When the Media Paints Itself as the Victim

Falling to your own media malpractice makes you irresponsible, not a “victim.” It doesn’t make you a “target” when other people publicly note the absence of your journalistic integrity. Politico missed this bit of logic recently when it attempted to blame conservatives for the misdeeds of various members of the media, most recently NYT’s Natasha Lennard.

… these critiques may just muddy the waters enough to do some damage to both the media and the fledgling anti-Wall Street movement.

Here Politico enables the malpractice by suggesting the critiques are baseless; they should worry more about what the actions of these “journalists” could do to the profession of journalism. It’s precisely this behavior which has tanked the trust of the American people in the Fourth Estate.

MSNBC has embraced Occupy Wall Street in a way that echoes the way Fox News embraced the early tea party protests.

I would like for Politico to produce evidence of a Fox anchor writing/editing/advising Tea Party messaging via email or meeting. If they can, then the above quote is honest. If they cannot, it’s a fallacy. If they weren’t prepared to follow up this statement with such an example of media malpractice, they should not have printed the statement at all. There is no equating what NBC did with OWS organizers to Fox simply reporting on the Tea Party.

While I’m glad Politico reached out to Big Government and Big Journalism contributor Lee Stranahan, the overall piece hinged on the premise that journalists who put ideology above objectivity are guilty only because conservatives said something, not because these journalists acted egregiously in the first place. They are their own victims.

Speaking of victims, no mention is made of this actual victim of censorship, Jason Mattera, a credentialed reporter for Human Events now under investigation at the behest of the Vice President all because Mattera asked Biden a question he didn’t like. Instead of focusing on how conservatives point out bad reporting, why not report on how the White House bullies the few media outlets that do not give them guaranteed favorable coverage?

Natasha Lennard employed a bit of method acting in covering her stories, except method actors have a reality to which they return; Lennard’s reality, Dylan Ratigan’s reality, Lisa Simeone’s reality, and the reality of similar media is that no division exists between their ideology and their work. They are activists whose participation in Occupy Wall Street, while pretending to cover it objectively, earned them criticism for misrepresenting their professional intent. Their inability to practice transparency and disclosure are the charges. Any attempt to state otherwise or the inane deflection that they’re “targeted” for their ideology alone is disingenuous.

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