Many Americans have a negative image of journalists and it is one that is growing in believability and acceptance every day, especially as the New Media begins to attract more and more attention from the American people. This image of the aloof, even anti-American, journalist is becoming rote with more people all the time. Sadly, the journalists themselves seem to be uninterested in countering this appalling public image, imagining themselves above being considered mere Americans. On this subject, a recent op ed by Mark Fitzgerald of Editor & Publisher warns journalists that perception is often truth and that the penchant that journalists have for not standing proudly and patriotically during the National Anthem does not help their image any -- good advice that will be roundly ignored by journalists the country over.
Fitzgerald starts off with a bit of an untruth of his own, though I am not accusing him of knowingly perpetrating a falsehood. Saying that "There's no cheering in the press box," Fitzgerald goes on to describe journalists are perennially uninvolved and aloof from the subject of which they report. At some level this may be correct. Certainly when journalists, notoriously left-wing, cover conservatives and Republicans there is no cheering. But, as the recent example during the 2008 National Democratic Convention shows, when it is left-wing, journalists have no problem at all cheering. One need not forget the fawning the media lovingly handed to Bill Clinton to prove the cheerleading they are apt to, either.
Still, that quibble aside, Fitzgerald has a great point about how the unpatriotic attitude of journalists damages their profile. Worse, it makes people doubt journalist's work simply because their word isn't trusted not to be coming from an anti-American perspective.