Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I Fought McCaw and McCaw Won?

Dear Wendy McCaw of the Santa Barbara News-Press is at it again, writing plenty without saying much (because if she actually talked about details, she'd turn into the same pile of dust her arguments are made from). You can go read her latest entire missive--emphasis on the miss--over at LA Observed, and while there linger over the irony that SB must be observed from the distance of LA since McCaw doesn't want any stories about her paper in her paper. My favorite line comes from near the end:

One of the basic tenets of good reporting is that there are always two sides to every story.

Uh, that's one of the basic misunderstandings of journalism, Wendy. Some stories have many sides, and when we reduce them to simply two, like, oh, say the self-righteously-defensive Israel vs. the terrible-terroristic Hezbollah, then we not only perform a disservice to journalism, but we also help prevent any real understanding of the world itself. Of course there are also some stories that really, truly do have only one side, but to prove one's journalistic "objectivity" one's forced to find the one crackpot scientist who doesn't believe in evolution or global warming or to interview a single counter-protester at the protest of thousands who think something else. That's not balance, that's insanity. There is something called truth. Too bad too many journalists don't help us see what truth is in most cases.

Not that you care about truth, of course, for if you can keep writing, "There is no place for personal opinion or agendas in news coverage," and not look in the mirror and scream, you're either an idiot or a hypocrite. Perhaps it's telling at the end you echo Tricky Dick of all people with your belief in the quiet/silent majority. And I don't mind telling you I look forward to the day you--just like Nixon--have to resign.


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