Truth in Journalism

I’m of the opinion that the biggest problem the United States has is that people don’t know what the truth is. I include myself in that group. Why do I believe this? Because I frankly don’t trust much of the information I have.

I’ve believed this for a long time. In 2010, Jesse Willis and I talked to Dan Carlin who does the Common Sense and Hardcore History podcasts. The main question I wanted to ask Carlin was how does HE know what the truth is? How is he so confident that he has the truth that he’s willing to take the stands he takes? I asked it, and he answered. (Dan Carlin, btw, is a person I trust and admire, but I’m not getting my news from him. That’s not one of the services he provides.)

Back to journalism, and Case #273849 in support of my belief that we can’t rely on news stations to provide factual information in the United States: MSNBC just hired Robert Gibbs and David Axelrod.

Rachel Maddow interviewed Jon Stewart once, after that rally thing he did on the mall in Washington in 2010. (You can find that interview |here|.) In that interview, Stewart suggested to Maddow that MSNBC was Fox News’ opposite number. Fox News built a financially successful network by presenting its news slanted conservative, so MSNBC mimicked that success by creating the exact same thing, only for liberals. Maddow seemed a bit taken aback by that assessment, which boggled my mind. It was (and is) so incredibly obvious. MSNBC and Fox News are EQUALLY BAD, Rachel. You are part of the problem. MSNBC and Fox News deserve zero percent of my or anyone else’s attention.

For more details on what I’m talking about, read Glenn Greewald’s excellent piece on this in the Guardian, sarcastically titled MSNBC boldy moves to plug its one remaining hole.

I don’t care where on the political spectrum you sit – our “journalists” are not journalists in the United States. Nearly all the information we get is from ideologues, and it’s affecting EVERYTHING. We DESPERATELY NEED journalists.

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