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Friday, October 24, 2008

OK, now let's be nice to reporters

OK, so I've taken shots at the media (what's that proverb about those who live in glass houses?). See my previous blog as evidence. Actually, like anyone else, I fall into the habit of using the amorphous phrase, "the media," as in the old saw, "the liberal media." It's a catharsis, talking about the media. It's also nebulous. "Media" literally means more than one medium of communication, but the word is shorthand for the big, daily newspapers and TV news networks (except for the Washington Times and Fox News).
So here's a confession. On the micro scale, I've met plenty of journalists, and plenty of left-leaning journalists, but I've never run across a reporter who tried to skew the news. Often, those I've known on the left became extra self-conscious and cautious when tackling a story about something sensitive, such as coverage of a conservative Christian group. They went out of their way to be fair.
I do see a pro-Obama slant in the coverage of this year's election (gee, you think?). Still, I think it's tough to take the kind of position that Orson Scott Card adopts in a recent blog (click on the title of this blog for the link; see what you think). He argues that reporters are ignoring the true causes of the financial crisis, namely Democrats pushing mortgages on those who couldn't afford them. Sure, news outlets should be outing these folks (what's with CNN and its rogues gallery? No Barney Frank or Chris Dodd in the top 10?)
Let's take a breath and admit that individual reporters work hard, bend over backward to be fair and labor on often complex stories that rarely please the subjects involved. Other dynamics, too involved to start writing about here, account for the leanings of the press. But please, don't take out your frustrations on the folks in the trenches.

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