Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Peter Jennings Doesn't Know If He Can Be Unbiased

Via Drudge, Channel 7 in Omaha has some excerpts from an interview with Dan Rather asking him about the media bias. Here was Dan's response:

"I'm a little concerned about this notion everybody wants us to be objective," Jennings said.

Jennings said that everyone -- even journalists -- have points of view through which they filter their perception of the news. It could be race, sex or income. But, he said, reporters are ideally trained to be as objective as possible.

He's right on this point, of course. It's not that everyone expects the reporters to be 100% unbiased, but we do expect them to at least try to be unbiased. What ever happened to just focussing on Who What Where When? We're seeing a lot more editorializing coming from our reporters and anchors than just the facts. Not only that, it's the facts that they don't report that causes as much bias as the facts that they do report.

Of course, all of their woes is a result of the new media of talk radio and the blogosphere.

Jennings maintains those polls may be driven by groups with an agenda.

"There's a whole industry of conservatives saying, 'Ah, it's those damn liberals,' and a whole group of liberals saying, 'It's all those damn conservatives,'" Jennings said.

The problematic response, Jennings said, is the way people tailor the way they consume news.

"If you tailor your news viewing, as some people are now doing, so that you only get one point of view, well of course you're going to think somebody else has got a different point of view, and it may be wrong," Jennings said.