Keller @ Large: Media’s Job Is Not To Reinforce Political Bias
BOSTON (CBS) – If you’re one of the 90-percent or so of Americans who are not on Twitter, don’t worry, you’re not missing all that much.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
It can be kind of fun if you’ve got time to kill, and I find it useful in keeping up with the news cycle, but like the rest of the Internet, much of the Twitter stream is made up of readily-disposable foolishness.
But sometimes, you learn something from the nonsense.
Yesterday, alerting my Twitter followers to a story on the Senate race I had prepared for the six o’clock news, I tweeted the following about the impact of the Todd Akin story:
“Elizabeth Warren’s golden chance to dislodge Scott Brown’s indy halo – is she making the most of it?”
To which, I received the following response from a left-wing activist group: “Shouldn’t the media report that the Scott Brown ‘indy halo’ is undeserved?”
In other words, this group feels Brown shouldn’t be seen as an independent voice, as 49-percent of voters do according to the latest Senate poll.
And they somehow think it’s our job to carry their view forward with our reporting.
Not do more fact-checking of Brown’s rhetoric or do more reporting on his voting record; we should simply swallow their debatable contention that his reputation is “undeserved” and parrot it to our customers.
This attitude is actually quite common. I hear it all the time from partisans on the left and the right.
Many people have apparently come to believe that the news media is there to carry their water, and they are upset when we fail to do so.
This is partly our fault.
Too many reporters have indulged their own biases and failed to play it straight, and too many supposedly-serious news organizations have chosen to take partisan sides.
Too bad, for us and for news consumers. We’re losing the handle on what fairness and impartiality really mean, and how valuable they are.
And if we lose it altogether?
If you think our politics are polarized and distasteful now, just wait.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.