Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Glad not to be a journalist.

Betsy of Betsy's Page says eloquently what a lot of us feel about journalists. (I prefer to save "reporter" as a term of respect for people like the late Michael Kelly and Michael Yon)
It's enough to make me seriously glad not to be a reporter where there seem to be serious ethical questions of whether or not it is proper to help a kid caught up in a criminal world.
What is more distressing about this is that people with the twisted, arrogant, self-righteous approach to ethics are teaching at most of the J-schools in the country.

There are reasons for legal ethics to be different from the general kind, lawyers are part of a system where the finding of truth depends on a vigorous effort by both sides to represent their respective sides of a case. "journalists" are professional wannabes who have concocted rules of ethics for which they have no legal basis. Why do they describe their relationship with those they cover as "adversarial?" Why assume that everybody in government is lying? It's an artifice to give substance to their claim to need special rules, to elevate themselves into "professionalism."

I have an old theory that the reason doctors, lawyers, dentists, etc. came to be called "professional" is that so much of the work they do is distasteful to everybody else, that if they're going to do it, they're darn well going to get paid for it both monetarily and in respect. What do journalists do that's so unappealing? Being obnoxious isn't a requirement for the job. It's just the choice that a lot of people make. Putting "getting the story" above every other concern, such as helping people obviously in trouble, is inhumane, especially when only other journalists see anything to complain about it.

Journalists unnecessarily set themselves apart from the rest of us. They arrogate some special authority to themselves than nobody gave them. We didn't elect the New York Times to rule on what constitutes news, and we sure didn't consent to 80% of the news to be given a liberal slant. No wonder the Democrats have gone nuts. They've been told so often by the media that they represent truth, justice and the People for the American Way that they have lost touch with reality. Now the media are losing votes as well, and reacting much the same way.


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