A Crisis in Liberal Journalism?
April 16, 2003
As I review the activities of the last month or so, I'll leave all the military and political analysis to those either better qualified or more interested to do it. Personally I am just glad to have to outcome that we have - the world is safer, Iraqis are free and for the first time in my lifetime I think conditions in the Mideast may be ripe for peace.
But there are several other issues that have come up that when taken together appear to indicate a real crisis in the liberal non-print news media.
The first indication was Dan Rather's interview with Saddam before the war. This interview was a total embarrassment. Watching Rather's verbal genuflection and softball deliveries seemed to be contradictory to everything I learned in college journalism classes. It seemed as if just being the one to interview Saddam was more important to him than any journalistic result. It was a sad come-down for such a long time and well respected news anchor.
The second item that popped up was the admission by NPR that its "news" presentations are biased to the left. Now, its not that I'm surprised to "learn" that - I considered their approach to issues very lopsided for a very long time. But I was surprised to learn that it was a conscious attempt on their part. I used to respect them more than that.
And of course this past week CNN admitted to a completely bankrupt approach to Iraqi news issues over the past decade. Eason Jordan, the network's news chief, admitted that his organization had learned some "awful things" about the Baathist regime--murders, tortures, assassination plots--that it simply could not broadcast earlier. Again, the issue seemed to be that the access to be able to supply biased foreign propaganda was more important than providing truthful journalism. When I think of those who have died or served time in jail to protect journal ethics, I feel ashamed, very ashamed, of CNN. I for one can never watch CNN again and believe what I hear.
When I add these admissions to the contortuous statements run up the flag by liberal columnists to deny the good accomplished by Iraqi War outcome (Summarized here by the WSJ), I have come to the conclusion that the liberal press is probably bankrupt.