Skip to comments.Resignation to Protest Award to Hume, But Not When Libs Honored
Posted on 02/03/2004 2:44:45 PM PST by FlyLow
Which of these journalists practices ideologically connected journalism and does not have a quest for objectivity? Dan Rather, Nina Totenberg, Ken Burns, Ted Turner, Howell Raines or Brit Hume? If you answered any of the first five names, you arent concerned about the real right-wing media bias as is Geneva Overholser, the Editor of the Des Moines Register in the early 1990s who became the Washington Posts Ombudsman in the mid-1990s and now runs the University of Missouris Washington journalism program. She resigned from the board of the National Press Foundation, USA Today reported on Monday, to protest an upcoming award to be bestowed upon FNCs Hume.
As USA Todays Peter Johnson noted, past recipients of the group's Sol Taishoff award include TV newscasters David Brinkley, Dan Rather, John Chancellor, Jane Pauley, Barbara Walters and Nina Totenberg.
(Totenberg, CyberAlert veterans will recall, made this non-ideological wish about Senator Jesse Helms on the July 8, 1995 Inside Washington: "I think he ought to be worried about whats going on in the Good Lords mind, because if there is retributive justice, hell get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.")
Other past winners of the award Hume is to receive: Cokie Roberts, Bob Schieffer, Peter Jennings, Judy Woodruff, Sam Donaldson, Dan Rather, Bernard Shaw, Ed Bradley, Ken Burns, Ted Turner and Ted Koppel. Award winners listing: www.nationalpress.org
A decade ago, Overholser actually advocated more opinionated news coverage, so even if FNC and Hume are guilty of it as she claims, why does it bother her? She probably assumed the opinion she was advocating, in this comment quoted in the November 28, 1992 edition of Editor & Publisher magazine, would be more agreeable to her left-wing sensibilities: "All too often, a story free of any taint of personal opinion is a story with all the juice sucked out. A big piece of why so much news copy today is boring as hell is this objectivity god. Keeping opinion out of the story too often means being a fancy stenographer."
An excerpt from Brit Hume honor triggers protest Board member quits over award, a February 2 USA Today story by Peter Johnson:
....Geneva Overholser, former ombudsman of The Washington Post, has resigned from the board of the National Press Foundation because it plans to honor Fox News anchor Brit Hume at its annual dinner in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 19.
Past recipients of the group's Sol Taishoff award include TV newscasters David Brinkley, Dan Rather, John Chancellor, Jane Pauley, Barbara Walters and Nina Totenberg.
Hume, the ABC White House correspondent who joined Fox in 1996 and anchors a nightly newscast, doesn't deserve the award because he and Fox practice ideologically connected journalism, Overholser says.
Fox wants to do news from a certain viewpoint, but it wants to claim that it is 'fair and balanced,' she says. That is inaccurate and unfair to other media who engage in a quest, perhaps an imperfect quest, for objectivity.
She says groups such as the foundation, before lauding Fox or its lead news anchor, should debate whether the way Fox reports news is good for journalism....
Overholser, the former editor of The Des Moines Register who now runs the University of Missouri's Washington journalism program, quietly resigned from the board of the foundation three weeks ago.
I would welcome a discussion about whether objectivity really exists, which media seem the least fair and balanced, whether objectivity is desirable, whether it wouldn't be better to have a more European-like model -- in which media were straightforwardly ideologically aligned, she wrote in an e-mail to fellow board members. All of those could be helpful to American journalism.
And I can applaud Fox for all sorts of things, but being deceptively ideologically aligned -- being hypocritical about it -- far from contributing to such discussions, makes them impossible to have. (Fox News president Roger) Ailes has constructed the perfect trap: you question him, and the finger of accusation comes back at the questioner. One can marvel at his cleverness. But one should not confer journalistic laurels upon it.
END of Excerpt
For the USA Today story in full: www.usatoday.com
The National Press Foundations announcement that Hume would receive its Broadcaster of the Year honor also noted that some liberal icons will be honored, though it didnt call them liberal and honoring them apparently doesnt bother Overholser: NYTimes.com, the online website of The New York Times, will receive the fourth annual Online Journalism Award, Sandra Mims Rowe, editor of The Oregonian in Portland, who will receive the George Beveridge Editor of the Year Award and Benjamin C. Bradlee, former Executive Editor of The Washington Post and currently the paper's Editor At Large, will receive the W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award. See: www.nationalpress.org
And last year Overholser didnt complain when Howell Raines, the highly-ideological Executive Editor of the New York Times, who has since resigned, received the National Press Foundations George Beveridge Editor of the Year Award.
At the February 20, 2003 event, Raines railed against anyone who dares accuse the media of liberal bias: Our greatest accomplishment as a profession is the development since World War II of a news reporting craft that is truly non-partisan, and non-ideological, and that strives to be independent of undue commercial or governmental influence.... It is that legacy we must protect with our diligent stewardship. To do so means we must be aware of the energetic effort that is now underway to convince our readers that we are ideologues. It is an exercise of, in disinformation, of alarming proportions, this attempt to convince the audience of the worlds most ideology-free newspapers that theyre being subjected to agenda-driven news reflecting a liberal bias. I dont believe our viewers and readers will be, in the long-run, misled by those who advocate biased journalism.
For the National Press Foundations page on the 2003 awards: www.nationalpress.org
The National Press Foundations home page, which features an image of Peter Jennings in its banner: www.nationalpress.org
I disagree totally. A reporter shouldn't be fancy.
English Translation: For three weeks, no one noticed that she had quit, so she issued a press release.
Jeopardy contestant: "Who was the obscure, journalistic apparatchik who achieved five minutes of fame through accusing the premier TV journalist of his time, Brit Hume, of being 'ideologically connected'?"
Big fat liar!
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