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Quote of the day

Today's quote of the day is from Peter Jennings of ABC News.

"I'm a little concerned about this notion everybody wants us to be objective and when we don't think we can be fully objective, to be fair"

Why on earth would anyone want such a thing?

Objectivity and fairness in the media? Perish the thought.

But then Jennings completely jumps the shark.

"There's a whole industry of conservatives saying, 'Ah, it's those damn liberals,' and a whole group of liberals saying, 'It's all those damn conservatives,'" Jennings said

Here we go again. Conservatives are not individually upset about the fact the media is a vast liberal wasteland, No... it is an INDUSTRY, people are only complaining because Karl Rove pays us.

Considering most of the lefty bloggers are on somebody's payroll and most of the conservative bloggers are doing this from passion, this shows not only Jennings's bias but his complete insularity from the real world.

Speaking of insularity...

"If you tailor your news viewing, as some people are now doing, so that you only get one point of view, well of course you're going to think somebody else has got a different point of view, and it may be wrong," Jennings said

More evidence the man is clueless.

If you watch the big 3 networks then "you only get one point of view." It is the diversification of the media that allows people to get a different point of view. A fact that obviously annoys the hell out of Jennings.

And they wonder why people quit watching them in droves. People don't want their news filtered by someone who has so little understanding of the world.


Comments (23)

Good one. But are you sure ... (Below threshold)

Good one. But are you sure it's a better quote than

"The Revolutionary War could have been avoided. It was an unnecessary war. We would have been a free country now, as is Canada and India and Australia, having gotten our independence in a nonviolent way."

Can you guess which moonbat saint dispensed that pearl of wisdom, before clicking the link?

Speaking of Karl Rove, wher... (Below threshold)

Speaking of Karl Rove, where are this week's checks?

Sean, you failed to include... (Below threshold)

Sean, you failed to include the sentence before that quote, which is even more revealing of ignorance:

Well, one parallel is that the Revolutionary War, more than any other war up until recently, has been the most bloody war we‘ve fought.

Yeah, I dealt with that bit... (Below threshold)

Yeah, I dealt with that bit of ignorance at length on my own blog, King O'Fools. But then, I'm no "historian." (Either.)

I'm not a historian like Ca... (Below threshold)

I'm not a historian like Carter, but didn't the success of the American Revolution make it easier for Canada & Australia to gain independence by showing that Britain was beatable, and perhaps weakening their taste for long-distance wars to retain colonies?

Just speculation.

well said.... (Below threshold)

well said.

holy crap, AP News just rep... (Below threshold)
Anne:

holy crap, AP News just reported that Kerry is planning to "declare victory early," he's planning to already declare victory on election night actually:

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20041020/D85R51DG3.html

jesus. i never thought dems would reach to such great lengths (sink to such depths?) as this. i would love to see him delcare victory and be handed a Bush 300+ EV win. this is either going to play out worse than gore 2000, or it will be the soundbite of this century.

Is true objectivity and fai... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Is true objectivity and fairness in reporting news possible at all? The pro-MSM/anti-MSM people even agree on what is "objective and fair"? To start out, since air time and print space are limited, editors have to make subjective decisions on which stories are reported and to what depth. So true objectivity is really not possible.
So if you can't be objective, be fair. OK, so what is fair?

Does that mean that for every news item favorable to candidate A you have to have one favorable to cadidate B? What if there are 10 scandals involving A and 1 involving B? Do you report all 11, or just 1 from each side to keep things fair? If A has been caught taking bribes and B has a pile of unpaid parking tickets, can you report on the bribes and not the tickets and still be "fair"?

Does anyone out there have a good working definition of "objective and fair", or is it "I know it when I see it" ?

Peter Jennings is as idioti... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Peter Jennings is as idiotic and ignorant as Jimmy Carter. What a joke that the MSM revived Carter -- the worst president in the 20th Century -- into a Liberal icon. He was an idiot in the 1970s and he's a bigger idiot today. One good think about Carter is he opened the door for Reagan. 4 years of Carter was enough to make even Democrats vote for a Republican. Perhaps that's what's happening today: Kerry becomes president and by 2008 the American people will vote for a second Ronald Reagan -- and I ain't talking about that jerk John McCain.

Jennings is indignant that ... (Below threshold)

Jennings is indignant that common news outlets have the audacity to question his world view. A view, I might add, that spills over into his interpretation of events and flavors his reporting.

