assigning them. And the most problematic of all is when each person tries to assume the role of “parent” while assigning the other person the role of “child.” That is when the sparks can really fly.

In reality the conservative generally tries to relate “adult to adult” with others, being pragmatic and doing what will work in the long run. But the reality which this satire illustrates is that journalists, not distinguishably from “liberals,” who can take on the role of journalist and be accepted by other journalists without skipping a beat, systematically assume the role of “parent” and assign the role of “child” to conservatives. That is actually a temptation for everyone, and is the natural result of a person simply because they have the power to be able to maintain that position. That temptation is tempered by the existence of countervailing power.

The problem conservatives have had since memory of living man runneth not to the contrary is that journalism has been unified and homogenized by the wire services. Thus, the inherent craving for attention, respect, and authority of people in general is magnified in the journalist because nobody with the same propaganda power as the journalist wants to burst the journalist’s bubble and point out that the journalist is a mere critic, and that “the man in the arena” deserves pride of place. Thus, socialism is the natural outgrowth of the hypertrophy of the “critic” what in transaction analysis is the “parent” role of journalism.


26 posted on 11/11/2011 2:20:23 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernández ruled that “investigative blogger” Crystal L. Cox “was not a journalist and cannot claim the protections afforded to mainstream reporters and news outlets.”
Having the government give the MSM special priviledges is something the MSM has pushed for decades. They were all for the first amendment as long as they had a lock on the media. Now that they have some competition, not so much.
Can we examine the nomenclature "main stream media" (MSM) a bit critically, please?

  1. A television channel or a magazine or newspaper or radio station is a medium. Article 1 Section 8 the Constitution provides explicit congressional authority
    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries . . .
    The invention of high speed printing presses, the telegraph, phonographs, radio, movies, TV, the Internet, and so forth are all therefore condoned by the Constitution. Such "media" are in principle content neutral. We should have no argument against "media" of communication, as such, so railing against "the media" is really basically stupid. Therefore protection of "the freedom of . . . the press" should be understood as covering all media of communication.

  2. To suggest that fiction be censored, other than that parents should control content to which their children are exposed, is anathema. If lefties make good fiction writers, we will just have to live with that. So that leaves nonfiction. And again, nonfiction books don't have to be right in every particular to have some or even a lot of wisdom in them. So censoring nonfiction books is also a nonstarter, constitutionally and practically.

    Any legitimate brief must therefore be directed at topical nonfiction - i.e., journalism.

  3. In the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, newspapers were notoriously fractiously independent, and were more like modern opinion journals than like modern newspapers. Something changed the newspapers into the homogenous "press" of today. IMHO the reason for that change is bound and gagged, and lying on our doorstep - the reason is the telegraph. The telegraph, and The Associated Press. The AP has its roots smack in the middle of the Nineteenth Century, and by the Twentieth Century it was in full flower. Meaning, that by then the economic incentives of the use of the AP had by then driven the "fractious independence" of the various newspapers into the ghetto known as the editorial page.

    • The AP based its claim to objectivity on the fact that its members notoriously did not agree on much of anything - but over the course of a generation or two wire service journalism destroyed that fractiousness almost completely. What remains is the overarching self interest of journalists. The standard rules of journalism which are promoted as "objectivity" are transparently designed not for objectivity but for selling newspapers. "If it bleeds, it leads." "'Man Bites Dog,' not 'Dog Bites Man.'" "Always make your deadline." These things have nothing to do with objectivity and everything to do with protecting the journalist's job by selling newspapers. If you think about it, subjectivity - the natural tendency of anyone to see things from a self-interested point of view - is only to be expected. And while it is possible to attempt objectivity, it is not possible to know that you are being objective.
      The wisest and most cautious of us all frequently gives credit to stories which he himself is afterwards both ashamed and astonished that he could possibly think of believing . . .

      It is acquired wisdom and experience only that teach incredulity,
      and they very seldom teach it enough.
        - Adam Smith

      Notice, dear reader, not only how apt the above Adam Smith quote is to the point, but how quoting it changes the discussion from "objectivity" to wisdom. And I contend that a journalist's claim "objectivity" cannot be distinguished logically from a claim of wisdom. I would welcome a serious discussion of that point from anyone who discerns a true logical distinction. Absent any serious debate on that point, this has a very significant implication. Because a claim of superior wisdom is precisely the origin of the term, "sophistry." So when the wire service journalist claims that journalism is objective, he is engaging in sophistry. Another way of reaching the same conclusion is to note that the first action of one who is seriously attempting to be objective is to try to discern, and openly declare, any reasons why he might not be objective - and that such self-abnegation is precisely what the journalist who is claiming to be objective is not doing. Thus, we see that your "objective" wire service journalist is not even trying to be objective.

  4. As I noted earlier, the AP based its claim to objectivity on the fact that its members notoriously did not agree on much of anything - but over the course of a generation or two wire service journalism destroyed that fractiousness almost completely. What remains is the overarching self interest of journalists. The self interest of journalists is to make journalism profitable. Profitable, and influential. Journalists "want to make a difference." Journalists can influence politicians, journalists can influence government. Thus, the bigger government is, the more influence journalism has. Journalists tell you who goes along and gets along with journalists by awarding such people positive labels, and tarring their opponents with negative labels.

    Dear Reader, the Constitution is a progressive, liberal document. One of the (relatively few) enumerated powers of Congress is justified on the basis that it was expected "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts." And the mission of the Constitution. summarized in last objective listed in its preamble, is to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." So America was founded as a progressive, liberal nation. A progressive, liberal nation is not a conservative nation. Indeed, I recall a quotation in a history book I read (in the dim past) in school, in which a Briton criticized the Constitution and the government it created as "all sheet and no anchor." Yet the very people who want to preserve liberty and the opportunity for progress which liberty provides get labelled "conservative" - and the very people who would restrict oil drilling, coal mining, genetic engineering of crops, etc. are called "liberal" or "progressive." "Moderation" is a classical virtue, which the immodest people who claim to be objective use as a label for people most like themselves, who want the scope and size of government to be anything but moderate. They always want more.

    The only positive label which journalists apply in politics but do not give their friends is the one they reserve soley for themselves - "objective." Unless of course one of their "liberal" friends (George Stephanopolis, poster boy) changes hats and gets a job as a journalist colleague. Then, without any change of attitude on his part, he instantaneously becomes "objective."

  5. The conclusion of the matter is that the government should not define "journalists" at all, but its working definition is that which journalism itself adheres to - that a journalist never questions the objectivity of any other journalist. Any law which gives special treatment to journalism's "borg" sets them apart from the people, and illegitimately establishes them as a sort of priesthood, in contravention rather than in furtherance of the intent of the First Amendment.

27 posted on 12/10/2011 1:36:56 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
What will it take to destroy the Media?
Do you mean movies and TV shows and books? No, I didn't think so. Why then do we talk about "media" when what we actually are concerned about is journalism?

Wire Service journalism is actually the culprit. Certainly, wire services came into being at the right time to be the culprit; the Granddaddy of them all - the Associated Press - began life in 1848 as the New York Associated Press. Before that era, newspapers were about the opinions of their printers as much as, or more than, they were about news reports not otherwise available to the public. The advent of the AP was a game changer - suddenly there was this expensive newfangled device which poured out more news stories than would fit in your paper - most of which told about events too far away, and too recent, to be available to the general public anywhere but in the newspaper. But, what to make of reports written by reporters whom the editor of the newspaper didn't even know, much less employ? Was the public to take reports off the wire as mere rumors, or as fact? Obviously the way to maximize the value of the expensive newswire asset was to promote news off the wire as being objective.

The newspapers of the day were famous for disagreeing about just about everything, and the member newspapers of the Associated Press were the source of most of the reporting which came in over the wire. The AP exploited that public perception by saying that news over the wire came from reporters from all perspectives, not just one newspaper - and therefore AP journalism was objective. That might have seemed to have some merit in the 1800s - but the trouble, as we now so readily observe, is that the AP now takes up so much of any given newspaper as to moot the differences in perspective of the editors of that paper. So most papers don't sell their editorial opinion - the Wall Street Journal being a notable exception - but basically sell their gloss on the same AP stories which differs mostly cosmetically from one paper to the next. Thus, the newspapers stopped being independent of each other. So that now, if you've seen one newspaper you've basically seen them all.

