Americans trust their press to guide them. And they can, because the
press tries to be objective. Its reporters never add its own opinion
As an example, The New York Times recently published a front page
story by Kenneth Chang on "Intelligent Design" vs. evolution. It
started off with several paragraphs which gave the "Intelligent
Design" position in the debate, and every criticism of that position
in the rest of the article was preceded with some conjugation of
"scientists say". Biologists howled all over the net that what
"scientists say" is, in fact, the truth, that the "Intelligent Design"
side consists of demonstrable misinterpretations, and that the "even
handed" presentation in the Times created the appearance of a
legitimate debate where none really exists.
What makes this case unusual is that the reporter himself showed
up, in more than one comment
to defend himself. Which he did by presenting the "scientist say"
paragraphs from his article. He feels comfortable leaving to the
reader the judgment of which side of this debate is the sober
thinkers, and which the screaming moonbats, even if it gives the
reader no basis at all for making that judgment. Because even if one
side of an argument is obviously right, and another is obviously
deluded or lying, a journalist can't say so. You can't state that
kind of fact and still be "objective".
Some cynics might observe that when the press has these standards,
any fact, no matter how well established, can be made to seem the
object of legitimate debate just by paying some sober-looking fellow
to utter statements which could only be believed by someone utterly
ignorant of the actual evidence, or failing that, a screaming
moonbat. They might even suggest that that's what the oil companies
have been doing by stirring up a false debate on global warming, and
what the funders of innumerable right-wing think tanks have been doing
on social issues.
Why cheapen your life by listening to these cynics?