The Media Have Made Themselves A Threat To American Democracy

media bias

Patrick Caddell – who served as pollster for President Jimmy Carter as well as former Senators Gary Hart and Joe Biden others – sees some real problems in the way the media covers America’s political events.

An excerpt from a speech he delivered to an Accuracy in Media conference called the “Audacity of Corruption:”

The press’s job is to stand in the ramparts and protect the liberty and freedom of all of us from a government and from organized governmental power. When they desert those ramparts and decide that they will now become active participants, that their job is not simply to tell you who you may vote for, and who you may not, but, worse—and this is the danger of the last two weeks—what truth that you may know, as an American, and what truth you are not allowed to know, they have, then, made themselves a fundamental threat to the democracy, and, in my opinion, made themselves the enemy of the American people.

And it is a threat to the very future of this country if we allow this stuff to go on. We have crossed a whole new and frightening slide on the slippery slope this last two weeks, and it needs to be talked about.

Meanwhile, a Gallup poll put out earlier this month showed record high levels of distrust in traditional journalism, with 60% of poll respondents saying they have little or no trust in the mainstream media.

Of course, the mainstream media types and their apologists on the left will just claim that this is so much griping from conservatives who think facts have a liberal bias, etc., etc. Of course, Mr. Goodell is no conservative, and nor is 60% of the American public.

Maybe it’s time to admit there’s a problem.

The solution to this is transparency. We need to drop the charade of the “objective journalist,” because objective journalists don’t exist. We’d be better served by journalists who were open about their biases. The transparency would prompt more scrutiny for what they report, and might even make reporters a bit more sensitive to perceptions of bias.

Those are the very reasons why journalists demand transparency from government. If transparency increases accountability in government, would it not achieve the same thing in journalism?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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