The Cause of Journalistic Malpractice
As a journalist, I should be appalled by what the D.C. Press Corps does daily. It’s unthinkable that a profession bent on truth and informing the public could swoon so hard for a politician. Or a party in general. But they do and it sucks. Rush Limbaugh calls it malpractice. I tend to agree with him on that point.
Ideologically speaking, I shouldn’t exist. I received a journalism and sociology degree from a liberal arts institution and I was going through college as Barack Obama got elected the first time. There is nothing about my college years that should indicate I lean to the right in my political views. It’s just something that happened. There were a few catalysts, but one in particular I’d like to share with you that should explain to you why the crop of journalists you see now do what they do and write what they write.
One of my broadcast teachers is unabashedly leftist. She praised the cabinet the president put forward when he was first elected, spent entire class periods mocking Bobby Jindal’s State of the Union response (yes, it wasn’t a terribly good thing to watch, but good lord she droned on and on) and when I did my end of the year documentary on the local housing market, she told me privately that I should have mentioned how George W. Bush was responsible for the nation’s housing woes.
Humans are prone to be imperfect. We can’t maintain 100% objectivity because a story will undoubtedly affect us. While journalism teaches us objectivity and the slightest hint of an opinion in your news piece will have a whole story thrown out in college, the lectures you receive from your teachers will have some lean to them. But in cases like the professor I’m mentioning, it’s impossible to keep focused on that objectivity because you’re being indoctrinated. I did not do well in those classes in part because the teacher was so focused on sharing her opinion I could not keep my attention focused on her. Not all journalism students were like that, though. They absorbed everything. And they are exactly what we see in the D.C. Press Corps and in the mainstream media.
So, it’s not terribly surprising that I see journalists who receive across the nation the same training I did from similar teachers being so biased in their work. I find it sad, but I don’t get shocked when I see it. It’s something I have to deal with on a regular basis. Someone who may not know me automatically assumes I am leftist when I tell them I’m a journalist.
Now, to be fair, I realize it’s not just a stint in college that makes you lean one way or the other, but it does get reinforced there. Liberalism has become a movement of emotions and feelings rather than logic and tolerance. And not every journalism professor is like the one mentioned here, but they are very prevalent in society. I don’t regret my journalism education, as the path I am on now would not be possible without it. But it sucks to see my degree becoming a joke.
Look at how the D.C. Press Corps acted during the news conference Obama held. He took softball questions and wasted their time… but there is not a single grumble right now. And we may not here any grumbling. They got the news conference that was due to them (they were upset Obama went to Leno and took actual questions). They are satisfied right now.
Some will probably find it ironic that I am posting this to a right-of-center website and call me out for such a thing, but this is not my job. It’s a hobby. And I freaking love it.