And the "all" newspapers that you've seen? They all reflect, not their claimed objectivity, but the desires of journalists as a group. Those desires center on the profitability and influence of journalism itself. Journalists want to have jobs and be paid - and they want to "make a difference." Journalism can influence voters, and thereby can influence government. Would you expect journalism to maximize its overall influence by urging for less of what is thinks it controls, or more? As we observe, journalism lines up behind more government. Providing a propaganda wind at the backs of politicians who promote the same thing.
What will it take to destroy the Associated Press? I don't know how to literally destroy it, without doing violence to the First Amendment which would be very foolish IMHO. But, it is AFAIK a fact that the AP was found to be in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act way back in 1945. Only trouble, then the mission of the AP was "too big to fail." The mission of the AP was to transmit news while conserving scarce long-distance bandwidth. Does that sound like a critical mission to you today? Of course not - bandwidth is now dirt cheap. You might not be able literally to destroy the AP, but you could transform it if you sued it as a monopoly, and demanded that it divest itself of its membership (i.e., required its members to become truly competitive again), allowing the AP to reconstitute itself as a global outlet of public news, rather than a broker of news to the nominally competitive but actually cooperative news outlets we have today.
Never again should a Dan Rather promote a pack of lies and, when called on it, double down, secure in the knowledge that no journalist ever questioned the objectivity of another journalist, and lived (remained respected as a journalist) to tell the tale.

28 posted on 12/12/2011 6:45:22 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
The larger problem stems from the fact that most journalists have not been taught to critically examine statistics. They follow the herd which often means that they report numbers without providing readers a context for making sense of those numbers.
Seriously, does anyone expect anything different from journalists?
. . . and if so, why?        
"People of the same trade seldom meet together even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or some contrivance to raise prices." - Adam Smith
We need not wonder if journalists "meet together;" the critical mass of journalists work for members of the Associated Press - if not, indeed, for the AP itself. And it is scarcely to be thought that journalists of the other wire services, or of no wire service, are out of the loop.

The effect of the wire services is to homogenize journalism and inspire a herd mentality among journalists. And it hardly seems likely, on the evidence I'm aware of, that journalism school does anything to reduce the herd tendency of journalists; instead it teaches journalism on the Associated Press model. As long as journalism as a whole is able to hype the importance of "The News," and hype the "objectivity" of journalists as such, there will be overwhelming herd behavior among journalists.

The herd behavior of journalists cultivates herd "thought" among we-the-people. Who among us has not been taught in Civics class that journalism is objective? There are however problems with this simple story: to have government schools teaching that journalists are objective essentially establishes journalists as a priesthood who have different rights and responsibilities than the general public, and Journalists are not without their own distinctive motivations separate from the public interest - pecuniary self-interest, and ego gratification implicit in being considered influential. Of course monetary and ego gratification are universal human desires - but their presence in journalism does not indicate that journalists are a priesthood apart from we-the-people.

Not only so, but because disasters for the public at large produce "great copy" for the journalist (who works overtime covering wars and natural disasters), it is apparent that to the first-order approximation journalists have perverse incentives. Without claiming that as a general rule journalists intentionally cause calamities in order to report them, it has to be said that William Randolph Hearst "exercised enormous political influence, and is sometimes credited with pushing public opinion in the United States into a war with Spain in 1898," according to Wikipedia This suggests, in considering the claims of journalistic objectivity, the advisability of heeding the cautioning of Adam Smith:

The wisest and most cautious of us all frequently gives credit to stories which he himself is afterwards both ashamed and astonished that he could possibly think of believing . . .

It is acquired wisdom and experience only that teach incredulity,
and they very seldom teach it enough.
  -

We would do well to consider what journalism's self-proclamation of its own "objectivity" actually implies in the context of what we would expect of any ordinary person who claimed to even attempt objectivity. For any ordinary person, we would expect that they would declare up front all their interests in the case at hand which would hinder their attempted objectivity. But that, of course, is precisely what the journalists are too busy claiming actual objectivity to ever do.

Besides, to the extent that claiming "objectivity" is code for claiming wisdom, the claim is sheer sophistry.


29 posted on 01/24/2012 5:32:33 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
The advent of wire services transformed journalism. I say "services, plural, but the Associated Press is the big one. And the AP has always sought a monopoly position - to the extent that SCOTUS held, back in 1945, that the AP was in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

But even if you ignore that salient fact and assume that there is in fact competition between multiple wire services, the fact remains that any wire service would tend to homogenize journalism. For the simple reason that any wire service is expensive, and any newspaper which belongs to a wire service must maximize the public respect for wire service reports.

Any wire service provides a newspaper with plentiful "copy" - reports of events which would not, in the pre-telegraph world, have been known to the public at great distances from the event for weeks or months. It is not the telegraph company which does that, tho. The reports have the mystique of the telegraph, and it takes a leap of imagination to absorb just how magical it seemed when, in the mid-Eighteenth Century, the telegraph made instantaneous communication possible over distances which then required weeks or even months for human transportation to reach.

But it is the wire service - reporters, who send the stories over the wire- who actually produce the reports. And the reporters are still just people. The member newspapers of the Associated Press, and the AP itself, generate the reports and those reports are the common source for all stories each newspaper publishes about distant events. How would it be possible for that system to fail to homogenize the member newspapers? That would not be possible. There still exist various editorial page positions of the various newspapers - the Wall Street Journal is a salient example, and its editorial page sells newspapers. But in general the editorial page is essentially a ghetto if it differs from the political coloration of the common reportage of the (nominally various) inputs to the AP. The meat and potatoes

The natural question is, "What is the inherent political coloration of the generic reporter? What is the difference between a reporter and other professionals?" The answer to that question, IMHO, is that journalists are biased in favor of journalism. Journalism is talk, not action, and journalism is uniquely flighty in its subjects. It doesn't restrict itself to any particular subject, but dedicates itself to whatever promotes journalism itself. And since criticism of those upon whom the public depends makes journalism seem important, the bias of journalism is against the public image of important institutions. But since this bias creates a propaganda wind, politicians sail down that wind if that does not violate their principles. Politicians who do this are rewarded by journalism with positive labels such as "progressive," "liberal," or "moderate." OTOH politicians who defend the institutions upon which we depend are tarred with negative labels such as "right wing," "extreme," or "conservative."

Oh - and by the way, they award the positive label "objective" exclusively to themselves and not to the "liberal"/"moderate"/"progressive" person who is not a working as a journalist - notwithstanding the fact that there is no difference between the attitude of a "liberal" and that of an "objective" journalist. The claim of objectivity is a claim to represent the public interest - which is a great way to promote oneself and one's profession. And no journalist will contradict you if you assert that journalism is objective. But considering that any attempt at actual objectivity must start with an open declaration of any interests which one has in favor of any party to a dispute, declaring oneself/one's own profession to be "objective" precludes any real attempt at objectivity by the journalist.
 Half the truth is often a great lie. - Benjamin Franklin/tt>

30 posted on 02/01/2012 8:11:53 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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The filmmakers use real footage of Couric and then cut in Julianne Moore's fake Palin. Other reviews note that Steve Schmidt's actual Palin-trashing, "Game Change" book-promoting interview on "60 Minutes" is the exclamation point at the end of the film. HBO is merging their leftist "docudrama" with real liberal-bias "news" clips to leave one unmissable point: Never vote for Sarah Palin. Ever. For anything.
HBO wants to paint the Democrats as the valiant heroes and paint the Republicans as the paranoid crazy women. Nobody needs to wait until March to wonder whether HBO is ridiculous when it puts out a statement calling this movie “a balanced portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign."
Asserting that Mr. Obama is a better president than Gov. Palin would be is, however incorrect by my lights, merely free speech. However, there is a line which HBO is oblivious to and has blithely crossed - a line between opinion, on the one hand, and reckless disregard of the truth with intent to cause harm to someone, on the other. One thing to say, even to dramatize, the opinion that John McCain “knew” that Palin was paying “too much” attention to Rush Limbaugh. But when they mix real footage with dramatization, and even more when they advertise their hit job as "a balanced portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign,” IMHO they have set themselves up for a lawsuit. If Governor Palin isn’t running for political office this year, she could do a great deal of good by suing HBO and the Associated Press and its membership for their very socks.

