NY Times Political Reporter Believes Telling Right From Wrong Is Beyond His Job Description; He's Wrong

from the the-view-from-absolutely-nowhere dept

For many years we've talked about the silly position that many journalism organizations take, in which their interpretation of being "objective" is to have what Professor Jay Rosen has called "the view from nowhere." I understand where this inclination comes from -- with the idea that if people think you're biased or one-sided that it taints the legitimacy or credibility of what you're reporting on. But in practice it often comes off as bland nothingness, and reporters willing to repeat any old nonsense that politicians and others put forth. Indeed, I'd argue that many people in the politics realm have learned to use this to their own advantage, and to say any old bullshit, knowing that the press will repeat it in a manner that only gives the original claim more validity and attention -- rather than calling it out as bullshit.

Similarly, such a bland "view from nowhere" creates a standard of "objective" reporting that is not there. Journalists always need to make choices -- choices about what to include and what not to include, who to quote and who not to quote. And, of course, journalists do have opinions and pretending otherwise is just silly. As such, we've long called out why this kind of view from nowhere is ridiculous, and journalism outlets that do silly things like ban reporters from stating opinions are not being "objective," they're denying reality.

The NY Times is running a new series on "Understanding the NY Times," which I think is actually a great idea by itself. A big part of the problem with the way people (don't) understand journalism today is that so much of how journalism works is set forth in an effective code of unwritten rules that many journalists learn as they get into the business, but which the public has no clue about. Non-journalists often impute a kind of motive to journalists that is laughable if you know actual journalists (or happen to be one). So, it's good (if unlikely to impact much) that the Times has chosen to do something to open up some of the details and explain things.

And yet... a recent piece in this series about how journalists "try to stay impartial" really seems to show just how silly this particular policy is. A bunch of people on Twitter commented, in particular, on a short comment provided by the NY Times' White House correspondent Peter Baker. In response to a discussion about whether or not reporters should even vote, he says the following:

As reporters, our job is to observe, not participate, and so to that end, I don’t belong to any political party, I don’t belong to any non-journalism organization, I don’t support any candidate, I don’t give money to interest groups and I don’t vote.

I try hard not to take strong positions on public issues even in private, much to the frustration of friends and family. For me, it’s easier to stay out of the fray if I never make up my mind, even in the privacy of the kitchen or the voting booth, that one candidate is better than another, that one side is right and the other wrong.

Many people are calling out the not voting part as ridiculous -- and I agree. I have no problem with people choosing not to vote, as I believe that's a personal decision that everyone should make for themselves, using whatever rationale they think appropriate, no matter how crazy. Yet, to think that this is somehow noble of a reporter or some sign of objectivity is just silly. It feels more like putting on a performance of objectivity.

But the much crazier part of this is not the lack of voting, but the final point he makes, that his job as a reporter is not to say "that one side is right and the other wrong." That's basically his only job as a reporter. As we've pointed out multiple times in the past, figuring out the truth is the key job of a journalist. And if you think that failing to say when someone is wrong makes you a better journalist, you're wrong (and I'm not afraid to say that).

Of course, there may be a larger point that Baker is getting at here, and he just failed to explain it well. So many political debates do get dragged down into questions of "right" or "wrong" on issues of opinion -- where "rightness" or "wrongness" is not something that can easily be assessed. The line between facts and opinions can get a bit fuzzy at times -- especially with policy issues. Will this particular policy accomplish what its backers claim? Well, who knows? We can look at past data or other evidence that suggests one outcome or the other, and that would be useful to report on. But every situation may be different, and different variables may be at play. So, calling certain claims right or wrong can be challenging in the best of times -- but simply swearing off saying if something is right or wrong seems to suggest not just a cop out from doing your job as a reporter, but also a fairly cynical take on what the role of a reporter actually should be.

Filed Under: bias, journalism, objectivity, peter baker, reporting, view from nowhere
Companies: ny times


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  1. icon
    K`Tetch (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 12:07pm

    "Of course, there may be a larger point that Baker is getting at here, and he just failed to explain it well."

    That's not a good thing either. Basically, 'explaining things well' is the OTHER half of his job description.
    If he's not reporting the facts, and he's not explaining things well, then WHY is he employed as a journalist, when he can't manage either of the basic requirements of that job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 12:07pm

    An average day for Peter Baker.

    Person 1: “The sky is blue!”

    Person 2: “The sky is red!”

