Journalistic Objectivity

| November 6, 2019

For years, I have thoroughly enjoyed Dr. George Friedman’s take on things.  He founded Stratfor and is currently heading up GeopoliticalFutures.  He examines trends that are happening through geopolitics.  I like his fair-mindedness and straight analysis on political topics, which he occasionally publishes on.

This is such a short article I am publishing it in its entirety.  It’s that good and gave me a provacative view of current news and Trump bashing.

Toward a Theory of Journalistic Objectivity

Category: Media, Politics

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Perry Gaskill

This is a complicated topic, and to keep this comment simple, I’ll only point out the following:

The New York Times is “woke” because its editor, Dean Baquet, is black.

Another New York figure, NYU Journalism professor Jay Rosen, has had an out-size influence on the question of whether or not reporters should even be objective in news stories, let alone on the opinion page. As a matter of perspective, Rosen is strictly an academic. He has never worked as a street level reporter.

Rosen’s argument is that being fair and objective leads to boring writing which drives away readers. He calls it “the view from nowhere.”

One result of the Rosen argument is a rationale that some sides of certain topics have no defense. There is no defense for, for example, racism. This has led to a lot of reporting about Trump being based on a faulty syllogism that goes like this:

Those opposed to open borders are racist.

Trump opposes open borders.

Therefore, Trump is a racist.

Aside from the questionable accuracy of the first statement, which might make the conclusion faulty, there’s also a problem now in Journalism of ageism. An opinionated 22-year-old just out of J-school is unlikely to have the life experience of someone who might have been covering a beat for years. The news media tolerates the ageism factor, and loss of relevant experience, as a matter of simple economics. Older reporters are often simply too expensive to keep around.

I’m pointing this out because those trained in old-school Journalism could probably tell you that being fair and objective is hard, and is what often separates a professional from an amateur. Any fool can have an opinion. It’s more difficult to understand enough about a topic to be able to present the why of what’s creating a conflict in the first place.


The problem is that modern journalistic ethics insist that simplistic objectivity is possible…

No. It’s entirely possible to aim for objectivity, and to hit as close to it as human beings can.

The problem–or at least the fundamental problem–with modern journalism is that modern journalists haven’t got the background knowledge to do proper, objective reporting. When people’s knowledge runs out, they default to ideology and bias. (Which looks like “objective truth” to them…as long as they don’t know much else.)

As Ben Rhodes famously commented a few years back, his White House staff could easily create an “echo chamber” among them, because they “literally knew nothing.”

And this in turn goes back to the appallingly low standards in our public education system.


I agree 100%. When they label not being invited to a WH Press Conference as “an attack on the 1’st Amendment”, that just shows how lazy, stupid, and entitled they are. There own concept of their role apparently is that they exist to be spoon-fed information.


” journalists haven’t got the background knowledge to do proper, objective reporting.”

Bingo! Furthermore, they don’t have the curiosity to learn anything new or to see anything other than what is right in front of them. Nor the skepticism/cynicism or professionalism to do as RR once said, “Trust but verify”.

Jeff LPH 3, 63-66

The bottom line is that Trumped trumped Clinton in the election and won, so that’s what it is all about with the Socialist liberal Lame Stream media.


Yup… in short (once again):


My attitude towards media bias is similar to that of Justice Potter Stewart when he could provide no definition for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964):

“I know it when I see it.”

Although it’s getting so that media bias is as much detectable by your olfactory senses as your visual.


“…[I]t is difficult to love, to be courageous and to be just. The difficulty of each of these things does not excuse anyone from trying.”

Here’s a bit of Sergeant York to show us all what a ‘service to a higher calling’ looks like, as penance.
{every damn time it puts me in tears}


Henry Mencken’s semi-autobiographical retelling of his newspaper days on the Baltimore Sun has a story in it. The Baltimore journalists were sitting around the tavern during a snowstorm when they were supposed to be out gathering news but chose to sit, smoke, and drink in comfort. To keep their bosses happy they all concocted a story between them about a large fire in a town that was pretty far out of Baltimore. All the newspapers ran that story the next day. Editors never proved it was fake. H.L. Mencken retold it as a knee slapper.

Journalists are entertainers. Always have been. When these weenies start to take themselves seriously it’s all the funnier. Anyone believing the output of the press is seriously delusional.

5th/77th FA

Good post Steve. One of them that makes us all go hmmmmmmm.

My Baby Girl graduated with a BA in Journalism from UGA. She had all the hopes of dreams of an idealistic Henry Grady. She had mentioned the one professor taught that Journalist were to investigate and report the facts. Another taught to bend the facts to fit the narrative, and yet another taught write what sells papers. After a stint with a newspaper that was not up to her standards, she went back and got her Masters in Education. She is an excellent teacher and everyday she weeps for the appalling low standards in the public education system.

Commissioner Wretched

Your daughter is one of the ones we need desperately in education, my friend. My track was just the opposite – after 27 years of seeing what the education system had become, I went into full-time journalism. I already knew to report the facts, the narrative be damned.
I too weep for what our education system has become, and what it produces.


[…] Here’s a good take on the CNN response to the Project Veritas story. There is a lot of effort to smear Project Veritas (not just at CNN), but unlike the major media, they have always put up the full info so you can learn and decide. Good people, doing a lot of good work — and doing the journalism the media is unwilling to do. After all, there is a great deal of truth to the adage that the media covers the truly important stories — with a pillow, until they quit moving. Along those lines, something that hits a point that I glanced on in my ‘Saving Pvt. Journalism’ posts many years ago. The media has long paid lip service to “objectivity” but when there is no standard, there can be no real activity. Hat tip to This Ain’t Hell. […]


The trend that concerns me is this absolutely false notion that Journalists have special rights under the First Amendment.


-everyone- has the Freedoms protected by the First Amendment. “Journalist” is not a grant of Aristocracy or Nobility, and the Constitution expressly forbids such “some animals are more equal than other animals” nonsense.

A journalist is protected to exactly the same degree as any other person.

These arrogant ignorant assholes seem to want to be some sort of above-the-law aristocracy that is specially protected, while the rest of us are not.

Again, poppycock.


Journalistic objectivity… an oxymoron like military intelligence or cherry tart.