All News Is Not Created Equal
One reason I like The Cincinnati Post is its syndicated editorial columns; they offer a much more interesting mix of viewpoints than those in the Enquirer. I enjoyed a column in yesterday’s edition by Martin Kaplan. He analyzes the repeated calls for a national debate about Iraq, pointing out that vigorous debate has been going on since the war started.
“So why, despite all appearances of actually having a national debate right now, do people keep insisting that we mount one?” Kaplan writes. “Perhaps it’s because the mainstream media are too timid to declare the difference between right and wrong. Imagine if journalism consisted of more than a collage of conflicting talking points. Imagine the difference it would make if more brand-name reporters broke from the bizarre straitjacket of ‘balance,’ which equates fairness with putting all disputants on equal epistemological footing, no matter how deceitful or moronic they may be.”
Is objectivity necessary in journalism? Is it even possible? Even the selection of a story — the shooting is more important than the strike — involves subjectivity and judgment. Does treating two sides equally constitute objectivity? Are “just the facts” enough for a news story?
— Gregory Flannery