December 23, 2004

Get back to fundamentals…

The simplistic rant against a so-called liberal media bias is a political maneuver, and it has worked. Here’s one bit of evidence–a news media train wreck.

In the midst of Lois Melina’s ineffective counter-rant we may find the damage caused by a generation-long harangue against a non-existent, pervasive political bias:

As the country prepares for at least two years with the Republicans in control of both the White House and Congress, it is vitally important that the news media look at how they have failed the American people and contributed to a polarized nation.

Journalists have allowed political operatives to successfully control what is discussed and how it is discussed. TV programs that pit an extremist on the left against an extremist on the right have made it clear there is no room for moderate voices. Walter Cronkite used to be the most trusted journalist in America. Now Jon Stewart–a comedian with a “fake news” show–may be.

She’s right about one thing (assuming she would agree with my explication): the he-said/she-said reporting mentality (a consequence of the fairness bias fighting constant bias ranting) has been used effectively by spinners to frame the debate and control content of news. Attempts to buck this system actually seem odd.

She’s right about one more thing: the news media share the blame for a polarized America, if that is what we have (I’m not convinced yet).

Neither liberal nor conservative partisans truly want a skeptical press. Each side prefers selective skepticism and selective compliance. Each side calls the skepticism it doesn’t like bias. Each side ignores counter evidence. This is, by the way, irrational. But we’re talking political struggle here, not reasoned civic debate. That means were talking about a zero-sum game–winning versus losing, which is anathema to the democratic bargain. The politicized role of reason is to figure out the winning tactics. It is not itself a winning tactic.

Melina does her cause no favors because she uses the very discourse that the bias ranters target. So this screed is easily dismissed as an example of exactly the kind political bias we may experience locally.

If what Melina intends is a critique, then I suggest she be more explicit about how to achieve a properly skeptical press. We could start by insisting that the press operate as custodians of fact with a discipline of verification–something I teach in my Introduction to Journalism class. When you’re losing the game it’s time to return to fundamentals.

There is, however, a way that we can say the press is Liberal with a capital L. Like most Americans, journalists and journalism generally believe in: American capitalism, one person one vote, keeping an eye on government and big business, the primacy of American culture, the overall goodness of the American people, the ability of the people to make effective political decisions given accurate information, the right of religious freedom, the right to free speech, the right to privacy, the Bill of Rights generally, the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, motherhood, apple pie, etc. etc. etc.

These are Liberal ideas. We are a Liberal nation. We have a Liberal government and Liberal press.

30 Responses

  1. Tim 

    Andrew,

    I’m confused by your link to the “democratic bargain”. The contest between the federalists and anti-federalists (which the governed as federalists) and the split of Jefferson’s party. I agree that in argumentation, “Each side ignores counter evidence.” is not playing by the rules of debate, but that is not the same as “[t]he politicized role of reason”, is it? Theoretically, even idealistically, we can say it is but would that be a realistic, historical or accurate portrayal?

    re: “the ability of the people to make effective political decisions given accurate information”

    Is this not the unresolved Lippman-Dewey debate?

    As to the rest of your big “L” list of what “journalists and journalism generally believe in”, how do you juxtapose that with the list from The Note‘s admission that “Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections.”

    OT: I thought you might find these interesting …

    Good Advice for the Dems
    Natural selection acts on the quantum world

  2. rgrafton 

    Here’s a fascinating post from the author of my favorite new blog, Done With Mirrors. The author is self-described as a middle-aged copy editor at a metropolitan newspaper in a blue state. His first post describes how a newsroom functions and how “bias” organically arises from the newsroom culture. His posts are well written, as you might expect, and he delivers cogent essays without the usual left/right hysteria. This post is longish, but well worth the time: http://vernondent.blogspot.com/2004/09/media-matters.html

  3. Tim 

    As a companion to Natural selection acts on the quantum world, I’d recommend An Elegant Universe.

    Light holiday reading, really … promise!

  4. Tim… My link to the F/A-Fs was the best I could do working fast 🙂 It’s the first example of the democratic bargain working.

    Yes, the Lippman-Dewey split. I favor Dewey.

    Tim and R… I’m quite well aware that many journalists have internalized the liberal-bias rant. In fact, one could make this argument (I’m not): The liberal-bias rant is creating the very thing it argues against. I’ll check out the new blog. I couldn’t find the list on The Note. Can you reproduce it in the comments?

