4/12/2005

New York Times' Milquetoast moderate Nicholas Kristof in today's paper:

"We ... need more diverse newsrooms. When America was struck by race riots in the late 1960's, major news organizations realized too late that their failure to hire black reporters had impaired their ability to cover America. In the same way, our failure to hire more red state evangelicals limits our understanding of and ability to cover America today."

Inane. If you acknowledge that the aim of the news should be objectivity (and it should be) the only bias in the news should be towards reporting it as objectively as humanly possible. Ideologues and fanatics have a slight problem with this. We need fewer of them in the newsroom, not more. As it is, there are plenty of ways in which their crackpot notions have wormed their way into the news.

Kristof has always been a bit of mealy-mouthed apologist for the Right. Saying that Democrats need to be nicer to Republicans, that the left should yield to the will of a vocal minority of pro-Bush so-called values-voters. Then he cries about Darfur and whines about Robert Mugabe. You can't have it both ways.

But his error here is glaringly obvious, and it is one of logic. I find it hard to believe he's being entirely genuine. What is the connection between more blacks in the newsroom and more religious fanatics? What is the worth of reporting, or even opinion that obviously represents a tyrannically dogmatic worldview held by a minority bent on domination and oppression? Not only is anything a right wing religious fanatic has to say utterly predictable, but any dialogue is ruled out from the start by the insistence that disagreement is heresy. Right wing religious fanatics have no use for objectivity, or even the appearance of objectivity.

We have already seen how the right handles their "news". When not suppressing the facts, the Bush administration pays journalists who share its warped worldview to fabricate them.

Kristof is either naive or disingenuous. I'm leaning toward the latter.

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