January 09, 2006

Dopey WNJ Letter of the Week

This week's winner is Richard Bensinger of Wilmington who writes

Press reports of the facts get confused with opinions

President Bush is in trouble over domestic spying. And like clockwork, newspapers like The News Journal are being attacked. Journalism that reports the facts is not a liberal contrivance. Sadly, too many critics confuse reporting with editorializing.

The news will always be interpreted as biased when the press reports information that is different from the reader's own opinion. To a prejudiced reader, a newspaper report on the advent of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 would have been viewed as liberal propaganda.

No one ought to be afraid of the truth.

Actually Rich, outlets like the Journal are being questioned as to the depth of their "investigation." For instance, regarding President Bush and NSA spying, has the News Journal asked whether Bush's actions were merely a continuation of the ECHELON program from the Clinton administration? Why former Clinton Justice Dept. official Jaime Gorelick (also a later member of the 9/11 Commission) argued that the executive has the inherent right to order such surveillance?

An "archive" search of the online News Journal yields no such stories searching under "ECHELON program" and "Jamie Gorelick." It was up to bloggers to reveal this information, Richard. (See here, here and here -- and no, we didn't find this info; we got it from other bloggers.) Why is this?

If reporters reported about the Declaration back during the Revolution, a straight news report would cover all the facts surrounding the matter. That's not what has happened regarding the president and spying. At least not in the MSM.

The problem isn't people confusing facts with editorializing; it's with reporters confusing editorializing with facts.

Posted by Hube at January 9, 2006 04:41 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

The problem isn't people confusing facts with editorializing; it's with reporters confusing editorializing with facts.

Well that certainly clears it up.

Posted by: at January 9, 2006 05:20 PM

Glad I could assist, even though I have a wee feeling that you're being sarcastic.... ;-)

Posted by: Hube at January 9, 2006 05:23 PM

My theory is that the problem is reporters who always try to create news rather than report news.

Posted by: delathought at January 9, 2006 06:37 PM

My theory is that we are paying the price for having significantly devalued objective facts and the idea of an objective truth.

This devaluation is so complete that we now live in an age in which literally everything is open to debate. No event, or topic can be reported in the press as anything other than part of an ongoing ideological battle.

For the record, liberals pioneered the devaluation of objective fact, but conservatives perfected it.


Posted by: Jason at January 9, 2006 07:47 PM

Hogwash. "Conservatives perfected it..." If you ever, just once, got beyond your liberal/Democrat blinders scourge, the world would really open up to you.

Take a look at "deconstructionism" in any college. This goes to your "pioneering" statement, which is accurate in my view. But how conservatives have "perfected" it is a head-scratcher. (I know, I know... "George Bush, George Bush, George Bush!")

The truth is both sides have done their fair share over the last couple decades. But as you say, liberals began the "deconstruction" of the truth.

Posted by: Hube at January 9, 2006 07:57 PM

The canonical example of conservative devaluation of truth is Reagan's original campaign premise that we could cut taxes, increase defense spending, and balance the budget. Never happened, never will. Yet there are still those who believe it with all their heart, and we'll be hearing from them in five... four... three... two...

Posted by: at January 9, 2006 08:38 PM

Well one of us sure comes to every thread with his ideological boxing gloves on.

Just sayin...

Posted by: jason at January 10, 2006 07:47 AM

I assume we all understand that in his prior comment Jason is unintentionally referring to himself....

The canonical example of conservative devaluation of truth is Reagan's original campaign premise that we could cut taxes, increase defense spending, and balance the budget.He also intended spending cuts that Congress refused to pass. So he took what he could get and chose tax cuts to spur the economy and the increased defense spending to defeat the Soviet Union. We finally did briefly balance the budget in the '90s as a result of the economic growth that Reagan started and his successors continued. (With a slight blip in the early 90s.)

Posted by: Paul Smith at January 10, 2006 09:29 AM

The worst of the deconstruction of government was the Reagan deregulation of lawful oversight of corporate daily-do.
The lobbyists writing the laws HAS ONLY increased and it is a big part of what is destroying American from the inside out.
New laws will now be set on the books because of the unveiling of Delay and Abramoff's dirty means to ends: uncommon enrichment at the expense of others ot in direct benefit of the lobby.

Posted by: at January 10, 2006 01:18 PM

He also intended spending cuts that Congress refused to pass. So he took what he could get....the economic growth that Reagan started and his successors continued

See? The Reagan Reality Distortion Field continues to this day, protecting modern conservatives from any facts that would conflict with their beliefs.

Posted by: at January 11, 2006 09:08 AM

Hube:
The weekly "dopey letter" is a great feature. I look forward to reading. I may borrow your idea.

AJ

Posted by: AJ Lynch at January 12, 2006 11:44 AM

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