  5. R- re: Done With Mirrors… Good stuff! I’ve added the link.

  6. Tim 

    re: reproduce The Note’s list …

    Like every other institution, the Washington and political press corps operate with a good number of biases and predilections.

    They include, but are not limited to, a near-universal shared sense that liberal political positions on social issues like gun control, homosexuality, abortion, and religion are the default, while more conservative positions are “conservative positions.”

    They include a belief that government is a mechanism to solve the nation’s problems; that more taxes on corporations and the wealthy are good ways to cut the deficit and raise money for social spending and don’t have a negative affect on economic growth; and that emotional examples of suffering (provided by unions or consumer groups) are good ways to illustrate economic statistic stories.

    More systematically, the press believes that fluid narratives in coverage are better than static storylines; that new things are more interesting than old things; that close races are preferable to loose ones; and that incumbents are destined for dethroning, somehow.

    The press, by and large, does not accept President Bush’s justifications for the Iraq war — in any of its WMD, imminent threat, or evil-doer formulations. It does not understand how educated, sensible people could possibly be wary of multilateral institutions or friendly, sophisticated European allies.

    It does not accept the proposition that the Bush tax cuts helped the economy by stimulating summer spending.

    It remains fixated on the unemployment rate.

    It believes President Bush is “walking a fine line” with regards to the gay marriage issue, choosing between “tolerance” and his “right-wing base.”

    It still has a hard time understanding how, despite the drumbeat of conservative grass-top complaints about overspending and deficits, President Bush’s base remains extremely and loyally devoted to him — and it looks for every opportunity to find cracks in that base.

    Of course, the swirling Joe Wilson and National Guard stories play right to the press’s scandal bias — not to mention the bias towards process stories (grand juries produce ENDLESS process!).

    The worldview of the dominant media can be seen in every frame of video and every print word choice that is currently being produced about the presidential race.

  7. Tim 

    The 100 years (bias) war…

    Since then, a wide variety of surveys have probed deeper, though results have generally agreed that the national press skews further to the left than the general public (the local press, somewhat less so). A 1985 Los Angeles Times study of 2,700 journalists at 621 newspapers found this sample to the left of the public on issues relating to abortion, gun control, prayer in schools and defense spending.

  8. Tim 

    re: Yes, the Lippman-Dewey split. I favor Dewey.

    Is that a political bias? One that favors the liberal democrat’s position and opposes the liberal republican’s?

    And if so, does your essay argue that this is not just a personal political bias of yours, but one shared by “the press [which] is Liberal with a capital L” and not necessarily one that is “[l]ike most Americans”?

  9. Tim 

    The politicized role of reason is to figure out the winning tactics. It is not itself a winning tactic.

    I’d like to test my understanding of those two sentences by restating what I read.

    Part of the political rhetoric is meant to ridicule, belittle and demean your political opponents. It’s peer pressure politics. It’s ancient. It works. And because it works, it is not going away anytime soon. Ergo,

    The issue with he said/she said is not the format, but that peer pressure political rhetoric is not flagged and goes unexplained by a “disinterested” third party, a debate umpire, which does more than simply act as a custodian of fact with a discipline of verification but also an umpire of rhetoric.

    For the Greeks, the practice of rhetoric was the practice of political science. From the structure of Greek political practice, I think we can say that the Greeks saw politics as a multifaceted, social process for making the polis work. We may define “work” in the Greek context as promoting economic expansion, ensuring security, and promoting civic virtue and participation.

    At each point in the process, some body of citizens was charged with the duty of making decisions. And those decisions were made through deliberation and voting–both speech acts. For the Greeks, to speak was to govern.

  10. Tim…

    re: Lippman vs. Dewey. Well, from a certain perspective all differences are political 😉 But I believe my favoring of Dewey has far more to do with how I think the media work.

    re: my quote

    Yes, that’s the usual evidence that there exists a pervasive liberal bias. And I’d get with the program if such a claim predicted anything with any degree of accuracy. Want to predict journalistic behavior from FOX to the NYT? Look to the structural biases. I’ll change my tune the day a theory of political bias predicts better/more than the structural theory.

    Again, I have said many time that we may find numerous instances everyday of political bias of all kinds in the press. And, yes, on some social issues, the press generally leans to the left of center (usually not a very big lean). So what?

