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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; mediabias; telegraph
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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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