OBAMA VISITS WITH TOP NEWSPAPER EXECUTIVES RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDIA FAIRNESS:
In recent weeks, the president has gotten cozy with top executives at major U.S. newspapers, headlining a Democratic Party fundraiser at the home of Las Vegas Sun owner Brian Greenspun and dining at the Anchorage home of Alaska Dispatch News publisher Alice Rogoff during a three-day trek across the state last week.
On the surface the events didn’t seem to influence either paper’s coverage of the president during his stays in Las Vegas and Alaska, but journalism specialists say they may have raised questions in the eyes of average Americans about the fairness of the news media.
At the same time, however, a distinction must be drawn between the business leaders at an individual media outlet and the reporters who work beneath them, says John Watson, director of the journalism division at American University.
“Here’s a news flash for you: The people who own newspapers and the people who publish newspapers aren’t journalists. They’re business people,” Mr. Watson said. “Owners and publishers aren’t journalists, even though they own and employ journalists. It’s different.
Nahh, it really isn’t; as the passage I highlighted above regarding a Democrat fundraiser in the home of the Sun’s publisher, he and his journalists are all, as Glenn likes to call them, Democratic operatives — and the vast majority of news consumers on both sides of the aisle know this already and can adjust their expectations accordingly. Nobody is still claiming with a straight face that the media is objective — or even should be – at this late date.
And second, it’s worth noting that even when Obama has been aboveboard with journalists, their role as party operatives supersedes their ability to report news. Recall Obama’s infamous quotes, which rocketed through the Blogosphere immediately before the November 2008 election that he would bankrupt the coal industry and that “under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
These promises, spoken in a chilling monotone by Obama sat, out in the open, as part of an hour-long video uploaded without comment in January of 2008 by the San Francisco Chronicle. They were recorded during his meeting with the paper’s editors to discuss his policies in general. No matter what your beliefs on environmentalism are, if you’re a journalist, a major presidential candidate promising to raise consumers’ energy prices and bankrupt an entire industry should be 48-point all-caps front page news. Instead, Obama’s remarks went uncommented on by the Chronicle, meaning either they’re lousy journalists who don’t know when a major story has been handed to them, or they’re Democratic operatives with bylines.
Or both. Any questions about media “fairness” were answered quite a long time ago.