    The whole bias debate is just dumb because charges of political bias are poor theory. Further, the American public is smart enough to figure this stuff out (that’s Dewey speaking…is that liberal?).

    That said, actual instances of bias should ALWAYS be vigorously challenged! There is no excuse for political bias from a profession that has a objective and transparent process to gather and present the news. This is not to say that we will always be happy with that product. How could that ever be? But we can understand it and learn to use for our own political benefits the product of that process.

  11. Tim… re: your understanding of those sentences. You’ve gone beyond what I was getting at, but I like your interpretation.

  12. Tim 

    And, yes, on some social issues, the press generally leans to the left of center (usually not a very big lean). So what?

    1. It represents a recognizable, systemic, and consistent failure of the objective process.

    2. From R’s link:

    If the political polarization of the public expands, while that of the media shrinks, this is a problem. And if the media center not only narrows, it tilts in one direction, so that its world view loses touch with realities and in some ways itself resembles the “fringes” it typically excludes, then this is a crisis.

    There seems to be agreement that not all is well, but what to do?

    I am Not Optimistic But I Do Have Hope
    What Time is it in Political Journalism?

    The whole bias debate is just dumb because charges of political bias are poor theory. Further, the American public is smart enough to figure this stuff out (that’s Dewey speaking…is that liberal?)….But we can understand it and learn to use for our own political benefits the product of that process.

    It’s interesting that the American public is smart enough to figure out the liberal bias of MSM but is dumb to debate it. It would seem that if you’re smart enough to figure it out, it would be dumb to debate it’s existance. But then maybe academics think only smart people would consider it impolite not to act disinterested in it.

    Perhaps, it is not the layperson outside the presstribe that is dumb debating whether or not there is a political bias in the press, which side or not.

    Perhaps, it is the press that is dumb for denying it and feuling the debate?

    But hey, maybe we should all just apply Kentucky windage and shut up about it?

    But, is that an accurate way to “understand it and learn to use for our own political benefits the product of that process”?

  13. Tim…

    Hmmmm…poor choice of nouns. Not “the press” but “journalists.” There is no systematic breakdown. Individuals are not slaves to their political ideology (although the ranters on both wings want you to think so). Journalists are taught to be slaves to the structural biases. THAT’S important.

    Yes, not all is well. But for me the reasons are far different than simplistic notions of liberal bias.

    The debate is dumb because those carrying it on (not the public) want it that way. This is about political struggle and not about accurately describing and understanding journalistic behavior.

    I do not believe in disinterest as the link clearly demonstrates.

    We should not shut up about it. Actual cases of political bias should be vigorously challenged. But individual cases do not add up to a pervasive bias. THIS is all I’m saying. The evidence just doesn’t support such charges from either side. There’s no way to spin it. It just doesn’t add up. Further, it’s bad theory. Man, if it’s bad theory then it’s just worthless.

    Try predicting what FOX will do tomorrow based on a charge of liberal bias (or conservative bias for that mater) 🙂 Now, try predicting what FOX will do based on any one of all of the structural biases. Here’s where the discussion should be because it is these biases that cause the problems we see. But no one will listen so long as the bias ranters have the floor. And that works in their political favor and to the detriment of the American public.

    Everyday the press does things that exasperate people. Everyday the press does things that fail to live up to the goals it sets for itself. Everyday the press does things that hurt people. It seems to me we should be talking about why/how those things occur. That’s NOT what the bias ranting is about. It is about winning political battles for specific political causes at the expense of the public, the facts, and the truth.

  14. Tim 

    And if I argued that political bias in the press is a manifestation of (primarily) the narrative bias, commercial bias and expediency bias – explaining a liberal voice at urban legacy media and an ascendent conservative voice on radio and News Corp – would it then take on a different hue, a tiertiary (color) bias, rather than being pigeonholed with the bias ranters from AIM, FAIR, MRC, Media Matters, ….?

  15. Tim 

    Wow, obviously spelling and thinking are not always compatible.

    Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is worse … 😉

  16. Re: spelling Mine or yours? 🙂 I don’t worry about such details as long as we’re communicating. I’m a rhetorician not a grammarian.

    Re: if you argues… Well, that’s what I’ve been saying. The reason is that I do not believe that in a system as complex as journalism we can ascribe a simplistic reason for all that we see happening–especially a reason that is so poor at predicting journalistic behavior.

