"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jonah Goldberg: An Open Conspiracy to Slant the News -- JournOlist

When this story broke, the first thing that flashed across the thought process was wondering how many of the people involved had bothered to even join the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). The fact that SPJ exists along with their Code of Ethics is no secret. It is taught in Journalism Ethics classes in college and used around the Country in newsrooms. The idea of having a Code of Ethics is excellent. The problem is the journalists who don't follow it including editors.

Every last member of JournOlist has abdicated the Right of Freedom of the Press guaranteed by the Constitution. They took it upon themselves to slant the news for Obama covering up facts that might make him look bad. Is that news? Not even a little as most of the people supporting McCain who had done any investigation knew the media was on their knee pads for Obama and would say and do anything to protect him. That said, we never imagined they had an organization dedicated to protecting Obama with coordinating what to say and report which goes against every ethics rule for a journalist.

Ethics is the basic foundation of journalism and taught in every Journalism College/School in America. Students on school newspaper have more integrity than the people who belong to JournOlist. How many Journalism Professors are members of that list?

In case people are not aware, every Journalism student has to take a course in Ethics to graduate and in that course you will find the SPJ Code of Ethics which they are expected to adhere to when they start writing. At graduation several years ago the Dean of a Journalism College told each student if they didn't adhere to ethics in what they reported, he would hunt them down. He expected every one of the graduates to live up to the Ethics they had been taught.

What is the SPJ Code of Ethics and how does it apply to this situation?
The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of journalists, regardless of place or platform, and is widely used in newsrooms and classrooms as a guide for ethical behavior. The code is intended not as a set of "rules" but as a resource for ethical decision-making. It is not — nor can it be under the First Amendment — legally enforceable.

For an expanded explanation, please follow this link.

SPJ Code of Ethics

Download a printable copy [PDF]

PreambleMembers of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues. Conscientious journalists from all media and specialties strive to serve the public with thoroughness and honesty. Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. Members of the Society share a dedication to ethical behavior and adopt this code to declare the Society's principles and standards of practice.

Seek Truth and Report It
Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information....

Minimize Harm
Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect....

Act Independently
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know....

Be Accountable
Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other....

The SPJ Code of Ethics is voluntarily embraced by thousands of writers, editors and other news professionals. The present version of the code was adopted by the 1996 SPJ National Convention, after months of study and debate among the Society's members.
If every person associated with journalism had adhered to these SPJ Code of Ethics, something like JournOlist could not have happened. Over the years the bias in the media has gradually gotten worse as reporters and editors have taken to slanting the news and lying to suit their agenda. This time it was to elect Obama and not only was it slanted but they coordinated what to say which is why the news sounded like a bunch of mouthpieces all reading the same talking point papers. Little did we know they came from the same place -- JournOlist.

JournOlist seems to be nothing more than an extension of the Obama campaign to fool the American people into believing he was something he wasn't or the fact that he was extremely liberal, had been mentored by Communists, hung out with domestic terrorists, or went to a Black Liberation Church for 20 years with Rev Wright for starters. All swept under the rug including the fact that Bill Ayers wrote 'Dreams of My Father' and some of the recollections were Ayers not Obama's but why let the truth get in the way.

Any member of JournOlist working for a media operation, needs FIRED -- not resigned -- FIRED with no benefits and never be allowed to work in the field again. If they are a college journalism professor, they also need FIRED and blackballed from teaching journalism. Every last member of JournOlist abdicated their responsibility to the American pubic to report the news and act in an Ethical manner. The biggest question is if they are publishers involved along with owners of the news organizations.

Is the field of journalism totally corrupt? We don't believe so based on the experiences of a young journalist we know well who had an editor who was a stickler for facts. He may be a rare breed these days but we have to think that here in Middle America Journalism Ethics might be a lot better than in the cesspool of the East Coast starting with Columbia Journalism where a lot of these people graduated. Some real 'investigative' journalist might want to take a look at what is taught at Columbia or other of the prestige universities of the East Coast.