    Baker: “Both are compelling theories and deserve equal weight.”

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 12:09pm

    Re: An average day for Peter Baker.

    One wonders what he would say about the 3rd, 5th, and 7th sides? The scrambling for balance would make a demolition derby look tame.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonavisitor, 3 Mar 2020 @ 12:18pm

    Re: An average day for Peter Baker.

    Would love to see this journalist's political coverage.

    "And now, to continue the trend of equal and completely unbiased reporting, here is a detailed report on political aspirations of the 7-11 cashier that talks at me whenever I drop by for a slurpee"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    christenson, 3 Mar 2020 @ 12:30pm

    Disconnect...

    I think journalism has a huge disconnect problem....

    In that half of us have enough technical chops to generally understand most things, but the journalists (generally) have no technical chops at all.

    Thus, "objective" journalism with the view from nowhere!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    mvario (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 12:33pm

    Impartiality?

    Paley tried to push this "impartiality" on his CBS radio reporters in the 1930s who like to condemn Nazis every chance they could. It was all about not offending anyone. The reporters continued to do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 12:40pm

    Re: An average day for Peter Baker.

    That's true at dawn and dusk.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 12:50pm

    Modern journalism is...

    ...when someone watches Futurama and sees the Neutral Aliens not as a punchline, but a goal made manifest.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 12:51pm

    But they can’t be true simultaneously…unless you’re Peter Baker, anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 1:16pm

    alleged NYT proposition (the premise):
    "Telling Right From Wrong Is Beyond His Job Description"

    (insert argument here)

    techdirt conclusion:
    "he's wrong"

    Perhaps td is right, but it is supported by no argument. I used the standard method, each paragraph I examined at the start, it suffices. Here are the first bits of each paragraph. I'm only looking for anything that might support the idea that journalists have as their job determining truth:
    "For many years we've talked about the silly position"
    (appeal to ridicule)
    "Similarly, such a bland "view from nowhere" creates a standard of"
    (slippery slope)
    "The NY Times is running a new series on "Understanding the NY Times," which I think is actually a great idea"
    (immaterial)
    "And yet... a recent piece in this series about how journalists "try to stay impartial" really seems to show just how silly this particular policy is."
    (appeal to ridicule)
    "Many people are calling out the not voting part as ridiculous -- and I agree."
    (immaterial & appeal to ridicule (whether or not he votes is immaterial to the proposition) & appeal to popularity)
    "But the much crazier part of this is not the lack of voting, but the final point he makes, that his job as a reporter is not to say "that one side is right and the other wrong." That's basically his only job"
    (begging the question)
    "Of course, there may be a larger point that Baker is getting at here, and he just failed to explain it well."
    (immaterial)

    If there was an argument hiding in there, let me know!!! I only have just so much patience with poor writing!

    Traditionally, it was relatively easy to stay neutral, merely report on the facts. That's because the main people reading the news were people pretty well educated, and taught not as today advocacy, but rather to themselves, by logic, identify the truth. It was how writing and everything worked, in the school system. Today, readership is completely without the tools necessary to determine what is true. Instead, they desperately identify the stylish idea, and cling to those, as they do with clothing, because there is safety in being plain (and what is more plain than a bunch of tatts and skinny jeans?)

    But the irony is that such a group created, so easily led, because they are ignorant of logic, also create a group easily misled as well. And control over media won't help it. Write something on a sign, poorly. They'll believe it - for the five seconds they're in the presence of it, until another comes along. So demoralized are they, that they give their own rational process no merit.

    How thinking was taught in the schools of yore was to demand that students reason out everything (like in math showing your work). Then they would be judged according to this, not according to their ability to come to the "right conclusion".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 1:34pm

    Journalism 101: If someone says “it’s raining” and someone else says “it’s not raining”, a reporter’s job is not to report both sides, but to look out the fucking window and see if it’s raining.

    The “view from nowhere” is about reporting anything anyone presents as a fact, even if what they say is provably a lie. In “view from nowhere” reporting on Flat Earth theory, the Flat Earthers would be treated the exact same as esteemed, knowledgeable scientists — even though the Flat Earthers clearly have no credibility and scientific evidence proves their theory is bullshit. Similarly, a “view from nowhere” would put anti-vaxxers and scientists on equal footing, even though the anti-vaxxers are…misinformed in their “scientific” beliefs, to put it kindly.

