Saturday, December 01, 2007

NBC Reporter Apologizes

Reporter Apologizes” is not a very descriptive headline. A person can apologize to another for giving a gratuitous insult, such as Erin Burnett of NBC News calling President Bush a monkey. However, what can a Reporter apologize for?

The apology Erin Burnett should make is not to President Bush, but to the profession of journalism. Once more bias in reporting has been demonstrated in a profession whose only claims to relevance are its fairness and objectivity. Why watch/read/listen to NBC News if what you get is NBC Opinion?

Similarly, CNN included numerous questions from fervent Democrat supporters in the “You Tube” Republican presidential candidate debate without disclosing their political affiliation. There is nothing wrong with bringing questions from a broad spectrum of voters, but there is something wrong with facilitating questioners in hiding their affiliations and agenda. Remember, these questioners were screened and selected, yet Democrat activists made up roughly a quarter of the questioners.

Not “Reagan” Democrats, not moderate Democrats, but activists.

We go down this road all the time on CBS news, particularly with any show affiliated with “60 Minutes.” Even after all the time that has passed, and all the evidence that has been compiled, Dan Rather still believes in the “Texas Air National Guard” forged documents. Why? Because his biases make him believe he is right, even though an objective journalist would know he is wrong.

Liberals castigate Fox News for conservative bias, yet can’t see or admit that their yardsticks – CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc. – are all heavily biased to the left. Fox News stands out because it is middle-of-the-road, but since all the rest of the media are on the left, they portray middle-of-the-road as right wing.

However, just as Erin Burnett didn’t apologize for dragging her profession into the gutter, don’t expect the main stream media to apologize for doing the same. They’re all in that gutter together, blissfully unaware of how they stink up their profession.

Apparently they don’t even notice that their bottom line is in free fall. Only their investors seem to care.

Will the last person to leave CBS News tell Katie Couric that it wasn’t her fault? Katie, and now Erin Burnett, are being reminded by the market for news that it takes more than a pretty face to sell in that market.

What does it take to make it in the news market? Objectivity and ethical practices.

Without objectivity and ethics, reporters have less virtue than prostitutes, who are far more forthright about what they are selling, and the terms of sale.

Years ago one of my bosses, an old Air Force Colonel, told me regarding my responsibilities as a staff officer when I was explaining a late report by blaming another unit for not getting the information to me on time: “Don’t shit in your mess kit.”

I know what Erin Burnett is having for dinner tonight, even if she doesn’t.

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