Jonah Goldberg has done an outstanding job of summing up what has happened. We agree with him that this is not new and not the smoking gun. Although we believe this episode of the liberal media goes to a new low even for the liberals.
Jonah Goldberg

July 23, 2010 12:00 A.M.

An Open Conspiracy To Slant the News

JournoList is a symptom, not the disease, of liberal media bias.

The JournoList has started to leak like an over-ripe diaper. Just in case you’ve been living in a cave, or if you only get your news from MSNBC, here’s the story. A young blogger, Ezra Klein, formerly of the avowedly left-wing American Prospect and now with the avowedly mainstream Washington Post, founded the e-mail listserv JournoList for like-minded liberals to hash out and develop ideas. Some 400 people joined the by-invitation-only group. Most, it seems, were in the media, but many hailed from academia, think tanks, and the world of forthright liberal activism generally. They spoke freely about their political and personal biases, including their hatred of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.

That off-the-record intellectual bacchanalia has started to haunt the participants like an inexplicable rash after a wild party during Fleet Week.

Last month, David Weigel, a young Washington Post blogger hired to report on conservative politics, ostensibly from a sympathetic perspective, left the Post thanks to his damning statements on JournoList (conservatives are racists, Rush Limbaugh should die, etc.).

Now the diaper is coming off entirely. Perhaps stretching the diaper metaphor too far, what’s inside JournoList may stink, but it’s no surprise that it does. JournoList e-mails obtained by the Daily Caller reveal what anybody with two neurons to rub together already knew: Professional liberals don’t like Republicans and do like Democrats. They can be awfully smug and condescending in their sense of intellectual and moral superiority. They tend to ascribe evil motives to their political opponents — sometimes even when they know it’s unfair. One obscure blogger insisted that liberals should arbitrarily demonize a conservative journalist as a racist to scare conservatives away from covering stories that might hurt Obama.

Oh, and — surprise! — it turns out that the “O” in JournoList stands for “Obama.”

In 2008, participants shared talking points about how to shape coverage to help Obama. They tried to paint any negative coverage of Obama’s racist and hateful pastor, Jeremiah Wright, as out of bounds. Journalists at such “objective” news organizations as Newsweek, Bloomberg, Time, and The Economist joined conversations with open partisans about the best way to criticize Sarah Palin.

Like an Amish community raising a barn, members of the progressive community got together to hammer out talking points. Amidst a discussion of Palin, Chris Hayes, a writer for The Nation, wrote: “Keep the ideas coming! Have to go on TV to talk about this in a few min and need all the help I can get.” Time’s Joe Klein admitted to his fellow JournoListers that he’d collected the listserv’s bric-a-brac and fashioned it into a brickbat aimed at Palin.

Many conservatives think JournoList is the smoking gun that proves not just liberal media bias (already well-established) but something far more elusive as well: the Sasquatch known as the Liberal Media Conspiracy.

I’m not so sure. In the 1930s, the New York Times deliberately whitewashed Stalin’s murders. In 1964, CBS reported that Barry Goldwater was tied up with German Nazis. In 1985, the Los Angeles Times polled 2,700 journalists at 621 newspapers and found that journalists identified themselves as liberal by a factor of 3 to 1. Their actual views on issues were far more liberal than even that would suggest. Just for the record, Ezra Klein was born in 1984.

In other words, JournoList is a symptom, not the disease. And the disease is not a secret conspiracy but something more like the “open conspiracy” H. G. Wells fantasized about, where the smartest, best people at every institution make their progressive vision for the world their top priority.


The conservative movement at least admits it is a movement (even though conservatives outnumber liberals 2-1 in this country). Establishment liberalism, not just in the press but also in the White House, academia, and Hollywood, holds power by refusing to make the same concession. “This isn’t about ideology. . . . We just call them like we see them. . . . We don’t have an agenda.

”The open conspiracy that perpetuates that lie is far more pernicious than any chat room.—

Read More at: National Review

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. © 2010 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

No comments: