Monday, June 18, 2012

Assistant To the Quote of the Day


"The thing that I worry about more is the media’s bias toward fairness. Nobody uses the word lie anymore. Suddenly, everything is 'a difference of opinion.' If the entire House Republican caucus were to walk onto the floor one day and say 'The Earth is flat,' the headline on the New York Times the next day would read 'Democrats and Republicans Can’t Agree on Shape of Earth.' I don’t believe the truth always lies in the middle. I don’t believe there are two sides to every argument. I think the facts are the center. And watching the news abandon the facts in favor of 'fairness' is what’s troubling to me... It seems very important that if someone on the right in the news screws up in a really bad way, that the media find someone on the left who screwed up in some kind of way so that we can have a 'One From Column A, One From Column B' kind of situation. And that if there are five from Column A, there can’t be only three from Column B, because then they’ll be accused of liberal bias."

-- Aaron Sorkin in New York Magazine Online's "Vulture" section

Jesus, I feel like I've heard this exact sentiment expressed somewhere before -- although nowhere near as articulately.

(via Cesca)

4 comments:

Izar Talon said...

Wow that's rad. It's almost as if he were quoting you, Chez. Think Sorkin reads DXM? Because, out of everything that I read online (admittedly not as much as some others) you've been the most vocal about calling the news media out on this point; trying to be "objective" to the point of lunacy, acting as if the retarded opinions of some politicians were "fact" to be given equal weight as objective, verifiable, ACTUAL fact.

I am curious about your opinion of when this trend started, as someone who's been on the inside of the body of a news organism and seen the guts of the operation in action, digesting the events of the day and defecating the residue as "the news" onto our television screens. (the insult wasn't aimed at you; I hope I didn't catch you in the splash damage.)

When did it really take hold and become standard operating procedure? What are your thoughts? How recent is this phenomenon? Past decade, past 20 years, longer? When do you think it started, and do you see any end in sight" Or do you think it will just get worse?

I DO NOT want to see the U.S. news media become like the British system, where newspapers and such seem to me to be pretty much mouthpieces of different political parties and mudslinging is just another form of entertainment (or am I the only one who feels that a lot of British News Organizations report political news as if it were reporting on catfights on Jersey Shore?)

I don't want U.S. news to become like British news, but I AM tired of this ridiculous pussyfooting around and being afraid to call politicians out on blatant lies, and treating all political arguments as "differences of opinion" rather than ""differences of FACT." As in, one side is stating opinions, and the other side is stating FACTS.

Anonymous said...

Krugman made this point in 2000 and repeated it in 2007, asking why the media had learned nothing in the last seven years.

kanye said...

Izar,

Murrow was complaining about this trend in journalism in 1948, while he was still on the radio.

He was famous for saying throughout his career that the insistence on artificial balance and fairness in journalism was, "like balancing the views of Jesus Christ with Judas Iscariot."

So there's the answer to your question, "When did it really take hold and become standard operating procedure?"

Day one.

Anonymous said...

Izar, I hate to break it to you, but Fox News is already pretty much a Republican party mouthpiece. They've hired Republican ex-politicians to be on their staff and aired Republican propaganda videos as news.

It seems only a matter of time before MSNBC becomes the equal and opposite station. They could be already, for as little as I pay attention to them.