Saturday, November 26, 2011

Objectivity is a Lie

Anyone who believes in objective journalism is a Chump.   This sort believes facts are not important.  In this flawed fantasy verbal world, only assertions have meaning. A journalist is part of the world, and therefore has inherent biases based on a number of factors.  Who pays the bill is always a factor.  Thus only toadying authoritarian bootlickers will ever become media stars.  Objectivity is another mindless faith.  Like any religion, the media is not a defender of truth, any more than the Catholic Church is a defender of molested children.

From Bob Schieffer, Ron Paul and journalistic “objectivity”:
Along those lines, Radley Balko has argued [link fixed], with ample documentation of the media’s almost unanimous opposition to any form of liberalization of drug laws, that the real media bias is authoritarianism: loyalty to those who wield power. That's unsurprising: after all, when you watch a media star on TV, what you are seeing in almost every case is an extremely well-paid, high-ranking employee of a major corporate conglomerate. They are the consummate insiders in every single sense. Except in the rarest cases, it would be irrational to expect them to be adversarial to the establishment which is responsible for their status and which lavishes them with so many rewards. Those admitted to the royal court don't make a habit out of agitating against the King; quite the opposite: they become his most loyal and devoted subjects, the ones most eager to protect and defend the monarchy which guarantees them their wealth and status. That's all the Bob Schieffers of the world are doing. Again, there's nothing wrong with it per se, or at least not unusual. It's just the very opposite of “objectivity.”
Contrary to popular wisdom, there aren’t two types of journalists: those who express opinions and those who are objective. The two types are those who honestly acknowledge their opinions and those who deceitfully pretend such opinions do not influence their journalism. One reason modern establishment journalism has become so corrupted and worthless is because of the conceit that they engage in some sort of objective reporting that is free of bias and opinion, even as they are the stalwart defenders of a clear set of political opinions and interests (those wielded by the same power factions which they pretend to hold accountable). Any time someone is tempted to believe these fairy tales of objectivity, they should just re-watch this Schieffer interview. 
Say what you want about Gonzo Journalism, but at least it does not make this fundamental error.  The reporter is always part of the story.  Objectivity is a lie.

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