Let's talk to a typical student . . .

Chris Matthews interviewed his own daughter on the national debt, identifying her only as a member of Concerned Youth of America.

[MS]NBC continues its spiral downward writes The Colossus of Rhodey.

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  1. School house rock sings about the national debt for kids:

  2. And so continues the high standard of journalism here in the US of A.

  3. Why would anyone find this surprising? The MSM–print and electronic– are not objective. Even Stuart Taylor of National Journal has written that the MSM has shown itself to be untrustworthy. The MSM–all of them–will lie, cheat, obfuscate, steal, destroy, and anything else to promote the issues and candidates they approve.

  4. Chris Matthews is sliding downward; MSNBC is doing great, what with Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

  5. As an ex-journalist, I’d say that true objectivity is a myth. Even when we try, our biases color what we write (or think). The best a journalist can hope is to be fair to everyone and disclose relevant information. To be intentionally unfair or to hide information which would affect how readers (or viewers) look at our work is unethical, to me. Personally, I find ethical standards much looser on TV than in print. Of course, I also think that “TV journalism” is an oxymoron, but I’m an ex-print guy who used to see the TV people show up at stories without a clue of what the event was even about, so I’m pretty biased on that one.

  6. David said, “As an ex-journalist, I’d say that true objectivity is a myth.”

    In practice, it is not a myth. In research, there is a mantra that all real researchers chant: Objective is not what you are. Objectivity is what you do. In true research, one NEVER knows the opinions of the writer. In journalism, the MSM–print and TV–used to understand that. But, the MSM has chosen sides and wants everyone to know which side they have chosen.

  7. I adore Rachel Maddow also, but I don’t expect her, as a commentator, to be objective. I’m not that crazy about Matthews, but whether or not he’s objective, this is not about expressing opinions, but concealing the fact that the person he’s interviewing is his daughter. It’s one thing to take sides, which we expect from commentators. It’s another to withhold facts and mislead us.

  8. anon, you might THINK you’re being objective, but my point is that you’re not capable of it. (I mean “you” in the generic sense, not the “you you” sense. 🙂 ) Even the way you frame questions reflects bias that you’re not even conscious of. For instance, a reporter will sometimes try to represent “both sides” of a story, without realizing that his attempt to do so accepts the subjective belief that there are simply two legitimate opinions. So without perfect knowledge (or world and self) in addition to perfect motives, objectivity isn’t possible. It’s a good thing to strive for, but the best you can realistically end up with is fairness to as many people as possible.

  9. David said, “anon, you might THINK you’re being objective, but my point is that you’re not capable of it.”

    David, I agree. But, in research one strives to be objective. If one is not objective, that is what peer review and replication do–these “quality control mechanisms” detect bias and enforce objectivity. This is why fields such as education that have rejected objectivity are such a mess. In large part, the education field rejects these quality control mechanisms and instead has become political.

    With regard to the MSM, in my younger days, there was more objectivity because there was this wonderful thing called competition. Some print and electronic media in the (much smaller) MSM were lefties and some were righties. But, there were both lefties and righties and they competed to get the information correct. Now, there are only lefties in the MSM and they don’t have to get it correct. They only have to shout and cheer for their side.