Carol Platt Liebau: Politicians and Journalists . . .

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Politicians and Journalists . . .

It's hard to find any class of people that elicits even less sympathy than big-spending, high-living politicians. But somehow, in an op/ed today, The Los Angeles Times does the impossible.

Here's the quote:

Maybe [members of Congress] can even take a lesson from a profession that ranks a few rungs higher, according to opinion polls, in terms of honesty: Journalistic ethics preclude Los Angeles Times reporters from taking money from private industry to fly across the country to do their reporting. Surely members of Congress can live up to the same standards that we abide by.

Ah, the sanctimony. Shouldn't we all aspire to be as ethical as the journalists. . .

Or perhaps not. There's plenty to say about the very pressing need for reform on Capitol Hill. But there is at least one check on politicians that journalists completely lack: Accountability.

The point was driven home by Hugh Hewitt's interview (transcript over at Radioblogger) of CNN's Ed Henry. He simply refused to answer the questions -- whether about the quality of CNN's Alito coverage in certain instances or even about his own political leanings. He concluded the interview by hanging up on the air.

Certainly a politician would never do that -- because he realizes that he works for a constituency that won't tolerate that kind of arrogance. Journalists like to act as though they work for the "public," but their immediate employers are almost monolithically liberal "elites," who demonstrate in practice (if not in theory) their contempt for the public.

Like most journalists, Ed Henry is deeply invested in the myth of journalistic objectivity, which is why he refuses to disclose his political leanings. There's a reason that journalists are so deeply invested in the pretense of objectivity, as I noted here.


Blogger stackja1945 said...

"journalists are so deeply invested in the pretense of objectivity" that they cannot see the subjectivity and never will.

2:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home