    Bias exists. Bias of all kinds. And it should be fought. But it should also be understood has having far more complex causes than the ranters suppose. I’d be a lot happier with the ranters if they were less political and more academic–IOW, if what they were after was understanding rather than scoring political points.

  17. Tim 

    re: spelling – mine. You make spelling errors?

    re: system as complex as journalism

    Here’s a fun, I think, thought. What if we envision the journalistic system as layers? On the bottom layer is the body of information produced by the world. It’s a quantum world.

    Journalists, the human ones, interact with this quantum world through a process such as observation and orientation (Boyd’s OODA loop) that includes their cognitive biases and automatic thinking. It is perceptual, psychological and unavoidable in dealing with ambiguity and our sensory and intellectual limitations.

    The next layer in our journalistic protocol stack, is where journalistic natural selection acts on this body of information. Doug Harper at Done with Mirrors describes some of the process:

    When I’m sitting at the wire desk as an editor, it’s not much different. AP will move maybe 300 stories in a cycle. We also get stories from the New York Times and Cox wires. Some duplicate the AP coverage, some don’t. All told, there may be 500 possible stories to go in the paper (in addition to the ones generated locally) on any given day. Maybe 30 of them will get in, and some of those only in very abbreviated form.

    Not only do I chose which ones people read, I decide, or help decide, which ones ought to get more prominence than which other ones.

    Along the way I’ll choose maybe 6 photos to illustrate the day’s news, out of maybe 250 images available since the last time we put out a paper, 24 hours ago.

    And the AP editors, whom I never see or interact with, already have weeded through the news to choose those 300 stories, those 250 photos, through which I move like a cafeteria customer. They might have looked at 3,000 or 5,000 articles that were written in that day, and moved only a fraction of them on the wire.

    And the photographers decided where to point their lenses …. You get the idea.

    The structural biases characterize (to some degree) the natural selection process, or what influences it. I understand it as rhetoric, influenced by language and culture (noetic field)? There is no thing as neutral language.

    Above the natural selection layer is the presentation layer. The presentation layer is characterized by the infrastructural biases (TBD). The infrastructural biases are influenced by the medium used. It takes into account spatial and temporal constraints as well as framing (paper, radio, television, internet, …, and newspapers vs. magazines, evening news hour vs. newsmagazine, broadcast networks vs. cable, blog vs. online journalism …, front page vs. climatic teaser).

    At this macro layer, the presentation layer, the cumulative effects can be visualized as a surface map which represents our mental map of reality and the distortions (peak and valleys) of the original body of information generated by the biases of the lower layers.

    When Presidents Lie

    At the heart of republican theory, in Lippmann’s view, stood the “omnicompetent” citizen. “It was believed that if only he could be taught more facts, if only he would take more interest, if only he would listen to more lectures and read more reports, he would gradually be trained to direct public affairs.” Unfortunately, Lippmann concluded, “the whole assumption is false.” In truth, Lippmann argued, “public opinion” is shaped in response to people’s “maps” or “images” of the world, and not to the world itself.

    I can’t fight bias effectively if I cannot “understand it and learn to use for our own political benefits the product of that process”. All I can do is rant.

  18. Tim 

    “How do we win the war on the media?” asks a soldier. “How do we win the propaganda war?”

    That sounds like a question that was planted by the press [perfect comedic pause, appreciative audience laughter]. That happens sometimes. We have freedom of the press. We believe that democracy can take all the views and synthesize the right decision. Out here it’s much harder [to deal with] the constant negative approach. I guess what’s news has to be, bad news. The truth is, however, that it gets through eventually. There are thousands of acts of kindness and compassion. The internet is helping . . . critiquing and debating [MSM coverage] . . . We can benefit from having a free press . . . In the last analysis, look where we’ve come as a country because we have had a free press . . . What hurts most is in the region, constantly being barraged with truly vicious inaccuracies about what is happening in the country. . . . and al Jazeera is right there at the top.

    Rumsfeld Visits Iraq

    The “objective mainstream” press replayed the one quote about the armor over and over again to try and take down Rumsfeld. Do you think we will see the same repetitive playing of these questions where the soldiers are criticizing the “objective mainstream” press? Don’t hold your breath….

