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Hurray for Blatant Bias…!

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Apparently the saying “pot calling the kettle black” rings just as true in the Middle East as it does in America

What I am referring to, in this case, is the matter of reporter S. Rajagopalan, hypocritically criticizing the Bush administration for its ethical mishaps.

“The George W. Bush administration officials are about to get a course in a subject they’re not very familiar with – ethics.”

Hahaha. What a harmless, clever hook…and by that I mean proof that it might take one to know one.

Last time I checked reporters were held to a code of ethics themselves–one that explicitly forbids the insertion of bias, opinion or assertions in news stories. I imagine one would have a fairly hard time proving that the Bush administration is without ethics. The point here is that the sentence is purely speculative, and inflammatory. It’s entirely relative–the definition of “very familiar with”–and thus, it is completely inappropriate in such a piece.

Don’t get me wrong, its a statement that I, for all intents, agree with, but that doesn’t make it ok. The irony is in a reporter criticizing a politician for his mistakes all whilst violating the primary tenant of his supposedly noble occupation.

How can we possible begin to see improvements in our 1st estate, when the 4th estate–the one in charge of holding them accountable–is just as corrupt?

The problem here is that stupid lazy reporting like this prevents, or at least hinders, actual discourse on the matter. Is it really that difficult to save the sarcastic quips for the editorial page? Is it truly imperative that in this era of increased opportunity to express ourselves we must be bombarded by opinion from those who claim to be simply presenting the facts? What’s wrong with placing the story in front of the people, and allowing them to retort “about damn time” to themselves?

Which brings me to matter at hand: Bush’s staff attending ethics classes. ITS ABOUT DAMN TIME. Why stop at the Executive staff? What if, instead of spending all that money to promote Prop 75 we pay to send all the union officals to an ethics course, and maybe then they would realize that spending member dues on things their members oppose IS COMPLETELY INSANE.

What if, instead of paying to drive the Missouri pregnant criminal to an abortion clinic, we send Harry Reid to the local junior college for a crash course in not being an obstructionist douchebag? Maybe, if the press were so inclined, they too could pay for a refresher in the guidelines they so regularly ignore.

This article is cross-posted here.


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About ChaunceyBillups

  • Some good points, however, I would offer one question: Can anyone, ever, really be unbiased? I have come to agree with our dearly departed Dr. Hunter Thompson – we’re all biased, usually strongly; we should cut out the Big Lie and just own up to it. That way, we wind up at least knowing where a reporter is coming from. Perhaps they can wear colored hats?

  • Haha, gotta love the good doctor.

    No, I agree with you, real objectivity is impossible in our selfish human race. However, bias like the one exhibited by this writer is unacceptable. Its clear and it so obviously clouds his ability to report on a fairly important issue.

    While its hard to be unbiased, some are better at it than others–those, the ones who are good at minimizing it, are the ones who ought to be reporters.

  • David

    I hate to take some ray out of your “hooray for blatant bias” but you got your geography wrong. The Rajagopalan article you refer to appeared in the Hindustan Times, an Indian newspaper. India is not in the Middle East, or even in the Greater Middle East. Accuracy is a basic standard in journalism… you know, “pot calling the kettle black” sort of thing.

    Are you speculating yourself that the article contains speculation…inflammatory remarks…stupid lazy reporting…sarcastic quips…bias…opinion…assertion…etc?

    You appear to mistakenly assume that the Indian article opined that “the Bush administration is without ethics.” That is not what is stated in the Indian article. The Indian article merely started off stating “The George W. Bush administration officials are about to get a course in a subject they’re not very familiar with “ethics.” Why didn’t you consider that this simply means the Bush admin officials lack knowledge in ethics and about to get training on this subject? Familiarity in “they’re not very familiar with” simply means “personal knowledge or information about someone or something.” That’s what training is for – to provide knowledge and information. After all, the article also mentioned “a series of presentations next week on general ethics rules and handling of classified information.”

    In addition, the Indian article also stated that the Washington Post-ABC “combines finding that 58 per cent of Americans are questioning Bush’s integrity.” Hmmm, does this mean the majority of Americans are aware of probable ethical breaches by key Bush admin staff?

    My big beef with the Indian article is that it didn’t get an expert opinion on the futility of ethics training for senior officials without installing a system of controls, enforcement, accountability, consequences and presidential sponsorship for total compliance.

    Regardless, we should carefully read this major article from India to evaluate whether it meets “journalism ethics and standards” such as those described in Wikipedia below.

    Is the Indian article heavily biased and misleading readers, or is the information provided consistent with the facts? Is it really preventing or hindering productive discourse on the issue? Next, we should compare the ethical quality of Indian article with American news reports such as from Fox News or The Weekly Standard.


    The Most Biased Name in News: Fox News Channel’s extraordinary right-wing tilt

    One opinion on media bias: “The Superiority of the American Press is Crumbling”

  • indian

    You chose a wrong profession.. a journalist (one who is supposed to ‘know and tell’) calling India as Middle East!
    Hehe.. career going phushhhhhhhhhhhhhh