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View Diary: Republicans say 'job killer.' Traditional media fails to challenge or fact-check. Then repeats it. (47 comments)

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  •  I completely agree that most news outlets (0+ / 0-)

    are not objective.  And frankly, I'm fine with that, as long as the outlet is honest about coming from a political viewpoint.  It's a matter of the consumer knowing what he/she is getting.  So, if you are FNC, or MSNBC prime time, evaluate all you want -- those are clear that what they are doing is an evaluation of the merits of the various assertions made, coming from a particular viewpoint. If I'm a viewer, I can choose to watch the station that comes from a viewpoint I agree with.  Or I can -- as I usually do -- not watch much of that kind of show at all.  

    I think it's a different question when a news outlet purports to tell people that all it is doing in a story is "reporting the news."  I think that means reporting the facts, not evaluating those facts.  

    And, if you read my comment, I said that there are SOME facts that are so objectively provable in black and white terms, that yes, a reporter can include that without doing an evaluation of merits from a political viewpoint. Your "saying it's raining" story is one of those.  But what this diary is complaining about -- promoting the notion that regulations "kill jobs" --  is not a black or white, objectively provable thing.  Certainly there are SOME anecdotal incidents when regulations "kill jobs" -- the Keystone Pipeline, everybody acknowledges, is on instance where the environmental regulatory process is stopping construction jobs.  The question in that instance is whether it is worth those construction jobs to have environmental regulations enforced. That kind of an evaluation is better suited for commentary.  A news story might say, "Republicans said that delaying the Keystone Pipeline delays 20,000 needed construction jobs, and the Obama administration countered that it was important for the environment and public safety that the Pipeline be fully vetted before they allowed it to proceed."  I would consider that about as neutral as possible for a news story, and I wouldn't expect -- in a news story -- for a reporter to evaluate the merits each position.  If a reporter did evaluate the merits -- from either political perspective -- I would immediately know that, when I am reading material written by that person, I am reading material that comes from a particular political point of view.  Like I said, that's fine if that is your intention -- not so fine if you are holding yourself out as reporting in a neutral way.  

    So, I agree with you that there's a place for evaluation of merits of things -- I just think that a news story that purports to be simply an objective reporting of what happened is not where I want to see that.

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