    Rumsfeld Makes Surprise Iraq Visit
    (Transcript not yet available)

  19. Tim…interesting stuff. But now it’s family time. I’ll respond on Monday. Have a Merry Christmas!

    Re: spelling… Man, I am the worst. You may not find many misspelled words on Rhetorica only because I am totally paranoid about my spelling, and I agonize over everything I post. For example, I won’t post this comment until I’ve run it through the speller on NoteTab Pro (it caught two).

  20. An essential blog for journalists

    Time and again, I am reminded that Andrew Cline’s blog, titled “The Rhetorica Network: Analysis of Rhetoric, Propaganda, and Spin in Politics and Journalism,” is must read for journalists and media watchers who profess concern about liberal or conserva…

  21. Tim 

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Spell checker? Hmmmm ….

    CNN Transcript

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, how do we win the war in the media? It seems like that is the place where we’re getting beat up more than anybody else. I’ve been here — this is my third tour over here, and we have done some amazing things. And it seems like the enemy’s Web sites and everything else are all over the media, and they love it. But the thing is, is everything we do good, no matter if it’s helping a little kid or building a new school, the public affairs sends out the message, but the media doesn’t pick up on it. How do we win the propaganda war?

    RUMSFELD: That does not sound like a question that was planted by the press.

    (LAUGHTER)

    RUMSFELD: That happens sometimes. It’s one of the hardest things we do in our country. We have freedom of the press. We believe in that. We believe that democracy can take that massive misinformation and differing of views, and that free people can synthesize all of that and find their way to right decisions.

    Out here, it’s particularly tough. Everything we do here is harder, because of television stations like Al Jazeera and al-Arabiya and the constant negative approach. You don’t hear about the schools are open and the hospitals are open and the clinics are open, and the fact that the stock markets are open and the Iraqi currency is steady, and the fact that there have been something like 140,000 refugees coming from other countries back into this country. They’re voting with their feet, because they believe this is a country of the future.

    You don’t read about that. You read about every single negative thing that anyone can find to report.

    I was talking to a group of congressmen and senators the other day, and there were a couple of them who had negative things to say, and they were in the press in five minutes. There were 15 or 20 that had positive things to say about what’s going on in Iraq, and they couldn’t get on television. Television just said we’re not interested. That’s just sorry. So, it is, I guess, what’s news has to be bad news to get on the press.

    And the truth is, however, it gets through eventually. There are people in the United States who understand what’s really going on over here. They do understand that thousands of acts of kindness and compassion and support that are taking place all across this country. They do understand that large portions of this country are relatively peaceful. And something like 14 out of 18 of the problems it’s had, incidents of down around five a day as opposed to the ones in certain places like Baghdad that are considerably higher.

    And the Internet is helping. More and more people are seeing things that are taking the conventional wisdom and critiquing it and arguing it and debating it. And that’s a good thing.

    So, we are a great country. And we can benefit from having a free press. And from time to time people will be concerned about it. But in the last analysis, look at where we’ve come as a country, because we have had a free press.

    And we’ve — I mean, I’ve got a great deal of confidence in the center of gravity of the American people. What hurts most is in the region, where the neighboring countries whose help we need are constantly being barraged with truly vicious inaccuracies about what’s taking place in this country. And it’s conscious. It’s consistent. It’s persistent. And it makes everything we try to do in neighboring countries, where we’re looking for support, vastly more difficult.

    And we, as a country, don’t do that. We don’t go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they’ll say what you want. We just don’t do that. And they do. And that’s happening. And Al Jazeera is right there at the top.

  22. Tim 
  23. Tim 

    About the use of misleading information as a military tool
    Rather, not

    Early in my own career I did an investigative report on rural poverty that led me to the same conclusion: that we sometimes employ dishonest or morally compromising means to serve what we believe to be honest and morally justifiable ends. However we put it, rationalization is involved. Such is also often the case with the Gotcha! game. Yeah, we win, but what, besides the exposed butts of those whose pants we pull down? In some cases, big things, sure. In others, not much.

    Mental hurdle…

    McGill: Just so, it’s hard for journalists to stay consistently aware just where they are in this process, especially whether they are using or being used. Whether they are being honest brokers of the truth, or pawns of larger forces peddling bought-and-paid-for versions of truth.

    Complex people as players in a complex system.

  24. Tim 
  25. Tim 

    Also, as part of the journalistic natural selection process, perhaps reflected in (by?) the dominant and alternative noetic fields, is journalism’s Global Brain (aka PressThink), manufacturing consent via a consensus map of reality.

