Wednesday, May 24, 2006


From Carlin Romano:

Hi, Brendan. I note your ironic (if not sarcastic) tone, but you're missing something. This was a scene piece about a panel at a convention, not about the industry as a whole. No one present spoke up for the left. You don't "balance" a report on a panel -- you just report what happened there.

I respond:

You don't "balance" a report on a panel -- you just report what happened there.

That's an interesting response, and rather Colbertian (is that a word?): "Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home." It's been my experience reading the newspaper that regardless of the topic, alternative voices are supposed to be sought out, often whether those alternatives have something valid to say or not (like the Swift Boat people).

I was using the word "balance" with more than a little irony. My point is that nothing these whiners had to say was verifiable fact. You had a bunch of people with a particular point of view saying they're being treated unfairly. Well, what else is new? Interestingly a few paragraphs from the end of the article comes the suggestion that perhaps the whining isn't based on reality: as I pointed out, if these conservative writers are so oppressed, how come a third of Regnery's stable is on the NYT Bestseller list? Both can't be true.

Furthermore, the conservative perspective dominates on talk radio, television, and yes indeed, many newspapers. I have to tell you that of the titles listed as "left wing" the only name I recognized was Amy Goodman, and she doesn't have anywhere near the media presence of Rush, Coulter, etc. On the other hand, of the right-wing books, I recognized every single name, and have seen their work in more places than I can mention. I CAN verify this: turn on the radio or open any major daily.

You don't "balance" a report on a panel -- you just report what happened there.

Are you saying that if you covered a panel held by NAMBLA or the Klan, you wouldn't provide any evidence at all challenging any claims they made that were questionable? How is that responsible journalism?

I always thought journalism was about truth, not just writing down what people said. I would think this would hold true no matter what the topic was, whether a crime or a convention. I am disappointed that you seem to believe otherwise.
Brendan Skwire


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