    We want reporters to find the truth and report it. A “view from nowhere” reporter finds both the truth and a lie, then reports both as either fact or theory (but equally so), even if the evidence proves the truth is true and the lie is a lie. That way lies madness; we should not want it, nor do we need it — or, for that matter, anyone who thinks it’s a good idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. icon
    Scott Yates (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 1:46pm

    Reporting should be about explaining the nuance

    If all they do is write "he said this, and she said that" they are doing the job of a stenographer, not a reporter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 1:53pm

    Re:

    Technically neither is true and both are true at dawn and dusk (on days with gloriously colorful solar transitions). Parts of the sky are red and parts are blue. Whether the AC's statement above is true depends wholly on how you define "the sky" at that moment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 2:29pm

    what's a journalist?

    ...."Non-journalists often impute a kind of motive to journalists that is laughable if you know actual journalists (or happen to be one). "

    ....so just how do we humble non-journalists recognize genuine "journalists" from fakers & poseurs ?

    how does one formally enter this lofty priesthood of Journalism (?) ... or are the criteria for the title of "Journalist" so loose as to be useless in sorting them from the masses of ordinary writers and speakers ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Rocky, 3 Mar 2020 @ 2:41pm

    Re:

    I'm only looking for anything that might support the idea that journalists have as their job determining truth

    You conveniently side-stepped answering the question yourself which I find very telling. If a journalists job isn't determining and reporting the truth, what is their job? Copywriter?

    No journalist won the Pulitzer prize by being the one who thought everybody's viewpoint where equal regardless of facts and truth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Reporting should be

    Journalism = Truth Seeking

    (that's according to the "Society of Professional Journalists")

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 3:10pm

    Re:

    Ah, yes, the famed standard method of not actually reading the article.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Bruce C., 3 Mar 2020 @ 3:18pm

    Going back to the Garden?

    Seems like this school of journalism wants to go back to Adam and Eve before they gained knowledge of good and evil.

    Journalists should report the facts as they are best understood at the time. In an issues piece, they should give a fair and neutral presentation of differing viewpoints, but neutral doesn't mean non-critical. It just means to subject all viewpoints to the same scrutiny. If any viewpoint is based on faulty information/assumptions/biases, that issue should be called out during the analysis.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 3 Mar 2020 @ 3:44pm

    neutral doesn't mean non-critical

    Yes, it does. Neutrality means giving the same credibility and weight to the arguments of both scientists and Flat Earthers as if both sides deserve credibility only for making their arguments. You can’t be simultaneously critical of and neutral towards Flat Earthers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 3:51pm

    Re:

    Don't be too harsh on flat earthers and anti-vaxers. If only so many others adhered to the same standard of idiot self-identification the world would run a lot more smoothly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Going back to the Garden?

    "It just means to subject all viewpoints to the same scrutiny."

    Does one have to perform this task each and every time these broken records repeat the same debunked viewpoints? What if the repeats appear in the same thread? Are you then allowed to show a tad bit of sarcasm, or maybe disgust?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Disconnect...

    This is nothing new... media types have always "reported" on things they don't understand, and most people have taken what they reported as truth, where most people who were actually involved come away with a "but that's not what happened AT ALL" reaction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Re: An average day for Peter Baker.

    Or literally, "Since we gave Sanders and Trump an hour of air time in the debate, here's local Neo-Nazi John Smith who is also running for president as a write-in candidate to tell you why we should genocide the Jews who run everything!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: An average day for Peter Baker.

    What sort of advertisers would one see?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 8:20pm

    Not a fan of pieces that conflate "being accurate" with "staking a partisan position".

    There's a difference between being non-partisan and being a stenographer and far too many people treat the former as if it's the latter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2020 @ 9:46pm

    If journalists would just stop printing the bullshit from politicians maybe politics would go away.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2020 @ 12:04am

    Re:

    Agreed.

    If a writer claims they needn't call out misinformation, then we can call them mere storytellers and their works mere fiction.

    Imagine a science journalist that didn't care to tell us if a claim was the modern consensus, or a weird new idea, or debunked.

    Likewise we expect all journalists to help readers with the job of separating the world's information from misinformation.

