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The truth is biased


Big Tent Democrat:

There is a new celebratory quality to journalism that manifests itself in different ways. In the Beltway, it’s being in with the government In crowd. That means sacrificing objectivity and the truth.

Davies seems to have allowed, indeed he appears to be celebrating, his belief that Assange is a loathsome figure (not about the sex he makes clear) interfere with his duties as a journalist.

Can Nick Davies be considered an objective reporter on Wikileaks or Assange in the face of that admission? Similarly Wired magazine appears to have made similar moral judgments about Assange. In an e-mail he sent to Glenn Greenwald, the entirety of which he published himself, Wired’s Ryan Singel wrote of Assange and Wikileaks:

Suffice it to say I’m disappointed by your article, which I find to be warped by your allegiance to Wikileaks, which gets nothing but glowing accolades from you, despite ample evidence that Assange and Wikileaks aren’t acting in good faith.

Now whether Assange or Wikileaks are acting in good faith is an important part of the Wikileaks story, but it strains credulity to believe that a reporter who has concluded that Assange and Wikileaks “aren’t acting in good faith” can present itself as, in the words of Newsweek, “objective and nonpartisan.”

First of all, let me remind you that BTD thought media bias was a good thing when it came to selecting the Democratic nominee:

As most of you know by now, the difference maker for me in supporting Barack Obama in the primaries was the fact the he is the Media Darling of the election.

Secondly, while the media should be somewhat objective and neutral at the beginning of researching/investigating a story, by the end they should have formed an opinion. They can’t put aside their own knowledge and experience and that will affect their perceptions.

More importantly, we rely on reporters (and cops) to evaluate what they see and hear and give us an accurate picture of what they think really happened. But, just like cops, they need to present us with ALL the information they have gathered so we can double-check their conclusions.

How many times in recent years have we seen the media present both sides of as story as equally credible when they’re not? How often have they given us a completely one-sided presentation?

Both approaches are equally wrong.


Caveat: I’m talking about what’s called “investigative journalism.” When reporting on something like a political debate the media should try to present both sides as accurately as possible so the voters can form their own opinions. But even then they should fact-check misstatements and incorrect information.


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22 Responses

  1. Maybe BTD is admitting that he himself isn’t a reporter?

  2. I don’t have any conclusive idea about the answer to the real question of Wikileaks – who leaked?

    That’s because (I think) whoever did the leaking also started the media firestorm about Assange’s character. Completely lost in all of this back & forth about Assange is ‘who leaked the documents and why?”

    I think we can easily conclude that a 3rd year private in a hovel in Afghanistan (Manning) would not have access to 250K+ State dept documents from embassies across the world. So, who did have access?

    Second, why? There was nothing (so far) in the documents that permanently destabilized our diplomatic relations, a lot of embarrassments that cause the Villagers to titter into their sleeves – but nothing earth shaking. So … why?

    Please, I’m not trying to tell you what to write about, I’m just wishing we could get some of this blogger energy directed to the real mystery behind this situation.

    Thanks myiq2xu, for everything you do.

    • I don’t think we can totally separate Assange from WikiLeaks. OTOH, he is not the only factor we should consider in evaluating the information being leaked.

      Some of the things we need to consider:

      1 The information itself

      2. Who leaked it to WikiLeaks and why they leaked it.

      3. What information may have been withheld and why it wasn’t leaked.

      4. The motives of Assange/WikiLeaks in releasing it.

      5. What information may have been withheld by Assange/WikiLeaks and why it wasn’t released.

      Evaluations of Assange’s character help us evaluate his motives and credibility.

  3. BTD — biting the hand that feeds him! Whodathunkit?

  4. The difference between a therapist and a judge is that one of them wants to know the truth and one of them wants to know the goddamn facts. Journalists should want the latter, but they’ve gotten caught up in the former and the power that carries to be king-makers.

    • There is nothing wrong with being an advocate but if you’re gonna be one don’t pretend to be neutral and objective. Remember Donna Brazile?

      But even an advocate should keep an open mind (but not so open that your brains fall out)

    • Yes, “truth” is the new “point of view.” Everyone wants a piece of it. :-)

  5. “As most of you know by now, the difference maker for me in supporting Barack Obama in the primaries was the fact the he is the Media Darling of the election.”

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I think I’ll do both while cackling hysterically in my bitter, deadender, kind of way.

    • Yeah, pretty much proves BTD only values the media when they agree with him. I always knew he liked Obama because of his anatomy, and latched onto his “media darling” status as camouflage.

    • Just roll your eyes and consider the source. It was the reason BTD could remember to use no matter what came up against Obama. If he told the real truth behind his favoring the Big O, he would have to deal with the consequences. There’s a pattern to BTD’s choices, and he slips now and then with where his prejudice falls.

      He doesn’t post much these days. JM has turned TL into such a piece of trash that BTD can’t get a good discussion going with those who are left over there.

  6. See, there’s the flaw in your reasoning. Never trust, rely on, or even speak to a cop. Relying on a cop will always bring trouble. (And the 1-2% of cops that are decent people are tainted by the transitive property of copness/bad mustaches.)

    And considering the state of modern, American journalism, our journalists are probably getting trained in a way similar to how cops get trained to get people to waive their Constitutional rights.

    (I’m being serious. I wouldn’t talk to a cop as the witness to a murder without a lawyer present. They’re shadier than drug dealers and gang bangers.)

  7. ..but it strains credulity to believe that a reporter who has concluded that Assange and Wikileaks “aren’t acting in good faith” can present itself as, in the words of Newsweek, “objective and nonpartisan.

    All BTD is saying here is that he’s on Team Julian.

  8. truth of the matter is that many in Truth or Consequences (T or C), New Mexico want to change the name back to Hot Springs….so much for truth or consequences….

  9. What a crazy friggin game at the Sugar Bowl. But my Buckeyes win!!!

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