Why the Associated Press? Because HBO would rely on the hit jobs of the AP and its membership in order to claim that they had reason to believe that it was OK to make the claims that they did. And because (back in 1945) the AP was found by SCOTUS to be a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust law. The AP is the central culprit, because it provides cover for the rest of the publicity machine. The AP and its membership also subjects all our politicians to its flattery (“liberals,” “moderates,” “progressives”) and derision (“right wing,” “conservative). It was the AP and its membership which pushed through the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold “law.” And it is the AP and its membership which profits (in increased effectiveness of its flattery and derision) by it.

HBO's Palin Pollution
Townhall.com | February 24, 2012 | Brent Bozell

31 posted on 02/24/2012 6:05:33 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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The filmmakers use real footage of Couric and then cut in Julianne Moore's fake Palin. Other reviews note that Steve Schmidt's actual Palin-trashing, "Game Change" book-promoting interview on "60 Minutes" is the exclamation point at the end of the film. HBO is merging their leftist "docudrama" with real liberal-bias "news" clips to leave one unmissable point: Never vote for Sarah Palin. Ever. For anything.
HBO wants to paint the Democrats as the valiant heroes and paint the Republicans as the paranoid crazy women. Nobody needs to wait until March to wonder whether HBO is ridiculous when it puts out a statement calling this movie “a balanced portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign."
Asserting that Mr. Obama is a better president than Gov. Palin would be is, however incorrect by my lights, merely free speech. However, there is a line which HBO is oblivious to and has blithely crossed - a line between opinion, on the one hand, and reckless disregard of the truth with intent to cause harm to someone, on the other. One thing to say, even to dramatize, the opinion that John McCain “knew” that Palin was paying “too much” attention to Rush Limbaugh. But when they mix real footage with dramatization, and even more when they advertise their hit job as "a balanced portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign,” IMHO they have set themselves up for a lawsuit. If Governor Palin isn’t running for political office this year, she could do a great deal of good by suing HBO and the Associated Press and its membership for their very socks.

Why the Associated Press? Because HBO would rely on the hit jobs of the AP and its membership in order to claim that they had reason to believe that it was OK to make the claims that they did. And because (back in 1945) the AP was found by SCOTUS to be a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust law. The AP is the central culprit, because it provides cover for the rest of the publicity machine. The AP and its membership also subjects all our politicians to its flattery (“liberals,” “moderates,” “progressives”) and derision (“right wing,” “conservative). It was the AP and its membership which pushed through the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold “law.” And it is the AP and its membership which profits (in increased effectiveness of its flattery and derision) by it.

HBO's Palin Pollution
Townhall.com | February 24, 2012 | Brent Bozell

32 posted on 02/24/2012 6:05:33 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: All
PS I don't drop this card often, but I have three degrees including a graduate level degree in Engineering with a focus on quantum mechanics and one NOT in science. And my IQ can't be measured on a standard test. So I am not some ignorant redneck. You, however, are a true example of ignorant stupidity.
Your trouble is that, for all your diligence and your intelligence, you aren’t a member of the clique. Your knowledge counts for nothing in the centralized propaganda discussion, because that is controlled by the "idiot left dolt” and his friends who have the printing presses and the broadcast studios.

Which all trace back to the development of the telegraph and the concomitant growth of America’s brain cancer, the Associated Press. The AP (and any competitive wire services, my analysis does not depend on the fact that the AP was aggressively monopolistic and was found to be in violation of the the Sherman Antitrust Act back in 1945) has the inevitable effect of homogenizing journalism down a common denominator. If you want to be a reporter, you want people to read what you write. The AP makes it possible for people across the country to read what that reporter writes provided it fits the template of the least common denominator of journalism.

And the “least common denominator” in question is the need of all journalists to attract attention so they can sell advertising. So journalism declares itself (note the singular, which is appropriate because all major journalism is joined at the hip via the AP “wire”) to be objective, so as to maximize the credulity of the unthinking. If you think for a moment, of course, you realize that subjectivity, the opposite of objectivity, lies precisely in failing to recognize the extent to which your own upbringing, culture, education, and experience and interest enable you to perceive certain things and prevent you from readily apprehending other, possibly more important, things.

Objectivity is not the natural default position for anyone, and the only way you can even attempt to be objective is to be upfront about any and all known reasons why you might not be objective. Thus, declaring yourself to be objective (or being a member of an organization that declares its members to be objective) is the precise opposite of actually trying to be objective.

There being, as I take it, no such thing as “unwise objectivity,” I cannot undertake to parse the difference between “objectivity” as journalists claim it, and “wisdom,” as the ancient Greek Sophists claimed it. We take from the Sophists the term sophistry, as a term of opprobrium. Journalists and their “objectivity” deserve no better.
What Democrats say Republicans believe as undeniable "How to talk To Republicans”
NJ.com ^ | May 12, 2012 | Jason Stanford

33 posted on 05/13/2012 7:00:39 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: All
When it comes to partisan or ideological media (which may be a redundant as well as an unnecessarily general phrase), the New York Times has no peer (I omit MSNBC which is not a news organization with propagandist tendencies, but a propaganda organization with news tendencies).
Wire service journalism as an institution infects journalists with the hubris that they are “the Fourth Estate,” a.k.a. “the press.” And that they are objective, and that their interests are “the public interest."
Before the advent of the wire service (the roots of the AP trace back to 1848), newspaper printers lacked a cornucopia of stories to which the local general public had no access. Newspapers were mostly weeklies rather than daily publications, increasing the likelihood that whatever news the printer had had also percolated through the community at large from the same sources which informed the printer himself. Consequently, newspapers were about the opinions and perspectives of their printers as much as they were about the news.

The Associated Press was a monopolistic, aggressively cutting exclusive deals with telegraph operators to suppress any attempts at competitive wire services. But that is not the central fact about wire service journalism. The central fact of wire service journalism is the hubris “the wire” engenders in the journalist. The idea that any particular newspaper was objective would have been laughable to competitors before the wire service transformed the industry. But to be effective, the wire service required that the public be induced to trust reports from reporters whom the local newspaper editor didn’t even know, much less employ. Thus, the AP produced its style guides to moderate the personal idiosyncrasies of reporters, homogenizing the tone of reporting. And the AP proclaimed - at the very time that it was homogenizing journalism - that since it was a group of newspapers which famously didn’t agree on much of anything, the AP itself was objective.

But the central fact of wire service journalism is that the claim that “all journalists are objective” actually makes journalists less objective, rather than more so. Whether you are a journalist or not, the only way to attempt to be objective is to analyze, and be open about, your own interests as they relate to the topic you are discussing. But you cannot be open about your own interests at one and the same time that you are claiming to actually be objective. And the journalist does have interests which diverge from the interest of the general public.

The interests of journalism are to interest the public and to promote its own influence. Without interesting the public, you have no circulation and no advertising revenue - and no influence. But things which interest the public are not necessarily "in the public interest.” The normal course of expected events is the public interest. People obeying the law, people doing useful work honestly and successfully, people paying what they owe and people being generous and inventive and productive is the normal course of events, and that is boring. Things get interesting when storms damage property, when fires cause damage, when people we trust and depend on let us down. When laws are broken, when wars ravage peoples, the news becomes gripping.

