Objective Journalism? Not!
May 15, 2002
by Dennis Lombard
I wouldnít call our local daily newspaper inspiring. However, it has encouraged more of my columns than any other single source. How does such a liberal tatter do that? Easy.
Page five of the front news section the other day, for example, had a brief AP story about U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft delivering a graduation speech at Catholic University. It sounded like it was a fine speech, and the six paragraphs should have made a positive, feel-good story. Nope.
What Ashcroft said was inspiring - that terrorists "distrust the decisions of free people" and since they can not persuade us otherwise, they "rely on extortion to force people to a conclusion that they would never embrace on their own." In other words, as oft repeated since 9/11: Letís not forget who we are and how free people behave. For five paragraphs the AP writer (or local rewriter, whichever) held to the "objective" story line - then lost it!
Thereís just something about Ashcroft, as fine a gentleman to serve in Washington as weíve seen in many quadrennia, that PC journalists canít handle. They choked over his nomination, colored him dangerous at every turn of their "news" stories, tripped all over themselves trying to browbeat Congress into throwing him on the "advise and consent" trash heap with Judge Charles Pickering and other menacing conservatives. John was made of stern stuff and survived.
So whatís their problem now, beside being sore losers? The "objective" AP storyline ended up with this unconnected broadside; "Ashcroft has been criticized by some for giving religion too prominent a role at the Justice Department including optional prayer meetings with staff before each work day." Mind you, he wasnít having oral sex with an intern, but oh my gosh he was praying! On government property! God forbid!
And the "news story" added, "... some have complained that he has overreached his authority since Sept. 11 ..." Again, for heaven sakes, and the Constitution forbid! The man is only doing his job; and on this occasion even wisely he has warned of the unprecedented temptations in the midst of terrorist attacks to overstep our Declaration principles. I am glad we have John Ashcroft in that job; some people are horrified - and those people write your newspaper.
The bottom line, Virginia, is there ainít no objective journalism. This hallowed perception has been a professional platitude so often repeated for such a long time that some people actually believe it exists, like Santa Claus. The people who have the least clue that it is not humanly possible are the very liberal wags who control most of the nationís news media. In their newsrooms so overrun with counter-constitutional leanings that they think truth is what they collectively think, and that is what they think we should think.
I have never subscribed to the doctrine of journalistic objectivity myself. I certainly donít claim it personally. I am a traditional conservative commentator, and I confess that openly. When I write a news story, I try to get all the facts into it - but if you know me you know in advance where I am coming from. The typical liberal news man or woman it seems can only moralize, like this AP writer (or possibly a local staffer) - who simply couldnít let a positive story stand on its own.
Itís not all hopeless in the la-la land of American journalism. A 13 paragraph item on the same page told of President George W. Bushís proposal to return Civic lessons to our educational system. Most of us are probably not aware that 75% of school-age Americans lack basic knowledge in Civics, according to the liberal NEA. A heck of a way to run a free county, you might say, but the story tells me thereís hope for the future.
Hereís a free Civics lesson for you: Be aware that your local news media is dangerous to your grasp of truth and fact. Be aware that 80 to 90% of journalists are liberally biased. Be aware that I am conservatively biased - but of course you knew that - I admit it openly. The liberal majority does not customarily confess its bias.
The typical report from Israel tells how some Palestinians were killed or injured by Israeli soldiers, with all the bloody details - down to the last paragraph mentioning briefly that the soldiers were ambushed or were chasing down Palestinian snipers in a residential neighborhood. Whenís the last time you read anything in your daily about Christians fleeing from Arafat Country due to cruel mistreatment? Weíve been reporting on the bin Laden-persecution link regularly, in Indonesia, Sudan, Pakistan, and dozens of other Muslim countries. In terms of sheer number of victims, itís a bigger story than 9/11 itself. You have a right to hear about that, along with the "dirty bomb" threat which could dwarf 9/11.
In a sense our kind of conservative journalism is easy pickings. There are many "virtual exclusives" - stories we get to report, and not because we have superior worldwide news networks. There are many facts and truths that your daily and their news services ignore or under-report because of their bias; they just donít want to tell you about them.
News reporting by its very nature and practice can never be completely unbiased. The very choice and placement of stories is subjective. I would have put the Civics story on Page One, with maybe a local photo of some students engaged in a volunteer project. I would have run a photo of John Ashcroft up-front too, teasing to a longer treatment of his fine speech inside with some more complete quotes.
You can see how your newspaperís bias will radically alter what you learn about the community, the nation and the world you live in. You would have felt better - and been better informed - after reading my version of the daily paper that day, if I had had one that day.
Hereís some more good news: conservatives today are flooding the Internet to get the truth and facts to you without having to go through that establishment media. Check out Conservativetruth.org and many others. And our own monthly newspaper will be going weekly in the foreseeable future. Look out, here comes the revolution!
© 2002 Home Times Family Newspaper
Dennis Lombard has been a community newspaper editor since 1972, and is currently editor and publisher of Home Times Family Newspaper, a traditional conservative monthly which he founded in 1990. He resides in Lake Worth, Florida with his wife, Mary, and they have seven children, 13 grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Home Times, soon going weekly, serves Palm Beach and Martin Counties in Florida and the nation by mail subscription, covering world, national, and local people and issues, home and family, arts and entertainment, and religion, all with a traditional conservative worldview. For a free copy call toll-free: 888-439-3509 or go to http://www.hometimes.org.
Send the author an E mail at Lombard@ConservativeTruth.org.
For more of Dennis' articles, visit his archives.