The Gentlemen Revolutionaries

Dedicated to the Preservation of the First Amendment

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Pants on Fire

I hate liars. I absolutely hate them. From the White House to the bum on the street I hate every single one. There is, however, one group of liars that I hate far more than the rest. Why do I hate this one group more? Because they have the true power of influence. This group is a small subsection of "news" outlets that bases their coverage not on what is going on, but instead on what their consumers want to hear. I am sure that many of you are immediately are thinking of Fox News and the New York Times, but in reality these sources are completely objective in comparison to one particular "news" source to which I a referring. That source: The Village Voice.

I always knew about The Village Voice, that is I knew of its existence. I also always assumed that it had liberal tendencies. However, I assumed it like I assume the New York Times has liberal tendencies, they are there, everyone knows they are there, but for the most part they behave themselves and stay on the opinion pages. Today I found out how wrong I was. I stumbled across an article via Google News that was titled "George Bush, Meet Reality- President's speech on Iraq strategy conjures a dreamworld." Now while that sets in let me remind you that this is the title of a news article. That's right, a news article that is showing opinion in the title.

The problems that I see here are not that opinion is being expressed, expressing opinion is a wonderfully American thing to do, but expressing that opinion and calling it news, is offensive, wrong and, in my opinion, un-American. I am well aware that saying it is un-American is a very large statement, but I truly believe it. The irresponsibility and selfishness of calling yourself a news outlet but spewing nothing but opinions based on misconstrued facts is appalling.

Would those that read the Village Voice still be against Bush and the war? One could certainly assume so, however that is not my qualm. By providing only opinion and not real news they are doing a disservice to their readers and American politics. Those that are exclusive readers of the Voice would be unable to truly debate an issue and would be restricted to arguing and not the "public discourse" (http://www.villagevoice.com/aboutus/) the Voice seems to espouse. Additionally the Voice never says outright that it is a liberal opinion site and not a news source.

On the other hand sites such as WorldNetDaily (http://www.worldnetdaily.com) and Townhall (http://www.townhall.com) seem to embrace their conservative view points, do not hide them, but in their news sections provide links to news articles by the Associated Press.

The Village Voice is commiting a disservice to its readers and America as a whole and it makes me sick. Opinions are necessary and important, but in a sense, it is more important that larger swaths of America are provided with unbiased news for them to make their own decision.



http://villagevoice.com/blogs/bushbeat/archive/002112.php

http://villagevoice.com/news/0549,ridgeway,70575,2.html




I got a wonderful email from a Canadian in regards to yesterday's Webpundit article I wrote. The email follows below.

Hi Paul,
I don’t think Duke Cunningham pleading guilty to corruption compares to what’s been happening up here.
No Canadian politician – past or present – has been tried in a court of law for any wrong-doing associated with our Adscam. A handful of advertising executives and one slimy government bureaucrat were tried and convicted, but they aren’t running for office. In fact, the Gomery report did not single out any of the men and women seeking office in this upcoming election. And Whether you believe it or not (and I’m not saying I do) – Gomery completely exonerated our current PM Paul Martin of any wrongdoing, and laid it squarely at the feet of our former PM (who is not running.) I have enough faith in our “parliamentary system” that if one of our Members of Parliament or a Cabinet Minister was convicted – or even charged – with corruption, they’d never run again.
All the best,
Chris

My response was that as a product of the Watergate years (though I was born long after, I believe that has influenced American political thought and the political environment of my home in my early childhood) the first thing that comes to my mind is that the Canadian politicians must be better at breaking the law than we are...

5 Comments:

Blogger gurgly said...

I don't know, I think the reader is consistently expected to do a little work in discovering the angle of the publication. Neither The Nation, which is very liberal, nor The Weekly Standard, which is very conservative, announce their partisanship in their "About Us" section. And yet their writers would never say they aren't journalists, or that they don't report the news.

And anyway, the Voice was just bought out by New Times, the big alt-weekly conglomerate. We might see them move to the middle very soon.

8:41 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I disagree, do a good search for the nation and look at the description:

"News and analysis on politics and culture from the left. Includes Real Audio access to the Nation's radio commentaries."

and nowhere does The Weekly Standard claim to be a news source.

It is not want they dont say, it is about what they [I]do[/i] say

9:43 PM  
Blogger Indeterminacy said...

I'm in that hotornot thing, as I see you are. Today I started getting hits from that site (http://blog.hotornot.com) and saw I was in their top ten list. You're in there, too, but there's a typo in the url. They spelled it: tgrevolutoin.blogspot.com. I just fixed the typo and landed here. Maybe you'd want to write to them about that. I guess I could, too.
P.S: I agree fully with what you say in this post. News reporting must be objective. I think this broke down in the 80's (I moved to Europe in 1987) when the fairness doctrine was removed.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Indeterminacy said...

I wrote them a msg in their contact form, and they fixed the link a few minutes later.

Cheers

10:56 AM  
Blogger gurgly said...

Re: Weekly Standard - Bill Kristol was in the Washingtonian's 50 best and most influential journalists list, so I don't know... honestly I think the news/not-news-but-still journalism distinction is a little hard to draw in such cases. Or, for example, in the case of James Ridgeway's Mondo Washington column, which is the Voice article you were referring to. You are right that it shouldn't be included in a hard news feed. But I think any regular column with a personality attached can't be expected to be purely objective. It's a column.

2:41 PM  

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