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View Diary: Psycho-politico-Ipod-ology (26 comments)

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  •  Everything you need to know: Nagourney on Gore (1+ / 0-)
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    In a relevant sidenote to this conversation about the news media and, well, competence, I read this in Saturday's New York Times piece on "An Inconvenient Truth" and Al Gore's comeback:

    But in a feisty and frequently argumentative telephone conversation, Mr. Gore brimmed with disdain at the state of American politics and political journalism, urging his interviewer to quit a career of covering politics to turn to matters of real consequence.

    "Stop covering politics; cover the climate crisis. It is not too late!" he said, with a boom of laughter.

    "Have you read my book?" he asked a moment later. "Have you seen the movie?" Mr. Gore cluck-clucked at the "not yet but I will" response.

    I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that passage. Basically, a senior reporter for the New York Times received the assignment to interview a former Vice-President, but then couldn't bring himself to watch the movie about which he was supposed to be interviewing the Vice President.  Then, when rightly called on this ignorance by said former Vice President, Nagourney gives the lamest possible excuse, and then proceeds to include the entire exchange--including his admission that he has not even seen the movie that is the subject of the interview--in his finished article in the Times.

    Nagourney's not just ignorant and lazy. He's too ignorant and lazy to be ashamed of being ignorant and lazy, which summarizes the state of contemporary American journalism as well as anything I can think of.

    Some people on this thread have posted some very insighful comments on the background and skill necessary to be a journalist. My response to them is that I might not necessarily want to live in a world where one has to have a PhD in physics to interview Stephen Hawking. But where the press cannot be bothered to take even basic efforts to inform themselves about the things they report on, there is precious little reason to hold the New York Times in greater respect than a blog reporting on the same subject.

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