What makes all this more than a journalistic failure is that the press plays a crucial role in our democracy. We count on the press to help create an informed electorate. And perhaps even more important, we rely on the press to hold the powerful accountable.

    That requires calling out political leaders when they transgress or fail to meet commonly agreed-upon standards: when they are corrupt, when they deceive, when they break the rules and refuse to govern. Such exposure is the first consequence. When the transgressions are sufficiently grave, what follows should be continued scrutiny, marginalization, contempt and ridicule.

    In the current political climate, journalistic false equivalence leads to an insufficiently informed electorate, because the public is not getting an accurate picture of what is going on.


An informed electorate will not come about simply because of an objective and "fearless media". A higher availability of factual journalism would allow those who already have a political drive to come to conclusions more quickly and easily; but isn't it that group of people who have already discovered news sources of greater objectivity? Froomkin uses an excerpt from the Guardian to show how the event should have been reported. Even for those who do participate in America's democracy but do not have an overt interest in the political climate, The Guardian is not a particularly esoteric news outlet.

I think that a better stance to take would be to support the posterity in recognising the flaws in what they read. This seems like a more realistic goal.

posted by humanodon: 1934 days ago