The insular liberal aristocracy, of which Jennings is a part, will never get it. They simply don’t have the skill set that would ever question belief in their own moral superiority. The only hope for “balance” is to continue with what’s being done – offer alternative points of view and let individuals decide for themselves. I suspect these sorts of choices will continue the erosion of the MSM’s standing. Ironically, after the dust settles, they won’t have a clue what happened.

Does anyone out there ha... (Below threshold)

Does anyone out there have a good working definition of "objective and fair", or is it "I know it when I see it" ?

My definition of "objective and fair" tends toward "an idiot's pipe dream" -- but that's just me. I'd rather know where the talking head's head is at before I decide whether to believe what he's telling me.

If Peter Jennings is admitting that true objectivity is impossible, that's a step in the right direction -- but he also needs to admit that the becho chamber that is the typical Big Media newsroom creates an unrealistic notion of what is fair.

And the fact remains that there is objective evidence that Big Media's TV "news" division (except for ONE cable news channel -- and please bear in mind the difference between the "news" label and the "opinion" label) has been covering up for Kerry and gunning for Bush.

"If Peter Jennings is admit... (Below threshold)
Paul:

"If Peter Jennings is admitting that true objectivity is impossible, that's a step in the right direction"

That's not what he's admitting.

Why be objective? Well, obj... (Below threshold)

Why be objective? Well, objectivity in news organizations serves the public trust. It also informs the public instead of indoctrinating it. Failure to strive for objectivity means you're not informing the public, or you're using the public's resources to disseminate information only as a carrier for your biases and opinions.

Serving the public interest and informing the public trust aren't just good ideas. They are mandates BY LAW encoded in the licenses these broadcasters agree to when they wish to use a chunk of the nation's precious invisible resource: the broadcast spectrum.

If Peter Jennings can't see how objectivity is required to meet those requirements, then he needs to stop reading the prompter, take off his microphone, and get off of the public's airwaves.

Sure, this is a lot like Potter Stewart pointing to pornography and saying "I knows it when I sees it." Perhaps this generation could use a Potter Stewart of its own to say the same of bias and misinformation, but say "I knows it when I sees it and Dan Rather or Peter Jennings doesn't."

I totally agree with Jennin... (Below threshold)
DBub:

I totally agree with Jennings here. He is saying exactly what others outside the networks have been saying for a long time. That is THE NETWORKS DO NOT DELIVER AN OBJECTIVE MESSAGE, THEY DELIVER A SUBJECTIVE ONE. It is absolutely impossible to do what they do without injecting personal beliefs.

Do I think that the networks have a liberal bias? Yes absolutely. Do I think that they are as liberal as possible? No, of course not. Listen to the far-left commentary. They really believe that there is a conservative bias in the media. I have heard liberals say that they are upset that Dan Rather refers to George W. Bush as the President, and not "the man that stole the 2000 election."

LS,Do you have any... (Below threshold)
Rance:

LS,

Do you have any rough guidelines that you use, that you can let us in on so we all have a yardstick for what is objective and what isn't?

If event X happens, is a reporter limited, by objectivity, to saying "Witnesses, of unknown bias, report that they saw X happen", or "X happened" or "X happened, but based on 20 years experience, it is inconsequential/earthshaking".

Are you sure this doesn't q... (Below threshold)
floyd:

Are you sure this doesn't qualify for the quote of the day:

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition said Tuesday he told President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that he should prepare Americans for the likelihood of casualties, but the president told him,

"We're not going to have any casualties."

Carter has once again illu... (Below threshold)
Jim Hines:

Carter has once again illustrated why he is the worst president this countyr has ever had. Carter believes the present would be just as it is without the events of the past. Why even bother studying history?

In Carters world there is no cause and effect. Just the effect.

We didn't need to fight the revolutionary war because everything would have turned out just as it has without all the unneccessary blood shed.

We didn't need to fight Nazism because things would have turned out just as they did without doing that.

We didn't need to fight the civil war because ..again...everything would have turned out just as you see it today....without fighting it.

There are no emergencies in Carter's world. Generations of people should wait patiently in quiet desperation while their rectums are reamed bloody waiting for justice to arrive.

To me war is as natural as anything else on this planet. Nature does not take sides. If your enemey fights harder than you do he wins.

If we as a free people with the most powerful armies in the world do not resist the far left froot loops and the far right Islamic extremists we will be vanquished and nature really doesn't give a flying f*** which one happens.

Rance,When it comes ... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Rance,
When it comes to news reporting, a newsman should say "Event A happened." That's news. When the newsman injects opinion into it ("Event A happened and it is bad.") then he has moved into commentary.