    Essentials of a Collective Learning Machine: The result is a five-element dissection of a collective learning machine. The quintet of essentials: (1) conformity enforcers; (2) diversity generators; (3) utility sorters; (4) resource shifters; and (5) intergroup tournaments.

    1. Conformity enforcers impose enough similarity on group members to give the social structure coherence, relative permanence, and the ability to carry out large-scale, integrated, multi-participant projects. In humans, conformity enforcers lead, among other things, to a collective perception, a socially-constructed view of reality which influences both childhood brain development and adult sensory processing, and which produces a weltanschauung displaying many of the characteristics of a shared hallucination.

    2. Diversity generators spawn variety. Each individual represents a hypothesis in the communal mind. It is vital for the group’s flexibility that it have numerous fallback positions in the form of participants sufficiently different to provide approaches which, while they may not be necessary today, could prove vital tomorrow. This can easily be seen in the operation of one of nature’s most superb learning machines, the immune system. The immune system contains 10(7)-10(8) different antibody types, each a separate conjecture about the nature of a potential invader. However diversity generators take on their most intriguing dimensions among human beings.

    3. Next come the utility sorters. Utility sorters are systems which sift through individuals, favoring those whose contributions are most likely to be of value. These pitiless evaluators toss those who personify faulty guesswork into biological, psychological and perceptual limbo. Some utility sorters are external to the individual. But a surprising number are internal. That is, they are involuntary components of a being’s physiology.

    4. Fourth are the resource shifters. Successful learning machines shunt vast amounts of assets to the individuals who show a sense of control over the current social and external environment. These same learning machines cast individuals whose endowments seem extraneous into a state of relative deprivation. Christ captured the essence of the algorithm when he observed "to him who hath it shall be given; from he who hath not, even what he hath shall be taken away."

    5. And bringing up the rear are intergroup tournaments, battles which force each collective entity, each group brain, to continually churn out fresh innovations for the sake of survival.

  26. Tim 

    Two comments.

    1. Jack Stokes, the AP’s director of media relations, is a spinning his ass off.

    2. I’m too angry to comment further.

    (via Instapundit) POWER LINE: “Am I missing something, or has the AP now admitted everything it was charged with by Wretchard?” Wretchard, meanwhile, has another question. And Roger Simon is unhappy.

  27. Tim 

    What if Everything Changed for American Journalists on September 11th? My Speculations.

    Finishing the Work of the Terrorists: “Any news outlet — or any private individual, for that matter — who makes available footage of the actual beheadings is, to my mind, an accessory to the crime itself,” says [Tom] Kunkel, dean of journalism at the University of Maryland. “Those are the individuals who are essentially finishing the work of the terrorists, by delivering their grisly ‘message.’ ” This was said in the Los Angeles Times in June, “Web Amplifies Message of Primitive Executions.”

    Reactions to “What if Everything Changed for American Journalists on September 11th?”

    I had also said “modern terrorism incorporates modern journalism,” and that I found it “impossible to believe that people in the news tribe are unaware of their tribe’s incorporation by terror, their inadvertent, unwished-for status as accessories to the act.”

  28. The Elian Gonzalez photo brought up some of the same issues for me:

    1- How did the photog get in there ahead of the feds?
    2- What was the fisherman doing there?

    i.e. a set-up

    I am largely in agreement with Kunkel. But I think all such decisions should be case by case.

  29. Tim 

    re: staged … Yes, some might still be surprised at how much of the news is staged, but I suspect many are sufficiently, if not overly, skeptical.

    Photographers Try to Avoid Staged Moments
    The Associated Press – is THE LIAR OF THE MONTH July 2004 at ‘Take-A-Pen’ !!! and The Stories Behind the Pictures! (Not to get into an Israel/Palestine argument, but I love the photo behind the photo stories for their “pull back the curtain” transparency).

    But I do think there is a difference for professional journalism/ethics between a family inviting journalists into their home in anticipation of a government raid, and terrorists inviting journalists to “complete the act” by attending the act under a cloak of “nowhere”, recording and publishing it for mass distribution.

  30. Tim 

    Andrew,

    As much as I am emotionally invested in the role of journalists in terrorism, I am more intellectually interested in your feedback on my “Theory of Everything Journalism”.