Embracing prejudice is the premise of modern journalism

” The journalists should have a bias, ”MSNBC said Medhi Hassan during the debut of his show on MSNBC, a fact pointed out by Columbia J...


MSNBC and Peacock host Medhi Hasan

” The journalists should have a bias, ”MSNBC said Medhi Hassan during the debut of his show on MSNBC, a fact pointed out by Columbia Journalism Review Jon allsop in an interview and newspaper profile posted to CJR last week.

It’s a sentiment shared and expressed by quite a few reporters these days, usually with a qualifier or twist to make the reader or listener say “ahh, oh I see what you did there. “.

In Hasan’s case, his addendum was “a pro-democracy bias.” Others might claim “a bias for the truth” or similar platitudes. The qualifier is not the hook, however, it is the statement. The “explicit rebuke of outdated journalistic standards,” as Allsop described Hasan’s approach.

This is an appropriate thematic element in an article which itself embraces prejudice, except when opposed. From disdain for ‘two-sided’ reporting, to complaints about who has a voice on the air (both common topics in the very and far-left parts of politics), the profile is from an allied perspective. . Then absurd.

“Really tough interviewers are rare on American television, as are strong progressive voices; Hasan is both, ”writes CJR.

The first part of this statement is undoubtedly true. The second part is ridiculously not.

And then: “As in the United States, voices of the left have traditionally been under-represented in the British media,” Allsop said as obvious.

It’s not just the left-wing rockers who complain about not being heard on the air. The law makes the same claim. You could say that “both sides” are given to this theme of persecution.

In this case, CJR quotes a journalism professor Jay Rosen of the space occupied by Hasan in the media, saying, “No one is going to accuse him of being a false and neutral journalist. But I think he very intelligently includes criticizing liberal – leftist – politicians as part of his mission. “

“False-neutral” is another big clue that you hear from a decidedly progressive perspective.

But Hasan was “scathing” about Joe manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, and he “eviscerated” that of Barack Obama memory for “covering up his use of drones,” says the reader, as evidence of criticism “from both sides.”

“In a time that exposed the flaws of triangulation and false equivalences, Hasan showed that you can look ‘from both sides’ from a place of shameless moral clarity,” CJR writes of Hasan. Hasan who, about the voluntary resignation of the ever indictment Andrew Cuomo, recently asserted that “there is only accountability for Democrats in our system. Not for Republicans.

Considering the biased implications of the words “triangulation” and “false equivalence” as undisputed, it is certainly hypothetically plausible that a person could examine both sides with moral clarity. It is certain that anyone guided by their own morality would find it difficult to do otherwise. Except that the criticism of prejudices is not based on the idea that prejudices are not up to their standards. own standards, but rather the standards of the profession, and his ethical and moral clarity.

This clarity has long been at the heart of the importance of Colombian Journalism Review; these standards its jurisdiction and its pursuit.

Unlike Professor Rosen, I consulted an anonymous and biased expert on this matter:

CJR was once the journalism industry’s sophisticated internal newsletter, an indicator of what preoccupied publishers, editors, reporters, and anyone who took journalism very, very seriously. He humbly declared himself “the voice of journalism”. In the same way that a group person in an alien invasion movie looks like the old self but acts in a completely different way, the current CJR is navigating its past reputation while ranting that America’s racial divisions do not. are not covered enough by the media, arguing that the current coverage of climate change is too unbiased, insisting that Teen Vogue is worth taking seriously, and seething with “the stubborn conservatism of the Wall Street Journal” . That’s all you can get by following a bunch of angry, egotistical progressives on Twitter, for a subscription price of $ 50 per year.

In the context of journalism today, you might read this profile and find it neatly in place and an article with everything you see from editors, editors, journalists, etc. But as my anonymous friend reminds us, that’s not what CJR understood to be. Not of a piece with him but other than that, looking over the reporter shoulder and saying “ooh, cut that line”.

This almost flattering treatise on the plight of lone progressives is so out of step with the still somewhat popular idea – in Central America at least – of objective media that it seems almost intentionally dissonant. Almost.

The degree to which the argument – that progressives are disadvantaged against centrist Democrats or the right – and the assessment run counter to the experience and perception of every American of the media cannot be underestimated. This only seems basic to those who are already well on the progressive side of the divide.

Yet many prominent progressive voices in the media often make the same claim. You would think that the fact that there are so many to claim it, in so many ways, on so many platforms, to such a large audience would hold back part of it. But no.

Progressive voices are in the media, of course, and to Colombian Journalism Review, too, one might add. These are popular voices. At outlets like MSNBC and CNN, more left-wing hosts like Tiffany Cross Where Jim acosta grab the lion’s share of the buzz and attention. Progressive guests and contributors are as common on these networks as conservatives are increasingly.

News organizations like NBC run entire websites like Think who are dedicated to progressive ideas and causes. The progressive agenda on everything from climate to choice to race is taken for granted almost universally among on-air personalities. If, as Hasan and Allsop claim, the only good battle for airtime is between the somewhat and the very liberal, then the “very” wins by a national mile.

There have been a number of notable moments in Mehdi Hasan’s impressive career, which are described in this engaging account from Jon Allsop, himself a wise and talented writer. As a profile of a lawyer, by a lawyer, fascinating read. But it’s not just a profile.

Journalists should be biased, the article urges and pleads. On this point, it is measured with flawless clarity. When the narrative acts as a media critic, however, it unwittingly becomes an object lesson in how accepting bias can deprive a person, publication, or even an area of ​​the domain, entirely of perspective.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone.



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