    If all we keep seeing from news organisations is flippant infotainment then we will surely move away to the better storytellers and works of fiction we have found online.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Also, 4 Mar 2020 @ 2:49am

    Re: Re: Reporting should be

    I looked for evidence of this on their website spj.org, but I couldn't find it. Can you provide a link?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2020 @ 3:16am

    "Journalists should do away with any pretenses of impartiality and become the arbiters of truth based on how they feel, so that we no longer have to cede any space to potential "alternate facts" and other misinformation influencing the minds of the vulnerable public that can't be trusted to tell "right" from "wrong" for themselves!"

    Well, Mr. Masnick, you must be very proud of the current age journalists then, that brought us enthusiastically 'round the clock coverage of partial and truthful news such as:
    WMD in Iraq!
    Snowden and Assange are traitorous criminals!
    Trump is a Putin puppet!
    Assad is gassing his own people every time he's losing!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Rocky, 4 Mar 2020 @ 3:59am

    Re:

    False attribution - Check
    Strawman - Check
    Whataboutism - Check

    . . .

    Dishonest - Check

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Mar 2020 @ 4:22am

    They did a wonderful job of auditioning for Fox News.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Mar 2020 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: An average day for Peter Baker.

    "What sort of advertisers would one see?"

    Hmm...

    *"Southern Cross - we've got well-aged timbers with just the right amount of oil fer yer cross-burnin' to last the whole night. Buy now, get half a dozen tiki torches fer free.".

    "Alabama Hemp. Stout rope that'll hang ANY size'a n____r guaranTEED!"

    "Georgia's clothiers want YOU to know that their white cotton robes and hoods, unlike the dull old bedsheet-with-holes breathes well, keeping you snug and cool for the whole experience"

    *"Old Relics and Imports would like to remind you they've still got a warehouse stocked to the rafters with gen-u-ine world war 2 paraphernalia, especially uniforms and armbands in all sizes. Any purchase o' more than $200 comes with a leatherbound copy o' "Mein Kampf" signed by Steve Bannon."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Mar 2020 @ 5:37am

    Re:

    "Perhaps td is right, but it is supported by no argument."

    The argument would be the uses of the term "reporter".

    The statement that a reporter's job is to find out what is right and report that is as dictionary-definition clear as the statement that "'down' refers to the vector aligned towards the center of mass".
    With that out of the way the rest of the OP becoming a lampoon is fairly natural.

    "Traditionally, it was relatively easy to stay neutral, merely report on the facts."

    That has, in fact, never been true for anything but a science journalist who only has to bring empirical observation to the table. For any other journalist it's all about finding a story, validating it, and commenting on the parts found to be untrue.

    The fourth estate has a rather important job, most of which has to do with finding out whether the talking head in front of the microphone is "right", "wrong", or "flat-out lying".

    "But the irony is that such a group created, so easily led, because they are ignorant of logic, also create a group easily misled as well."

    This has similarly always been true, ever since the "news" were written in cuneiform on clay tablets. We rely on journalists and reporters to present a hopefully less biased portrayal of the carefully spun rhetoric fed us by a politician whose entire career may rest on their ability to spin the public a good yarn.

    "How thinking was taught in the schools of yore..."

    Was to provide a ready answer to any hard question and align the young inquisitive minds in such a direction that their future questions were never aimed at contemporary authority.
    Every "school of yore" in the US of the 50's taught, to some degree, why the White Man was superior to the Black Man, in some way, even outside of the south. Later on they taught children that if their mommy and daddy were reading many foreign books those children should probably call the committee of UnAmerican activities so Uncle Hoover could come have a chat with mummy and daddy.

    The "schools of yore" might have benefited the young when it came to understanding math, but there's a bloody good reason that today 50% of the US population believes, with all their heart, that evolution is wrong and science is suspect.

    And it's not because they were taught to question. they were taught to believe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2020 @ 6:30am

    Re:

    " the current age journalists then, that brought us enthusiastically 'round the clock coverage of partial and truthful news "

    Are you referring to the journalists employed by large corporations who direct said employees journalistic activities?

    How are journalists responsible for the activities of their co workers (editor) and employers (corporate owned media)?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2020 @ 9:56am

    Re:

    Journalism 101: If someone says “it’s raining” and someone else says “it’s not raining”, a reporter’s job is not to report both sides, but to look out the fucking window and see if it’s raining.

    That's an oversimplification. To know whether it's raining at any location not visible from the window, they either have to go there (and no longer know whether it's raining near their window), or trust a person or some equipment. Part of finding the truth in knowing whom to trust.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. icon
    McGyver (profile), 4 Mar 2020 @ 10:52am

    I have no opinion...

