They’ll Huff, and they’ll puff

Both the articles I referenced in the previous post were published by Huffington Post, which seems to be a relatively new and crisp-looking attempt at an online newspaper (albeit one with more opinion and less so-called objective journalism).

They have an interesting mix of well-known writers (Larry David, John Cusack (not well-known as a writer, but still well-known), Walter Cronkite), and at least give the appearance of allowing all sides to voice their opinion about a particular issue. Mark Glaser has called her writers “limosine liberals“, which is a harsh way of saying something that’s probably true.

Which brings me to some recent developments that I find disturbing about US politics, journalism and public debate. For a long time, US politics has been distinguished by its bipolar partisanship – the liberal Democrats vs. the conservative Republicans. News media, to give the appearace of so-called “objectivity”, is duty bound to present both sides as even-handedly as possible. This presents a problem, however, when one side is clearly being totally unreasonable or false. This means that, although the current Republican administration clearly lied about the reasons for war, trampled all over the Geneva Convention, and has frozen journalists out of hotspots in Iraq, nobody can report this information without qualifying it with the contradictory statements coming out of the Whitehouse. This serves to muddy the waters, keep the faithful on-side, and generally leave the public in the dark about what is really going on. The US government could produce a document claiming that all Dolphins are robot nazi spies, and major news outlets would still have to present it in a fair and balanced light, alongside the opinions of stunned zoologists (and at least one suspiciously wealthy zoologist who agrees wholeheartedly with the government).

This brings me to the problem of the Huffington Post. These people could present the most reasonable, well-researched and relevant articles possible, but if they disagree with the government line they will be branded as liberal pinko commie traitor MSM scumbags (not by the government, of course, but by their well-placed mouthpieces like Sean Hannity), and that shit will stick.

Would you like some Truth with your Mainstream Media?