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In the movie “Contagion,” Elliott Gould plays a scientist investigating a deadly virus. During a confrontation with a scandal-sheet style blogger, Gould says: “Blogging isn’t writing. It’s graffiti with punctuation.”
Sometimes, there’s more truth there than on the news shows or on so-called “news” web sites.
Graffiti with punctuation. In too many cases, that phrase can be applied to more than just blogging. It’s all too true of journalism as well.
Too often, my chosen profession has become a venue for gossip, innuendo and spin, not information and truth.
The cable news service with the largest audience is — by far — Fox News Channel, which is neither a purveyor of truth or a serious practitioner of journalism, at least not the kind of journalism I was taught and have tried to practice for nearly five decades.
On network TV, the Sunday news talk shows programs are not designed to get to truth. They are merely platforms for spin artists from both parties to appear and provide their own twisted versions of the facts.
The so-called “moderators” of these shows make little or no effort to get beyond the spin. They don’t challenge the lies or the distortions. They simply turn to the other side — if one was invited to appear — and let them provide contrasting lies or distortions.
Like Gould said: Graffiti with punctuation.
The blog with the largest readership on the Internet is The Huffington Post.
The news site with the largest readership is The Huffington Post.
Wait a minute. Can you be both a blog and a news site? HuffPo claims it is both. Some could argue that it is neither.
Clearly, what HuffPo is not is objective. Like its tart-tongued Hungarian founder, HuffPo is clearly slanted to the left, just as Fox News is slanted to the right.
So, is there a place in this world for straightforward, unbiased journalism?
Damn good question.
A lot of us here at Capitol Hill Blue sure wish we had an answer.