Thursday, October 22, 2009

Talking Points Memo readers demand more stenography, less journalism

There's a disheartening comments section attached to a Talking Points Memo story. The story summary: a reporter for the conservative Weekly Standard is trying to nail down whether a moderate Republican running in a special election might switch parties if in the next subsequent election, she loses the Republican primary. The candidate's spokesman fails to answer the question, and instead just keeps repeating that she "is a vote" for the Republicans.

The reporter writes a story about the evasiveness and potential implications of a future switch. Suddenly the spokesman calls in a clarification stating she won't switch.

All this sounds like good journalism to me - not taking an evasive answer on face value, but the TPM comment section is full of attacks on the journalist for not being "objective" and simply reporting the answer. There are a few who defend the journalist, but it generally reads just like something you'd see on a rightwing website (maybe better grammar though).

The left can have as much trouble as the right with seeing past their own biases.

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