Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Journalists as Clergy

The Smallest Minority, one of my favorite reads, spent Sunday (and also Friday, Thursday, Wednesday and just maybe Tuesday) writing about Political Bias in American Journalism.

It goes without saying that this is a Geek-Length essay. Kevin obviously agrees with my personal credo, that any subject worth discussing is worth dissecting. And dissect he does, with references to books by such journalistic outcasts as Bernard Goodman and John Stossel.

In keeping with the essential 2nd amendment flavor of this blog, the NRA is prominently featured (as are AARP and ACLU). Not to mention the NY Times and the Washington Post. et al the Liberal Print Media.

Favorite quotes:

. "Note that we move here well beyond the notion of mere gun control and into the realm of general social control, management and regulation."

. "Perhaps the most pervasive way in which journalists are different from normal people is that journalists live in a world dominated by government, and they reflexively see government action as the default way to approach any problem."

. "Of the five groups, NRA necessarily anchors the negative end. The very existence of the potential for uncoordinated violence represented by guns is a threat to an administrative control hermeneutic. Guns simply invite administration. "

. "At the top of the scale, HCI represents the essence of the administrative hermeneutic. It stands for scientific management or rational control and regulation of a problem quite often framed as a general public health concern."

. "
Although I had accurately anticipated the reluctance of NRA officials in releasing information about the activities of their organization, I did not anticipate a general reluctance and the outright refusal of some journalists to explain their activities. Most of the journalists would not return calls when they were contacted and asked to participate in the study. Callbacks did not help. Neither did assurances of anonymity help to reverse the refusals. The non-response rate, thus defined, is almost 95 percent."

Essentially, journalists see themselves not only as members of a profession, the goal of which is "... disseminating and interpreting the administrative word and its symbols unto the public." They may not have written the gospel, but ... hey, wait a minute; they did and they still do.

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