The consequence is that journalists prefer “Man Bites Dog” to “Dog Bites Man” stories, and that journalists say, “If it bleeds, it leads.” And the consequence also is that you cannot document modern history, and you certainly cannot create an encyclopedia, by the mere expedient of accumulating newspapers and ignoring the advertisements. Although the advertisements are famous for putting an optimistic face on the characteristics of the things they promote, advertisements also have been famously called “the only thing that may be relied upon in a newspaper.” But even if you include the advertisements, the newspaper essentially consists of things which are putatively awful and things which are putatively wonderful. Everything but what is typical.

The central fact of wire service journalism is that it produces hubris in journalists, and journalists with hubris call themselves “the press” or “the Fourth Estate.” In so doing journalists set themselves up as being the embodiment of the public interest - whereas as we have just seen, the interests of journalism run directly counter to the public interest. Inasmuch as titles of nobility are excluded by the Constitution, and established churches are excluded by the First Amendment, the idea of a “First Estate,” a "Second Estate,” a “Third Estate,” and also a "Fourth Estate” is also excluded by the Constitution.

The restriction on government,
Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
is a right of the people. Freedom of speech and of assembly and petition is the right of the people to speak publicly, and to publicly listen. And “the freedom of . . . the press” is the right of the people to use their own money to buy, sell, and use devices for the purpose of promoting their own opinions. There is no case for limiting the right to the technology of the founding era, because the unamended Constitution contemplates “the progress of Science and the useful Arts” as a positive good - and because
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Journalism consists of commentary and especially of criticism, and has nothing to do with producing goods or services. And yet journalism is determined to be important, and it flatters anyone who promotes the outlook that criticism is above performance - and derides anyone who questions it. Not only is wire service journalism not objective, a definite political tendency inheres in journalism’s interest. Journalism flatters with positive labels and derides by applying negative labels. Americans believe in progress, liberty, and moderation. Journalism calls one political party “progressive,” “liberal,” and “moderate,” and applies contrary labels to the other one.

34 posted on 06/26/2012 10:01:41 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Let us . . . ask first of all, whether any history can be written objectively. Is it possible for a historian to write a historical account without a bias of any kind? No. Every historian is limited by his philosophical and cultural assumptions. Every historian comes to his task with certain guiding principles that he thinks are true or valuable or helpful. These guiding principles cause him to interpret the history he records. He cannot help but make value judgements on the actions he records. Furthermore, those value judgements are in effect in every aspect of the historian’s work. How does he choose which period of history to work on? How does he choose which events are momentous? How does he choose how to prioritize the events he records? How does he select the important personages and events from the past? As soon as he selects something to write about or study he is giving it prominence and therefore expressing his bias. The only way history can be “objective” is if it is a list of events in chronological order. The historian who is so naive as to imagine that he is not biased is even more compromised because his bias is invisible to him and therefore all the more influential.

Given the fact that the study of history must be biased, it is much better therefore if the pretense of objectivity is dropped. Much clearer if we know ahead of time that a historical study is written from a particular point of view. We can then make allowances for the bias and read other works from other perspectives to achieve balance. If I know that a particular historian is a Marxist or a feminist or a post-modern atheist I will understand their bias on history and the more they are open about it, while still trying to be as objective as possible, the better will the exercise be.

Discussing the tendency toward bias is an excellent way to attempt objectivity. Indeed, I would argue that it is the only way to attempt objectivity, and that taking one’s own objectivity for granted is the very definition of its opposite, subjectivity.
If one reads the quoted text and substitutes the term “journalist” for “historian,” one sees that journalism as we have known it all our lives is utterly corrupt. For the wire services have no choice but to claim objectivity for themselves and for the faceless reporters in distant scenes of sensational events. Continuously maintaining a culture of presumed objectivity for a century and a half, from the middle of the Nineteenth Century foundation of the AP on, has one inevitable result - homogenization of perspective among journalists. Just as inevitably, that homogenized perspective of journalism is self-serving.

Who can control their own tongue? And who can do so, when they “buy ink by the carload” - and everyone else who does the same is careful not to point out your bias, because they share it? The inevitable result is that wire service journalism tends to slander anyone who does not go along and get along with it. And that wire service journalism tends to inflate the reputation of anyone who does toady up to wire service journalism. The observable result is that people who set talk and criticism above action - second guessers - are praised as “objective” if they work as journalists, and as “progressive” or “liberal” if they are politicians. Americans, who believe in liberty and progress, are attracted to ideas labeled “progressive” or “liberal” - and are put off by labels such as “conservative” or “right wing."

Are the Gospels Historical?
Standing on my Head blog | 07/15/2012 | Fr. Dwight Longenecker


35 posted on 07/18/2012 5:01:55 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: All
Kinda reminds me, though, of the times when threads are pulled on various conservative sites.
Every publication is edited for a target audience. When you post on FR, it is Jim Robinson who is exercising his freedom of the press, and he and his moderators do the editing by pulling comments or whole threads as they deem appropriate to their target audience. It’s not necessary for you to submit to that “censorship,” of course - you can just make your own web site. And try to draw an audience to it . . .
exactly the same thing can apply to the entire media, old and new.
. . . with the very minor difference that in the case of the “old media” - that is, pseudo objective journalism, in whatever medium - there is a monopoly (the AP) involved. Actually, in the case of broadcast journalism, there is the matter of outright government licensing of the press involved as well.
It is true that there is some “competition” in the delivery of news to journalism outlets by other wire services, but the critical point is that in principle wire services homogenize journalism, no matter how many wire services there may be.

Before the advent of the telegraph and the AP, newspapers were mostly weeklies, and got their news largely the same way the general public did - from other newspapers, and by word of mouth. Consequently newspapers were very much about their individual printers’ viewpoints - in the mold of the Rush Limbaugh radio show. Newspapers were notoriously partisan, and didn’t agree on much of anything.

Then came the telegraph, and the Associated Press. If you wanted to operate a telegraph, you needed two things:
  1. money, and
  2. a right of way to string your line.
Once you had your financing, the next thing you did was to offer free command, control, and communication services to a railroad - and the railroad would give you rights to string your cable next to the track. But how do you get the money? The AP will give you a lucrative contract to send AP news over your line. That contract gives you your baseline of funding which enables you to get up and running. If you can sell private messaging too, you will even make money. But as far as competitive news services, forget it - you have contracted to send AP news exclusively.

That’s the way the AP monopolized wire service. On the other end, the AP was the only game in town if you wanted to have a major newspaper. You paid the big bucks, and in exchange you had a cornucopia of news stories gushing out of the wire. People would consider themselves ignorant if they had not seen your newspaper today. But, what were those reports? Who even wrote them? The editor of your newspaper doesn’t even know these guys, let alone employ them. How can your readers trust that stuff?

Ah, my friend, that is the easy part. You have to tell your readers that all reporters are objective. And if anyone questions you, you just say that the AP is a group of newspapers, and everyone knows that newspapers don’t agree about anything. So the AP is objective - and if anyone tells you different, why, they themselves are not journalists, not objective.
Of course everyone who thinks about it knows that the only way to even try to be objective is to be open and honest about all the reasons you can think of that you might not be objective. And that when you are saying you actually are objective you are avoiding that first step in actually trying to be objective. If you know yourself to be objective, you cannot give “both sides of the story” without patronizing the side with which you do not agree. After all, you are objective, and they are not, right?

But that’s OK - hey, you are a grownup; you know the score. You know the people are like sheep, they’ll believe anything you tell them. Just sign here, and you are part of the objective crowd. If you stay out of it - hey, everyone will know that you aren’t objective. We’ll see to that. And remember, stick with the program - I’m objective, you are objective, everyone on the inside is objective - and nobody who thinks any different is anybody at all. You go along and get along - or else you are out of business. Just sign here - and don’t forget to pay your dues.

Whatever barriers you perceive to entry into the field of web opinionating pale into insignificance compared with the barriers to entry into print journalism - say nothing of the barriers to entry into broadcasting. Hey, we all think our own opinions are important. But “a man’s gotta know his limitations.”

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2911163/posts?page=27


36 posted on 07/28/2012 7:29:20 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
The media covers for them. The media is 50% of the problem.
The media is 100% of the problem.

Evil is not a problem - you find it, you destroy it. It's inherently weak - that's why it hides.

LYING about evil, however - now THAT'S a problem!

Yes. And another part of the problem is the mislabeling of “the media.” The problem isn’t the medium used, whether print or broadcast - the problem is the nature of journalism as we know it. The nature, that is, of the wire service.

In the founding era, newspapers were mostly weeklies, and some newspapers had no deadline at all, and just went to press when the printer was good and ready. They had no communication technology which was not accessible to the public at large, and by the time the newspaper came out on Wednesday (say) you might very well already know any news which reached the printer shortly after press time the previous Tuesday night. From the same sources the printer had. Consequently, newspapers were as much about the printer’s take on the news as they were about the news itself. IOW, newspaper printers were more like today’s talk radio hosts than like today’s “objective” journalists.

But with the wire services (and a single one, the AP, has always dominated by its own monopolistic design), journalism became homogenized. All major outlets have the same information feed, and the reporters working for the individual members of the AP aspire to have their stories picked up by other outlets nationwide. They conform their formats and their slant on their stories to the Associated Press template. And since the individual editors don’t even know, much less supervise, reporters who contribute stories to their papers via the newswire, the whole operation of wire service journalism hinges on the shared assumptions of its membership.

It is a cult.

Like all cults, it conflates its own interest with the public good. The cult of “objective” wire service journalism places the promotion of the interests intrinsic to journalism - the desire for attention, prosperity, and influence - above the interests of individual people and against the cumulative interests of people generally.

The cult of wire service journalism requires that the public assume that its priests are objective, so its membership promotes that absurd proposition incessantly. To claim objectivity - even to belong to a group which claims objectivity for you - is to foreclose the very possibility of seriously attempting to be objective. Because belief in your own objectivity is the defining characteristic of its opposite, subjectivity. No one can do the real work of attempting objectivity - no one can openly lay out the reasons why he or she might not be objective - and simultaneously claim that they actually are objective.

The cult of “objective” journalism places bad news - places criticism, condemnation, and complaint - on a plane far above getting your hands dirty by actually trying to do something. "The man who is actually in the arena” gets no respect from the cult of criticism, condemnation, and complaint.

The cult of “objective” journalism places novelty far above accuracy. Consequently “There’s nothing more worthless than yesterday’s Newspaper.” The cult of superficial attention-grabbing defines a big story as always “Man Bites Dog,” not “Dog Bites Man.”

The cult of “objective” journalism flatters anyone who promotes journalism’s ego, and heaps derision on anyone who openly considers other principles and constituencies to be more important than the cult of journalism. “Objective” journalism flatters its acolytes by calling them “liberal” or “progressive” - and derides its skeptics with terms like “conservative” and “right wing extremists.” And, during the Soviet era, “Cold Warriors.”

There is no objectivity in “objective” journalism. “Objective journalism” is a propaganda cult. One which successfully cons a very great number of Americans. Most of us have fallen for the con, at least some of the time . . .
The wisest and most cautious of us all frequently gives credit to stories which he himself is afterwards both ashamed and astonished that he could possibly think of believing . . .

It is acquired wisdom and experience only that teach incredulity,
and they very seldom teach it enough.
  - Adam Smith

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2914293/posts

37 posted on 08/04/2012 9:27:57 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: All
"Paul Ryan represent[s] Obama's most horrifying nightmare: math."
Wire service journalism, with its hegemony over the public understanding, is the worst nightmare of the framers of the Constitution. Wire service journalism gives the illusion of omniscience to its practitioners, and gulls the public into supposing that it is not necessary to trouble to do the hard work of actually thinking for themselves. If you can buy “objectivity” for the price of a newspaper, why bother?
People who stop to ponder what claims of objectivity actually mean might notice the similarity to the claims of superior wisdom made by the Sophists of ancient Greece - Sophists became notorious for their slippery argumentation, and the root of the English word “sophistry.”

Belief in the inherent objectivity of journalists is founded on precisely no logic, but only on the assumption that there is ideological competition among newspapers. Unfortunately that was killed in the Nineteenth Century the wire services in general and the AP in particular. There are of course various editorial page positions among the various newspapers - but the planted axiom of the claim of the inherent objectivity of reporters is that “the news” is a matter solely of fact and not at all a matter of perspective. But since no one expects newspapers to document everything that happens, and since “Half the truth is often a great lie,” perspective is an ineluctable component of the printing or omission of any report of any event.

The newspapers - whatever the political perspective of the editorial page editor might be - have to promote the conceit of the objectivity of journalism, because the paper pays serious money for the AP membership and access to “the wire,” and it needs the public to believe the reports it gets from the AP. Notwithstanding the fact that the management of the newspaper printing those reports doesn’t even know, much less supervise, the journalists composing those reports. In effect, “the wire” is a continuous, 24/7 virtual “meeting” of the Associated Press and all of its membership. And as Adam Smith put it,
"People of the same trade seldom meet together even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or some contrivance to raise prices."
The natural effect of the AP is to make the interests of journalism - its desire for influence chief among them - the coin of the realm of public discussion of the issues. If AP journalism doesn’t talk about something, how can it possibly be a public issue? Journalists specialize in criticizing and second guessing the people and institutions upon whom the public depends. This is easy, because executives make decisions and take risks, and risks sometimes turn out to be mistakes. But the self-conceit of journalists is that their criticism is more important than the goods and services delivered by those they criticize.

All politicians are subject to flattery by the AP if they promote the self-conceit of journalists, and to derision if they do not. Starting with the application of positive labels such as “liberal” and “progressive” or negative labels such as “conservative” or “right wing” (and make no mistake, “conservative” is meant as a negative label just as surely as an advertiser means to promote his product by calling it “New!”).

Obama’s most horrifying nightmare is not math, it is the possibility that a majority of the voting public will actually think.

Paul Ryan and the Triumph of Math
American Thinker ^ | August 12, 2012 | Clarice Feldman


38 posted on 08/13/2012 4:20:30 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: All
It is far too much to be a coincidence that the Politico and NBC have ties, sometimes in the same bed, to Democrat and leftwing activists and then hop out of bed on the same page as the Democrats’ talking points.
There is no need to point out such linkages to convince a philosopher of the fact that such linkages are possible in principle. After all, if Mary Matlin and James Carville can be married, why can’t a Democrat and an “objective” reporter? But are they likely in practice? Yes, because
39 posted on 08/30/2012 7:06:55 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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Catholic Word of the Day: OBJECTIVITY, 09-14-12
CatholicReference.net | 09-14-12 | Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary

40 posted on 09/15/2012 4:34:35 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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The MSM is not the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party.

The Democrat Party is the political wing of the MSM.

If you’ve been saying that for 5 years, it seems like we would have crossed paths before now. Very surprising that I don’t recognize your handle.
My daughter, as a young adult, was amazed to learn that I had listened to an “all news” radio station for years, because for all of her life she knew me to be treating news broadcasts as if they were advertisements for something I wouldn’t buy on a bet. Which is precisely what they are - and, knowing that, I quickly became bored with people breathlessly pointing out one more example illustrating the same twice-told tale.
So I began to analyze why journalism was so anti-conservative. My conclusion is that journalism is anti-conservative because journalists don’t do things, they only talk - and yet they want to be influential. So they promote the conceit that they are the only people you can trust, and they attack the reputation of anyone who provides food, clothing shelter, or security. And they give positive labels - any positive label except “objective,” which they reserve to themselves - to Democrats. And they give negative labels to Republicans, in proportion as Republicans defend the producers against the attacks of journalists and Democrats.

Rather than inveighing against “the media,” I prefer to focus exclusively on journalism because fiction, in whatever medium, would have to be censored in a most odious way to effect any change at all. Which is entirely unacceptable, so I prefer to let fiction pass without notice. Journalism, OTOH, is nonfiction, in fact presumes to be objective as well as true. It therefore is a far juicer target, and - were it brought to heel - would temper the leftist tendency of so much fictional entertainment.

But focusing on journalism, it seemed necessary to me to figure out why journalism has been so monochromatic over my lifetime, whereas I took it that journalism was far more variegated and idiosyncratic before the Civil War. When I saw the title of a book in the library, I was stunned at how obvious the reason actually was. In fact, it’s so easy to say it, that people don’t take my point seriously if I just blurt it out. The title of the book was, “Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails, and the reason I sought was the telegraph. The telegraph, and the wire service - chiefly the Associated Press.

Why should the AP give journalism a single, leftist slant? Adam Smith explains:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary. - Wealth of nations, Book I, Ch 10
And the member newspapers of the AP have been in a continuous virtual “meeting” - not for “merriment or diversion, but specifically about business - ever since the middle of the Nineteenth Century. In consequence of which, journalism has been a conspiracy against the public since the memory of living man runneth not to the contrary. The sordid story of the development of the Associated Press is discussed in the following book:
News Over the Wires:
The Telegraph and the Flow of Public Information in America, 1844-1897
by Menahem Blondheim

Within the chalk lines of their respective stadiums (sp), the Yankees and the Red Sox are fierce competitors. But they are also fellow members of Major League Baseball, and they cooperate in hiring umpires and in much else. Just so, all journalism outlets compete, and yet there are boundaries to their competition. Most notable is the taboo against questioning the objectivity of a fellow journalist. Which means that a Dan Rather can go on a jihad against a GW Bush, airing fraudulent “Texas Air National Guard Memos,” secure in the expectation that the rest of journalism would abstain from questioning his objectivity no matter how damning the evidence might be.

Presumptive objectivity, whether of journalists or anyone else, is oxymoronic in nature. It is possible and admirable for a person to attempt objectivity by scrutinizing his own motives and interests as they may relate, however tangentially, to the subject about which he is writing. But it is inherently impossible for that same person to know that he has achieved objectivity. That being the case, it is the height of arrogance for any person to join an organization which claims objectivity for all its members. While you are claiming objectivity (or suffering others to claim it for you) you are not subjecting your own possible biases to scrutiny, for you have prejudged the result of that “scrutiny.” And if you aren’t doing that, you aren’t actually trying to be objective, whatever window dressing you may employ to obscure that fact. You can give “both sides of the story” - but without examining how your own incentives relate to your understanding of the topic you cannot actually give a full account of whatever side you disagree with - because in your heart of hearts, you don’t actually believe that there actually are two sides to the story.

I’ll see your five years, and raise you six:

Why Broadcast Journalism is
Unnecessary and Illegitimate

Journalism and Objectivity

The Real Enemy
American Thinker ^ | October 1, 2012 | Bruce Walker

41 posted on 10/02/2012 7:50:56 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: All
George Stephanopolous of ABC News used to be a strategist for Bill Clinton and even after becoming Chief Washington Correspondent still engaged in regular conversations with Rahm Emanuel, James Carville, and Paul Begala from the Clinton days. (Ironic, isn’t it, that John Harris wrote that story)

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield/2012/10/10/vp-debate-moderator-martha-raddatz-friends-obama-wedding#ixzz28taWWfqY

Journalism has a perspective. Journalism’s interest lies in promoting itself at the expense of the people who work to a bottom line - those upon whom we depend, not for mere talk, but for food, clothing, shelter, security, fuel, etc. Those people are "the man who is actually in the arena,” and journalists are merely critics. So why do journalists cozy up to “liberal” politicians? The question answers itself - socialism is nothing other than the political expression of the sentiments which journalists are inherently motivated to promote.

Whoever signs up to be a “liberal” is cozying up to journalism. And is rewarded with positive labels such as “moderate,” “centrist,” “progressive,” or “liberal.” All of which belong in scare quotes, because what a journalist calls “liberal” has nothing to do with promoting liberty, what the journalist calls “progressive” has nothing to do with progress (at least, not progress of, by, and for the people, as the Constitution contemplates) and so on. All those labels are mere euphemisms for socialist. The only positive label journalists do not assign to socialists is “objective.” That label they reserve to themselves. But it is a distinction without a difference, as the above description of George Stephanopolous amply illustrates. It is only a question of what hat a particular socialist happens to wear. And of course “objective” belongs in scare quotes, because in the nature of things no one can know that he or she is actually objective.

A diligent effort to attempt to be objective is of course laudable - but then, any actual effort to attempt objectivity must begin with openness about one’s own motives and interests. And discussion of journalists’ motives - to interest the public and to promote themselves - is politically incorrect, and taboo. It follows that a journalism which calls itself “objective” is anything but objective about itself. There is no reason in logic why I should accept journalism’s self-hype about “objectivity.”

The alert reader may object that I have spoken of journalism in the singular, and take no account of diversity of journalism outlets, and of the (very few) newspapers with conservative (in American political context, a negative label) editorial pages. My answer to that is that

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary. - Wealth of nations, Book I, Ch 10
And all major news outlets belong to wire services, principally the Associated Press. The newswire represents a virtual “meeting” of all major journalism outlets - one which has been running continuously since the Civil War era. I do not pretend that all newspapers express the exact same attitude on their editorial pages - but on the front page and the body of the paper, they do. And they call their uniform and politically correct slant “objective."

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2942683/posts


42 posted on 10/10/2012 6:28:37 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: garjog
Anyone have a link to a good, short article that explains why communism is bad? I’d like to give it to come college students who have spent most of their education being brainwashed by idiot leftists.
Obviously people who have been "brainwashed” cannot be convinced by a short article. FA Hayek wrote his classic refutation of socialism/communism during WWII, and it was a sensation in America (Hayek wrote in Britain) when The Road to Serfdom
(Link to the Readers' Digest Condensed Version in PDF!)
was published while Hayek was sailing to America for what had been expected to be a routine author’s tour promoting his book - but which played to overflow audiences everywhere.
Serfdom is filled with topical references to people who were famous at the time but are now little remembered - but you could focus on the chapter entitled (IIRC) “Why the Worst Get on Top.” It treats a fundamental fallacy of Communism - the bland assumption that a dictatorial government will naturally be run by well-meaning people. The Black Book of Communism - Crimes, Terror, Repression is a validation of Hayek’s thesis on this point.

The Wikipedia link above also mentions the similarity of Communism and Naziism; Serfdom hammers the similarities, and discusses the nuances of difference, heavily. Writing before the death camps were public knowledge, Hayek predicted, on the basis of the public knowledge of the Gulag (as Solzenitsen later styled it), that revolting systematic crimes by the Nazis would be come to light.

Of course propaganda is central to communism and other forms of socialism, including our own “democracy” in which shocking portions of the public at large can be systematically diverted from significant facts about the government, and can be convinced of fantastic improbabilities like the idea that Mitt Romney is a criminal. My own theory on the “brainwashed” problem is that our journalism is propagandistic because it can be, no other explanation is necessary. Why wouldn’t it be, if it had opportunity? And my theory on the reason journalism has the opportunity is because journalism is unified. Journalism it is unified because
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Book I, Ch 10
And of all people, journalists “meet together,” at least virtually, more than anyone. The Associated Press newswire is nothing but a continuous, 24/7 virtual meeting which determines what is, and what is not, news.

IMHO propaganda always has to begin with sophistry. The term “sophistry” comes from the Greek word “Sophist” denoting a party which claimed superior wisdom. Such a claim leads to very short, very unsatisfying arguments: I am wise, you are not. Therefore I am right, and you are wrong.” Claiming wisdom came into very bad odor on that account. The school which rose up in competition with the Sophists was the Philosophers. Philosophers eschewed a claim of wisdom, but claimed only to love wisdom - thus, to be open to arguments based on facts and logic. AP members claim “objectivity” for all AP members - and IMHO “objectivity,” as they use the term, is merely code for the Sophists’ claim of “wisdom.” Another way of saying that is to assert that it is inherently impossible to know that you are objective, and that anyone who claims actual objectivity - instead of having the humility to limit oneself to claiming to try to be objective - is guilty of arrogance. And a claim of trying to be objective must be backed up by explicit admission of the known reasons why you might not be objective. Sincere admission of the possibility of failure in the quest for objectivity, of course, is logically incompatible with membership in an organization - Associated Press, exhibit A - which you know will claim that you actually are objective.

