Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bias and Incompetence

The Register addresses Rathergate. The piece starts off pretty well, then tails off into equivocations, excuses and downright denial regarding obvious liberal bias in the mainstream media.

First, credit where credit is due:

The seasoned professionals at CBS were taken in by documents that amateur Internet bloggers [heh... ed] almost immediately spotted as questionable.
Then the spinning.

Republicans will charge that CBS has a liberal bias that made it too eager to accept the documents. The more probable explanation is that, in the fiercely competitive news business, CBS ran with the story before the documents showed up on some other network
Very probably and very tangentially true that competition played a role. But if the major media outlets are such competitive sleuths in a dog-eat-dog market, why weren't they all over the much more substantiated inconsistencies in John Kerry's Viet Nam service? Why aren't they dogging the Kerry campaign for full disclosure of his medical records?

Anyone who is intellectually honest knows why.

The underlying issue is how well modern journalism is serving the public in providing courageous, independent sources of information and opinion.
Wow, looks like they stumbled onto something here. I couldn't agree more. But don't hold your breath waiting for anything resembling this at the Register.

Everyone talks about media bias, but Tim Rutten, writing for the Los Angeles Times, [fount of independent, non-partisan journalism ed] suggested that the real story might not be about bias, but about incompetence. That's something the profession really needs to think about.
Man, if that ain't ironic...


Post a Comment

<< Home