On Media Bias and “Journalism”

It’s no secret that partisan media have added to the polarization of the country.

After all, a little learning is the enemy of truth. Once given a small morsel of knowledge, most people, in their pride, will assume they have tasted the entire meal.

That is one of the reasons tolerance is necessary, because there may be information out there unavailable to one or both parties.

But there are some places that push even the label of “journalism” too far.

From a recent court case involving Mother Jones:

Though winning the case, Mother Jones received this critique:“Mother Jones describes its articles as ‘smart, fearless journalism,’ ‘ahead of the curve’ and ‘about reporting.’

Contrary to its perception of itself, this case illustrates the non-objective bias of Mother Jones and its approach in seeking out only the negative to support its position; resorting to sophomoric bullying and name-calling to lead the reader to adopt its particular agenda.”

“…The journalistic model revealed to the Court in the record of this lawsuit is anything but a ‘guardian of true liberty.’ Instead, it is little more than mud-slinging, advertised as journalistic fearlessness, which offers very little in the way of a complete or balanced picture for its readers. Instead of being a leader in educating the people about civil discourse in an era of increased political polarization, the press in general, and Mother Jones in particular, leads the way in demonizing, rather than fairly discussing, those whose points of view differ from its own.”

Correct information is key to to an informed electorate. In addition to perpetuating incorrect information, I am of the opinion that not challenging opinions to expose or at least test their veracity is to be marked complicit in the dissemination of incorrect information, which does no one any good.

Media outlets still have a public duty. Too often, they forget that.

I suppose that’s why Aaron Sorkin gets so wrapped up in talking about the news.

progress is slow


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