Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The State of Journalism

This is an excerpt from a column by Orsen Scott Card, one of the finest science fiction writers of our age, and also a pretty good political columnist. He's a democrat, but this is the most eloquent and scathing bit of journalistic review I've read this year. (For those of you that listen to Rush, he read this on air today)

"...There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension -- so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie -- that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad -- even bad weather -- on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth -- even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means. That's how trust is earned..."


Malorie said...

I love Card.

Sra. Madera said...

I agree, great op.ed.

BCBCFriend said...

Nice to hear someone of the opposite ideology expressing a value (honesty) that at least us conservatives can agree with them about.