Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tacky Television Journalism

I take my news from a variety of sources. Some more reputable than others. Some probably more fair than others. I listen to those who squawk about media bias, and my reaction is, "so what?" Objective journalism has always been a rare commodity. Pick up a newspaper from the 19th Century. Back then, no one would be surprised to find a particular newspaper trumpeting a particular political party. Discerning readers learned to read between the lines. They took into account the source of their news. Unfortunately, fairness in media is ultimately a pipe dream. Better time would be spent encouraging the free exchange of ideas and teaching people to read with a critical eye.

I was watching Fox News this morning. I generally like Fox News except for its nasty tendency to be tabloid. Yes, its reporters are often politically conservative, but the real bias is for the sensational. The top news story for today is the health of Senator Tim Johnson from South Dakota. Apparently, he has had bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital malformation. My prayers are with him and his family. I definitely wish him a speedy and full recovery.

This is an important news story. Even the political angle about the future of the Democratic majority in the Senate is fair game. However, the Fox reporter today played excerpts from a conference call that Johnson had with reporters. In the phone call, Johnson's voice become more and more slurred. That is not news. The slurred voice of a suffering senator served no purpose but titillation. I know that there are countless other examples on the cable networks, but this was the incident that got caught in my craw today. It was tacky, and I am greatly disappointed in Fox News.

My Calvinist belief in total depravity remains unchanged. I shouldn't be surprised by the tasteless conference call.

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