Saturday, November 8, 2008

Integrity is Not a Word Applied to the LA Times

Do journalism schools teach that a journalist writing on a news page is free to mix the reporting of facts with their own opinion? I thought that news and opinion were supposed to be clearly separated. Isn’t that why there are delineated areas in newspapers for news and commentary?

I ask because I am not a trained journalist, and I write pieces, like this one, injected with personal analysis, which is a nice way to say that I write opinion bolstered by alleged facts.

I gave up reading the LA Times because I was disgusted with the consistent presentation of opinion in news pieces. In that kind of environment, how can a reader of a news article have any confidence that he is reading objectively reported facts?

Every once in awhile I glance at the LA Times headlines on the Internet. Yesterday this news headline caught my eye, Sarah Palin returns to a chillier Alaska. 1

Throwing caution to the wind, I plunged into the article and found these gems by LA Times Staff writer Kim Murphy.

Gem number one:

But wait -- what fairy tale is that? After several months co-starring with its governor in one of the hardest-fought presidential campaigns in modern U.S. history, America's 49th state bears little resemblance to the friendly, folksy place Palin left in August. 1
“But wait -- what fairy tale is that?” Say what?? And, because Sarah Palin was absent from Alaska for 3 months, the place went to hell in a hand basket? It’s a good thing Palin did not become the Vice President. It doesn’t sound like Alaska can exist without her. I wonder how they got by for all those years before she became governor.

Gem number two:

With her vice-presidential carriage turned back into a pumpkin…1

Hmmmm, no bias here. Just good solid, objective reporting.

Murphy quotes Sarah Palin’s Alaskan approval ratings as if she thinks that they buttress the mendacious piece:

Palin's approval ratings in Alaska, once in the stratospheric 80% range, have tumbled to a mere mortal 65%. 1

Mere mortal? Most politicians would be more than pleased with such a mortal rating.

A report out of Alaska yesterday states that Sarah Palin is fully vindicated in the controversy over the firing of the Public Safety Commissioner. Coupled with Murphy’s obvious bias, why should Murphy be afforded credibility for this statement?

A minor dust-up over the firing of her former public safety commissioner has blossomed into two full "Troopergate" investigations, with some lawmakers threatening to lead off the coming legislative session by sending some of Palin's senior aides to jail.1

Can anyone find a good reason to continue reading Ms. Kim Murphy’s scholarly journalistic work? Of course, it just struck me! I don’t know why I did not think of it earlier. It must be a mistake by the paper’s layout people. Murphy’s piece was supposed to run either on the Op-Ed page or as an official column but somehow it ended up in the news section. You just can’t get good help any more. No wonder the LA Times is bleeding red ink all over its financial ledger.

The LA Times was a great newspaper until it devolved into a partisan rag by letting their news writers’ personal opinions leak into the news pieces and for their selective publishing or not publishing to the advantage of their political preference.

The LA Times is not exceptional among the liberal news media where integrity no longer seems to be a foundational characteristic. I accept that the majority of the mainstream media is blatantly biased in the liberal direction. So naturally, I don’t expect them to treat conservatives with a balanced perspective. But in truth, they don’t treat out-of-favor liberals much better. Consider what the liberal press has done to Joe Liberman and Hillary Clinton. Hillary was their darling until Barack Obama showed up. Hillary is no different than she has ever been, but now she is treated like yesterday’s ripening garbage. Actually, I don’t think that the mainstream media, nor many of the Democratic Party power figures, ever liked her. But, you wouldn’t know that until she became expendable with the arrival of Obama.

Link in this Blog:
1. Sarah Palin returns to a chillier Alaska


Sabra said...

Best part - 65% approval rating. What is the approval rating of our sitting Congress? 9% 13% Mere mortal, indeed.

Good take down on a piece of fish wrap!

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