Business As Usual for Journalists: A Roundup

October 30th, 2006 7:13 PM

Bill Blakemore, the ABC News reporter in charge of making sure global warming gets covered fairly, said this in front of a group of journalists:

Of course [skeptics] play on the idea that we have to be ‘balanced,’” he noted. “It was very lazy of us for 10 years when we were asked for balance from the [climate skeptic] spinners. We just gave up and said ‘Okay, okay – I will put the other side on, okay are you happy now?’” he said. “And it saves us from the trouble of having to check out the fact that these other sides were the proverbial flat earth society.”

Hey, while you're not checking out the facts, why don't you not look into why Mars and Jupiter also have the same global warming problem that we do. How did humans screw those planets up?

Columnists often remind us how they don't have to be fair, balanced, or impartial in their products because they are paid to give their opinions, not to provide balanced or even honest coverage of topics like their news-breatheren. That is, unless you're a conservative radio host. Says NPR host Ben Merens:

These airwaves belong to all of us. No matter which corporation owns the broadcasting rights... Talk radio's role has gotten lost along the way. Hosts should be moderators of public debate. Not that hosts shouldn't have opinions. And I actually believe they should voice them sometimes - but not to the detriment of the public debate. We can ask open-ended questions. We can seek to understand positions we don't hold nor would ever consider holding. We owe it to the public to allow a wider range of views to be heard on our shows than those we hold ourselves. I know conservative talk is where the commercial pendulum is swinging today - but that's just it. Pendulums do swing.

Ahhh, the desire for fairness. Ben, if you don't want to go all the way to Air America with your suggestion, you could start by talking to your own parent company, NPR.

Newspaper circulation is down -- again -- and the worst damage -- again -- was delivered to the most liberal newspapers. The LA Times is down 8.0%, Philly Inquirer down 7.5%, Oregonian down 6.8%, Sac Bee down 5.4%, Star Tribune 4.1%. Meanwhile NBC News is slashing jobs, the Denver Newspaper Agency is cutting jobs by 5%, and others are finally asking if it's the end times.

Journalists are chasing their tails oblivious to why the average American can't stomach a liberal rag hitting their stoop every morning. They are blaming hotels, the do not call registry (What? Your newspaper never told you they fought to be exempt from it claiming free speech?) and any other excuse they can try to claim without looking at the real problem - liberal agendas.

It's a lose-lose for journalists. The more they try to be balanced, the more their political party loses. The more their party loses, the more they tilt their coverage and the more circulation declines. The only thing they could do is provide news and analysis from a traditional American perspective (that will never happen), for example conservative newspaper The New York Post actually saw their circulation go UP over 5%.