Why is journalism’s propaganda leftist? My theory is that the internal logic of any institution which does nothing except criticize, condemn, and complain is and can only be socialism. Socialism is simply the theory that the complainers should be in charge. Whereas capitalism takes for granted that people should have authority only to the extent that they get things done of, by, and for the people.

The word “progress” appears once in the Constitution - as a good to be promoted, and in the context of creativity of the people, not politicians. One of the ironies of “progressives” is that they oppose progress. Drill for oil? It is “progressives” who will oppose it, and “conservatives” who will support it. Which only tells you that our political labels are Newspeak. As does the fact that the meaning of the term “liberal” was (according to Safire’s New Political Dictionary) inverted in the 1920s - but only in America. Note that Serfdom was written in Britain, by someone who learned English in America before the 1920s. He uses the term “liberal” heavily in the book, and in its non-inverted sense. It is a confusion factor which he acknowledges with sorrow in a later edition.

Note that this copy of the original has the correct current (as of this date) link to the condensed version of Serfdom. The (now broken) link I originally used came from this old FR thread I had authored years ago announcing my delighted discovery of the PDF of that famous version of the classic.

The uncondensed version has seen multiple printings, including a 50th anniversary edition and multiple translations. Yet more people read that Readers Digest version, which came out near the end of WWII, than have read the original. Of course the Readers Digest magazine has been around a long time, and has AFAIK had a condensed book in every edition, all of the other books were the last thing in the magazine. Serfdom was the only condensed book which the editors ever featured by starting the magazine with it.

43 posted on 11/12/2012 2:18:13 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: All
I think he’s right, but one of the real difficulties is that one party now profits of this mindset and does not want blacks to change and get ahead.
Bad enough, it were only the official Democrat Party. The lynchpin, we all know, is “bias in the media.” The unofficial Demo Party. We must set “the media” back. I have a concept for doing it, but it would obviously take some heavy lifting to make any headway with it. We have to understand that:
  1. Granted that fictional TV and Movie entertainment is slanted strongly to the left, on First Amendment principle we should direct no legal effort against it.

  2. We have to do only with nonfiction “media,” and even then, books and documentaries are not the real problem. The real problem, bluntly, is journalism. “Objective” journalism which is anything but objective.

  3. Before the middle of the Nineteenth Century, journalism was very different. Newspapers had postal subsidies to facilitate the interchange of news among themselves, but otherwise they were relatively insular, weekly or even sporadic, and in short were more about the slant of the printer than about current events - IOW, more like talk radio than like The New York Times. Then, “journalism” was not a unified entity. Now it is.

  4. The reason for the unification of journalism is staring us in the face - it is the telegraph. The telegraph, and its natural offspring, the wire service. Not to put too fine a point on it, the Associated Press. Editors routinely print major stories now without ever having met, much less vetted and hired, the stories’ writers. In order to vouch for those reports, the editor has no choice but to sell the line that “all journalists are objective.” So much for ideological diversity in reporting.

  5. The homogenization of journalism reduces the perspective of all journalism down to its elemental nature - people who want to be influential through mere talk, without having and meeting the responsibilities entailed in actually doing important things. If you want to make your way by criticizing those who perform to a bottom line without taking responsibility for making and implementing decisions on a timely basis, you are a leftist. And that is what journalism is. But journalism insists that it is objective, just as it insists that those politicians who go along and get along with journalism are virtuous “liberals” or “moderates” or “progressives.” Any positive label, IOW, except “objective.”

  6. The claim of journalistic objectivity is actually an oxymoron, since no one can know that he is himself objective - and since therefore a claim of one’s own objectivity is arrogant and cannot be objective. Anyone who is actually trying to be objective must be open about possible reasons why he might not be objective - which expressing a belief in own’s own objectivity obviously moots. And this objection pertains equally to belonging to an organization, such as the AP, which you know claims objectivity for you.
In light of these facts, the AP is vulnerable to being held in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the FCC and its licensees are vulnerable to being sued for licensing broadcasters on the basis that pseudo-objective journalism is “in the public interest."

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2961325/posts?page=9


44 posted on 11/19/2012 7:29:28 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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There is a third issue without which the first two mentioned here could not have happened:the lack of a free press.
We actually have a free press. That’s actually the problem. What we need are free and independent presses. And that, we do not have.
Journalism consisted of many independent presses in the founding era, and up to the Civil War. By 1900, that was pretty much a thing of the past. The only question I for a long time had was why. I thought it might be the high speed press, but that really didn’t explain it. But one technology does: the telegraph. The telegraph, and the Associated Press.

The Associated Press was founded in the middle of the Nineteenth Century, and it did what suited its business model - it sold access, called membership, to its newswire to printers who needed to be able to compete on the basis of providing current information from distant places (including Washington, D.C.). And the member newspapers supplied their local copy to the rest of the net. Reporters, already eager to be published, were doubly eager to be published nationwide. It was win-win for the newspapers and the AP. For the news business, nirvana had arrived.

But the AP membership cost money, and to justify the expense the editor had to be able to sell a lot of that newly-available copy to readers. Problem was, how does an editor justify to readers that the news from the wire is reliable? The editor doesn’t know, hasn’t even met, and certainly never vetted and hired, the reporter who wrote that article about what happened in Cleveland. So how can that editor promote the reliability of that copy? The AP had the answer - sell the idea that all journalists are objective. Of course if you engage in some philosophy and logic, you might find the skunk in that woodpile - the fact that although anyone can try to be objective, no one can know that they are objective.

In order to seriously attempt to be objective, you must be open about the reasons why you might not be objective. In the case of journalists, that would include the fact that their need for attention is a motive to exaggerate the significance of any report they make, and the fact that they report on things which happened very recently is a motive to denigrate the significance of things which do not change quickly. Which leads to a temptation to exaggerate the importance of mere novelty. But of course, even as admitting that you are subject to all those temptations makes you more objective, it makes you appear to be less objective. And since journalists are in the PR game, the choice between substance and appearance is no choice at all. Appearance is what matters to people in the PR business, and appearance is what journalists go for.

Claiming objectivity - or even merely belonging to an organization which claims objectivity for its members - is entirely inconsistent with openness about any motives which might interfere with objectivity, and therefore is inconsistent with a serious attempt at objectivity. Thus we see that journalists working for members of the Associated Press are not even trying to be objective. They may claim to “give both sides of the story” - but if they believe that they actually are objective, they do not seriously believe that there actually might be another side to the story than the one that they identify with. So their description of the other side is practically certain to be a straw man.

Journalists claim not to be “liberal” - but given the fact that journalists are critics rather than actors performing to a bottom line, they are inherently simpatico with socialist politicians who also are mere critics. Critics who, if given power, cannot function as effective executives and so obtain terrible results - but who are great at excuses and demands to be judged only on their self-proclaimed “good intentions." So journalists assign positive labels such as “progressive" to socialists, and negative labels such as “conservative” to their opponents. Socialists have no principle above getting good PR for themselves, and journalists have no principle against giving good PR to people who go along and get along with journalists. So they exist in symbiosis, de facto if not de jury as a single organism.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2962783/posts?page=37#37


45 posted on 11/25/2012 5:17:14 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. - H. L. Mencken
The whole aim of journalism is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be further warned of danger) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
Amazing how those things coincide, isn’t it!!
The interesting thing, though, is to observe that it is only socialist politics, and not so-called “conservative, right wing” politics which is promoted by journalism institutionally and which has a revolving door relationship with journalism. There is no example of a “conservative” political activist ever having obtained a job as an “objective” journalist. George Stephanopolous is a working journalist in good standing, but he has not changed a bit from when he was a Clinton political hack.

So when Mencken spoke of “the whole aim of practical politics” being to alarm the public with imaginary hobgoblins, he was either being cynical, or he meant that politics aligned with the interests of so-called “objective” journalism was and is the only kind of politics which is practical. And after this last election, who can dispute the latter interpretation?

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2962914/posts?page=31#31


46 posted on 11/25/2012 11:58:02 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: All
"Repugnant and cowardly?"
Why that’s a perfect description of our Kenyan in chief, now isn’t it?
It’s also, by no coincidence, a perfect description of the “Wolf!” crying industry that is wire service journalism, known under the alias “mainstream media.” Just as “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” to a reporter every sheep looks like a wolf. In fact, calling journalism "the ‘Wolf!" crying industry” understates the case, because of journalism’s “‘Man Bites Dog,’ not ‘Dog Bites Man’” rule, which expresses journalism's preference for the unusual/atypical.

Under that principle, journalism would rather decry a “wolf” which is apparently actually a sheep than to report the presence of a an actual menace. A phenomenon which is on full display in the persecution of George Zimmerman, as it was in the case of the transparent Duke Lacrosse “rape” hoax. Even as, today, the “evil” we are told to hate are the hundreds of millions of insurance policies against violence known as privately owned guns.

And then we wonder why journalists are “in the pocket of” Democrats - for them both, every tragic aspect of the human condition is a “problem” to be “solved” by a Gordian knot cutting “solution” portending worse misery than the original complaint. Democrats have no principle other than going along and getting along journalists. "Surprise, surprise,” journalists promote Democrats and give them positive labels - they started calling Democrats “liberal” in the 1920s, when “liberal” was what all traditional Americans understood themselves to be - and what socialists will never be. Before that, socialists were called “progressive,” because progress of, by, and for the American people is the pride of the success of “the American experiment.” Journalists also call socialists “moderate” or “centrist,” too - and moderation is classical virtue.

It’s why “liberalism” is, as Rush puts it, “a gutless choice.” Repugnant and cowardly.


47 posted on 01/17/2013 2:39:53 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
The one thing that really bugs me about McCarthy is how he made the case for George Marshall as an objective communist, if not a paid agent. And I don’t even particularly like Marshall. Butchers made a similar claim with Eisenhower, and it’s stuff like that which forever marginalizes them.
If you read Ann Coulter’s Treason you will see that our journalists - who were “objective” even back then - systematically ridiculed and distorted McCarthy’s views and statements, putting him in “heads you lose, tails I win” situations. They demanded that he name names, when all he had said was that there was reason to investigate to learn names, if any - and then if he did name a name, they condemned him for smearing the person named. When in fact the name corresponded, history shows, with an actual communist.

I don’t pretend to know the details of what you are referring to - but the odds are long that McCarthy had a legitimate, if too nuanced for him to be able to burn through the fog of journalistic obfuscation, point.

I put “objective” in scare quotes above. To me, the most powerful case against “objective journalism” is to be found precisely in their claim to be objective. Because, in the nature of things, it is impossible for anyone to know that they themselves are objective. So if you say you are objective, that just proves - conclusively - that you are not objective about yourself. Which is to say, you are not objective about anything.

It is of course possible, and laudable, to attempt objectivity. It even is legitimate to say that you are trying to be objective (if in fact you are). The catch, for the “objective” journalist, is that any good-faith attempt at objectivity must start with self-examination, and an open discussion of any reasons you can think of why you might not be objective. Which is, of course, precisely the opposite of claiming actually to be objective.

I’m sure that some people claimed to be objective - just as the Sophists of ancient Greece claimed to be wise - before the advent of the Associated Press. But the AP institutionalized the claim of actual objectivity in the late Nineteenth Century in response to the alarms which were raised about the concentration of propaganda power which the Associated Press represented. The AP justified that claim on the basis that it was composed of dozens (at the time) of newspapers which individually were notorious at the time for not agreeing about much of anything (source: News Over the Wires: The Telegraph and the Flow of Public Information in America, 1844-1897 by Menahem Blondheim).

It has been an unspoken premise of membership in good standing within the AP, including within any newspaper which belongs to the AP, ever since. If you go to work as a journalist you are signing on to the premise that you will claim that every other journalist is objective - and that you expect every other journalist to claim that you are objective. Thus, by becoming a journalist for the AP or one of its member outlets, you are de facto claiming that you are objective. Which excludes having the humility to admit to any subjective impulses.

And that implies that you are not even trying to be objective. Oh, you will go along with the “rules for objectivity” such as “giving both sides of the story” - but the trouble is that you have already ruled out the possibility that there actually are valid perspectives other than your own. So even if you “tell the other side of the story" until the cows come home, the version of the “other side of the story" which you tell will always be a straw man. Anyone who considers himself to be the arbiter of what is objective will be extremely subjective.

Journalists systematically agree with “liberals” for the simple reason that “liberals” have the same motive that “objective” journalists do - namely, to get attention and credit for importance, without having to actually work, and without the constraints of a bottom line. “Liberal” politicians and “objective” journalists profit from their symbiotic relationship. “Objective” journalists and “liberals” cooperate in finding ways to embarrass people who are trying to gain their sense of importance by actually doing needed things.

http://www.robertmundell.net/NobelLecture/nobel3.asp

Jhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2983733/posts?page=5


48 posted on 01/31/2013 11:34:48 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: Vigilanteman
There is one “network” which is the sine qua non of the others. It is the “objective” journalism network. The linchpin of that network, the thing which made it a network, is the Associated (telling word) Press.

Journalism was an entirely different animal before the advent of the telegraph and the AP in the mid-Nineteenth Century era. Before the AP, each newspaper was primarily about the opinions of its printer, much as the EIB is about the opinions of Rush Limbaugh. A cause, and an effect, of the lack of news sources which the public did not in principle have access to was that newspapers were mostly weeklies.

With the advent of the AP, newspaper reporters might work for, say, the LA Times - but they write for the AP as their hoped-for audience. The upshot is that the AP “wire” is a continuous virtual “meeting” of all the major journalism outlets. And Adam Smith told us what to expect from that:

"People of the same trade seldom meet together even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or some contrivance to raise prices."
The AP, and all “objective” members thereof, constitute a conspiracy against the middle class. That conspiracy attacks the middle class for the simple reason that that is where the competition is: that is where things get done, and that is who tends to get the credit for getting things done. And it is precisely the desire for the credit for all the good things getting done which journalism lusts after. Journalism applies whatever labels it thinks are positive - e.g., “liberal,” “progressive,” “moderate,” “centrist” - to politicians who put PR above all else, and who therefore cooperate continuously with “objective” journalism.

“Objective” belongs squarely in scare quotes for the simple reason that while it is possible, and creditable, to attempt objectivity, anyone who claims to actually be objective is not objective about himself - or much of anything else, in reality.

You are more correct than you know. In a previous life, I was a journalism major and saw these people in their formative stage. To say that they were lazy and arrogant would be an understatement. There is a reason that they hate Sarah Palin with such an intensity and it has even more to do with her intimate knowledge of their profession than her core value conservatism.

But these people don't only go into journalism; they are a major source of new state department hires. The revolving door between journalism and government is legendary. What other two professions share such a common contempt for traditional American values while hypocritically posing as the neutral arbitrators for all that is just and fair?

People like George Stephanopolus are not the exception; they are the rule. We simply do not hear about most of them because they have much lower profile jobs in media and government.

18 posted on February 22, 2013 2:07:10 PM EST by Vigilanteman

Ping to a thread you may find of some small interest.

49 posted on 02/22/2013 3:28:51 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
You're not only good, you're damn good about smoking these rascals out. If only you had been in Todd Akin's or Murdock's shoes when the baited question about rape exceptions which lost them otherwise easily won U.S. Senate seats was asked . . . you could have done a great verbal jujitsu on the journalist fishing for the fatal sound byte.
50 posted on 02/22/2013 7:50:47 PM PST by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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