Journalists or political activists?

This wee exchange on Twitter is a bit concerning.

O’Donnell is host of  on MSNBC.

Retweeted by Tim Murphy (New Zealand journalist):

Brian Stelter Retweeted Lawrence O’Donnell

Addendum to this: Journalists will be asked, and will ask themselves, “Are you proud of the way you covered Trump?”

Stelter is CNN’s host of and senior media correspondent. Formerly , and Top of the Morning

I’m not a fan of Trump at all and have serious concerns about what him as US President would mean to the world.

But the implication I get from this is that journalists should be actively trying to influence the presidential election. That also seriously concerns me.

At least Trump is getting democratic support and will be chosen (or not) by democratic vote.

Journalists should be giving unbiased accounts of the democratic process, and they should not be trying to manipulate and influence it in one direction.

If journalists want to be proud of defeating Trump they should become political activists and stop pretending to be journalists.

Or are the admitting the created a Trump monster through biased favourable coverage that enabled Trump’s rise?

Leave a comment

36 Comments

  1. You appear to misunderstand how what they call “news channels” currently work on American TV. They don’t employ “news readers” or investigative journalists as hosts on MSNBC, CNN, CNBC or Fox News shows. These channels ONLY exist as forums for editorialists, for op-ed pundits, for those whose entire job IS to take positions and offer opinions. The hosts then may, or may not have actual “hard news”-type reporters of the kind you are writing about on their shows as guests, to bolster their opinions. More often than not, the shows will feature panels of 2-4 guests, none of whom are journalists, only other opinion writers, columnists, actors and comedians, other op-ed show hosts, or “talk radio” people.

    Beginning in the 1980s, TV news here was made subservient to the Entertainment divisions of all networks. They are expected to operate as a revenue generator, building audiences to deliver advertising to. If you wish your information to be fact-based journalism you have to rely on select print media, or public radio.

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  2nd August 2016

    Who will become NZ’s Bill O’Reilly….great entertainment….’here at the …factor’!

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  2nd August 2016

    Anybody over there who wants the real, honest to goodness, lowdown on anything that’s really going on is visiting Prison Planet & Infowars. 😎

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  2nd August 2016

      Wot’s with the downticking? o_O

      Alex Jones has notably, & correctly, predicted all four times the US Feds have taken every single freedom-loving arms enthusiast’s guns off them by force and rounded them up & exiled them & their families to hidden FEMA concentration camps after first stupifying everybody with fluoride & chemtrails, and all on orders issued secretly from Bilderberg.

      Reply
      • “I support the Jewish state of Israel” ~ Alex Jones

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        • Gezza

           /  2nd August 2016

          What thread did you post that Pilger clip on today? I can’t find it now.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  2nd August 2016

            Rats. The above didn’t appear in RECENT COMMENTS. Just posting this to get it to come up before you do another Polish Exit, Uggers.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  2nd August 2016

              Too late. Gone, but not forgotten. ❤ 😥

              1:52pm

  4. duperez

     /  2nd August 2016

    “Journalists should be giving unbiased accounts of the democratic process.”

    Questions for the ages:
    Can a journalist give unbiased accounts of and for the democratic process in working hours on the job, and in his own time, in his own media, express opinions and try to manipulate and influence in one direction?

    (Is a Prime Minister a Prime Minister 24 hours a day?)

    In a world where ‘propriety’ and common accepted traditional practice is eschewed for new approaches and when breaking of norms is accepted, (for example in the ‘antics’ of Trump), is the expectation that people working in the media should conform to tradition?

    As Invisible Mikey indicates, if we’ve turned news and current events shows into entertainment bagatelle, can we expect those to suddenly, on call, cross easily over into the credibility lane?

    And anyway what is a journalist? Lawrence O’Donnell on TheLastWord on MSNBC can’t have an opinion. Mike Hosking on TVOne and sundry other places can?

    Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  2nd August 2016

    It’s been fascinating to skim through the RealClearPolitics list of headlines each day. There, they typically pair up contrasting opinions on the various events and issues. What is absolutely notable is that the anti-Trump pieces are invariably from the main US and New York print media: WP, NYT, WSJ with side volleys from HP, Salon, Politico. These sources never show up on the pro-Trump side which is provided from a wide range of smaller sources from across the country.

    I don’t have a problem with a journalist having a point of view. I do have a problem with a newspaper that publishes only one point of view.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  2nd August 2016

      I’m curious. You have a problem with a newspaper that publishes only one point of view. Do you have a problem with radio stations or TV channels which publish only one point of view?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  2nd August 2016

        Yes, I don’t watch them.

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        • duperez

           /  2nd August 2016

          I’m not sure whether you’re referring on the semantics of “publish” and “view”.

