Thanks to Alan Bennett for point us to the interview between Michael Moore and CBS’s Hanna Storm. The link is here. (Scroll down and a little to the right for the video link.)
The interview brushes upon some issues of what journalists should be doing. Certainly, there’s no question that even the mainstream media was cheerleading during the invasion and did little to question beforehand the administration’s arguments for the war. The New York Times editors and the ombudsman for The Washington Post have issued mea culpas, as have some columnists.
Storm makes the point that journalists try to present both sides of the issue. That is lazy journalism, and it’s practiced by those supposedly at the top of their profession. Regurgitating a lie is not fair, balanced or objective journalism. Fair doesn’t means misrepresenting or stretching a truth to conform to one’s ideology. Fair means being fair to the viewer or reader that the journalist is presenting an accurate portrayal of the facts. Balanced means presenting both sides of the truth, as best as can be determined. It isn’t balanced to present the truth on one side and outright falsehoods from the other. And objective means an objective review of the facts. It doesn’t mean allowing one side to misrepresent the truth.
Moore admits Fahrenheit 9/11 isn’t a news story; it’s an opinion column for the eyes and ears. Storm’s demanding F 9/11 conform to breaking news standards isn’t just disingenuous, but given the performance of CBS News during the invasion, it’s hypocritical.