I have several large, complicated ethics issues to write about (like the LibsofTikTok fiasco) and I’m not looking forward to it, so I’m starting this morning with an easy call that confirms many of my deeply held convictions.
One is that journalists, as a group, just aren’t that sharp. There are exceptions, but they are exceptions: this is a field that has never attracted the best and the brightest, and it is a structural problem that has become a major problem in the age of the “new journalism,” which is advocacy journalism, as in unethical journalism. The people with the largest metaphorical megaphone lack the wisdom, acumen, education of critical thinking skills to justify their having it. Yet they really think they know best, and have the right and the duty to use a job that was supposed to be about informing the public to manipulate public opinion for what journalists think is “the greater good.” They don’t know what the greater good is. Most don’t know what “good” is.
Chris Cillizza isn’t just any journalist: he’s supposed to be one of the better ones. Horrible thought: he probably is. He’s an editor at CNN, and before that he wrote the daily political blog of The Washington Post, and was a regular writer for the Post on political issues as well as a frequent panelist on “Meet the Press.” He also has a long rap sheet on Ethics Alarms, despite the fact that I avoid following his regular forays into fake news, propaganda, and biased punditry. Who knows what I’ve missed. Continue reading