          If not, I infer that you don’t use TV and radio, which could be because of their only presenting one point of view, or you just don’t. If you discard them because they present one point of view, why not treat newspapers the same? Is there an expectation of different standards and ways of operating for print media?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  2nd August 2016

            I don’t watch TV or listen to radio for news/opinions. I prefer written word because it is far quicker and more selective to find what interests me. I did see Story last night because someone else was watching it and I was appalled at the puerile level of commentary on it.

            I am interested in intelligent insights from all viewpoints and that is what I respect in a publication and its editorial staff. Those who only present one point of view I deprecate accordingly.

            Reply
  6. David

     /  2nd August 2016

    The anti Trump coverage here is so blatant from the media its astonishing, Fox versus the world and they are not that enthusiastic. I am actually starting to feel sorry for him, he is a bit like Key in they have spent most of their careers in brutally tough industries things said by people who work in the media (serial unachievers) mean absolutely nothing. Life goes on and the usual moaners keep moaning.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  2nd August 2016

      Lol. As I type, Trump is featuring on Al Jazeera Newshour saying … “it may be that they call it the Clinton News Network, but “….

      After that I couldn’t hear anything else he said because of my (falls off office chair, laughing, as Kitty would say). I’ll have to catch their 12 noon 1/2 hour News Summary.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  2nd August 2016

        He is a very poor sport. ‘And it IS for the sake of a ribboned coat/And the selfish hope of a season’s fame.’

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        • Gezza

           /  2nd August 2016

          Maybe so, but his opponent’s still married to a right Slapper she should’ve given the boot to years ago, & I never believe a word she says either.

          So ‘yah boo sucks’ to both of them really Kitty.

          Reply
  7. Zedd

     /  2nd August 2016

    Political prejudice & lobbying is widespread in the ‘Global 4th estate’.. esp. here in Aotearoa/NZ; think Hoskings, Henry & the majority on ZB. ALL staunch Tories !! :/

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  2nd August 2016

      Goodness, that’s two or three out of the 220 or more NZ journalists listed on Wikipedia. Amazing how they outweigh all the others.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  2nd August 2016

        @AW

        send the list.. I bet most have ‘political allegiances’..
        btw: I didn’t say ALL NZ journos are on the RIGHT.. but I bet many are :/

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          • Arthur K

             /  2nd August 2016

            A quick look at that list reveals Max Cryer and Kris Faafoi for a start, as well as…
            Alfred Augustus Grace (1867–18 March 1942)
            Grace Winifred Green (13 February 1907 – 25 May 1976)
            James Benn Bradshaigh Bradshaw (22 September 1832 – 1 September 1886)
            Thomas Bracken (c. December 1841 – 16 February 1898)
            Edith Howitt Searle Grossmann (née Searle, 8 September 1863 – 27 February 1931)
            Edward Lofley (c.1840–1889)
            Alice Esther Glen (26 December 1881 – 9 February 1940)
            And Phil Gifford
            And that’s just from looking at a few.

            Can’t imagine that Thomas Bracken had even the slightest opinion of Trump.

            Reply
    • David

       /  2nd August 2016

      you are kidding ! that is the most astonishingly daft thing posted here in a while. NZs media is so far left they are sytematically destroying their audeinces year in year out as they describe a Key led NZ going down the gurgler which is in complete contrast to how real people see their own lives.

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      • Gezza

         /  2nd August 2016

        Wot? Half the time they seem to me to be reporting Andrew Little making a plonker of himself?? o_O

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  8. Gezza

     /  2nd August 2016

    Still watchin AJ Newshour. Who’s John Kerry & has he ever done anything apart from falling off a bike and breaking his leg?

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    • Nelly Smickers

       /  2nd August 2016

      Pretty sure he’s the same guy Gezz that flew into Wello a couple of weeks ago to warn JK that the TPPA was a *dead duck*. 😎

      http://soundbible.com/1960-Shotgun-Old-School.html

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  2nd August 2016

        I think he needs a brain transplant Nellers.

        Can’t believe it. Been watching him again on Al Jazeera Newshour – at yet another Press Conference or speech somewhere on the planet.

        Telling everyone (must be for about the 167th time by now) how, until Putin understands that he needs to get into co-operation with the Western Coalition nations – so they can all work together to get rid of Assad – the Western countries and the ‘moderate opposition’ will never be able to end the war in Syria. o_O

        This chap Kerry gives all other dorks a bad name. 😡

        Reply
        • Nelly Smickers

           /  2nd August 2016

          That’s the *exact reason* the Western Coalition needs to see Trump in the White House……. you could never see Putin wanting to get in the saddle with Hillary XD

          Reply
  9. Blazer

     /  2nd August 2016

    John Kerry …’when it comes to NZ(SUPPORT)…..we don’t even need to …ask’!

    Reply

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