“He said, She said” Journalismby Art Jacobson on Sep. 02, 2012, under Political Journalism, Politics, Romney/Ryan
You all know what that is. Candidate A asserts that the earth is a great sphere that revolves around the sun. Candidate B asserts that the earth is a great sphere, stationary in the universe, around which the sun revolves.
Our journalist takes no side and achieves “balance and impartiality” by carefully reporting each position and ….leaves us there. Thanks a bunch! Is that all? Which of these two rascals is right, and doesn’t journalistic good practice deserve at least some attempt to clarify the dispute? Who’s right?
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard takes on this and related issues of truth in journalism in its Summer 2012 issue.A long article by Pulitzer Prize winner Linda Greenhouse asks, “Instead of striving for balance, how about truth for a goal?” Read it here.
Even the most responsible members of the mainstream press have been shy about calling a spade a spade, or in this case calling a lie a lie, but things may be changing Consider this, from the Washington Post’s coverage of Paul Ryan’s acceptance speech by Rosalind Helderman:
Did Paul Ryan bend the truth?
The verdict, rendered by a slew of media fact checkers, was immediate and unequivocal: In his first major speech before the American people, the Republican vice presidential nominee repeatedly left out key facts, ignored context and was blind to his own hypocrisy.
Michael Cooper, writing in the NY Times headlines, Facts Take a Beating in Acceptance Speeches.
Representative Paul D. Ryan used his convention speech on Wednesday to fault President Obama for failing to act on a deficit-reduction plan that he himself had helped kill. He chided Democrats for seeking $716 billion in Medicare cuts that he too had sought. And he lamented the nation’s credit rating — which was downgraded after a debt-ceiling standoff that he and other House Republicans helped instigate.
Maybe the tide is turning.