After we devoted a decent amount of column space last week to dissecting AP reporter John Solomon’s series of pieces on Sen. Harry Reid, a number of readers wrote in to ask what I thought was up. There were all sorts of theories — some reasonable, others more outlandish. So I thought I’d weigh in on my sense of this.
First off, I don’t think the issue is bias per se. I strongly suspect the issue is oppo research. And let me explain what I mean by that.
So if youu follow JJM’s posts you’ll get to the other Josh’s article,
Implicit in this process is the news media’s cooperation in carrying out the work of campaign operatives—usually without disclosing that fact to readers and viewers. If gathering opposition research is a science, disseminating it is very much an art. “Usually you can find stories that match up with the dynamics of different media outlets,” Lehane explains. “If you have videotape, you take it to a television outlet. If it’s a complicated financial story, you take it to The Wall Street Journal. Something on special interests you take to The New York Times. It’s all part of the process.”
It might have been previously, but when the media outlets go into the tank for one party or person over another it becomes an organ of the opposition researchers, and fails in its’ primary, self described, function of journalism. The AP appears to have fallen into that tar pit, which is FOX News’ reason for being.
What JJM has done, I think, is point out the cross fire the media is in. For the most part they have brought it on themselves by injecting themselves into the political process, whether in the general sense, or specific, and there is hostility towards that from the public which generally doesn’t like to think they are being manipulated.
As I have pointed out more than once, I am a manipulative bastard, so are politicians, and unfortunately the media has become so. Maybe it’s time for another bloggers ethics panel on this. Even in that regard the blogs still outshine the mainstream, and I’m not all together sure that is the low the media wishes to have sunk to, but there you have it.