Friday, February 25, 2005

The Problem With Jeff Gannon

A conservative who threw softballs to the President and the Press Secretary came under intense scrutiny and resigned. How dare the President give press credentials to someone who would throw softballs? In a den of wolves (liberal press people), I would give a pass to a friendly face as well.

I think the real problem was that he raised a great point raised as a question. Let me give you the question as it was reported by NPR: How are you going to work with people [Democratic leaders] who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?

NPR conveniently leaves off the preface. Let me give you the full quote.
Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the U.S. economy: Harry Reid was talking about soup lines, and [Senator] Hillary Clinton [D-NY] was talking about the economy being on the verge of collapse. Yet in the same breath, they say that Social Security is rock solid and there's no crisis there. You've said you're going to reach out to these people. How are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?

Obviously, the guy is a shill for conservativism. What makes him different from the average liberal reporter? He doesn't pretend to hide his ideology. Frankly, I think that makes for better reporting. Everyone identify themselves clearly. I can then come to my own conclusions. If I know you are a conservative, I can process your information more effectively.

Ok, back to Gannon. From my perspective, what got people's gander up? Well, two things. One, he made an extraordinary amount of sense. Two, reporters shouldn't be helping the administration and be considered real reporters.

I already explained how I feel about two. It is better to be upfront about your bias then to pretend you don't have bias. By that, I don't mean that the average reporter isn't trying to be objective. But no one can be completely objective. So it is better to be upfront about your bias, which I think helps produce more objectivity in the long run. Jeff Gannon is a complete shill, and at the very least, should be upfront about that.

But he also made a lot of sense. A lot of opponents are either demagoguing or have a big case of cognotive dissonance. Is the economy horrible? If so, how can Social Security be secure? That was a good point. Now that the election is over, more liberals will probably admit that the economy is doing relatively well.

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