A perfect example:

Unemployment is at 5.4%. A newsman that opens the piece by saying, "Unemployment figures are out today and 5.4% of Americans are out of work." is being objective. A newsman that says, "More bad news for the President today: Unemployment is at 5.4%" is adding commentary, but not labeling it as such to allow the viewer to decide whether to accept or reject the commentary.

Now, if the newsman says, "Unemployment figures are out today, and it stands at 5.4%. While the rate is high when compared to expectations of the President and his economic advisers, it is still lower than the rate 10 years ago (or at this point in the Clinton administration or when compared to rates around the world or whatever.)" This provides facts but, also, some analysis. In this case, the analysis is not skewed. It presents both a negative and a positive spin on the facts. It allows the viewer to analyze the issue in context.

Jennings' assertion that people should understand that he is being biased and filter his reporting accordingly is a bunch of bull. Unless the viewer understands what you bias is, he cannot adjust for it.

Steve -Actually, u... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Steve -

Actually, unless the reporter witnessed the event, then he is being subjective when the choice is made to rely on accounts of people who claim they witnessed the event. As your fellow commenters. Was Suskind objective when he relyed on witnesses and reported what they said the president had said in his speech? I would guess not.

If the report is that unemployment is at 5.4%, and one side says "That's great news" and the other side says "That's bad news", is the reporter allowed to put the numbers into some kind of context, or is that non-objective reporting?

Bias is not limited to HOW ... (Below threshold)
LJD:

Bias is not limited to HOW the story is reported, but also WHAT is reported. i.e. The choice of what the headline for the day will be, that "special interest" story, the "fleecing of America"...

We all know that media exhibits bias in reporting the "news", but what does Comrade Jennings have to say about the other "stuff"?

Speaking of being fair... l... (Below threshold)
Jake:

Speaking of being fair... let's make sure you get the quoting right here. The author of this blog entry cherry picked the quotes to make it read COMPLETELY inaccurately. The full quote:

Jennings said the media is now under the hot lights.

"I'm a little concerned about this notion everybody wants us to be objective," Jennings said.

Jennings said that everyone -- even journalists -- have points of view through which they filter their perception of the news. It could be race, sex or income. But, he said, reporters are ideally trained to be as objective as possible.

"And when we don't think we can be fully objective, to be fair," the anchorman said.

As much as I dislike Jennings, this is spot on.

The original quote was simply false, very nearly a lie. Shame on you Paul.

Next time ol Jimma is on th... (Below threshold)
moseby:

Next time ol Jimma is on the TV I'll study his head real hard tryin to see if there are any "hammer dents". Gotta figger that he must've been hit by fallin hammers a few times buildin all them homes an' such.

The fact of the matter is t... (Below threshold)
Jim:

The fact of the matter is the elite media are populated by Liberals. They also live lives in which they're surrounded by people who think as they do. I know this from personal experience when I was working in NYC and was invited to their parties. One Annenberg poll shows that 81% of journalists voted for Gore in 2000. Another study shows that 34% classified themselves as Liberal; 7% said they were Conservative; and 57% said they were moderates. Those moderates however were pro-abortion, anti-gun, believed in government being the answer to social problems, etc. The poll actually says more about honesty in the newsrooms than how these people classify themselves since those 57% sound pretty Liberal to me. LOL.

The reason for Liberal hatred of Fox News Channel is that they attempt to give equal voice to conservatives even though they themselves are not conservative. For instance, during their prime-time Monday-Friday, the only conservative is Sean Hannity. O'Reilly is NOT a conservative -- he may be a populist, but he's not a conservative. Shephard Smith is definitely not a conservative. Alan Colmes? He's to the left of Castro. Greta Van Sustern is a lawyer and not a conservative. Their managing editor, Brit Hume, is a Republican, but he's not a conservative. Chris Wallace? Not a conservative. E.D. Hall (the Fox of Fox & Friends) I suspect is actually a Liberal since she's always copping a plea on behalf of Kerry-Edwards.

As far as coverage, Fox will go after a story no matter whom it hurts. Hence, they are the first to expose the corruption at the United Nations. The other news services mention the story, but there is no outrage displayed. Same as stories regarding the French bribery charges. How else to explain Kerry's continued focus of wanting UN and French help in Iraq and in future conflicts almost to the point of obtaining their permission. I could go on, but you get the picture.

People should read -- or re-read -- Bernard Goldberg's two books on the subject of media bias. And by the way, Goldberg is NOT a conservative.




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