    An opinion is just a conclusion one has reached after weighing the facts and carefully deciding between what to ignore and what one immediately forgot because they really weren’t paying attention in the first place.
    Not having an opinion allows one to avoid choosing between the classic positions of “right” and “wrong”...
    Who is to say what is wrong or what is right, or even what is left... for that matter, what is up or down...
    We live on a planet floating in space, and there is no up or down in space... and left or right is just dependent on which shoe is on which foot...
    Do we not all walk funny when the shoe is on the other foot... and what of those without feet?
    Are any of us so bold as to judge those without feet such as the humble cephalopods?
    If we all try to walk a mile in one another’s shoes only then can we truly appreciate how bad our feet will smell.
    A true journalist knows those arguments and to avoid forming opinions because they can cloud one’s mind with judgmental thoughts that might make them seem biased or preachy...
    They know it is best to leave judgement to historians who are judgie bitches anyway... always pointing out who massacred who and who committed genocide where.
    Journalists need to be pure, they need to let history unfold without them calling out potential problems or facts that might lead to those problems being avoided and mankind not learning another important lesson that we’ll instantly forget.
    After all, if we all listen to both sides, no matter how batshit insane and dangerously divisive the other side may sound and behave, and then carefully take into account all we have learned from them, only then can we all appreciate how insane they truly are, and then take steps to avoid labeling their insanity as right or wrong, and by doing so head down the path to true enlightenment, free of all judgmental opinions.
    By giving both sides equal time and consideration, regardless of how much one side may be lying or trying to manipulate the situation by having it’s insane rhetoric aired, we give history a chance to unfold without sensible interference.
    Some may say that’s irresponsible, but still others may say that’s just an opinion based on a presumption of a concept of right and wrong, facts or bullshit.
    In the end, each of us must randomly choose for ourselves the wildest explanation and stick to it until something cooler or more popular comes along.
    But ultimately that all just my opinion of which I have no opinion on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. icon
    Atkray (profile), 4 Mar 2020 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Reporting should be

    No you didn't.

    3 clicks

    https://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 4 Mar 2020 @ 1:45pm

    That's an oversimplification.

    That’s why it’s Journalism 101.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2020 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Scary.. what is so scary is the length of print I would have to read of yours (did you even take one breath whilst you wrote that?) to get a single point of yours. I apologize for not reading your comment tonight. I looked and saw how frickin long it was and just said to myself, "I am gonna miss my show if I read that," plus I was planning on traveling sometime soon to a far away island. I just don't have time to read that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2020 @ 5:56pm

    Re: Re:

    You got a tapeworm.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2020 @ 6:01pm

    Re:

    When a reporter on tv starts rambling on in their opinion or how they feel, I immediately switch channels. I don't give a crap what they feel or believe. Just give it to me straight confidently so I feel better that I can make up my own mind by researching the different sources about it. Their opinions interjected inside the scope of my research just mucks up the truth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Mar 2020 @ 6:10pm

    Re: I have no opinion...

    Why did you waste valuable whitespace?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 4 Mar 2020 @ 8:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Unless you're Republican, illiteracy isn't generally considered a virtue.
    Perhaps you shouldn't be quite so proud to admit having it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Also, 5 Mar 2020 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Reporting should be

    Thanks. I missed that completely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2020 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm very literate, literally. I am also very busy. People here at Techdirt should try to be as efficient as possible by getting to the point of their comment quickly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. identicon
    bobob, 5 Mar 2020 @ 4:47pm

    What journalists have an obligation to do is not tell falsehoods or lies of omission to sway opinions. That is a much different thing than having an opinion of right and wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Mar 2020 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ah, you were looking for the TL;DR? Mea Culpa.

    • There are, in fact, cases where the "neutral" position can't exist.
    • Journalists have the job of determining outright falsehoods and bring to light factual truth.
    • "Equal weight" is a myth unless what is discussed is pure opinion. For anything else observable fact should suffice for the journalist to draw the proper angle for their piece.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. identicon
    Queen Esther, 11 Mar 2020 @ 7:55am

    Yay! The View from ancient Persia

    I agree with what Masnick said: the media has no bias.

    (but fucking ass-loads of tribal gatekeepers manipulating the narrative and the narrators so the Bini Naziyahoo and his cabal gets more free cash)

    Same as it ever was....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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