MRC/NB's Bozell Comments - Former Newsweek Reporter: ‘Objectivity is a Fallacy’

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As we reported earlier, former Newsweek reporter Michael Hastings drops one rhetorical bomb after another on the media in a new article for GQ magazine.  All of them reinforcing what we already knew, best summarized by Hastings himself: the press's "objectivity is a fallacy."

It has been a horrendous year for the media's credibility, and Hastings's statements only make it worse.  "If (it) sounds like I had some trouble being ‘objective,' I did. Objectivity is a fallacy. In campaign reporting more than any other kind of press coverage, reporters aren't just covering a story, they're a part of it-influencing outcomes, setting expectations, framing candidates-and despite what they tell themselves, it's impossible to both be a part of the action and report on it objectively."  

Hastings is utterly derisive of both former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Senator and Presidential nominee John McCain, both of whom he covered during the Republican primary.  He in fact dreamed repeatedly of doing Giuliani harm as some sort of warped civic duty.

Hastings wrote "I quickly realized Rudy (Giuliani) was a maniac. I had a recurring fantasy in which I took him out during a press conference (... just something that put him out of commission for a year or so), saving America from the horror of a President Giuliani."  Of McCain, Hastings said he "imagine(d) (McCain) was at one time as honorable as everyone says," but that his "views on war and foreign policy, the way he fetishized the idea of sacrifice, unnerved me a little. He seemed to have gone just a little crazy, Captain Ahab-style."

Hastings was pleased to be switched to covering the Democratic primary, but New York Senator Hillary Clinton didn't do it for him.   "I thought it might be better jumping over to the Democrats; at least I wasn't appalled by their basic ideas."

This is the second news magazine staffer this year to dismiss the concept of unbiased reporting.  In April, Time magazine Managing Editor Richard Stengel asserted that "the notion about objectivity is in some ways a fantasy. I don't know that there is as such a thing as objectivity."

MRC President L. Brent Bozell, III:

"The liberal ‘news' media are admitting, brazenly and openly, that they are incapable of objective reporting.  Their worldview is no different from the Daily Kos fanatics and their worn-out leftist clichés.

"The liberal so-called ‘news' media are beyond a tune-up, and beyond an overhaul.  They are totaled.  It's time to put them on the scrap heap where they belong."

Seton Motley
Seton Motley
Founder and president of Less Government.