Joho the Blog » Jay Rosen on the journalistic quest for innocence

Jay Rosen on the journalistic quest for innocence

Brilliant, gorgeous piece by Jay Rosen that asks a simple question. Jay takes an investigative piece by David Barstow that he admires. In it, Barstow writes about the Tea Party movement: “It is a sprawling rebellion, but running through it is a narrative of impending tyranny.” Jay asks: Why doesn’t Barstow say that that narrative is false to the point of psychosis? Read what Jay makes of this …

[Later that day:] I’ve had a little back and forth with Jay about this in email, particularly about the journalists’ defense that readers can be counted on to know that the “impending tyranny” idea is false. I don’t buy that defense, and neither does Jay. It means that journalists get out of having to state the truth – there is no impending tyranny – because they can rely on readers agreeing with their own point of view. And we can be quite certain that this is what’s going on because (as Jay points out), if the journalists thought there was any credibility to the claim that Obama is imposing tyranny on us, that would be a far larger story than the Tea Party story in which the claim is embedded. So the journalists get to have their point of view and not have to state it…which makes objectivity into a pretense.

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